For most artists whose last release was thirteen years ago, fans would likely not want to wait around that long in anticipation of anything worthwhile. Genghis Tron is not that artist. After a lengthy hiatus, the four-piece experimental electronic metal band returned with a captivating new album released on Friday, March 26th. Compared to their previous releases, Genghis Tron’s Dream Weapon showcases a refreshing, atmospheric sound, while still maintaining their defining characteristics.
The album opens with “Exit Perfect Mind”, a short and simple ambient synth piece setting the tone of all that follows. Both “Pyrocene” and “Dream Weapon” feature a thick and heavy drum beat and instrumentals inspired by pop and psychedelic rock traditions. The latter especially drives home the pensive feel central to the work as a whole.
“Alone in the Heart of the Light” further demonstrates the brilliant blend of pulsating synthesizers with a heavy rock sound. Neither element suffers, with the high melodic line driven by the steady drum beat, both accompanied by electronic chords as rich and present as a pipe organ.
To get an understanding of the entire album in one song, turn to “Ritual Circle.” The track is based around simple oscillating synth lines, but features driving rhythmic motifs and thick supporting textures. Throughout, suspended chords emphasize the anticipatory nature of the work.
Dream Weapon is wholly focused on rhythmic rather than melodic content, which occasionally makes certain tracks sound similar, such as “Ritual Circle” and “Great Mother.” However, tied with the overarching meditative theme, this makes for a work that feels like a cohesive album rather than a collection of songs haphazardly arranged together.
Previous fans of the band might be disappointed with the absence of traditional metal characteristics featured on previous releases such as screaming vocals or fast and technically complicated guitar riffs. However the group maintains their roots with intricate and heavy rhythms, and dark lyrics such as ‘The world turns away from all of our shame / Whichever was the single moment that damned it all?’ (“Alone in the Heart of the Light.”) Lots of sonic evolution can take place over thirteen years, an occurrence of which Genghis Tron has taken advantage.
With a band as genre-defying as this one, it seems inappropriate to expect novel material. Regardless, Genghis Tron defies expectations with their musicianship and creativity on Dream Weapon.