Lab Animals

Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars

Lab Animals - Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars ©1999 Digital Dimensions
1. Worlds In Collision
2. Angel Dust
3. 24 Hours In Hell
4. Warhead
5. Black Eye
6. Pure
7. Blind Incision
8. Death By Pain
9. Some Other Destination
10. Caliban
11. Mind Blender
12. Skin Driver
13. Sky God K
14. Bonus Track

Lab Animals are a Detroit-based trio that play a blend of EBM and industrial metal, loosely along the lines of Front Line Assembly and Ministry. To my knowledge, Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars is their first album, and for all intents and purposes a competent, if undistinguished debut. The album begins solidly with the drum machine-propelled synth track "Worlds in Collision" and the Apoptygma Berzerk-like, danceable "Angel Dust". Other highlights include the guitar driven "Death by Pain" and the rock n' roll styled "Some Other Destination".

Nice work, but in spite of that, the album doesn't quite meet the standards set by these four songs, and even the latter two compositions feel out of place for an album of this sort. The dreadful "Blind Incision" notwithstanding, the tracks on Silent Weapons are far from terrible, but the album overall strikes me as too unoriginal and run-of-the-mill to warrant further attention. The vocals are distorted in a raspy, shrill, grating sort of way; Lab Animals try their best to make the voice lines interesting, but they come off as a little dull and colorless. They make a valiant attempt at shaping a clinical, mechanical atmosphere, but once again they don't quite cross the finish line, albeit for a different reason. The pieces that make up Silent Weapons are perhaps too disparate musically, and a fair number of tracks ought to have been omitted. A decent, passable album, but there are better.

I suppose I should relate this review to the spirit of the holidays, so here goes: I wouldn't put Lab Animals on the top of my Christmas list; for that matter, I probably wouldn't add Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars on the bottom either. I suppose some people wouldn't mind having this album as a stocking stuffer, but I'd prefer coal, thank you. Well, perhaps that was an exaggeration, but I do hope Santa will bring them a little more talent and creativity on Xmas morning. Recommended only for those who absolutely insist on buying every CD under the sun.

Review by Jeffrey Shyu

Review date: 12/1999

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