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Devour, Rise, and Take Flight

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Album Review

Android Lust's second album is like the first vision of the talented Shikhee, still a fearsomely strong singer with a great eye for vivid lyrical portrayals of emotional extremes. Her ear for rough, rhythm-heavy industrial/electronic compositions hasn't left either, as the crisp, distorted initial riff of "Lover Thine" makes clear from the start, and over Devour, Rise and Take Flight's near hour-long length she aims for full body control, from dancing feet to audio overload. An example of how she works to maximize her abilities can be heard in how she uses her voice — on "Dragonfly" alone she moves from soaring, almost sweet calls to heavily treated declamations, even as the music also contains everything from gentle synth notes to flattened, ear-piercing feedback. "Sense of It All," with a massed vocal set against a rising string melody on the chorus alternating with semi-whispered words on the verses, is another fine instance of working in a variety of modes at once, while "Leave It Behind," the unlisted final track, is a beautiful, fragile guitar/keyboard downer-ballad, a perfect way to end instead of an explosive note. Co-mixer of the album Christopher Jon helps out on a few tracks instrumentally, most notably "The Body," one of Shikhee's most brutal portraits of a (possibly ex-)lover trying to control their relationship. Musically it shifts from full instrumentation rampage to gentle acoustic guitar strums and back on almost a dime, another example of how careful nuance serves Android Lust's art well. One of the album's stronger tracks, "Hole Solution," isn't quite the reverse of Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole," but in its similar awareness of how compelling digital beats and bass can be — as well as how to arrange a song to build up more and more in intensity — it shows how Shikhee is once again not simply someone inspired by Trent Reznor, but an equal to him in her core talents.

Devour, Rise, and Take Flight, Android Lust
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