Review by: Meriel Longmore
Review score: 5/5
Total Holocaust Records are one of those labels that always release excellent quality releases one way or another. REAKTOR 4 is no different in that it is another fine example of a THR release, but it is also highly experimental and has a clinically cold atmosphere that Swedish bands in this vein seem to create so well. Along with bands such as LIFELOVER (this release does actually feature B. of LIFELOVER as session vocalist) and WOODS OF INFINITY; REAKTOR 4 have created a sound that blends together some very random influences, approaches and samples / electronic effects in a very clever and profoundly strange manner. This is what makes the release so instantly compelling as it transmits a really strong and eccentric character that it is impossible not to be absorbed by.
REAKTOR 4 are one of those bands who have real personality and obviously don’t give a fuck about what anyone else thinks so the creative freedom here yields maximum results in terms of innovation and listening experience. One of the most attractive features of REAKTOR 4 is that the album has nightmarish qualities and listening feels like going on a dark headtrip into some of the most surreal and disturbing territories within the human psyche. Combining harsh Industrial and apocalyptic, clinical, coldly mechanical, urbanized Black Metal and possibly a large dose of mental illness and nostalgic melancholy, this is a truly warped creation that both hypnotizes and numbs the listener in equal measure. The monotonous and abrasive guitars, the dark electro beats, the scathing distorted vocals, hallucinatory effects, industrial rhythms, creepy organ and accordion sections and desolate urban atmosphere all make for an amazing listening experience. Although REAKTOR 4 do have an original sound, the best comparison is perhaps to imagine a combination of LIFELOVER, APATI and “Cleanse, Fold and Manipulate” or “Too Dark Park” era SKINNY PUPPY. If you generally enjoy hybrids of Black Metal and the darkest of Industrial then this album is an absolute must! May be a good choice for fans of bands/artists such as ABORYM, MZ.412, DIABOLICUM, THORNS, BLUT AUS NORD, SKINNY PUPPY, HOCICO, DOWNLOAD, LIFELOVER, WOODS OF INFINITY, STAHLMANTEL, SPK, APATI, AMESOEURS, etc.
REAKTOR 4 offer pure unadulterated negativity and soundscapes of mental disintegration. In my opinion it would be fair to say that this album is very cool, very strange and VERY essential…..what more could you ask for?!