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Founded by the duo P-O Svensson and Magnus Lofdahl in 1999 more as a hobby than anything serious but that would all soon change.  This swedish duo would soon launch their music onto the world through the labels Memento Materia and A Different Drum on a few compilations.  The next few years would see some changes in the band lineup, but in the end the duo of P-O and Magnus Kalnins keep the music alive and going.

The discography for this band includes several full-length albums, several maxis and compilation appearances.  The music for the band started as mainly synthpop influenced music.  Over the years the styles varied slightly in intensity and pace moving slightly into the harder-hitting EBM and future pop styles.  But in the end they always go back to their synthpop roots and wide variety of related elements and styles.

After becoming acquainted with the band through their hit single "Black", they have been a favorite synthpop band of mine and many other synth fans.  They have carried forward with the solid synth styles and continued to mature and evolve slightly.  Anyone who enjoys powerful synthpop who isn't already familiar with this group should definitely go out and pick up their discography.  Their latest album is a great way to start.



Buried Again - Review

Loading up the power-packed beats, this duo is back with another memorable album that will have fans of all the various industrial, EBM and electro-pop genres swooning. After their excellent single Knives it's great to finally have another full album in our hands with thirteen promising new tracks spanning from the hard-edged pounding sounds to the delicate downtempo synth-laiden moods that crop up on a couple of pieces. The packaging is excellent with several pages of lyrics, photos and digital artwork all combined to make a complete package for fans to fully enjoy.

From the very first piece in "Ghosts" we have the definition of powerful and driving electro-pop music. This is followed closely by their excellent single "Knives" which is a stellar track in itself showing how the edgier industrial-driven music can still be melodic and moving without the overused distorted sinister vocals. In fact this duo shows how such a wide array of electronic musical styles can come together so perfectly on this album. Right after the driving power of "Knives", "Imaginary Girls" shows the softer, lighter side of this band, though the music still remains somewhat moody and dark with the pulsating electronics, this downtempo piece is a refreshing variety in the driving electronics. In general the throbbing rhythms remain strong throughout the album whether it's the fast-paced dance-friendly beats or these previously mentioned slower tracks. The power, raw emotion and driving music is excellent.

Along with a broad range of tempos and overall musical elements and styles, the range of lyrical content matches well with these variations. From love, life, religion and more, they touch on areas of our lives that we can all relate to. And if it's in the form of a driving dance-friendly piece or something you might prefer listening to while sitting alone in a dimly lit room, it's all there, all real and personal.

With all of that being said, the entire album is packed with great tracks. Trying to choose some favorites has been hard they're all so good. However, I have to say that the powerful, driving pieces are what stand out the most. The previously mentioned "Ghosts" and "Knives" are definitely key pieces on this album showing the edgier side of the electro-pop music world. "End of Desparation" is another driving piece that really comes out in stellar form. The driving beats on "Heart Attack" mixed with the awesome melodic vocals make this another memorable selection that really reminds me a lot of some of the better Covenant pieces, though this band needs no comparison with any of the other great bands, they easily stand on their own. The deep and heavy brooding style of "Closure" bring out the heavy industrial roots that has become so popular with distorted percussion and lots of deep and heavy synths to back it all up. With another five tracks to wrap up the album, each one comes out powerful and strong leaving the listener with plenty of material to choose from for more favorites making this a new classic album that will remain strong for years to come.

Rating: 4.5/5



Knives - Review

This is the excellent single from the new album Buried Again showing the harder, edgier side of Colony 5. This stomping single appears on this maxi with four different remixes and a single bonus track for five pounding pieces.

Original mixes are usually my preference depending on the band, but with Colony 5 and their already finely honed style, there is no doubt that the original versions on this disc stand out as favorites. The pulsating synths quickly set the rhythm as the pounding beats kick in for a moving piece that should stand out as a stellar, unforgettable dance-friendly piece. The vocals are edgy over the layered electronics, though the melodic, smooth synthpop foundation still shines through. "Avalanche" is the bonus track on this disc which is exclusive to this disc and is another solid synthpop track. Using the syncopated rhythm that has appeared in different tracks in the past for a fun, swinging beat that fans have grown to love, this piece stands out for it's powerful percussion and mix of melodic vocals.

The remixes on this disc are all very well done and don't distract too much from the original style and feeling of the original piece. The "Schallfaktor" remix adds a bit of an edge to the music, making this version a little heavier and more inviting for industrial fans. The "Club Mix" is also a little heavier with more emphasis on the beat and defined rhythm with added deeper electronics. To wrap up the disc we're presented with the "Syrian Remix" which is a driving trance-fusion piece. This is a style that often comes out in Syrian remixes which is often very enjoyable, though for this track, it's probably the least favorite remix.

Rating: 4.5/5



Fixed - Review

Memento Materia has been a label that I've been watching lately for great smooth synth releases. So when word came out that Storming Records was to license the release for the North American audience, I think fans all over the continent celebrated.  After putting it on the first time and listening to it, I realized we had good reason.

I think initially most people's reaction is based on the music of the album.  For me it was the basis and a good place to start.  Driving beats layered with a myriad of electronics with catchy hooks and dance-friendly elements form this basis.  "Fix" kicks it off for this album with these addictive synth loops and moving percussion.  Thirteen tracks of this excellent music totaling nearly an hour make up this disc.

Anyone familiar with this band will recognize the smooth vocals from this group.  Whether it's the lower tones on "20th Century Plague" or the the smooth tenor on "Fix" or a number of other tracks, they all remain solid and constant.  The lyrics on this album are excellent.  Every phrase is well thought out touching on love, angst, social issues and so on.  The songs all contain something that nearly anyone can relate to, especially when looking on from the sidelines at the idiot pop-culture.

Favorites on this album were very hard to nail down.  Every track has such excellent hooks and catchy synth loops along with the smooth vocals and smart lyrics.  "Plastic World" really stands out, and it's no surprise that it was picked as the single from this album.  "Fix" and "Big Brothel" also stand up as solid tracks, but the entire album comes together so well that you really don't need to pick out any singles or favorites.  Go pick it up.

Rating: 4.5/5



Website:
www.colony5.com
North American Label: Storming Records - www.stormingthebase.com
European Label: Memento Materia - www.mementomateria.se

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