Cyanotic – Tech Noir (2017)
Flanked by infiltration bots “Clear A Path” and “Control=Lost” back in September 2016, expectations were high for Tech Noir, Cyanotic’s fourth album that has been hinted at for seemingly aeons. Previous outing Worst Case Scenario saw the band’s industrial rock attack reach a creative peak – its aggression and intelligence only matched by Sean Payne’s utterly convincing vocal delivery. A band that gets better and better with age, Tech Noir is not just another Cyanotic album; its their best.
Payne’s growling vocals are not to be confused with any sort of primitive approach to Cyanotic’s angry robot noise. Tech Noir is a painstakingly and meticulously crafted album with immense detail and care applied to every synth and drum sound programmed. The resulting onslaught is pure apocalyptic industrial destruction. A distinctly modern industrial album, Tech Noir also tips its hat to the old school masters with elements of EBM’s vitriolic stomp interspersed with industrial’s distorted clang. Speaking of things distorted – there’s a significant move away from guitars on this record when compared to Cyanotic’s previous offerings; mastermind Sean Payne’s production skills demonstrating that huge, chunky distortion and aggression can be easily conveyed through synths and samplers.
Tech Noir wastes no time hooking you in. “Mainlining Tension” stomps on your head with its cyberpunk kick until you submit. “Hyperaware” sees Cyanotic take on an almost electro-punk vibe. A succinctly placed Blade Runner sample opens “Deadweight”, a track destined to be a live favourite, before its riotous melee ensues. “Clear A Path” needs to become an end of night, club anthem. The atmospheric and soundscape- tinged “Neo-Tokyo Skylines” elicits exactly that imagery, neon lit streets shrouded by imposing skyscrapers towering above. “Salvage the Excess” sees Payne’s love of The Prodigy take centre stage with breakbeat rhythms, almost verging on breakcore territory at times, harkening a vicious end to this dystopian nightmare.
Wasting no time is one the keys to Tech Noir’s success – at 8 songs and 35 minutes long the album may appear brief from the outside, but inside this industrialized cyperpunk arena lies a myriad of sounds, possibilities and a shit ton of energy and fun. Definitely one of the best albums of 2017. Get this.
Available directly from the artist via Bandcamp here.