With the release of "FLAvour of the Weak", it appears that the Vancouver duo went the direction of the current market trend that is Electronica. Apart from the oddly tongue in cheek album title, the album itself is surprisingly devoid of humor, and for that matter vocals. Of the nine tracks on the album, only five contains lyrics which, surprisingly enough, Bill Leeb sings as opposed to the usual growling on previous albums. Instead, the focus seems to be more on the texturing and composition of the music rather than the vocals, which the press has been so critical about.
As far as the orchestration of the album is concerned, "FLAvour of the Weak" is a definite departure from the FLA of old. In fact, this new album has more in common with permanently shelved Techno side project Intermix than the usual FLA affair. Of course, Leeb cannot resists using many of the usual basslines and string patches that make his work so easy to spot, but this time around he spent much more time on elaborate breakbeats, rather than extensive vocal samples. In fact, "FLAvour of the Weak" has fewer movie samples than the band's double demo CD "Total Terror".
The question still remains: will most FLA fans enjoy this album? My best guess is that about half of the fans will enjoy the changes and will ride with the band through their next few musical trends, much like the drastic changes that occurred on Millennium. However, the rest of the fanbase will probably abandon FLA in droves for what will certainly be called a sell-out to the Electronica band wagon. As for me, I certainly enjoy the first half of the album with it's more elaborate song structures, but by the mid-point, "FLAvour of the Weak" begins to sound a little repetitive in places. This means that the album will probably spend a fair amount of time in the CD player, with the remote control in hand to avoid those tracks that become boring after the first two minutes.
Front Line Assembly are: Bill Leeb & Chris Peterson
P.O. Box 54307
Philadelphia, PA 19105