Schizoid The Next Extreme

Since 1998, Schizoid has been a fixture in the Toronto, ON extreme music community. Led by the driven J. Schizoid, the self-described "blackened industrial digital hardcore noise metal" project have released their third full-length album. The Next Extreme is very much what the band's tagline suggests: a conglomeration of disparate elements, everything from pulsing gothic atmospheres, techno-inspired beats and buzzing black metal guitar riffs. There are moments when these very different techniques and styles blend together well, but they are few and far between. The majority of the record is (pardon the obvious metaphor) schizophrenic: industrial rhythms, sound samples and heavily distorted vocals compete with each other rather than enhancing, blurring rather than creating interesting moments of juxtaposition. There are compelling moments — "Life is Struggle" stands out as an unhinged and powerful track, for instance — but The Next Extreme cries out for a merciless edit, an effort to strip back the unnecessary layers that muddy and obscure the core of the sound. (Independent)