Date: July 2007
‘Dissected & Resurrected’ Album Reviews
‘A zippy and eventually weird remix album where songs from the first two albums get spruced up by various individuals, and the band themselves, with surprises to close. A decent enough way to maintain interested after their striking ‘Mass Market Misery’ album, and presumably a stop-gap, but what the Hell?
‘Misadventure’ gets a frisky Gary Hughes dance bounce, with slinky accoutrements,and Ewigkeit make ‘Shadows’ highly delectable, morose and dramatic with a beautiful synth heart and sumptuous female vocals, and conventional, intentionally confusing samples. ‘Return To The Old Forest’ is a crinkly, creepy encounter, courtesy of The Grey Constant, then Autofire remix ‘Robots Pt 2: Murder Spate’ and ‘History Of Guns’ have at ‘Robots Pt 3: Face The Truth’, the former seething cutely, foulmouthed light-hearted cartoon gabba, the latter muddied and clumping.
‘Wings Of Death’ gurns rockily via Agent’s simple roughshod mix, ‘Laura’ is a snapping, crackly pop thing from Dissolved and then Ewigkeit resurface to make twinklier moves around the lightly whipping ‘Robots Pt 2’. Swarf bide their time with a sliding ‘Sister Sleaze’ and ‘Looking For Answers’ wibbles happily, stirred gently by In The Now.
After that it’s odder, with remixes done by Freudstein themselves through the years, in the Resurrected section, which seems a bit cobbled together and bolted on. A menacingly stirred ‘Angel Of Ruin’ by The Chaos Engine, a mental, capering ‘Daddy’ and interestingly jittery ‘Blistered’, both by Arkham Asylum. ‘Fall’ does a wiggly, sorrowful dance for creators Swarf, with its curious flat ending, then a surprisingly weedy end with ‘Killing Method’ from Xykogen, shuddering about somewhat frantically and idiotically.
Cheap and cheerful, harsh and tearful.’
– Mick Mercer, July 2007
‘Tracks from last year's 'Mass Market Misery' album are remixed for dark and dirty dancefloors, combined here with some of Freudstein's own mixes of songs by kindred spirits Arkham Asylum, Chaos Engine and Swarf. The originals are stretched and broken on the rave rack, twisted in the industrial thumbscrews and fiendishly experimented upon until, against all odds, the resulting hybrid homunculus takes on a hideous life of its own.
– Ben Graham, The Fly magazine, June 2007
‘After releasing their album "Mass Market Misery" the duo behind Freudstein started to collect remixes of their songs previously released into their two album and since their high quality decided to issue a limited edition remixes album where the first ten tracks are re-works of their songs and the remaining five are 2000÷2006 Freudstein's remixes of other bands' tracks.
The first thing to notice is how much different the remixes of the Freudstein's songs are, compared to the original versions. Gary Hughes, Ewigkeit, The Grey Constant, Autofire, History Of Guns, Agent, Dissolved, Swarf and In The Now did an excellent work by transforming the original guitar driven songs into something totally different and interesting. The opening "Misadventure" has been turned into a cool future pop song by Gary Hughes, while "Shadows" is now sounding like a sensual electronic track thanks to Ewigkeit. The Grey Constant made "Return to the old forest" become an ambient i.d.m. track with sci-fi atmospheres. Autofire made of "Robots Pt2: Murder space" a semi e.b.m./gabber with horror melodies. Industrial e.b.m. treatment has been the choice of History Of Guns for "Robots Pt: Face the truth" while industrial metal is the choice Agent made. These are only few of the cool versions you'll find on the "Dissected" section.
