[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes, right? Add Depressive Disorder re-writing the rules of dark electro with each album to that rather short list. This record – their first in five years – is short but each entry on here finds them operating at maximum efficiency. No wasted segues, no filler tracks, no excessive introductions and perhaps most tellingly no trends being followed. They are easily the best kept secret in their scene, few know of them and even fewer bother to check out what they do but for four albums now our heroes have hacked away at the perception of reality.
They’ve opted to expand their sound to incorporate some more rock elements but have no doubts, Depressive Disorder are an electronic band first. Whatever usage of guitars are present serves to accent the song, not drive things. Those looking for a return to the hateful riff-laden 90s won’t find it here; layer upon layer upon layer of suffocating effects jut out of the super-structure driven along by fascinatingly integrated live drums and vocals that make your hair stand on end. Never mind the atmospheres they summon, ones which are designed to choke the life out of anyone who’d dare to resist. There is anger here, yes, but the overriding emotion is resignation.
Expiation called for, blood delivered.
This group don’t take a pro-humanity stance in their works, they expect the worst out of us and there’s no hope for redemption. It’s like taking a Fincher film and setting it in a musical context; all the elements are there: betrayal, scorn and spite. Depressive Disorder’s landscape is one you’re never sure of, it isn’t totally hopeless but there’s not much chance of escape. One thing is assured by listening, however, continual delight at the way they compose their pieces; a majestic feat achieved by changing up charging rhythms for transitions you’ll just have to hear for yourself. Ah, but you’re wondering why it is you haven’t heard of them if they’re so accomplished at what they do.
There’s a simple answer for that: Depressive Disorder don’t do pop. If you want to be challenged and have your own musical tastes confronted, this is the band for you. Most outlets in the scene they’re in won’t go near them, opting for whatever they’ve been sent to cover by the labels. Borrowing heavily from a press release is a lot simpler than forming your own opinions. Depressive Disorder and their label Monopol prefer their listeners (and reviewers) think for themselves. Make up your own mind about our material, decide for yourself and don’t just take what’s spoon fed to you. People have forgotten how to question or reason and perhaps most glaringly pay attention.
Among those of us who recall the days where innovation was prized more than emulation, another album like this is the best gift we could ask for. Their faultless beat combinations and sinewy programming don’t have an equal; taking things to a higher level of musical evolution has been their calling card and continues to define them. That you only get seven tracks is the one letdown, this could have gone on a whole lot longer but Depressive Disorder are masters at leaving their fans wanting… however, if you wanted more (as some of us did), there was a limited edition of 50 copies that came with a bonus disc containing an additional track, remarkable remixes and a fistful of treats. Good luck.