Just when you thought machine-driven rock and industrial couldn’t get any meaner, Cyanotic tear through the barriers with a double-disc set that will grind your proverbial bones and leave your ears begging for mercy!
Cyanotic certainly have proved their worth in the realm of the modern industrial music underground. Cutting their teeth with a successful demo EP, Mutual Bonding Through Violation, and the debut full-length album Transhuman, this Chicago-based group stands as perhaps the best example of where heavy electronic music has yet to go. Drawing as much from the current electronic flavors of power noise and drum & bass as from the older modes of coldwave and EBM, Cyanotic’s sound is a raging assault of searing synths, grating guitars, and pounding percussion, offset by a healthy dose of glitches and film samples. After two years of touring and selling out their first album, the band blasts out Transhuman 2.0, a new double-disc collection featuring the original album digitally remastered by Trozoc Productions’ Chris Cozort, and a plethora of alternate versions and remixes that more than stand up to the originals, but could be considered new songs unto themselves.
To call Transhuman 2.0 a remix album would be a total misnomer; these are no mere remixes in the way that one thinks of adding a house beat or some additional synth lines as a remix. No, this is something new, taking the original songs further into harsher territory. One need only listen to the blistering energy of “Resurgence,” featuring JP Anderson of Rabbit Junk adding his penetrating screams and programming, or the industrial menace of “Chaos Incarnate,” with Chris Peterson and Jeremy Inkel of Front Line Assembly helping to toughen the track up even more from its original fury, to realize that Transhuman 2.0 is no mere remix album. While the original “Transhuman” was one of the more ominous moments of the album, this new version penetrates your speakers like a murderous cyborg with a jackhammer. “Deface” remains a perfect track for the dance floor, but is completely reworked with a new chord progression, while Eric Powell of 16volt lends his haunting vocals to “Axi-Ethereum.”
Closing 2.0 out are remixes by the likes of Drukore, whose remix of “Transhuman” speeds the track up into a brutal array of glitch-laden drum & bass, and Deadliner with a powerful take on “Deface.” Also noteworthy is mindFluxFuneral’s All Hope Lost mix of “Suspension of Disbelief” with its stuttering synth and vocoder work. And in case you thought Cyanotic were incapable of being anything other than loud and heavy, the atmospheric piano work on “Altered States of Consciousness” or “(Paranoid) Disbelief” provides evidence to the contrary. What truly stand out on the album are the vocals of Cyanotic’s founder Sean Payne. While not completely doing away with the distortion effects that permeated throughout the first album, Sean goes for a much rawer approach, using less effects and belting out a raucous and venomous performance on this album that only adds to just how much the band has matured over the years.
Not enough credit can be given to this enormously talented and creative band. Few groups can adequately recreate the same power of their debut without flat out repeating themselves. Like the original album, Transhuman 2.0 presents elements that are familiar but in an unfamiliar fashion. Just when you thought machine-driven rock and industrial couldn’t get any meaner, Cyanotic tear through the barriers with a double-disc set that will grind your proverbial bones and leave your ears begging for mercy!