About the remixed made by Freudstein (they remixed The Chaos Engine, Arkam Asylum, Swarf and Xykogen) I have to say that the old ones are good but not enough for me who know their new sound. They sound a little raw and less powerful compared to the new stuff, while the Xykogen remix they did in 2006 is less particular but more direct. Anyway for ten Euros you'll have the opportunity to have good tunes. If you are more into downloading, visit the Freudstein shop and you'll find a link where you'll be able to purchase the files.’ (3.5/5)
– Maurizio Pustianaz, Chain DLK, May 2007
‘The album contains ten remixed freudstein songs which are followed by 5 remixes made by freudstein. The album opens with new wave like tracks with a nice beat, mostly a bit darker than the original tracks. But completely enters the cyber atmosphere with the two robot songs follow, which is continued during “Wings of Death”. This is followed by a well balanced instrumental track, containing both nice wave elements as some nice beats. It might be ill suited for clubs since it is instrumental but for the rest I am sure most people would enjoy it. The second remix of “Robots pt 2: Murder Spate” is more industrial than the previous version, giving it a darker atmosphere containing lots of emotions, creating a different feel for the song. Both remixes are less extreme in adding sounds to the song then Freudstein does in the original, but Ewigkeit has found a way to increase the impact of the song by removing sounds. The Swarf remix of “Sister sleaze” is a nice and danceable song with an easy going rhythm to move on, also creating a darker and more mysterious version. “Looking for answers” is an instrumental ambient song which increases the variety of music heard on this album even further from dark wave to cyber to ambient a very creative album indeed.
Several remixes made by Freudstein follow on “side B”. The second remix by Freudstein even enters the techno scene, which does not really fit the rest of the album I’d say but might be interesting for some people. This b-side is every bit as variable as side A, showing that besides being able to create songs over a broad spectrum of the dark music they are also capable of adding their own atmosphere to a similar range of music.‘ (7.4/10)
– Joost, Gothtronic, May 2007
Date: May - December 2006
‘Mass Market Misery’ Album reviews
‘Like evil uncles who play doctor? How about murderous robots? Then you'll want to check out Freudstein's latest because we all need some Mass Market Misery. Freudstein's Mass Market Misery is a nightmarish sideshow showcasing the strange and the macabre. In their usual fashion, the band gives listeners more horror film sounds mixed with electronic beats that's exquisitely put together in this horrific soundscape.
This UK based band is trying to do something entirely literate yet scary with their second album. Pulling from Germanic sounds, they set to music a psychotic story (or several) that echoes of some classic gothic novels. Starting with "Return to the Old Forest," a carnival-esque track, you can almost see possessed killer clowns creeping out of your speakers, setting the stage for the rest of the album. In true carnival fashion, the beats remain bouncy while couching some especially dark lyrics on "Robots Pt 2: Murder Spate." It really makes you wonder what robots are up to.
Mass Market Mistery comes back hard from their debut, Mondo Freudo, carrying over the story of "Filthy Little Whore Pt. 1" from that album, and continued here with "Filthy Little Whore Pt. 2." The "Intro to Filthy Little Whore Pt.2." is a spoken word track, eerie and disturbingly reminiscent of King Diamond's Abigail; over two minutes of torturous talk that befalls a pretty maiden.
Not all is dark and gloomy, for "Sister Sleaze" is an instant stripper classic with a hypnotic rhythm and sultry lyrics. The album culminates in "Laura," a slow and mournful song that feels like the natural end to this dark anthology of stories. Interesting to note is that the two singers, David Else and Andrew Bridge, sound like Marilyn Manson at times and Chris Barnes of Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet Under at others.
As a whole, the band seems to have a mission to be as creepy as possible with this new, harder, darker, and more twisted set of tracks, which they accomplish beautifully. If you wish everyday could be Halloween, then you'll want to pick up Mass Market Misery.’ (5/5)
–Lola S. Batling, Regen Magazine, September 2006
‘Maverick electronicists Freudstein are back, with an album of impressive variety and scope. Quite what the industrio-techno heads and dancefloor bangers will make of it is another thing, mind, for there's much here that doesn't come close to the slammin' club beats which have driven Freudstein's previous work. This is cinematic, cerebral avant-electro, polished to an electric blue sheen, shot through with abrasive guitar, stacked on rhythmic scaffolding, and interrupted with strange interludes of spoken word narrative which hint at a story unfolding, a tale being told.
