DEAD AGENT “SGT_SLTR_MLN” EP REVIEW

Ed Finkler is Dead Agent and is currently laid out on my autopsy table ready to be dissected.

The EP “SGT_SLTR_MLN” released September 27th with six tracks all wrapped up in blood red art courtesy of Sgt_Slaughtermelon / Matt Wallace.

So let`s cut to the chase and dive into this..

The opening track entitled “Order Disorder“begins with flickering synth sounds that feels as if they move back and forth from you, increasing and decreasing before the first sequences appear in a near horror esque manner warning you that somethings coming. Bubbly, bleepy bloopy glitched out sounds come in for a moment before the first hit of the kick drum and off we go with a nice, soft pad to lead the way.

Melodic lead synths to top it all off make this the type of track I`m sure fans of electro/industrial kids at the club would much appreciate. Personally I think it would be interesting to hear some vocals but I digress…

A good start nonetheless with promising sound design.

Next up is “Mutiliated

Again we have the sense of a flickering introduction but it doesnt feel repetetive, its engaging and interesting. Delayed sounds layered nicely over rythmic drums and lazer beam synths before what sounds like a short voice sample seconds before we get properly started but just as we do we also get dropped down again and picked up by more synthesized melodies where effected vocal samples seem to float just beneath the surface creating a very intriguing result.

As we move towards the end the song starts getting a little more violent yet retaining it`s softness and moving right into track number three; “Bit Shifter

Sirens beckon us closer, the bass warns but fails as we follow the call into unknown territory.

A delightful soft synth sequence appears and steadily grows louder, meaner and harsher.

So far it seems the Bit Shifting is taking its sweet time but misunderstand me correctly, its certainly not a complaint. I quite enjoy the aura of suspense such pacing creates. Unintellgibe vocal samples appear to lure us further towards the jaws of the shifter whos slowly spinning his web, getting ready to get its voltage controlled fingers on us all.

Sirens appear again accompanied by glitching yet soft sounds beneath, Im loving the siren sound for sure and am no stranger to putting it to use myself. The sounds and sequences to come gives me this highkey 80s vibe which seems to be growing in popularity these days surely thanks in part to shows like Stranger Things and its theme song.

We move on to the next track as we still attempt to break free from the web of the previous beast. “Frentik” starts us off with a slowly growing horror like soundscape but is quick to introduce us to synths that doesn`t sound too far from what one could find in various modular based music. A steady, slow drum beat and heavily effected vocals appear bringing us to beautiful melodic realms.

I will say Im not usually a fan of effect heavy vocals as I feel its often used as a crutch or a way to make something interesting out of the mindnumbingly boring but I believe Dead Agent pulled it off in a quite tasteful way here so I don`t mind it at all. This seems to be my favourite track of the EP thus far.

The sound of chugging distorted guitars move towards us and only makes me fall a little bit more in love with “Frentik” the sound design of this form of music is often overlooked but in a case like this it deserves to be mentioned and it`s done very well, something I wish I could say more often.

The previously mentioned modular esque sequences take us to the end and into second to last track “Home Automaton

What at first sounds like perhaps a mixture of sampled, slowed down voices or the sound of a plane either landing of lifting off greets us and the ceremony begins.

This seems to be more of a typical dance/club track with some interesting 8 bit sounds thrown in at frequent measueres. While I`m not generally a fan of the more club oriented branches of this genre the track keeps me engaged and each new bleep and bloop piques my interest.

About halfway in we drop down to a melodic atmosphere and a clap which grows and is accompanied by fast paced sequencing before the drums reappear and yet again the soundscape shifts but the consistency is firmly upheld and the track doesnt suffer from its frequent changes.

And so weve reached the end of our little autopsy with only one more to go, that being "New Patterns" which is in itself a good description of this EP as a whole as each song is different yet you dont feel like you\re listening to five different artists.

Our goodbye begins with the forementoned 80s esque sound and a nearly melancholic, one hit high pitch synth sounds take us into the temple of the cyber lords.

Theres a near darkwave feel to this for a moment before shifting its pace ever so slightly only to return to a more minimalist form.

Two minutes and just a few seconds into the end we explode into electronic frenzy as the drums march onwards and in comes what sounds like a effect ladden theremin which I absoloutely adore.

The Bandcamp version of the EP also comes with two bonus tracks. The Neo-Suprematism remixes of “Order Disorder” and “Bit Shifter

The first remix begins with a fairly fast paced sequence being repeated as thiings happen slowly in the background before it all crashes and breaks into a four to the floor beat with a fantastic snare sound and we all know how hard it is to achieve suck levels of sorcery.

The track trudges ever onwards, broken up at seemingly random points by glitched out noise.

Definetly worth it`s slot as a bonus track.

The next remix begins with a sampled spoken word which I assume may be lifted from a serial killer documentary as rythmic noises appear from beneath and floating synhts come closer turning harsher and more destructive by the second. Psychedlia galore is quick to take over and I imagine if one were to drop acid to any track of this EP this would be the one to do such activities to.

The angels blow the trumpets warning us of the coming end. The apocalyptic horn blows steadily in ominous tones as the glitchfest takes place below the surface. Though I must point out the glitchfest seems like a controlled chaos sort of affair, it`s a beauitful destruction indeed.

It fades out and once agan a disembodied voice greets us as the maelstrom slowly builds up underneath to give us one last taste of these wonderfully composed and layered sequences that run throughout the whole of the release

You know what, I dont see why I should have to keep attemtping to convince you, just go get this damn EP, I guarantee you you won`t be disappointed. And on the off chance that you are feel free to come fight me about it.

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