The cover art and album name ToDeath are a bit misleading for the debut EP from Holocron. I was expecting a very dark, brutal and angry record. Instead I was presented with EDM that is infused with glitch-hop, trance and drum and bass. The music is full to the brim with noises and about to spill over. Minimalists need not apply. Holocron brings an eclectic variety to each song that almost makes it feel like a collection of singles than a cohesive album. Take for instance “SeasonUnending” which layers auto-tuned vocal samples that create a vortex of cartoonish 8-bit sound that sounds like something you might hear at your next rave compared to the rather dark atmospheres and hip hop inspired hi-hat flurries on “Coldpipes.” Don’t get me wrong, these songs contain some advanced programming and a sense of aesthetic a lot of electronic producers just can’t grasp but sometimes it felt like the flow wasn't as seamless as it could have been.
One of the highlights of the album was the second song “Bael” which seems to combine Aphex Twin influenced frantic beats and timing with an endless supply of manipulated sine waves that garble, ascend, evolve and disappear as quickly as they form. There is a lot going on here and it needs to be listened to at a loud volume. “MountainCry” makes awesome use of Tibetan throat singing that combines with heavy electronic drums and bass to create layers of sound that are inspired and original. He doesn't stay long on the idea as his attention span is about the equivalent to a gnat as the song constantly changes. Drums drop, parts are tweaked and so on leaving even the most ADD intensive with little time to be bored. “ToDeath” is the most brutal of the songs and goes into grindcore territory. The BPM is ramped up and the disturbing vocals are dosed with effects. Out of all the songs this was arguably the most innovative and appealing.
While I feel that with this debut EP Holocron is still finding his sound he has an ample amount of talent. His production is slick and brings a lot to the table amongst a crowded platform.
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