All of which might ring alarm bells - don't tell me Freudstein have gone and made a concept album? Well, it looks like it, folks, although the concept is a little obscure to me thus far. But there's certainly a story stretching itself out here, amid the effects and the atmospheres and the songs. Reference points? Sometimes, on the poppier numbers, when the vocals come in, untreated by effects, Freudsten sound like an introspective Human League. There's even a potential floorfiller in 'Robots Part 2: Murder Spate', possibly the closest thing here to the kind of forceful dance number Freudstein are known for. There's also a kind of Extreme Noise Terror go techno moment, in the shape of 'Wings Of Death', which features a big guitar riff and one of those devil-in-my-underpants heavy metal vocals that goes 'Huuurrghh!'. Freudstein go (a bit) metal - who'd have predicted that?
Influences and tangents a-go-go, this is intriguing album, even if I suspect the ideas behind the music only really coalesce in the minds of Freudstein themselves. But one thing is for sure - Freudstein have made exactly the album they wanted to make, unrestricted by any notions of appealing to a genre, or a niche audience. That in itself is worth a cheer. ’
– Uncle Nemesis, Nemesis To Go E-zine, December 2006
‘Altogether Mass Market Misery is a more successful poison gift-cocktail from electronic sounds, hard guitars and horror soundtracks, Goblin, Killing Joke meets velvet Acid Christ...Mass Market Misery is an excellent album!’
–Zillo Magazine, September 2006
‘Freudstein surprised people with their eclectic blend of ambient horror and funky techno on their Mondo Freudo release. Still moving along, Wasp Factory Records in the UK bring us the latest from the Brighton UK based duo of David Else and Andrew Bridge.
Freudstein try very hard to remain unidentifiable. Their music will be ambient at times, metal-like, techno, trippy and delve into horror movies, over the top silliness and slap-happy melodies. It's like Looney Tunes’ Chuck Jones dosed too much XtC and then decided to become a horror director. Return to the Old Forest mixes up female sighing vocals, trippy synth melodies and slides in Sneaky Bat Machine rhythms.
Misadventure starts deep and bubbly and brings in a wonderful bass lick that's funky and moving. After this we are dripped into the Filthy Little Whore Pt 2 two-track series, consisting of an Intro and the song itself on tracks 3 and 4 of Mass Market Misery. The near two minute intro tells us a story in spoken word with dripping accoutrements and dark melodies sneaking up from behind. Seamlessly come beats into the fray, completing the story with the help of a metal guitar riff combined with electro-slicings of weirdness.
Come With Me is a heavier, almost thrash song, shredded by electronic melodies and rhythm to nice effect. Once this track is done we're moved into what Wasp Factory says is Freudstein's magnum opus - the three part Robots series that covers three tracks, 6-8, here on Mass Market Misery. It tells the story of man's enslavement to industrial machinery and destruction of human culture at its hands. It all starts, of course, with Conflict In Dollars - sometimes people forget that money is merely an invention of humankind. Instead the world seems to think that humankind is defined by its money…sad indeed.
Wings of Death is an industrial track with heavy guitar riffs and vox-touched vocals. This tune will actually get deep and blargy, with fast moving percussion and angry vocals even nearing the black metal growl style. Sister Sleaze gets trancey with its bright melodies and bass bubble rhythms. It's the mandatory sex song of the album. Laura will lightly trance us smoothly down to Mass Market Misery's close.
Freudstein tend to pop about a bit, and I find it hard to tell you to pick them up if you like this music or that music. They certainly push the bar of creativity, especially with the well done Robots trilogy here, and they'll continue to do so I'm sure mixing in trance, trip-hop, industrial and metal into a strange but interesting concoction.’
– Marcus Pan, Legends Magazine, October 2006
‘With a CD cover that prepares me for the worst, the tunes on this offering are pleasantly surprising. The tuneful "Return To The Old Forest" could easily be worth a dance; with Depeche Mode style synths, Pat Morrisson Floodland-style female vocals over the top, you'd be forgiven for enjoying this tune. I can taste the cheap alcohol and the creak of my leather trousers right now as I attempt to shake my thing..oops.
