The UK based outfit Attrition has been in existence in some form or another since 1980. Originally formed around the duo of Martin Bowes (electronics) and vocalist Julia Waller, the band emerged into a burgeoning music scene along with fellow artists as Test Dept, Coil and The Legendary Pink Dots. While many lineups have come and gone over the years Bowes has remained the only constant, still in charge of his musical vision after almost thirty years in the business. Attrition's early sounds may have been influenced by the tail end of the punk movement, but over time they came to embrace a darker, electronic sound, positioning themselves firmly at the forefront of the early gothic / industrial movement.
Although Waller has been out of the band since the late 90's, Bowes has kept active not only by creating new Attrition music, but also through re-releases of the bands back catalogue which he's been issuing through his Two Gods Recording imprint. The Eternity LP is divided into two sections; as the first 4 tracks recorded in 1997 comprise what was originally issued as The Eternity EP while the final 5 tracks are taken from recordings made in 1999 entitled Kissing A Virtual Angel, which have long been unavailable on CD. Most of these nine songs are augmented by the haunting violin and viola accompaniment of collaborator Franck Dematteis.
The first two tracks "I Am (Eternity) "and "Cold Genius" are primarily electronic in nature and rely not only on Bowes' throbbing synth but also on Waller's operatic vocals as well. Although the violin of Dematteis is introduced in a rather subtle fashion half way through "Cold Genius", by the third song "Feel The Backlash" he has weaved himself directly into the fabric of these classically inspired compositions. His delicate and graceful playing practially make up all of "At The Fiftieth Gate", "Prelude", "A Virtual Angel" and "L'Echange" as Bowes relegates himself quietly into the background, providing only infrequent electronic textures .
To the uninitiated The Eternity LP might not be the ideal place to start, however this musically rich blending of electronica and classical music should still satisfy the listeners curiosity, and more importantly push for further explorations into their back catalogue.
1) I Am (Eternity)
2) Cold Genius
3) Feel The Backlash
4) At The Fiftieth Gate
6) A Virtual Angel