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hard wired

Front Line Assembly Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £15.49
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Biography

Front Line Assembly is the primary focus of Vancouver-based musician Bill Leeb. A founding member of Skinny Puppy, Leeb moved on to form FLA in 1986 with Michael Balch, releasing some cassettes (since released as Total Terror I & II) which paved the way for their 1987 releases: The Initial Command, State of Mind, and Corrosion. In late 1988, they recorded the mini-LP Disorder, since ... Read more in Amazon's Front Line Assembly Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B000024JOZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,368 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly FLA's finest work... 10 Jan 2003
By EhFiist
Format:Audio CD
This is heralded as one of FLA's best albums, and just by hearing the first few songs, it is easy to see why. This album was the first FLA album to seemlessly integrate heavy distorted guitars with an electro industrial beat. Leebs's vocals complement the massive array of sounds used perfectly, and are different on nearly every track. This album is living proof of Leebs's and Fulbers's technical genius, with the execution of Mortal, a 5 minute instrumental track being the peak of this work, a truelly inspiring piece that uses samples from a film [no idea what] along with a steadily building military style drum beat to convey an image of urban destruction and human terror.
Stand out tracks include Rebirth, with its punchy synth line and vocals that appear to be straight out of 'Forge of God' by Greg Bear, condemned with its heavy guitar riffage and Modus Operandi, the latter of which switches between totally flanged growling to vengeful screaming and is accompanied by some genuinley angered lyrics.
All in all, a very well put together album, and thoroughly derserving of 5 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars as the sun burns out your eyes... 1 Mar 2014
By Stumm
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
Hard Wired was the perfect post-Millennium companion. They dropped the guitars riffs a little lower into the mix so they became another layer in the luscious electronic landscape that FLA create on each of these tracks, rather than having them as the focal point as on the previous release. The standout track is undoubtedly Circuitry, but from album opener Neoligic Spasm, you are getting aggro-electro at its best.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more impressive than I expected... 1 Mar 2003
By S. Walden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm not good with "labelling" music. When I was growing up, you either listened to "metal", "rap", "rock" or "pop", and that was pretty much it. Now there's a sub-classification for every CD in the world. So what is Front Line Assembly? "Goth-industrial"? How about "Spooky Dance Music"? Or if I was a real music critic I'd call them "Angst Driven Heavy Dub Electronic Post Pop Distortion Artists". That's great, and mighty creative to boot, but it doesn't tell you a ... thing about what FLA sounds like. The most accurate, or perhaps easiest, way to describe them to the uninitiated is an unholy fusion of Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Fear Factory and an angry Atari 2600. If you're a fan of any of the aforementioned bands (or liked abusing your old-school Atari), this band, and more specifically this album, is for you. Crunchy, razor-sharp guitars meet creepy vocal fx galore, a conglomeration of heavy HEAVY near-techno drum beats and about eight miles of deep bass. This CD demands to be played loud and WILL challenge your stereo system. All the tracks on this disc are good, and while some are weaker than others this is one of the few discs I can play all the way through without skipping songs. My personal faves are "Circuitry" (I bought the CD for this track), "Mortal" (very weird atmospheric instrumental), "Modus Operandi", "Barcode" and "Infra Red Combat" (... I assure you it's an awesome track). One word of note: Most people seem to feel that "Tactical Neural Implant" is the Grand Poobah of FLA albums. I don't really know about that since I don't have that disc, but I can say with all certainty that "Hard Wired" is one of the better CDs in any genre I've heard lately. While it is the first FLA CD I've purchased, it's label-defying sound has assured that it won't be the last.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi horror in your music is what you need ? Get this ! 12 Jan 2006
By SOUNDWAVE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
A hard and heavy FLA album with a bit more of that fear that makes you grip onto your chair than most of their other albums have, except of course 'CAUSTIC GRIP', now that is as cold as it gets, but this is on the other side of the fear scale, as I get a feverish fear feeling from this cd. This album is almost like The Black album was for Metallica, I'm not saying it sounds anything like it, but FLA have grown into a competent beast and at the same time have become a bit too cliched, but this is still an excellent cd with lots of interesting aspects that will make you think "f$#k, this is pretty good music" especially upon first listen. It's quite hard to say this isn't a good listen. There's quite alot of that early 90's sci-fi movies feeling here, which works really well. The BASS lines are incredible, plus there are guitars on this album which I don't like that much, but they don't really bother me either like they did on the 'MILLENIUM' album.