"Misadventure" is another well-constructed, dancy number. And you should know by now that I don't give compliments easily. The vocals are slightly tuneless in the lower register, but as the chorus kicks in, there's a bit of Bono in there, a slightly nasal twang.
There's a slight dip in the standard at around "Intro to Filthy Little Whore Pt 2" and "Filthy Little Whore", a bleak narrative set over scary synth sounds and a dripping tap noise.
"Sister Sleaze" is a real highlight though – this could be a hit in the dodgiest of places. 'I want see her shake like Bettie Page/My high heeled lover is taking to the stage.'It's sleazy for sure, but listen to that Soft Cell influence. It wouldn't sound amiss in a burlesque show, or if you're feeling forward enough, to dance with your chosen date with. "I want see her crawl across the stage/dressed in stillettoes, hold ups nothing more". Yes, but don't play it to your Gran.’ (8.5/10)
– Anya Hastwell, Hard-wired.org.uk, September 2006
‘Electronic body music made by lovers of Italo-horror and Killing Joke. No tongues in cheeks here 'cos they've already been chewed off by zombies. They hold off the hordes with freezing synths and jack-booted drums, waiting for the Flying-Vs to bomb shit out of them. Metaphorically speaking.’
– Meatbreak, The Source Magazine, August 2006
‘What a strange pair David Else and Andrew Bridge are, breathing weird life into various electronically-marshalled areas, and yet making much of it sound quite edgy, and bizarrely varied. From the jolly ‘Return To The Old Forest’ with its uncredited, bright female vocals rising like plumes around the busy, polite synth you sit back and it glides over you.
‘Misadventure’ may start like an old Visage song but this has a natural warmth and dignified build, despite a rather chintzy synth sound. Nicely buoyant, the graceful song adheres to the old school principles of solid melody instead of layered in mystery and cranky twists. Then, weirdly, they move to a small drama in ‘Intro To Filthy Little Whore Pt 2’, where a clipped narrator lets a modern horror unfold, developed in the gross ‘Filthy Little Whore Pt 2’ with lightly whipping guitar and easy disquiet. ‘Come With Me’ sees some guitar romp tincture upturn and it’s a deliriously catchy thing despite the bland lyrical sentiment, with a very firm, gritty development, creating pacey excitement, And then change again.
‘Robots Pt 1: Conflict In Dollars’ is an inconsequential but attractive start to this well trippytych, where the synths potter but a woozy wrath unfolds, with superbly perverse lyrics when ‘Robots Pt 2: Murder Spate’ gets going. Some great spaced out stabby moments, and a smooth bassy sensation pushes it all on as they give us more reason to believe they’re several bands in one. ‘Robots Pt 3: Face The Truth’ makes it all the more compelling with a grand defiance.‘Wings Of Death’ is more austere with the gravelled vocals rustling alongside morose riffing and distant, sighing synthwork. It’s actually a bit dull, comparatively, and yet still curiously persuasive. ‘Sister Sleaze’ is a definite let down with embarrassingly lyrics in cahoots with suppurating pop, but ‘Laura’ is a beautifully light, sumptuous closer, and the album overall is a true triumph.
A strange but seductive success.
– Mick Mercer, Daily Reviews/Live journal, July 2006
‘Freudstein's Brand New album ( following from their intriguing 2001 debut ‘Mondo Freudo’ ) continues their pursuit of sonic horror soundscapes through an innovative and refreshing mixture of EBM, Industrial, pure Electronics and a host of different influences ( including Depeche Mode, the movies of Dario Argento and esoteric Italians Goblin to name a few ). ‘Mass Market Misery’ is a finely crafted and expertly produced slice of Dark Electronic Music that will appeal to Metal / Industrial fans, followers of dark ambient and to movie / horror soundtrack fans too. There are brooding songs, metal and Electro excursions and industrial embellishments adding up to a rewarding and refreshing release for all followers of dark music.
