Spark! – Maskiner (CD Album – Progress Productions)
Background/Info: Last year Spark! struck back with the “Spektrum”-album, which was a particular release as singer Stefan Brorsson, who had left the band, got replaced by guest singers. Christer Hermodsson (ex-SPOCK and Biomekkanik) was one of them. It all looks like there was some chemistry operating between him and mastermind Mattias Ziessow because they are now the new duo behind the Swedish EBM formation. “Maskiner” is a kind of new start although the 6th full length album of Spark! to date.
Content: The work of Spark! doesn’t really deliver surprises nor innovative elements –except for a new singer. This is pure old-school EBM, driven by dry and carrying bass lines –sometimes reminding me of Pouppée Fabrikk, a danceable cadence, fast and repetitive sequences and a few more personal touches. The songs were accomplished with some extra and alluring strings and other elaborate arrangements built up with cool sound treatments.
The main particularity of the Spark! probably remains the use of the Swedish language. It’s impossible to really understand what the lyrics are dealing with although most of the choruses are easy to keep in mind. That brings me to speak about the performance of the new singer. Christer Hermodsson is a talented and experienced vocalist who doesn’t give you the impression to have just joined in. He feels totally comfortable and is an excellent successor to Brorsson.
+ + + : “Maskiner” is a great EBM album based on the old-school formula. The sound is made of terrific bass lines and intelligent arrangements. The opening song “Alla Pa En Gang” is a smasher and in my opinion, maybe the best Spark! song ever. I can mention several great songs and potential hits, which says something about the potential of the work. I also like the elaboration of a few songs, which are at the 2nd part of the album.
– – – : The Swedish language makes the originality of Spark! –becoming one of their trademarks, but it’s not the most accessible element of their work.
Conclusion: The new Spark! has arrived and I can assure you they bring you a great and efficient work. “Maskiner” is their best album to date!
Best songs: “Alla Pa En Gang”, “Monolog”, “Vansinn-E”, “Sta Emot”, “Monster”, “Brinner Som Vackrast”.