Icon of Coil The Soul is in the Software

The dark electronic genre has been making waves in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Bands such as Covenant and Apoptygma Berzerk have put out stellar releases, giving us even more reasons to hit the dance floor than ever before. And Icon of Coil continues this trend. From Norway they hail (actually "he" hails - just one fella for studio work, Andy LePlegua), and 125 bpm (or so) of cleanly produced heavy synth music is their modus operandi. At first listen the tracks are catchy and rhythmic enough to keep your heart bump, bump, bumpin'. Fans of the aforementioned acts will want to give this a listen, but don't expect anything too innovative. These ten tracks are pretty much your standard specimen of this musical species, and after five tunes or so you want things to change a bit. Ironically, the memorable moment is the slower, more melodic, less dance-y "Everything is Real." This piece showcases LaPlegua's finely honed programming skills, which seem to get lost in the shuffle in some of the faster numbers. A more pop approach would have helped distinguish the numbers from each other, but a decent album nonetheless. (Metropolis)