Since December 2001 Ambassador21 (or A21 to some) have been bashing ears relentlessly and have arguably been helping to keep the spirit of digital hardcore alive. 15 years later and following on from an already bulging discography we are presented with their latest album entitled HUMAN RAGE on Invasion Wreck Chords.
A21 consist of Alexy Protasov and Natasha A Twentyone who have conspired together to cram ten slices of anger and rhetoric presented in both English and Russian into HUMAN RAGE. Terror, war, revolution and freedom are the fuel for their muscular sonic assaults.
This is an impressive release and should find favour with those who suspect that the digital hardcore movement fizzled out somewhat.
The title track HUMAN RAGE opens proceedings in a menacing and brooding fashion before a rather monolithic rhythm lays down a solid foundation for the tracks to follow. FEAR LEVEL RED does not hold back in any way as gabber and digital hardcore beats are wielded frenziedly. REVELATION is tribal and kinda groovy in a heavy sort of way. The track METAL reflects it’s title somewhat with an industrial metal nod to Die Krupps before A21 put on their size 11s and stomp their boot prints all over the track. Survivor have their Eye Of The Tiger ‘borrowed’ for CANNIBALS, with the unmistakable riff forming the filling and a gabber and hardcore sandwich. SCREAM YOUR NAME relaxes into EBM territory somewhat though there are stabs and blasts throughout to keep things spicier. DO OR DIE TIME and EMPIRE MUST FALL show off a metallic edge with cut up riffs driving their soundf home with effective power. BEFORE WE DIE returns to the moody and simmering style of the title track while their closing statement BLACK DOT confirms that A21 have little attention of lowering their level of aggression any time soon.
HUMAN RAGE is a massive affair, in that it has great mass. A21 wield this mass with equally great force and conviction resulting in a release of great weight and substance. It also helps that production is tight and punchy ensuring that attention is kept throughout. It will be a harsh listen for purveyors of more lightweight electronica though there are accessible moments and hooks are secreted plentifully throughout.
This is an impressive release and should find favour with those who suspect that the digital hardcore movement fizzled out somewhat. A21 have admirable anger and spirit and have hit a new high with this release on their 15 year anniversary. Consume, be fired up and take action….
John E Smoke