With influences spanning from 1980's dark techno to the rapid-fire breakbeat manipulation of the late 1990s, FLA-leader Bill Leeb and his latest partner Chris Peterson execute creative and meticulous noise with energetic p... more »recision. The album is a coherent whole, yet extreme sonic and stylistic diversity abounds: every track flows strangely and seamlessly from one intriguing section to another. A kind of industrial hip hop mutates into lush keyboard saturation in "Autoerotic" and "Comatose"; icy techno alternates with synthetic orchestras in "Columbian Necktie." "Evil Playground" is almost two different songs, ominous atmospherics giving rise to an unstoppable rhythm & noise groove. Vocal styles are equally diverse as Leeb's robotic snarl in "Sado-Masochist" and whispered growl in "Life=Leben" effectively contrast with his clean melodic singing of each song's chorus. --Mark McCleerey« less
With influences spanning from 1980's dark techno to the rapid-fire breakbeat manipulation of the late 1990s, FLA-leader Bill Leeb and his latest partner Chris Peterson execute creative and meticulous noise with energetic precision. The album is a coherent whole, yet extreme sonic and stylistic diversity abounds: every track flows strangely and seamlessly from one intriguing section to another. A kind of industrial hip hop mutates into lush keyboard saturation in "Autoerotic" and "Comatose"; icy techno alternates with synthetic orchestras in "Columbian Necktie." "Evil Playground" is almost two different songs, ominous atmospherics giving rise to an unstoppable rhythm & noise groove. Vocal styles are equally diverse as Leeb's robotic snarl in "Sado-Masochist" and whispered growl in "Life=Leben" effectively contrast with his clean melodic singing of each song's chorus. --Mark McCleerey
An era of FLA that definently should be revisted some day...
Stephen J. White | Richmond, Virginia United States | 08/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1997 was the year that FLA took trance on head first, and did it in such a way that they masterfully over did the likes of the Chemical Brothers with the usage of acid loops, sampling, and break beats, and other harsh electronic rhythms. The group still clung to it's industrial side, but explored new boundaries that which it never had done up until the introduction of Chris Peterson, the programmer who would replace Rhys Fulber for the next 3 albums up until 2001's Epitaph.
FLAvour still hangs onto the pop formulated song writing throughout the album, utilizing the usual "verse 1, chorus, verse 2, chorus, bridge, verse 3, chorus, chorus, outro", but manages to build around this in a full-fledged electronic fashion that is borderline chaotic. If one thing that could describe this album, it is the idea that the musicians have lost all control and have let the instruments have their way with them, rather than the musicians having their way with the instruments. Bill Leebs growling vocals match perfectly with the electronic madness that emanates throughout this album.
The listener will be blown away instantly when they pop the disk into their player, being taken on an electro shock ride down the tubes of one of the most fast paced and epic electronic intros that Front Line Assembly has ever created: Corruption. The ride does not stop there, as it then plows into the extremely catchy and dark trance laden Sado-Masochist; which turns out to be one of the oddest anti-drug songs one could ever find. Acid then takes over, dominating the listener with a hammering repetition chorus and dark dreary sound that can only be found on Auto Erotic. The album's centerpiece then takes place on Columbian Necktie, a song about hangings that perhaps was more than just coincidentally placed after a song about getting off with a noose. Necktie takes the listener on another fast-paced ride; much like Corruption and Sado-Masochist, but it this time instead utilizes an addictive chorus that has become a motto of Front Line Assembly. Evil Playground follows, which is another long instrumental much like Corruption, but it instead rivets around in the realm of Goa Trance and grinding industrial sampling. Comatose is the most traditional FLA song on the album, as many have stated in the past (and is the `other' signature song on this disk.) Life=Leben comes after Comatose, and begins to return the listenre to the realm of insanity, with its wild bass driven synthesizers and distortion effects on Bill Leeb's voice. It is still a little formulated, and is more traditional than "Sado" or "Necktie", but it definitely captures the dark out of control feel that is "The FLAvour". The album then closes on Predator, which features the some of the most bizarre usage of Leeb's vocals as well as some wild trance style music.
Being brief in a review for this album almost does not do it justice, but then again, to go into far too much detail will spoil the surprise that the listener will have in store for them. FLAvour is highly recommended to just about any listener looking for mindless electronic music that is as innovative as it is insane.
Hard Wired was truly impossible to follow up...
meh | 06/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, after the masterpiece Hard Wired and Rhys Fulber leaving the band, Bill Leeb seemed to realized that he could never make anything quite as good as the last album. So with the recruiting of Chris Peterson he assembles a maelstrom of blips and bloops that just seems to flow from one form to the next with drum beats flying along in the background. While insanely layered and, compared to other techno, could hardly be considered repetitive, FLAvour of the Weak lacks many things. It does not have many vocals, which makes the beats just flow from one to the other without any real cohesion. The vocals it does have are basically an extremely weaker form of those found on Implode or Epitaph and overall it is not nearly as emotive as the other FLA albums. Hard Wired, Millenium and Tactical Neural Implant had a distinctly dark feel, and Epitaph and Implode had a contrast of hope and a darker side of music, FLAvour of the Weak just has none of this musical projection.
I'm sure fans of techno may appreciate this, but overall it is a big let in the otherwise seamless discography of FLA in the last 13 years."
Best of FLA so far....
Petar Vodogaz | Sydney, NSW Australia | 06/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This to date is my favourite FLA album for with the leaving of Fulber, Leeb & Peterson have orchestrated a turning of FLA from outright dark electronica to a more synth base techno style mixed with dark ambience and Leeb's almost robotic lyrics. A great masterpiece. There is still aspects of darkness in the sounds of many of these songs but it is not overwhelming or deeply inbedded like many other early FLA albums. This is more of a dance orientated album that many dance party DJ's have picked up on. The fist song 'Corruption' is beautiful, a great luminous opening followed by a change into ambient techno. But the best of the CD is best to come with two songs back to back, 'Columbian Necktie' and 'Evil Playground'. Wow is all I can say. The sounds of both songs are so different from each other but seems to mesh together so well. Leeb and Peterson are masters at this genre of music and 'Flava Of The Weak' is one of the best ambassadors for modern industrial music."
Flavour of the Weak ~ Front Line Assembly
Bjorn Viberg | European Union | 04/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Flavour of the weak is not their best album, but it is not bad either. One could call it mix between intermix, noise unit and FLA with a hint of the short group cyperaktif. It is not as hardedged as hard wired or millenium and lacks the guitars yet it sounds nothing like TNI or the earlier releases either. One can say that Leeb has been heavily influenced by techno and trance and that would be a fair assesment as the sounds have been layered in a definte trance and tachno style with the classic amazing FLA baseline. I have no idea why some people say that this is a bad recording. To me it showcases Leebs brilliance by being able to change sound for each record that they produce and record. The book looks like a mix between terminator 2, star trek and star wars and the chameleon on the front cover has a definite x-files connection. The rest of the book-let is quite odd, but for a change they have included the lyrics which is not often done on FLA records. I think that it is a very good recording that should not be missed by fans of industrial music or fans of FLA."