May 21, 2024

Star Industry – The Renegade (DCD Album – Alfa Matrix)

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Genre/Influences: Gothic, goth-rock.

Content: It took 7 years for Star Industry to unleash their new work. They for sure are the Belgian pride of gothic music, but maybe not considered as a leading band in the genre. I don’t know if “The Renegade” will increase their popularity, but I can already reveal this album sounds like a ‘smash hit’ and will be for sure one of the hottest goth releases of the year.

The opening song “Eilyne” has been previously released as EP-title song and is an amazing song. This track is the perfect mix between new-wave, goth-rock and electronics. Guitars and electronics have been merged into a sublime symbiotic composition. Star Industry’s singer remains the contemporary incarnation of Andrew Eldritch. He sings in a great passionate way while “Eilyne” also features sexy female spoken words.

There was no better song to start off with, but I was wondering what the rest of the album would deliver. “The Renegade” is an amazing piece of work revealing the goth-rock sound Star Industry is used to composing, but accomplishing it with an extra electronic touch. I think we no longer can speak about one of the numerous ‘Sisters’ clones, but about a band that has mixed a solid new-wave basis together with a unique touch. This way Star Industry becomes one of the most refreshing and creative gothic formations while “The Renegade” has the potential to become a reference in the genre. The global production work left me breathless. Their sound is a powerful expression, which makes you feel like a dwarf lost in a cathedral.

Star Industry always has been a talented formation to compose great choruses, and here again they simply excel in carrying and somewhat pop inspired passages. There’s a constant mix between gothic- and rock music while the choruses have been accomplished with a pop approach. “Reign On Fire” is a sublime cut in the genre and another potential hit. I also have to mention the title song, which is empowered by a delicious epic element emerging from female chants.

Every single song is a phenomenal experience and it really is a long time ago that a gothic release had that much impact on me. The somewhat quieter “Selling Icons” is a kind of break, but written with cool piano arrangements. “Revelation” and “Dark Rain” both are more representative for the polished work. But in the end I would say that there’s something to say about each of the songs making from “The Renegade” an absolute must have.

I also highly recommend the limited edition of this work featuring 10 more songs. We here get some unavoidable, but great remixes next to outstanding cover versions, 2 unreleased demos from 1996 and a live song recorded in China.

The so-called “Club Mix” cover-version of The Cure’s “The Walk” is a well-crafted cover version and sounds a bit like it was originally written by Star Industry. But the cover version of “Kids” (originally written by MGMT) is another smasher while “Kings And Queens” (originally written by Killing Joke) is another noticeable, but more rock-minded cover.

Both unreleased demos from 1996 bring us back to the early years of the band. They already revealed another demo song on the “Eilyne”-EP. It clearly sounds more inspired by The Sisters Of Mercy, but you can already hear the band’s fine taste to compose captivating music. A last noticeable cut is the “Paris Remix” of “Eilyne”, which is quite clubby and revealing some technoid arrangements.

Conclusion: I think there’re numerous adjectives to qualify this album so if I’d to choose one it would be: brilliant!

Best songs: “Eilyne”, “Reign On Fire”, “The Renegade”, “Revelation”, “Dark Rain” + “The Walk – Club Mix”, “Kids – Club Mix”, “Nineties – Original Demo”, “Eilyne – Paris Remix”.

Rate: (Elise Din:9)Elise Din.

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Inferno Sound Diaries
I have been working for over 30 years with Side-line as the main reviewer. My taste is eclectic, uncoventional and I prefer to look for the pearls, even if the bands are completely unknown, thus staying loyal to the Side-Line philosophy of nurturing new talents.

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