– Music Nonstop, July 2006
‘After their first album ‘Mondo Freudo’ released back in 2001 David Else and Andrew Bridge started to prepare their come back which arrived after five years from their first release. MASS MARKET MISERY is the new chapter of their industrial/electro/horror saga and since the first listening it convinced me.
The different tracks have always something distinctive and the blend of the different influences (they name Goblin as well as Depeche Mode and Slayer but I’m sure they also have been influenced by the master of Italian thriller/horror movies Dario Argento) make of MASS MARKET MISERY a very inspired album that will thrill the lovers of industrial metal as well as e.b.m. or Killing Joke lovers (sometimes they also remind me Velvet Acid Christ). Also tracks like ‘Intro to filthy little whore Pt.2’ or ‘Robots Pt1:Conflict in dollars’ which sounds like horror movie soundtracks are really functional into creating a disturbing atmosphere that enrich the album. Electronic dark ballads team up with electro metal rides and industrial moments creating thirty nine minutes of breath taking dark music.
Check it, MASS MARKET MISERY has no low points!’ (5/5)
– Maurizio Pustianaz, Chain DLK, July 2006
‘Industrial duo Freudstein's second album is deeper and more adventurous than its predecessor, ranging from dark, Depeche Mode electro-pop ('Misadventure'), to consumer baiting, Font 242-style hardbeat ('Robots Pt 2') and Teutonic techno-metal ('wings Of Death'). But it's the ominous, atmospheric sound collage of 'Laura,' rooted in the electronic horror scores of John Carpenter or Dario Argento's Goblin, that points the way forward into bold, uncharted territory.
This nightmare is just beginning.’
– Ben Graham, The Fly Magazine, July 2006
‘Mass Market Misery ping pongs around the darker side like a little round thing possessed...The '80s 'electro' revivalism wagon rumbles on down its misty path. Where goth synthsters Freudstein raise the bar is by stirring those ideas into a mash-up of genre-related fare. Synth-focused horror doodles clash swords with clunky Killing Joke industrialisms. Schlock rocking is sliced with arch spoken word mutterings set to dripping taps (like an uneasy Jackanory), and it even seems the BBC effects library has been raided for some of the howls and throbs lurking in the background.
The overall mood is enjoyably haunting; when they get it right, it's bang on the witch's nail. Instrumentals 'Return To The Old Forest' and 'Laura', especially, could effectively score the lead into any barbed-axe-in-the-eye Argento moment. The downside for me is the straightforward electro goth that the band seems insistent on. Tracks 'Filthy Little Whore Pt 2' and 'Sister Sleaze' are the chief culprits, standing nigh-on guilty of sounding like a sub White Rose Movement.
Still, this remains a compelling little slab of theatrical misery. Rather like a low-budgeted Hammer gem on record.’
–Stephen Daultrey, Bizarre Magazine, July 2006
‘This is an album packed full of well crafted dark electronic music. It is hard to describe Freudstein's sound as it is so varied, except to say that an air of darkness and horror pervades the majority of their songs. When they are trying to convey horror through their music in the case of 'Filthy Little Whore' you get chills, when they are angry as in the case of 'Robots part 2' you can feel their rage, and when they want to get down n dirty in the case of 'Sister Sleaze', you can easily picture the scene they have set.
An album with tracks that you can dance to, tracks that you can chill to, and tracks for when you're feeling pissed off. One of the best CDs I've heard in a while and I only hope I don't have to wait as long to hear their next offering.’
– Mark Smith, Unseen Magazine, June 2006
‘It's been a while, a long while, since I last heard anything from Freudstein. And you know what? I wasn't that mind blown by them whenever that was. This time around, I did have a 3-track sampler of this album a while ago. Those tracks did whet(sic) the appetite – one of those tracks you also heard on last issues TWFCD. But how does the album on the whole work?
