Mephistosystem - Endless Crawl
Electro-Industrial Metal
14 songs (53:11)
Release year: 2006
Reviewed by Ross
Anywhere And Nowhere, the instrumental intro track on Mephistosystem’s debut album Endless Crawl has you wondering if you should be listening to this after a productive visit to your local ‘Moroccan Herbalist’. It can only be described as ‘Electronic Mess-With-Your-Head music, with a sludgy bass beat and some way-out synths and samples. The promo blurb that came with the CD describes their music thus - “The unmistakable intensity of Mephistosystem’s sound results from the discrepancy of chaos and organisation, of creativity and destruction: strange and beautiful.” …..right!!! Chaotic, yes, without a doubt, but organised chaos; there is definite structure in each song that makes order within the chaos. Mephistosystem have taken what you would expect to be the norm, for ‘Electro-Industrial Metal’, thrown it all away and replaced it with a design of their own creation. A for example here is; how many bands do you know of that have the bass guitar as a lead instrument. Throughout the album, the bass guitar seems to be doing all the riff-work with some amazing bass lines. The tracks Follow Myself, Anybody Cares, Impossible Things, All For Nothing and You all have heavily distorted and overdriven bass riffs in their intros.

Hailing from Switzerland, Mephistosystem are – Vocals, lyrics, music, producer and overall Mastermind behind the band – Abele Franzé; bass guitar – Nadia Ciacchetta; drums – Greg Szombath; keyboards/live operators (No, I’m not sure what that means) – Trigga and Christian Luedi and live guitars (Nope, not a clue) Fabian Muller. They have been compared to Nine Inch Nails and Pitchshifter; though I can’t really hear it myself. Their overall sound is pretty unique but Abele Franzé’s vocals can sometimes sound like Marylin Manson and on The Number I Get he sounds remarkably like U2’s Bono. Getting back to Fabien Muller’s ‘Live Guitars’, I do hear guitaring throughout the album and also synth guitars so I think the term ‘Live Guitars’ refers to ‘Real’ guitars rather than he only plays guitar with the band when they play live on stage. The thing is, with all the amazing things you can do with a synthesizer, keyboard and a computer, it’s very difficult to figure out what’s a real instrument and what’s been ‘manufactured’. Anybody that’s familiar with Fruity Loops, Absynth and Acid Pro etc know how easy it is to create almost a full band on a laptop. I’m sure though, that the acoustic guitar on It Seems is real. You can download a video of Anybody Cares from the band’s website at and you can try and figure out from that what’s real and what’s not.

I’d like to comment on all the electronica that’s on the album but it’s knowing where to start, and as I’ve said, knowing what’s real and what’s not. What I do know though, is that Trigga and Christian are definitely master craftsmen of their art. Listening to the album through earphones is highly recommended as you get all this music rattling around your head, bouncing off your skull like a ping-pong ball all thanks to masterful use of stereo effects. Also, synth and computer generated music usually sounds very clean and sterile, this is not the case with Endless Crawl. There have been a few shovels full of rough dumped into the production mix and dirtied things up a bit just to ensure it doesn’t sound ‘Over Produced’, a horrible thing to happen to a Metal album.

Mephistosystem have created a stunning debut album yet because of its genre crossovers they may be hard pushed to get Endless Crawl on to as many CD players as it deserves to. Electronica to a Metalhead conjures up Rave and Dance music so, kinda like Rap Metal, but nowhere near as bad, they are combining two genres from opposite ends of the musical spectrum. You would think Metal fans would buy it for the Metal element and Electronica fans for the Electronica element, but that is too simple as these fans are not too keen on the other fans choice of music, if you know what I mean. It took me quite a few listens-to before it really grabbed my attention, and only after I played it through headphones as my Metalhead mind had a tendency to wander when I listened through the speakers. Headphones also helped me find the hidden bonus track at the end, even though You, a 9:26 track finishing at 3:30, should have alerted me to something being amiss there. Now that I have listened to it properly, I can say that Mephistosystem are very good at what they do and a great deal of hard work, effort and thought has gone in to the creating of this album. I just hope that people can put aside the musical prejudices and biases and spend some time getting to know Endless Crawl. Who knows, it might open up a whole new avenue of music to you that you had not explored because of pre-conceived notions of certain musical genres and styles. Should you not wish to part with your hard earned cash on an album that may be too much work for you before you start to enjoy it, Mephistosystem have released Anybody Cares as a single. So you could get the single, play it ‘til you’re humming it in your sleep then go get the album. If, however, you are already a fan of Electro-Industrial Metal then jump straight to the album you won’t be disappointed.
Killing Songs :
The Number I Get, Anybody Cares, Blank Faced, You
Ross quoted 70 / 100
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