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English Reviews

ReGen Magazine

Stars: 4
Blurb: This Swedish trio takes its dynamic EBM sound into new, more expansive realms and may just have discovered the next stage of EBM in the process!

It might seem as if the Swedish trio of Jens, Pierre, and Robert – a.k.a. TraKKtor – took their name from the Combichrist song of the same name, but given that their formation in 2001 predated it by a good two years, that clearly isn’t the case. For all that, it’s a most un-EBM sounding name; it does, however, possess a certain down-to-earth charm that, judging by the humorous tone of the act’s website, may well have been a major factor in them choosing it!

The preceding album, Force Majeure, from 2011 was an excellent example of muscular, infectious EBM with a dramatic edge and it’s this side that the band has developed on this latest double album, which sees the trio scaling new heights in terms of power and drama. In doing so, TraKKtor may just have discovered the next stage in the evolution of EBM! Virtually every track has a strong thematic quality that elevates them from mere club concerns (although the second disc of remixes might have been included with such concerns in mind) and makes for a listening experience that is exciting, enthralling, and compulsive as the expectation gathers with every track as to what heights will be scaled next.

It’s perhaps no real surprise that these facets are evident during the instrumental tracks “Welcome to Sin City,” which could easily be the theme to some blockbuster movie, and “Orbital Strike,” which, somewhat bizarrely, has an almost medieval feel to it. However, the manner in which the trio mixes these elements with their exciting electro styles is what makes this the success it is.
While “End of Days” continues where the previous album left off with a strong, instantly memorable theme, it acts as a springboard for the uncharted areas that the album explores hereafter, with “Blitzkrieg Galaxy” leaping from the speakers with a multilayered sonic tapestry that oozes with purposeful intensity. The symphonic cavalcades that color “Halo of Lies” enhance the abrupt change of moods that the track undergoes between the verses and the chorus; a trick that pays off throughout and enhances the already considerably dramatic potential of such tracks as “Spitting On Your Grave,” which is heralded by a fearsome roar and alternates between the bombastic industrial maelstrom of the verses and a soaring melodic chorus, and the penultimate “Drag Me to Hell” as it similarly works with differing tempos that never sound jarring.

The band’s old-school influences rear their head again during the self-celebratory “TraKKtor,” although as usual, they take these influences into totally new realms with an action-packed feel being complemented by gritty guitar work and pacing rhythms that make for another stunning number, while the gruff but melodic vocals that contrast the usual harsh style and so provide a touch more character is very much the icing on the cake.

All of which leaves the closing “The Dawn of War” to finish the album on a decidedly mournful note, starting off in a similar fashion to Frankie’s Two Tribes with a mix of piano embellished by air raid sirens. It then develops into slow moving and emotive piece that scales new heights of grandeur as it reaches its climax. As such, it’s a fitting end to this superb album that sees TraKKtor expanding its musical boundaries and forging a sound that stands out from the crowd.
2012-12-03
Carl Jenkinson

Coma Online

From the get go, Halo of Lies proves that TraKKtor has stepped up their game, no doubt due to the addition of guitarist Robert “Bastard Saint” Lundgren - formerly of the Black Metal band Plague Angel—to their lineup.
With his appearance on this new album, Lundgren has brought a whole different feel and sound to this already awesome act.

Halo starts off with “Welcome to Sin City,” a dark and haunting instrumental with twisted samples that excited me and made me want to listen to the rest of the album, but which also tells a story all its own.

The next track, “The End of Days,” really thrilled me with its melodic, yet dark harmonies, and its driving beat, with samples thrown in for good measure. This is probably one of the strongest songs on the album, and one that is sure to become a club hit.

“Blitzkrieg Galaxy” makes good use of synth and vocoded samples in the beginning, and has a slower, yet still danceable beat.
TraKKtor really shows their songwriting skills and diversity with this song.

The title track, “Halo of Lies,” mixes up some driving dance beats with dark and haunting synth work. It left an impression, reminding me of elements from symphonic Black Metal. The use of drum toms seems to set them apart from other musicians in the EBM community, but is a welcome addition to the rhythms in this song, as well as in this album as a whole.

Track 5, “Trakktor,” adds more elements of Black Metal, along with some nontraditional EBM beats, including galloping double bass drum triplets, double bass in the chorus, and a half-time feel, all of which add up to give the song a dark-yet-epic atmosphere.

“Spitting on Your Grave” reminds me of music from the Metal bands associated with Gothenburg in Sweden. With its great synth work and driving upbeat rhythm, this epic anthem could also be a song that would fill the dance floor at any club.

