Title: I was Never Really There
Genre: Industrial / Electronic / Dark Electro
Release Date: 20th August 2021
Label: Dependent Records
MILDREDA are from Belgium. Their genesis began in the mid-1990s when Jan Dewulf got hooked by a band of compatriots by the name of THE KLINIK. He got hooked by their cold and oppressive tomes so he borrowed a friend’s keyboard and started to create things for himself. The money earned from a summer job bought more equipment and in 1995 a tape called ‘Il Castrato’ was released followed by a second in 1996 called ‘De Laffe Denker’. From these tapes MILDREDA attained a strong following and a reputation on the Belgian scene which led to live performances sharing the stage with the likes of COVENANT, VNV NATION and TERMINAL CHOICE to name but a few. After a hiatus so that attention could be focused on another band called DISCONNECTED, MILDREDA returned in 2016 with their 3rd album called ‘Coward Philosophy’. Now, they prepare for the release of their 1st physical album ‘I Was Never Really There’.
If you’d just walked into a nightclub or bar and this band were playing on the decks, you’d not be castigated for thinking that this was SKINNY PUPPY. The first track, ‘Backfire’ sounds just like something out of Vancouver’s finest and the tone pretty much remains throughout the album. The 2nd track, ‘Reinvention of Pain’, is a HOCICO imagining of XIBALBA that sounds like SKINNY PUPPY’s ‘Control, Alt, Delete’. It’s like I am being coaxed into enjoying pain, enjoying the ride as I’m ripped to shreds by obsidian knives and flint shards. ‘Echoes’ feels sanguine and warm. I’m gyrating with snakes as black blood drips down my body like a deathly treacle. So far so good…
I’m track four now, the journey through from track one has been slick. There’s a snake-like writhing to the production that is not only welcome but chilling. I’ve not listened to an Industrial album for a while and this came across as somewhat refreshing. From the choir-like voices on ‘Liaisons Dangereuse’ to the NITZER EBB-like ‘Erased’, nothing bored me, nothing screamed out that this was a hackneyed tired ill thoughtout affair. But then, ‘In The Vacuum’ started. My thoughts on this track were mixed. I was equally bored and enthralled. It was as if the drums had bashed me to alertness whilst at the same time, they’d pushed all the air out of me. “You’re alive! No, you’re dead!” is the feeling!
‘Blame It On The Moon’ brings back the writhing rhythms, “Blame it on the moon, blame it on the stars” the refrain goes. Just like in a MOBY song the lyric repeats constantly conjuring the question: “Why should I blame it the moon or the stars?” And then it hits me, whatever the outcome of events down here in the land of the mortals we can always attribute praise or blame to the outcome of an astrological reading, magic and hocus pocus.
Penultimate track ‘Opposite Choice’ takes on a more PRODIGY vibe, hip grinding beats and strobe light hand pumping fills, it takes me back to days when I had more energy and could dance for five hours + straight, with the help of a few things… The end of the album is definitely more spacy than the beginning. The beginning being the head of the snake, the end being the tail. Swish, swish visceral swish, writhe and revolve until the album finishes.
All in all, I like the album. I have reviewed many bands on here that I have had no prior knowledge of, MILDREDA being another. This album for 99% of the time hits the spot and is an enjoyable listen. 99% is no bad thing
02. Reinvention Of Pain
04. Inner Judgement
05. Liaisons Dangereuse
06. Erased (Featuring Numb)
07. In The Vacuum Of Your Mind
08. Through The Fire
09. Blame It On The Moon
10. Opposite Choice
11. Dream Machine
Jan DeWulf - Keyboards, Programming, Vocals
https://www.mildreda.com / https://www.facebook.com/officialmildreda
Total: 7 / 10