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Starvox Review
Starvox Review
Press / Radio - Reviews
Monday, 10 March 2003 00:00

Starvox Review



Asmodeus X EP
~ review by chris parasyte

Out of Houston, Texas comes Asmodeus X. Following a string of singles and EPs, the band has finally released a full-length album and, as bit of a sampler, this promotional release, which I’m dubbing the ‘Asmodeus X EP’ (highly original, I know). The EP features three songs from the album Wolf Age (available now on Black Pepper Records). ‘Songs of Gory’ and ‘Wolf in the Sky’ are well chosen, being easily two of the strongest tracks on the band’s full-length release.

Asmodeus X crafts thoughtful electro industrial music at its best, and it’s little wonder that the group was named Best Industrial/Noise Act in the 2000 Houston Music Press Awards. ‘Wolf in the Sky’ is an odd blend of psychedelic sound and heavy industrial weight, which works surprisingly well. Imagine The Wall-era Pink Floyd mating with Velvet Acid Christ and you’re halfway there. This is a song with anthemic power and emotion that deserves to be on numerous film soundtracks… well, you know, if anyone ever made a movie that deserved a song like this. Actually, while Hollywood may never notice it, ‘Wolf in the Sky’ is featured in the independent film Shut Eye, alongside tracks from In Strict Confidence, Arcanta and Stromkern, and the video for the song is included on the film’s DVD release.

Just as ‘Wolf in the Sky’ creates powerful images with its music, ‘Songs of Glory’ also strikes a powerful chord with its lyrics. The song is perhaps best labeled psychedelic cybergoth with a rock twist. With elements of the baroque and new age in the composition, and crafty use of the theremin, ‘Songs of Glory’ is one of the best pieces of music to come along in a long while. There’s more complexity and thought put into the composition of this four-minute track than many bands put into entire albums.

The inclusion of ‘Night Stalking’ on the promotional EP left me shaking my head. It’s one of the two album tracks from Wolf Age I really didn’t like (the other being ‘Melting’). It would appeal more to the listener of heavy metal dirges than the rivet or goth set. Still, I suppose I can’t fault the band for having a broad musical range - ‘Night Stalking’ just isn’t my cup of tea.

A small sampling of what Wolf Age has to offer, listening to the Asmodeus X EP left me wanting more. Thankfully, I have a copy of Wolf Age on my shelf at home. The full-length album was one of the highlights of 2002, with great songs like ‘Black Forest’, ‘MuZ’ and the band’s absolutely delightful (and surprising) cover of the Partridge Family’s ‘Point me in the Direction of Albuquerque’. Asmodeus X is a band with some talent and diversity in their music, and one I look forward to hearing more from in the future.