Recoil "subHuman" Review by Releasemagazine01.07.2007
ALBUM MUTE, EMI
RELEASE: JULY 9, 2007
REVIEW: JULY 1, 2007
Rate: 9 of 10
Well now here's a fine kettle of fish. Seven years of silence ended. Is it any wonder I've been playing this thing non-stop? One does not get new work from Alan Wilder very often. A more reclusive, reluctant musician would be difficult to find. Yet he ventured out of The Thin Line (his studio for those of you who're wondering) to work with a Texan named Joe Richardson. And a lass called Carla Trevaskis.
From the first track, the single "Prey", you suddenly remember why it is you suffer through the droughts between albums from Recoil. The sudden tempo changes, the atmospheres. Wilder's usage of tension has never been better. Recoil induce vertigo at times, Alan's singular ability to meld his production prowess into creatively viable yet thoroughly menacing tracks short-circuits the unwary who casually listen to his work. There is no such thing as a casual Recoil fan, by the way. The growth from his last outing (2000's "Liquid") to this album blows me away.
"Allelujah" is at times reminiscent of "Missing Piece" and yet it is different enough that I cannot fault its basis of breathy feminine vocals, immense cinematic presence and almost dream-like tempo. "The Killing Ground" by contrast begins somberly, gently nudging you along until it just flat out explodes like some kind of tune from an all-night dance hall in hell with an exhortive message which when one looks beneath the mythological context is just devastating. It is currently my favourite track of the album. I wonder what this song would have sounded like with say, Johnny Cash singing on it... another question which must remain unanswered.
This album is the fruition of what began back in 1993 on an album we all know quite well. The continuation was 1997's "Unsound Methods" and now, some fourteen years later, I'm going to go out on a limb and posit that this is what he truly had in mind when he was wasting his time in a chart-courting prima-donna finishing academy who have since become neither creative nor viable in any sense of the word.