Track 7, “Orbital Strike,” is a song with a very battlefield/war/march feel that reminds me of a scene from the movie Braveheart. The massive synth work on this instrumental track breaks up the album, giving us a break from the vocals.

“Mekkanized Soul” is very similar to “End of Days,” with almost the same song structure and synth harmonies. The difference is in the lack of samples, and the very nice breakdown in the middle of the song.

“Hollow Spirits” seems like more of an experimental/progressive EBM track, but is still an excellent addition to this album, showing the bands versatility, and that they know their trade well.

“Drag Me to Hell” is another track that showcases the black-metal element added to the band. It’s a very dark composition that mixes up different drumbeats and synth lines to keep the listener entertained this far into the album.

The final song, “The Dawn of War,” is a bit more simplistic than the previous tracks, but this is a good thing, and it is still epic enough to give a final kick to this already exciting album.

Overall I’m very impressed with the production on this album, and I would strongly recommend this album to anyone who is into Harsh/Dark EBM or Black Metal. I am also pleased with the evolution of the band thus far, since they have successfully crossed over into a different genre that is related to, yet separate from the EBM genre TraKKtor initially chose to be a part of. Hopefully they can continue this upward trend for many albums to come.



Intravenous Magazine

Swedish trio TraKKtor return with their sophomore album 'Halo Of Lies' aiming to pick up where their impressive 2011's full-length début 'Force Majeure' which produced the brilliant hit 'Veil of Thorns'.
Fully intent on carrying through their mission to change the meaning of ebm to “Epic Blockbuster Music”, the band's black metal rooted sound certainly gives them an aggressive injection.
We've already had a hint of promising things to come with the massive 'Blitzkrieg Galaxy' precursor single last Spring.
But can 'Halo Of Lies' really become the bomb the band are threatening to drop?

The album kicks off with an atmospheric but shaky intro in the form of 'Welcome To Sin City', which evokes memories of The Kovenant.
It's rough, choppy sound may work well live, but on CD it is a little underwhelming.
However any doubts initially raised are dispelled as the album proper kicks of with the catchy apocalyptic strains of 'The End Of Days', with it's hard beats and soaring melodies underpinned by those demoniacally distorted vocals.
The band continue on this form through the likes of 'Blitzkrieg Galaxy', 'TraKKtor' and 'Hollow Spirits...' which despite their breakneck speed, keep a dance-friendly beat.

The band also slow things down on songs such as 'Drag Me to Hell' and 'The Dawn Of War', which close the album, to add some variety to the barrage.

They also find time to show of their instrumental skills with 'Orbital Strike..' which sounds like a cross between Starship Troopers and The Pirates Of The Caribbean soundtracks. Should anyone want to approach the band to score a film about space pirates, I'm sure they would oblige.

With a bonus disc of varied remixes as well, 'Halo Of Lies' is a very attractive package that should serve the band well with so many potential club hits and live anthems.
The album is a real game changer for the band, and the only real issues with it come in the mix which often sees the vocals too low in the mix, resulting in a swamped sound that is quite distracting. But despite this, the band more than hold their own.

Sean M. Palfrey
21.1.13 


Peek-a-boo

93/100

Halo Of Lies is the second album of Swedish outfit TRAKKTOR. And what a second album it is!

After the openingtrack Welcome To Sin City, we're on a 10 track rollercoaster, of which we don’t even get time to come off. End Of days, Blitzkrieg Galaxy, Halo Of Lies,Trakktor, Spitting On Your Grave, etc.., track after track we get run over by a bulldozer, and I am sure that most of them will appear on several playlists at parties.

My favourite tracks are Blitzkrieg Galaxy, a little splinterbomb with fantastic distorted vocals and, to me, the best track on the album, and Trakktor featuring a brilliant melody which makes it cool to shout along!

On the second cd, yes it’s a double album, we get several great remixes by bands such as Angst Pop, Kant Kino, Ordo Rosarius Equilibrium, and a few lesser known names in the scene, but they all did a fantastic job, making the second part of the album a very nice extra.

I would love to see these guys live, just to see if they can transfer the power of this album on a stage.

Must buy for sure!

Jurgen VANVLASSELAER
16/01/2013






Reflections Of Darkness
8.5/10

TRAKKTOR keeps improving as time passes.
Their new album ‘Halo of Lies’ sounds so intricate and layered in its production. I am of the opinion that once a band starts to layer their music they reach a whole new level of sophistication.

