Front Line Assembly Civilization

Following the release of their "Maniacal” single, FLA mainstay Bill Leeb and a returning Rhys Fulber provide us with an electronic journey filled with an exotic tapestry of beats, sound bytes and provocative vocals. Civilization is in many ways more mature than their early FLA work, but also carries with it a higher level of mainstream appeal. Therefore "Maniacal,” the menacing beat-driven single, is not indicative of the rest of the album. As a whole, Civilization is more introspective, focusing primarily on ambience. That’s not to say there isn’t any substance. "Transmitter (Come Together)” smacks you into the synth pop end of the FLA spectrum, while the darkness of "Dissident” and "Schicksal” will lurk into your subconscious long after your CD player has been turned off. This is FLA’s 14th release on Metropolis and, although hardly revolutionary, Civilization is a respectable effort. With that said, FLA fans should tread lightly. In many ways, Civilization has replaced anger with angst, making this a mellower disc than might be expected. (Metropolis)