Hard Wired is worth having in your cd collection, but make sure you also get Caustic Grip, Gashed Senses and Crossfire, and Tactical Neural Implant. Total Terror II is a must have if you like simple effective beats with samples and a jumpy bassline, very early 80's typical electro/synth that is fun to hear again and again.

Hard Wired is as the name implies, it is a hard album with wires hooked up to the guitars and synthesizers. The result is a very chaotic ensemble of hard driving syth/bass, haunting samples, and a rhythm guitar that takes the music into a more organic form, but still retaining their purpose which is to accompany the lyrics which are mainly focused around disease, epidemic, war, murder, death, all envisioned in a sci-fi perspective. The vocals on track 6 are amazing. One must hear this album in order to fully appreciate it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars amazing work marks end of an age; not a masterpiece, anyway 21 April 2001
By D. M. MATALLIN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have sometimes treated this album unfairly by judging it as weak. It's not weak, it's an amazing lesson of music made by electronics. I like it, even though there're some reasons which make me think it's not a masterpiece, and it's worse than 'Implode', 'Tactical Neural Implant' and 'Epitaph'.
The main reason is the monotony in mood. I'll explain: 'Hard Wired' is maybe the most complex electronic album ever made, displaying amazing basslines, awesome use of samples and opressive overabundance of sound. However, there's not a variety of mood, unlike 'Implode', almost every song sounds similar, agressive, there's no time for melancholy or tranquillity: Hard Wired is a frontal attack to our senses, it doesn't let us breathe for a moment; and if that was Leeb's intention at the time, he achieved it perfectly. But i prefer the more melodic albums Leeb is making today. I will explain my opinions on the songs:
Neologic Spasm (8.5/10): the album begins brutally, with a song that sums up all the album. Samples everywhere, complexity, amazing electronics, heavy basslines, the guitar more submerged in the sound than in 'Millenium'. To me sounds as a renewed version of TNI's 'Final Impact'. The chorus is similar.
Paralyzed (8.5/10): Another electronic attack, with extremely distorted voice, good chorus, more obvious guitars at the 2nd part of the song.
Rebirth (8/10): no time to breathe. After a good intro, another agressive song begins, now with more guitars, catchier chorus, it's good but stmes bores me.
Circuitry (8.5/10): the single displays one of the best songs I've ever heard. In fact, I think FLA is one of the bands that has better chorus in the history of music in general. Circuitry is more a rock song, heavily electronic but with heavy guitars; but we find the difference with 'Millenium': here the guitar is just an instrument more, not so in control of the song.
Mortal (8/10): instrumental song: 1st part full of samples, no beat. 2nd part, the beat begins to conform another good instrumental FLA song.
Modus Operandi (8.5/10): strange song. Extremely disquieting voice, Leeb sounds as if he was drowning in water or something, guitarristic chorus, not as danceable as other songs, a change in the album.
Transparent Species (8/10): good electronic intro, it sounds like a quieter twin of 'Neologic Spasm'; it kind of tires me after 2 minutes, I can't help it.
Barcode (9/10): a long techno intro which anticipates a bit the 'Flavour of the weak' style, introduces a very good song, with some guitars, good voice, good chorus, agressive but not too much, excellent.
Condemned (7.5/10): it's a good song, but not my favourite. It's the only song here where the guitars control the song, 'Millenium'-style, catchy structure.
Infra Red Combat (10/10): deserves special attention. A masterpiece of elecronic music. One of the best FLA's songs. The song is divided into 2 parts; the 1st, a 4-minute intro which reminds me a bit of Delerium but more upbeat, industrial electronic landscapes. The 2nd, with very good vocals, a sort of Leeb duet with himslef but interpreting 2 voices, extremely good chorus, more melancholic than the rest of the album, more natural voice.
To sum up, Hard Wired is a very good album, one of the best examples of what can be achieved with electronics in music, but it suffers a slight problem of monotony: the 4 first songs, for example, sound too similar, the mood is always the same. I think it was obvious it was the end of a stage, a very good stage of collaboration between Leeb and Fulber.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Takes on almost an organic-like form 25 May 2005
By Staring Girl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I actually give this 4.5 stars.