TRAKKTOR is meant for the intelligent and technical listener but at the same time can appease a broader EBM/Industrial audience.
I always look forward to TRAKKTOR’s new albums because it’s like opening a big production of a sci-fi / horror blockbuster.
All their songs tell a dramatic story. ‘Halo of Lies’ is a lot darker than their last album with deep, dark and misty sounds coming up from their haunted Nordic souls.

Many tracks are strong yet melodic and always seem to know which direction they plan to take the listener.
It’s a grand adventure every time.
After listening to the entire album I am left feeling like I have travelled to the end of the universe and back home again.

I love the driving beat to ‘End of Days’. It makes you blissfully aware that life is fleeting and you need to live in the moment.
‘Halo of Lies’, the title song, drives the message of bitter redemption like a sharp edged knife through the heart. It twists itself into the wound until it draws blood. It’s like someone who lies and spews out deception but still comes out looking like a dark angel.
‘Spitting on Your Grave’ is quite powerful like getting back at your worst enemy in the worst possible way.
‘Hollow Spirits’ is amazing as a danceable track.
‘Drag Me to Hell’ is a compilation of subliminal sadism. It’s like its saying I would gladly go to hell with you and enjoy it! I think it’s one of my favourites.

I love the fact that on the second CD they offer remixes of the songs on the first CD and a bit more.
If your an EBM/ Industrial music fan like me I would recommend to buy it.
Its worth the money both for the great artwork on the cover and the booklet with lyrics inside.

They are not just musicians they are poets.


Hard-Wired
9/10

After the excellent Force Majeure, this latest release from the Swedish trio of Jens, Pierre & Robert was eagerly awaited here at Hard Wired & the good news is that it more than lives up to expectations as not only is it a double, boasting an additional disc of enjoyable electro remixes which should ensure some club attention (the main album might well struggle in this regard), it sees them scaling new heights in terms of power & drama as they retain everything that was so good about the preceding album &, by bringing their black metal influences even more to the fore they give their electro sound a decidedly epic feel.

Combined with some pretty dynamic beats it’s an unbeatable combination that, at times, resembles SITD in spirit & Siva Six in ambition but Trakktor go further than either of these two with the album benefitting greatly from a highly anthemic quality throughout.

This is true right from the off as ‘Welcome To Sin City’ opens the album sounding like the theme to some big blockbuster movie while the later ‘Orbital Strike’ similarly sees them setting their stall out for possible soundtrack work (with an almost medieval feel initially) but it makes its presence felt throughout, even during the more straightforwardly danceable ‘End Of Days’ which kicks off proceedings in earnest & is well-placed in that it continues on from their last album & acts almost as a springboard for where the album goes thereafter as the slower ‘Blitzkrieg Galaxy’ leaps from the speakers with a massive-sounding sonic tapestry that oozes with malevolent intensity & is underpinned by some fine sequencing.
 
As it progresses, the album goes from strength to strength as ‘Halo Of Lies’ proves to be a massive track in every sense with its hard rhythmic base forming the backbone for the symphonic cavalcades that enhance the abrupt change of moods between the verses & chorus, a trick that emphasises the music’s dramatic appeal & one which they use to good equally good effect on ‘Spitting On Your Grave’ which is heralded by a fearsome roar & then alternates between the bombastic industrial maelstrom of the verses & the soaring melodic chorus while the penultimate ‘Drag Me To Hell’ similarly works with differing tempi that changes the outlook of the track greatly but it never sounds jarring &, again, enhances the music a treat.
 
The band’s old-school influences once again rear their head during ‘Trakktor’ although as usual they take these influences into totally new realms with an action-packed feel being complimented by gritty guitar work & pacey rhythms that make for another stunning number while the gruff but melodic vocals that provide a touch more character are very much the icing on the cake.
 
All of which leaves the closing ‘The Dawn Of War’ to finish the album on a decidedly mournful note, starting off in a similar fashion to Frankie’s Two Tribes with piano, air raid sirens & all it then develops into slow-moving & emotive piece that reaches new heights of grandeur as it reaches its climax &, as such, is a fitting end to this quite superb album that sees the band expanding their musical boundaries & forging a sound that stands out from the crowd.

If this doesn’t make them massive then there truly is no justice in the world!

8/9

The debut full length “Force Majeure” by the Swedish Trakktor took me by surprise.
One year after this solid EBM debut they strike back with their 2nd opus. 


The 1st disc features 11 songs filled with rage, power and efficiency. Trakktor is not only confirming their potential, but they also considerably improved different facets of the production. This is not just EBM mixed with pumping dark-electronics, but an elaborated composition with a particular taste to create cool sound sculptures. Nearly all the songs are driven by carrying and melodic harsh leads, which simply empower the global production. The harsh vocals totally fit with the enraged music those Swedes are composing. 

