Format: Digital, 2 CD.
Background/Info: Kreign is an American duo set up in 2010 by Ryan Hutman (still involved with Hardwire) and Xiån Austin (also involved with hardwire and ex-member of Alter Der Ruine and Dust Is Noise). They set up this band as a tribute to old-school EBM. Earlier this year they self-released a self-titled album featuring ten songs. They got signed to Scanner, which re-released this album while there’s an extra disc available with remixes.
Content: Kreign deals with a solid old-school EBM basis, which is driven by solid bass lines, heavy rhythms and powerful vocals. This basis has been mixed with sophisticated sound treatments, even featuring Acid-like sequences. The songs are all extremely powerful; there’s just one short instrumental break. Two songs are featuring The Strand.
The second disc features 9 remixes by some renowned EBM names such as Die Krupps plus Jürgen Engler, but still established names such as Autodafeh, NZ and Elm. There’s also a remix by Nova State Machine while Kreign remixed 3 songs as well.
+ + + : This album left me literally breathless. I’ve already heard great EBM productions after Nitzer Ebb; thinking of Orange Sector, Spetsnaz or more recently NZ. But Kreign moves a step further by achieving retro-EBM together with intelligent sound treatments. It’s hard to find this kind of powerful EBM with such a sophisticated composition. It’s powerful and crafted with genius. Kreign elevates EBM to a higher artistic degree. The sound treatments are simply amazing; from the heavy, menacing bass lines to the more complex sequences, which together with the enraged vocals will sound like a smack in your face. And there’s more… It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed an extra disc with so many remixes. Kreign not only asked talented projects and great names, but there’s something to say about each remix. I however have a preference for “Building You Back” remixed by NZ and “Live Fast” remixed by Autodafeh. There’s also a cool remix of “Layers Of Chaos” by Die Krupps.
– – – : Both songs featuring The Strand are the only ones that couldn’t convince me a same way, but I’m not saying these songs are worse!
Conclusion: Kreign took me by surprise, unleashing nothing, but a masterpiece of phenomenal old-styled EBM with an intelligent writing.
Best songs: “Add It Up”, “5 Layers Of Chaos”, “Shit Storm”, “Disco King”, “Lost Purpose” + “Live Fast – Remixed by Autodafeh”, “Building You Back – NZRMX”, “Layers Of Chaos – Die Krupps Remix by Jürgen Engler”, “Shit Storm – Reaching For Shadows Mix”.