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Test Dept - Disturbance

Test Dept - Disturbance

One Little Indian Records

March 2019

Test Dept are back with an industrial anthem, "Disturbance".

Industrial legends and pioneers has returned. "Disturbance" comes 20 years after their last official release and 5 years after the 2014 re-emergence of the band.

Someone could say that since Test Dept have a reason to return with absolutely new material, things are not good in Great Britain. Test Dept have always been a band that hits the system with the when they see that there are reasons to do so. And unfortunately for the British citizens, nowadays Test Dept have a lot to say and write music about.

The British duo, Graham Cunnington and Paul Jamrozy, has been pioneering in industrial-punk music since the early 80's with the use of mechanical elements and physical metallic instruments.

Even their old material, where they were commenting Thatcher's acts and that time's political actions, would very easy fit to the present situation.

Back to the music now and "Disturbance" is, perhaps, one of the best come backs that I 've ever listen to. Especially since we are talking for a 20 years of absence. Starting with "Speak Truth to Power" an obvious martial mood is expressed with an orchestral sounding. A call to start the resistance. Test Dept's old school industrial in now reformed and enriched with modern electronic elements. Still keeping the known characteristic sound of the band, though.

"Landlord" is another punch in Britain's housing-crisis. Strong drums and compact bassline to an industrial protest anthem. An industrial-punk dance hit. "Debris" comes out from a haunted construction building with a thrilling piano and pure metals and tubes sounds with some echoing vocals.

"Full Spectrum Dominance" and "Information Scare" are next and keeps the haunted atmosphere, brought to more EBM, industrial sounds. Old school formation of what we used to know as industrial music is presented here and especially in "Information Scare". Two songs that could be a synopsis of a city street battle. 

And then comes "Gatekeeper". Again with the use of metallic sounds like the sound that Test Dept has given us from their first releases, more than 30 years before. A background choir sound darkens the atmosphere even more and the tense is being kept really high. No rest on this album. And "GBH84" begins the final battle. A narration-like vocal track with a reference to the Battle of Orgreave which was was a violent confrontation between police and pickets that took place in 1984 and a reference in industrial-land,  which, really soon, transforms to an industrial masterpiece.

Closing track is "Two Flames Burn". Another track based in the origins of Test Dept's sound. A track which an obvious political caustic comment while letting the listener to think the two flames as the contradictions of the economic-political situation in Great Britain. 

Test Dept's "Disturbance" is an absolutely convincing come back of one of the bands that marked what is today known as industrial music and industrial-punk attitude. The British duo have kept and redeveloped all these elements that brought them in industrial music frontline back in the 80's. With a political comment in their work and their music the create and produce industrial anthems that targets several political and economical situation that, to my ears, fits not only in Great Britain's current situation but in a number of other countries and states. Musically is clearly one of the best albums of the year, with a mature and compact sound performed in the best way from an experienced band and artists. Next goal is to see this cult industrial band presenting their statement in a live performance.  

Test Dept -Speak Truth To Power (lyric video)







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