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5.0 out of 5 stars Killing Joke's Finest Work, 13 Nov 2011
This review is from: Brighter Than a Thousand Suns (Audio CD)
I realise that this album often polarises fans and listeners and do not claim to be any exception to this rule. This is the band's most brilliant album for it hones such a cohesive yet emotional, uplifting and haunting sound. This is the furious magnum opus of a punk band with voracious talent. The record is often criticised for its synthesizer driven sound but Jaz Coleman's keyboards are part of what makes this album a great KJ album. They, as well as the clean, expressive vocals give it atmosphere, definition and feeling previously unattained by the band. Regardless of the taste of detractors it by no means can be described as an uninteresting record.

Beginning with the single Adorations the album takes perhaps a more accessible pop sound than previous releases, and suggests how on this record the band are maybe harking to influences from Simple Minds or U2. It is still, distinctly Killing Joke, a heartening, dreamy number; by no means a throw away pop song that some fans may suggest.

A clinical, robotic track, Sanity characterizes how the album combines Killing Joke's ragingly thoughtful lyrics with electronic music. This was the other single from the album. There is less guitar playing on this track but the album, expectedly, has its fair share of aggressively immaculate playing from Walker. This song also sees the whole band play with passion in the stunning bridge midway through.

Chessboards calls out in Lydian, epitomising what makes Killing Joke like few other punk or even post punk acts; the care and aptitude upon which their music is built. This raucous, athletic track is definitely one for those fans with more progressive rock leanings.

Twilight of the Mortal is as it sounds; some of the most fiercely spooky music and a very engaging track. This is later developed on `Rubicon' with its highly rhythmic and relentless sound. Anyone doubting the character of Killing Joke on this album must remember these tracks in particular.

Love of the Masses and A Southern Sky are both somehow fairly upbeat yet intensely austere synthpop like numbers which exhibit clever and mysterious song writing. Victory is an outlandish, bass driven, trancelike track, with definite leanings to funk. It definitely however fits well onto an album on which there is no shortage of bombastic bass playing.

The last four tracks on the albums are, again, haunting. The brilliant, chilling Wintergardens is no exemption. It is dramatic and compelled by the keyboards but also the drumming, typically Ferguson, boisterous and energetic yet neat and well placed. Goodbye to the Village follows suit keeping the listener engaged for the last quarter of the hour long CD.

Exile is an epic sounding track finishing off a mind-blowing, unique and original sounding album with real character.
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