Ethan Fawkes “Symptoms of Apocalypse”

I-Traxx Red Edition 2014

After several EPs and countless remixes as well as the compilation “Schizophrenic 2002 to 2007” all-round talent and Belgian musician and DJ Ethan Fawkes issues a full-length CD with his own tracks. As was to be expected, the elements and styles featured on this release are many and varied, which is definitely a trademark of his. Experimenting with new and different sounds and elements, “Symptom of Apocalypse” has turned out an exceptional album.
Starting with heavy distorted guitars on so diverse tracks as “Meat for Vultures” or “Never Wake Up”, and also “Nocturnal feat. Bernard F”, this latter track suddenly transforms during its middle part into an eerie and mysterious piano piece based on Chopin’s Nocturne Opus 48, No.1 in C minor, only to change back to its industrial metal incarnation for the final part – a really surprising twist. “They Control, They Divide” is harsh and dancefloor-oriented in an industrial metal way, but “No More Life” is really pure genius – danceable, heavy beats, catchy melody, and a poppy post-punk appeal to it – sounds weird, I know – but it’s simply great! Another great track is “Contaminated feat Volktherapy” which is the first of a series of ever noisier, harsher and more destructive songs – partly related to the main theme, of course – the “Symptom of Apocalypse”, the falling apart of our civilisation as we know it. It’s incredibly intense and emotionally charged, the noise elements are perfectly combined with the beats and structures.
I addition to the many collaborations, “Symptom of Apocalypse” comes with some remixes as well – all on the harsh industrial/ noise side of things, except maybe the Iszoloscope remix, which is surprisingly straightforward, and the VV303 remix of “It Stays Nothing” – incredibly danceable, maintaining but toning down the guitars and turning it colder and more electronic.
All in all “Symptom of Apocalypse” is an album which not only stands out for its sheer quality, but for its boldness and originality, characteristics which are not easily found in any type of music right now. Highly recommended!