Review: Nero, Welcome Reality

This album has been out for a while, but I’ve been busy. Sorry!

Intro tracks usually build the suspense and atmosphere of an album and lead into the first track proper, but the intro track on this ‘Welcome Reality’, ‘2808’ is a little pointless as it builds to a point but then stops for a matter of seconds. Forgetting this though, the first track ‘Doomsday’ kicks in with fury and intensity with all the wailing and buzzing that makes dubstep what it is.

Many of the tracks feature the vocal stylings of Alana Watson, though she is not an official member of the band. Her inclusion makes most of the songs a lot more bearable than I think they would be if she wasn’t there and also gives a sence of continuity instead of the disjointed feeling that comes from featuring a variety of artists. ‘Guilt’, ‘Me And You’ and ‘Promises’ will be the big singles you will recognise with her vocals predominantly featured.

‘Fugue State’ has etymological links to Chase and Status, the band upon whose record label Nero have released this album. The track itself leans away from a typical dubstep sound and more towards the French electro house style of Justice, especially their single ‘Stress’. This French house theme is further explored during the album in tracks like ‘Me And You’ and ‘Must Be The Feeling’, the latter of which is a remix of Carmen’s 1984 single, ‘Time To Move’ which has been given a new lease of life much in the way Beatfreakz remixed Rockwell’s ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’.

Other big dubstep numbers are ‘Innocence’, which is a monster of a song, and ‘Scorpions’; both incorporate sparse vocal samples, loud talking/wobbling bass lines and syncopated drum loops.

Another song that has been given a dubstep makeover is The Jets’ 1985 single ‘Crush On You’. Though unlike ‘Must Be The Feeling’, the screaming dubstep synths kill the rhythm of the song; it would have been better left as a constant beat that wasn’t as stop-start as this.

Overall, this album is perfectly fine, though personally I have little knowledge of the genre. However, I would find it hard to listen to it from beginning to end on a constant basis unlike a lot of other albums (including a lot of electronic dance albums). This says to me that there are a few too many filler tracks on here and that perhaps dubstep is a genre of killer singles, not albums. Disappointing.

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