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Album Review

With his previous two records, Assemblage 23's Tom Shear has proven to be one of the most consistent artists in EBM. Though it varies little from Defiance and is just a notch below Failure in terms of impact, Storm can certainly stand on its own. The lyrics are just as powerful as anything Shear has written and, set to cosmic synth and propulsive dance beats, they create an emotional tidal wave of pain and loss. The encompassing "Human" begins the album with the words "There have been times throughout my life when I fell so far/I thought I'd never stand again/I watched my dreams depart." From there, Storm doesn't let up. Shear sometimes recycles his own phrases ("endless loop," "chaos rains"), but it's hardly an issue when the music is this strong. And though "Let the Wind Erase Me" is the first single, any of these ten tracks are just as worthy of that honor. "I feel insignificant, never have I ever felt so small," Shear bellows in "Infinite." He has also never sounded so confident.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Assemblage 23 is the brainchild of Seattle-based Tom Shear, who spent a decade on various electronic projects before finding success as a respected EBM act. For live performances he is accompanied by Paul Seegers on keyboards and Kevin Choby on electronic drums. Although he had previously written music, it wasn't until 1988, when, at a concert by Depeche Mode, Shear was inspired by the industrial sounds spun by the opening DJ. He soon shifted from instrumental synth-pop (under the name Man on a...
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STORM, Assemblage 23
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