Infra Red Combat is right up there with my favorite `industrial' songs of all time. I love music that builds and builds into a mound of emotion and sound, and this song does just that. The whole album almost takes on an organic-like form. Every piece twists and grows through amazingly talented instrumentation, vocals and lyrics. I'm not even going to attempt to analyze every track or do a long drawn out comparison from previous albums, because I'm just not good at doing that. I will, however, tell you this is (in my opinion) Front Line Assembly's finest piece of work. I have listened to this album countless times from start to finish and it never fails to amaze me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Great Industrial Music From Leeb & Fulber 15 Jun 2006
By Xander Xavier Xymox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I wouldn't call this my favorite FLA cd, but it comes pretty close. This is kind of a mix of FLA style's. It's not as abrasive as Caustic Grip, Not as danceable as TNI or FLAvour of the weak, and not as metal as Millennium. It does however incorporate the styles of all the ones I just mentioned. Take those four Cd's and put them in a blender and you have Hardwired.

Neologic Spasm 10 This is a epic industrial masterpiece. I always wondered why it never got as much respect as I think it deserves. Awesome opening sample. Not as good as the movie samples from Millennium but pretty darn good anyway. This song has everything from dark opera chants, chaotic noise, and a great heavy beat that could get a quadruple amputee to dance.

Paralyzed 10 As good as Neologic Spasm. More danceable, and not as dark. Leeb & Fulber and Leeb & Peterson are genius's. In my opinion they are as good as Key and Goettel of Skinny Puppy. I love both bands equally. The most amazing thing about these guys is the endless variety and quality of there music from FLA, Noise Unit, old Delerium, protech, and Synaesthesia. And those are the ones I have heard so far. They actually have about 20 more Cd's that I have yet to hear. So far everything I have from them is special. Anyways the point I am trying to make in this long winded diatribe is that in this song alone there are more quality hooks, and beats than some bands have in there entire catalogue.

Re-Birth 7.5 Another very solid song. Personally it doesn't grab me like the first two do, but I still love it. Also 7.5 is still a pretty good rating since I grade FLA and Skinny Puppy songs on a curb. So 7.5 here might be a 8 or 9 with most other bands.

Circuitry 9 Very good beats, synth's, and chorus. There is some good guitar in this song, but they are not in the fore-front of the mix. Speaking of guitar's there are a lot of FLA fans who don't like them. I on the other hand being a Rivet/Metal head always thought that Leeb & Fulber should start a side project with Al Jourgenson of Ministry. That would be the best Industrial metal project ever. That's just wishful thinking though.

Mortal 8 Kind of a cool instrumental with perfect sample's from Dawn of the Dead.

Modus Operandi 10 This is truly Leeb at his most Diabolical sounding moment. Everything about this song is t!ts.

Transparent Species 9 Too many things for me to try to describe here. This is probably the most layered and complex song on this Cd.

Bar-code 8.5 I cant figure out what the sample in the beginning is saying. It sounds like one of those backwards messages. This song has a great atmosphere. Very catchy but in a good way.

Condemned 10 This one sounds like it belongs on Millennium. This song brings beauty, anger, and intensity. One of my favorite parts of the Cd.

Infra Red Combat 10 They saved the best for last. This one starts off slow, but it gradually builds into a juggernaut of a industrial anthem. This song is so good that at one time I didn't own this Cd for about a year and I still could play parts of this song in my head. Definitely one of the band's crowning achievements.

If you are already a FLA fan you have this Cd. If you are curious I would say this is a good place to start.
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