Opening track ‘Return the Old Forest ’ is a nifty electronic instrumental arrangement. Eerie keyboard effects help to set the scene with harmonic chant-like vocals really help create a very strong atmospheric opening to the album. So far so good. This is followed up by ‘Misadventure ’, an extremely dark, low-tempo number. The chorus hits a twisted nerve as the vocals "All your lovers' dream of others…in the end" creeps right through you. A little bit of (sic) track analysis demonstrates an effective use of multi-layers of sound and samples, without going overboard for the sake of it. What you are left with is tracks pleasing on the ears, cleverly hand crafted to perfection. OK. So far I'm impressed.
After a lengthy intro (which is on a track of it's own, ideal for skipping past for DJ play, or listening to for home listeners) the almost psychotic ‘Filthy Little Whore Pt2’ staggers in. Probably not a key selling point for the album, but indeed a good twisting number. ‘Come with me ’ seems to stutter a bit at verses, but once it launches into the huge chorus, it really gets going. If nothing else it does significantly up the pace a bit on the album. Following that is the 3 part ‘Robots ’ epic. ‘Part 1 ’ builds up to set the scene, ‘Part 3 ’ is the inevitable wind down, but ‘Part 2 ’ is the real beef (or Vegan alternative, depending on your dietary preferences). What we have is a strong electronic anthem striking against corporations and media control – and the people who serve blind loyalty to them.
‘Wings of Death ’ is a real surprise track. An electronic track accompanied with growling vocals. Reminds me a bit of The Kovenant except without the heavy guitars. ‘Sister Sleaze ’ is another gem in here. A down n dirty and erm'sleazy track, "I want to see her crawl across the floor/ dressed in stilettos, hold-up's, nothing more ", packed with some jaw-dropping synth effects to help forge this number into a one guaranteed to cause serious grooving on the dancefloor. ‘Laura ’ closes the album. I'd half hoped this would be a cover of the Fields of the Nephlim classic, but, instead, is another well crafted instruments track. Piercing synth effects help to craft this low-key number and provide a mellow, but awesome, finale to the album.
So, am I mind blown this time around? Dunno, but each time I listen to the album, it does take quite a while to pick my jaw back up off the floor. It might have a couple of weak spots, but overall this is an album too good to ignore.’ (9/10)
– Kevin Morris, TWF Magazine, May 2006.
Date: 2001 - 2004
‘Mondo Freudo ’ Album reviews
‘…if Alec Empire scored a few obscure Italian slasher flicks, then they'd undoubtedly sound akin to Freudstein. Shifting from dark AFX Twin / DJ Shadow style sound voyages to techno-metal...’
– Ben Myers, Kerrang Magazine
‘The duo have found a new sound, one that combines the atmosphere of classic horror soundtracks with modern electronic music. Their album 'Mondo Freudo' is testament to this, with its orchestral strings, manic arpeggios and whispered vocals - they're not afraid to experiment at the expense of the listener's mind.’
– Bizarre Magazine
‘Mondo Freudo is as beautiful and twisted as it's artwork suggests it will be and clearly a labour of love, in the most perverse sense of the word…It's as if they're soundtracks for some seriously surreal, disgusting and bleak Mondo movies from the 22nd century.’
– The Rattler, Meltdown Magazine
‘The musical variety on here is huge, it goes from thumping industrial monsters like ‘Punkid’, to the mellow guitar, piano and strings driven instrumental track 'The Only Thing'. Another quality release from Wasp Factory and probably one of the most varied. Buy this, listen to it and be converted to the sound of Freudstein.’
– Mayfair Mall Magazine
‘This is a real original. Constantly fascinating, deliciously morose at times, sometimes misguided and packed with moments of impressive flair…Live This Lie is a darkly sublime and unconventional opener and sets the tone for the highlights of the rest of this thought-provoking debut…Even two years on, this remains the best Wasp Factory release to date.’
– Rob Dyer, Dark Star Org
Date: May - December 2006
Presenter Magazine - Japan
The Fly Magazine - UK
Unscene Magazine - UK
TWF Magazine - UK