“Halo Of Lies” is pure adrenaline and a non-stop succession of power-songs where EBM and dark-electronics have been merged. The band claims to be inspired by dark-electronic major bands, and also with a few metal bands and some synth-pop groups. I sometimes perceive a touch of Hocico in the writing of the haunting atmospheres (cf. “Hollow Spirits” being quite illustrative), but globally speaking Trakktor has their own sound. This sound is characterized by a few epic arrangements (probably inspired of metal music) and impressive, raw melody lines. The melodic aspect sometimes sounds a bit trance-like (cf. “End Of Days” being the ultimate cut in the genre). “Halo Of Lies” still has been spiced with guitar riffs injecting an extra explosive element. 

In between the epic intro (cf. “Welcome To Sin City”), the epic intermezzo (cf. “Orbital Strike”) and the cinematographic last cut (cf. “The Dawn Of War”) this album is a succession of dancefloor stompers. I already mentioned a few songs and I want to add on the list “Trakktor” featuring great bleeping sequences and guitar riffs, “Spitting On Your Grave” (a title reminding me of the French poet Charles Baudelaire cf. “Jirai Cracher Sur Vos Tombes”) and “Mekkanized Soul”. The “album Version” of “Blitzkrieg Galaxy” –previously released as a digital EP still is a cool song although not the best of this impressive CD. 

The 2nd disc features 15 remixes by a nice palette of bands. The remixers –by the exception of Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, are not really leading formations of the scene although interesting projects like Roughhausen, Stahlnebel & Black Selket, Re-Legion, Diversant: 13, Angst Pop, Kant Kino ao. 

Most of the remixes are quite good, but only a few of them can compete with the original versions. The absolute masterpiece was delivered by Frau Untz, remixing “Blitzkrieg Galaxy” in an original and technoid way. There are several remixes of “The Dawn Of War”, really an inspiring song. Most of the remixes remain in the EBM – dark-electro vein. One of the best cuts in the genre is the remix of “Spitting On Your grave” by Angst Pop featuring Technomancer. The most surprising and even unexpected remix is the one of “Halo Of Lies” by Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio. It brings a different sound and influence to this disc, transposing the original song into another and undefined dimension. 

Trakktor has achieved a great piece of music, which will for sure find a place among the best EBM & dark-electro releases of 2012! 

(DP:8/9)DP.



8.5/10





TraKKtor - Halo Of Lies
Artist: TraKKtor
Title: Halo Of Lies
Format: Album
Label: Katyusha Records
Genre: Electro, Harsh EBM
Release date: December 3, 2012
Available on Spotify!

  
18 months ago, TraKKtor released their highly successful debut album “Force Majeure”. Now, the band return with the follow up “Halo Of Lies” after releasing the single “Blitzkrieg Galaxy” earlier this year.

In a way, “Halo Of Lies” continues on what the debut album ended. It’s harsh and dark with lots of heavy rhythms and strong beats and it is after a very powerful and intensive instrumental intro, great orchestration, it all starts. “End Of Days” pretty much reveal the significant style the band once delivered on “Force Majeure”. It’s straight forward, harsh vocals and strong beats and melodic machines. Even if the following “Blitzkrieg Galaxy” is lowered in tempo it definitely got power and a different kind of heaviness. It reminds a bit of Hocico a couple of years ago.

Some tracks include distorted guitar riffs in the background and a track they do it very well in is the title track “Halo Of Lies”. Besides the very low pitch on the vocal is sounds really good with this almost Metal like approach during the refrain. Strong melody.

The self-entitled song “TraKKtor” may be the weakest one on the album but after all it include lots of track that for sure will compensate that. For example “Spitting On Your Grave” or “Drag Me To Hell” deliver more energy and fast-paced assault of apocalyptic beats while the orchestral “Orbital Strike” adds some breathing room between the club tracks.

“Halo Of Lies” adds pretty much the same that “Force Majeure” did. The sound is of course evolved but still with the same quality the debut album delivered. After all, the significant sound the band deliver is there and they have found their way. Great job! Great production!

