Regardless of time frame, nothing makes us happier here than finding that which pushes the “envelope” of music either musically or sonically. So when we had the chance to work with Belgian artist, CONTROVERSIAL, we were glad to take a look at the album, ‘Second Genesis.’ Bart Coninckx is the sole mastermind behind CONTROVERSIAL. His ‘Second Genesis’ is a nod to the purity of bands like SKREW and ‘Psalm 69’ – era MINISTRY.
‘Second Genesis’ starts out with the appropriately creepy, “The Trauma of Birth” – a piece combining a drone undercurrent, some distortion-covered narration and sporadic higher-pitched choral sounds. It reminds of something perhaps from the movie, The Crow. The next track is “With A Vision Of Death.” Here is where we really start to see the essence of this album. The purity in the old-school SKREW and Ministry vibe takes us back to the mid 90s to early 2000s.
We’re not going to go into every single track but it should also be mentioned in this track that Controversial is a true master of the lost art of utilizing samples and he does so in a number of ways. In a track like “With A Vision of Death,” the repeated screams are used as way to supplement the disturbing vibe of the track. However, in the subsequent track, “Violence,” they are also used as a rhythmic supplement. This is evident in the repeated gun-shot sounds. They also use some repeated samples possibly from news broadcasts and/or movies. This track is reminiscent of the magic of SKREW’s “Burning In Water, Drowning In Flame” 1992 masterpiece.
The album is full with 13 tracks and 2 remixes. Old-school beats, distorted vocals, noises, glitches and sounds appear at any given point. But then you’ll be surprised by a track like “Crying” which almost sounds like something out of the show “American Horror Story” with the choral sounds and key hits. But then it’s back to tracks like “Let The Monster Out” which remind us of songs like “Thieves” from Ministry. The whole record is completely solid and contains not a dull track. On one hand, I could say that I wish more bands would bring back this old-school sound and character. But then again, the really great ones like Controversial may not stand out as much as they would if there were too many of these bands.