I love FLA; maybe they haven't invented anything, but they have evolved in so diverse ways while at the same time keeping an own hallmark, they are one of the best electronic bands ever. They were one of the 1st in introducing guitars, but not with 'Millenium' but much earlier, in 'Caustic grip' and the side-project Noise Unit.
'Implode' is in a way a reunification of all Leeb's side-projects: Delerium, Noise Unit, Synaesthesia, FLA. This means that, instead of limiting this album to a definite mood as they did in the past, 'Implode' is the most varied album by FLA: it has the danceable beats of Noise Unit and Intermix, the delicious passages of Synaesthesia, the best melodic structures of Delerium, the agressiveness of Front Line Asembly: and all well done, superbly I would say.
When you hear this album you realise of various things:
1) Leeb has grown a lot as musician; the structures of the songs are much better.
2) Leeb is not afraid of singing well; but doesn't refuse to use distortion, too; everything has a purpose, depending on the mood and the effect to transmit. He feels he doesn't need to be always agressive as in 'Millenium' or 'Hard Wired', nor always danceable as in 'Flavour of the weak' or 'Drill' and 'Decoder', or always poppy and gentle as in Delerium.
3) he is not afraid anymore of melody, as he himself has said in a recent interview.
4) technically everything is done amazingly: the percussive elemets reveal a great effort, samples are used but they don't drown the songs, guitars are used intelligently, i mean, they serve a purpose just like another instrument: he's not saying, "hey, look, we are electronic but don't hate guitars" as they did in 'Millenium'.
Now, my opinion of the songs:
Retribution (9/10): the song begins with an intro of samples and beats, then a jungle rhythm starts, and the typical Leeb basslines take place; distorted voice, good chorus, still jungle beats, some guitars... conform an excellent opener;
Fatalist (9/10): danceable, catchy, repetitive but doesn't exhaust; it reminds me of Noise unit's 'Dominator' perhaps but with vocals. One of the favourite of the fans.
Prophecy (9.5/10): the single; at first disappointed me. Then I realised it's amazing. Strange beginning, Leeb stmes whispers, stmes sings louder, good chorus, smoother than ever, very climatic parts, amazing percussive work (listen to it with attention) Excellent.
Synthetic Forms (9.5/10): like a Synaesthesia song; if you love these songs (I do), if you like 'Desideratum', f.ex, you'll love this one. The beat is delayed 3 or 4 minutes, a lot of samples, including sounds from Depeche Mode's 'Dangerous', a sampled voice that finally turns into a metallic noise in an amazing way. Then the beats come and the song moves me a lot. Perfect.
Falling (10/10): bell chimes, slow deleriumesque beginning, catchy beats, good voice, acoustic guitars in the chorus, good chorus; a very catchy song, one of the best. FLA at its most melodic side.
Don't Trust Anyone (8.5/10): a weird beginning, then the song gets better and btter; a sort of Noise Unit song, almost instrumental but for a weird sampled voice whispering the title sentence like a kind of sermon. Impressive percussive work again. You can dance till you get tired.
Unknown Dreams (10/10): I looooove it. Slow beginning, cyber sounds, strange beats, no heavy basslines, the most similar to pop FLA can ever get. It may remind us of Haujobb, perhaps, with a very addictive chorus and smooth voice. It's one of the best songs FLA has ever made.
Torched (8.5/10): maybe the weakest song in the album; the song relies mostly on the percussive elements, which are very good; whispering voice, reminds me of Flavour of the Weak material. Good chorus, but not impressive song.
Machine Slave (9/10): long techno intro, good sounds; then the song begins, in a way similar to 'Retribution'; danceable, catchy chorus, agressive voice; the lyrics may seem a sort of parody of success or the music scene, some say. The 'mega' part (Leeb sings defininf everything as "mega") is weirds at first, then is funny.
Silent Ceremony (9.5/10): another instrumental a la Synaesthesia; slow beginning, you know, always adding new and new elements and layers of sounds until the song actually starts and all my senses are directed towards this amazing piece. I love it.
Stalker (8/10): the extra track. Instrumental, very similar to 'Spheres' material. spacey sounds, ambient structure, not impressive but relaxing.
This is my favourite album by FLA; I know Tactical Neural implant is maybe most essential, most relevant regarding the music scene, but 'Implode' is more varied, better done, catchier than the rest FLA cds. Maybe at first it's not the one you would say 'it rocks', because it's less direct than 'Hard Wired' or 'Millenium'; it is more subtle, so it improves with every listening. I never get tired of it.