The album also comes packed with a second CD full of different bonus remixes and even here a couple of bands have succeeded to deliver a great interpretation. Most of all, you get a different approach on many of them as a couple goes into a more Futurepop style like the remixes from Re-Legion or Channel East. Yet, it sounds very good and the ones that sticks out is Stahlnebel & Black Selket, Re-Legion and Diversant:13

Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Welcome to Sin City
02. End of Days
03. Blitzkrieg Galaxy (Album version)
04. Halo of Lies
05. Trakktor
06. Spitting on Your Grave
07. Orbital Strike
08. Mekkanized Soul
09. Hollow Spirits (Album version)
10. Drag Me to Hell
11. The Dawn of War

CD 2:
01. The Dawn of War (Falling Skies Remix by Roughhausen)
02. Spitting on Your Grave (Touched by Stahlnebel & Black Selket)
03. Halo of Lies (Remixed by Re-Legion)
04. The Dawn of War (Remixed by Diversant:13)
05. Mekkanized Soul (Remixed by Ginger Snap5)
06. Blitzkrieg Galaxy (The Blister Exists Remix)
07. Spitting on Your Grave (1991 Remixx by Angst Pop feat. Technomancer)
08. Halo of Lies (Shock-Pop-Mix by Channel East)
09. The Dawn of War (Frontal Boundary Mix)
10. Mekkanized Soul (Kant Kino Symphony)
11. Blitzkrieg Galaxy (Frau Untz Remix)
12. Spitting on Your Grave (Electronic Dreams_WTL Remix)
13. Halo of Lies (Remix by Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio)
14. The Dawn of War (Remixed by Zargg)
15. Spitting on Your Grave (Remix By Particle Son)





9/10

It's here. One of my most anticipated albums of the year following Spring's single 'Blitzkrieg Galaxy' and 2011's full-length 'Force Majeure'. The burning question for me is whether or not this Swedish trio can use their Black Metal influenced EBM sounds to create a bigger hit than 'Veil of Thorns'.

"Welcome to Sin City" serves as an intro track and may generate confusion with the Genitorturers album and intro of the same name. It's a foreboding track, hinting at the harrowing times that this album dictates. Great instrumental.

Segueing straight into the first 'proper' track "End of Days", we're taught about the concept of TraKKtor's latest opus immediately - as morbid as it is, the track is catchy and genius. It has a melodic, Futurepop-esque synth intro, which then turns into the main melody - held a little longer than needed for dramatic effect, before the sample and full instrumentation truly opens the release. Like classic EBM, the bridge between chorus and verse is truly enthusing, with great programming. Not bad for a track about exploding stars and burning planets.

Straight into the already familiar single "Blitzkrieg Galaxy" (which had the best artwork of the year), and the suckerpunch combo really stands tall - if there's a trace of happiness to this release, it's been absorbed by the apocalyptic contrition on here. Like I said on the original review, it's a strong track with a siren-like wail, and an aggressive vocal - I previously mentioned a Black Metal influence that serves the band well - Robert even has a Toroidh shirt on in the booklet (+1 point).

"Halo of Lies" is a little more traditional, and easier to digest for those purist EBM fans - lyrically, it documents debauchery and despair. My first criticism is here - and I don't know where the issue is, but the vocals are very low in the mix, even with me turning on the vocal booster and reducing the bass, I can barely make them out - results may vary, and I hope the issue is my end, because this release is potentially epic.

"TraKKtor" (Interesting title) starts off with a string section, turning into a chaotic maelstrom - the lyrics are slightly tongue-in-cheek, but the track has many unique sounds tapered into it that will make it memorable.

"Spitting On Your Grave" is as close to Black Metal as the guys have come - it still sounds EBM with an intro that's really, really great, but lyrics such as "Auf Wiedersehen, Just Shut up and Bleed" provide a great counter-argument to some of the stuff that we're more prone to hearing these days.

The shortest track on here "Orbital Strike" starts with a Martial drum section, and percussion that makes it sound like an Arditi track. It's also the only instrumental on the release, excluding the intro. Nice listen, and one for fans of Allerseelen, Triarii, etc.

"Mekkanized Soul" leans towards the Trance influence of the group, with an intro that'd make a dancefloor spill their shit within seconds. Probably my favourite track on here.

"Hollow Spirits" previously appeared on the Music to Cure Cancer vol 2 boxset, and is slower than the rest of the crowd on here.

With "Drag Me To Hell" and "Dawn of War", the group close the original album with a strong, influential sound.

The remix disc covers everything from Synthpop to Old School EBM artists, and appearances by O.R.E, Zargg (Spektralized), Stahlnebel & Black Selket and Roughhausen show the rare array of influences that TraKKtor operate under.

26 great tracks, 1 affordable digipak. Again guys, you've put out a belter.
This is the pinnacle of your career so far, and despite the odd moment of seeming a little 'silly', you know your EBM.

Nick
27 Nov 2012