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noiseunit deviator
Artist: Noise Unit
Title: Deviator
Genre: EBM / Industrial
Release Date: 17th September 2021
Label: Artoffact / Cargo

Album Review

Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber have kept themselves busy during the Corona crisis with all its lockdowns. Just a few months after the latest FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY album ‘Mechanical Soul’ the duo released a long-player with the FLA-offshoot NOISE UNIT. In fact it’s the first release under this name in no less than 15 years! NOISE UNIT started in 1989 as a mutual project of Bill Leeb and Marc Verhaeghen of the legendary Belgian industrial band KLINIK but Verhaeghen quit the collaboration after the first album and Rhys Fulber, who started to contribute to FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY in the same year, joined the fun. NOISE UNIT works on similar ground like the main project - that is EBM, Industrial and the odd Techno influences here and there - but as a side project it certainly allowed more experimentation and flying visits to “foreign” territories outside classic FLA paths. Besides great material which just feel didn’t right for FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY there might have been also one or two leftovers from FLA sessions which eventually were released under the name NOISE UNIT.

And there’s the single “problem” with the new album ‘Deviator’: It could have easily been released under the name FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY! Which is great news for FLA fans, they certainly don’t mind even more material. The lines between the two projects have been blurring, especially since FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY introduced guest musicians und guest singers long ago already. And the last few FLA albums featured leftfield tracks which probably would have been released as NOISE UNIT in earlier years - but that’s just my guess.

The first sign of life for NOISE UNIT this year was the track ‘Body Aktiv’, a true EBM smasher designed for the underground dancefloors which hands down has a strong retro feel it - and in this case that’s a good thing! Great song, indeed. The second pre-release (in earlier times you would have said “single”) was ‘Misery’ which attends different spheres with its dark and hypnotic Techno beats. ‘Fargo Field’, track number four on the album, takes the same line and is another highlight of the album. Speaking of highlights, the song featuring Raymond Watts (of PIG and KMFDM fame) has surely to be mentioned here. ‘Atrocity Obsession’ is also the only song on ‘Deviator’ which makes heavy use of electric guitars, combined with Watts’ vocals it absolutely sticks out in this collection of songs. It wasn’t exactly my fave when I listened the first time to the album but it grew on me quite a bit!

The rest of the album is solid material from the Leeb / Fulber sound kitchen. After all these years these guys know what they are doing and their production skills are second to none. It just seems a little bit as if Leeb and Fulber use NOISE UNIT these days to look back at vintage FLA territory while the last FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY albums looked forward and carefully explored new things. Back in the day it was the other way round, now it’s not completely clear why this song is relegated to NOISE UNIT while the other one is released under the FLA moniker. But who cares in the end, with ‘Deviator’ fans get another full-length dose from Leeb & Fulber and the level of quality they are able to maintain over so many releases is quite astonishing.

‘Deviator’ was released as CD digipak and on double vinyl, complete with yet another great sleeve design by long-time collaborator Dave McKean. Those who don’t care about physical releases anymore (or forgot what they are) can go to BandCamp and buy the download. Whatever your preferred format is, it’s well worth it!


01. Plight 6:14
02. Body Aktiv 4:36
03. Misery 4:58
04. Fargo Field 4:08
05. Atrocity Obsession 5:05
06. K7 4:42
07. Recognize 5:01
08. Empath 5:45
09. Initiate 6:36
10. Deviator 5:40


Bill Leeb
Rhy Fulber
Raymond Watts (vocals on #5)

Website / /

Cover Picture

noiseunit deviator


Music: 8.5
Sound: 9
Total: 8.8 / 10

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