The Stricken “The Stricken” – album review


The Stricken is a new dark-industrial project of Claus Larsen of Leæther Strip and Ian Donaldson of Bronski Beat. The two electronic music masterminds came together to give their contribution to the industrial genre in a dark and sophisticated manner. Although Claus and Ian met by chance, judging by this album, it was a match made in heaven.

The album was officially released on 1 March 2018 on Laebel, the home label for the latest Larsen, Mirland and other associated projects. The CD is limited to 1000 copies and it is a real honour to own it.

a3711512003_10The opener “Remains” won’t yet unveil the whole story of The Stricken; it’s a dark lullaby-like overture filled with the anticipation. Darkly painted “A Doom With A View” follows. If you’re a fan of the industrial sound, this album will satisfy your appetites. “Havoc” finally unleashes the beast; the suspension is over, the blade of raw power cuts through the dark atmosphere and turns it into the more aggressive tone. I wouldn’t necessarily pigeon-hole The Stricken; it exceeds the industrial music text book description and the sound is amazingly modern and fresh. The club electronic music is incorporated into dark industrial, which is at times not even dark. The Stricken undoubtedly stands out among many new releases within the “dark” electronic music genres. It doesn’t follow beaten paths, it’s got a voice of its own. However, one can recognize the British electronic music influence. No wonder, since Donaldson was in charge of the music. “The Chase” is certainly the track to play on repeat; besides the beautiful, yet almost subliminal melody in the chorus, Claus did a brilliant vocal interpretation. “Endeavour” is another track very high on my list; without the big twists, the song remains floaty, ethereal, atmospheric and mystical. It’s difficult to stick to just a few favourite tracks; the album is a masterpiece as a whole. “Give It To Me” earns the “club-industrial” title; the song is catchy, groovy sexy and everything you would like to hear on the club dance floor. “Hole In The Wall” is amazingly soothing, yet the lyrics are quite the opposite. The perfectly atmospheric track combined with underlying aggression is not something you would expect, but they pulled it off! They close with “Strangers”, the track with a powerful statement; guitar riffs and orchestrated arrangements add to the feeling of power and Larsen provides additional raw edge to it. Take the hint and get yourself a copy, because this will probably be one of the top industrial albums of 2018. You wouldn’t want to miss it!

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