Croatian industrial metallers Substance Black's debut EP Skulptura follows in the footsteps of the likes of Fear Factory, Sybreed, and Mnemic with a few hints at what Gary Numan has been doing on his latest releases. 'Voidwalker' opens with a mechanical riff over a futuristic synth sequence that opens up into a machine-like song with a hard-hitting groove. With a catchy chorus, atmospheric sounds drifting through the industrialised beats and multi-layered vocals and an impressive solo, this is a great opening tune. The EP's title track opens with a beat that's similar to 'Voidwalker' but following the breakdown at around the 30-second mark, it shifts into its own, its persistent rhythm pushing the Fear Factory-esque songs forwards. 'Definition Relegated' maintains the by-now familiar industrial sound with solid drums, heavy riffs, aggressive vocals, and hi-tech synth sounds that continue into 'Termination Sequence'. An instrumental, it opens with an extended atmospheric intro that slowly builds, the guitar lines being slowly introduced with electronic drums added more for effect than impact, and is a very ambitious and effective piece.
On the one hand, at times the songs can appear a little too similar in beats, dynamics, and structure; on the other however, the synth sounds that flesh out the songs add an interesting dimension to the songs, and the production and the performances are top notch. This is an impressive debut, and though not 100% original, this EP does have a sound of its own. Should Substance Black maintain the momentum demonstrated here, they may well be a band worth looking out for.
For a limited time, you can download the EP here for free. And if you want to support the band, you can buy it here.
- Definition Relegated
- Termination Sequence