Pride and Fall
~reviewed by Eric Rasmussen
Reviewing electronica has led me to ponder the question: why does EBM typically suck? Pride and Fall plays EBM, and does not suck at all. In fact, they're quite good, and they've inadvertently answered my question. Most EBM sucks because it lacks any sort of vision or creativity, the two elements that can imbue otherwise lifeless techno beats with depth and vitality. Pride and Fall has mixed goth, metal, and trance into one of the best EBM CDs I've ever heard. However, they manage to do so with the typical array of EBM noises - string swells, fast techno beats, catchy melodies, depressed singing. Pride and Fall uses the standard ingredients, they just manipulate them to incorporate the aesthetics and feelings of other genres.
I often joke that EBM is made by sad robots, because only sad robots could devise such inhuman, precise, and ultimately boring depressed dreck. Pride and Fall's members are clearly not robots. They work a very human vibe into their soundscapes. This is partly done through the rhythm, thanks to little percussion fills and tempo changes (which are rare in EBM). Mostly, however, Sigve Monsen's depressed gothy vocals and occasional rasps make the music more interesting than the standard filler. He sounds like a cross between recent Mortiis and Icon of Coil, and he successfully communicates gloom despite the rather nonsensical lyrics he sings.
Nephesh features a pulse, in a way that many CDs do not. This pulse is not defined merely by tempo. Rather, it's more of a heartbeat just under the surface of the music - a hard to quantify quality that brings the music to life and gives it some purpose. You can definitely pick out the measurable elements that separate Pride and Fall from generic EBM acts: varied vocals, tempo changes, different keys and distinct melodies, breaks in the beat, etc. But for the most part, Pride and Fall simply has that extra something that makes their music work, and fans of EBM and gothy electronica should definitely check it out. These Norwegians are on their way towards breaking out of the EBM boundaries and making more transcendental art, but for now they've made a fine entry in their genre of choice.
Pride and Fall is:
Pride and Fall - Official Site: