Everything Goes Cold
The Tyrant Sun
Metropolis Records

“This is my intention: I will make him watch his oldest friends die here, in a world beyond their comprehension. I will tear down the sun and take his place in the sky.”

There’s a fair bit to be gleaned about the new Everything Goes Cold EP from that bit of dialogue, lifted from Grant Morrison’s DC One Million and quoted in the EP’s opening track, “Solaris”. Beyond being a fairly bad-ass bit of dialogue (spoken by a living star who is attempting to end the Superman dynasty in the 853rd century, natch), its use points both to a lot of the things that have characterized EGC up ’til this point, namely their “everything we like is fair game” omnivorous attitude towards popular culture, and the more melancholic and, well, darker vibe of the new material.

Band leader Eric Gottesman told us that he sees the band as being more cartoonish than funny as time goes on, and the new material on The Tyrant Sun would seem to carry that out. While there’s never been anything especially “funny” about Everything Goes Cold’s music from an instrumental perspective aside from some amusing sample work (see EP b-side “EBM/OGs” for a good example and plus 100 rivethead points if you know what that sample is from without clicking this link), The Tyrant Sun has a more dramatic and disconsolate tone that matches its lyrical concept. The processed guitars are still present, but dialed back somewhat in comparison to previous outings. Large parts of “Iron Fist of Just Destruction” and “King of the Impossible” are based around tweaked synth progressions, breaky drum parts and sweeping pads all arranged to bolster and complement the emotional thrust of the vocals. It’s the same trick your better musicals achieve: the music defines the character’s voice as much the lyrics do, which in this case is delving deep into the motivations of the archetypal supervillain character that Gottesman writes as. Don’t be scared off if that sounds ridiculously conceptual, the songs are still cracking good examples of dynamic mechanized rock that work fine free of any conceptual conceits.

The remixes that fill out the remainder of the EP are the usual mixed bag, albeit with a slightly higher batting average than the average remix single style release. Be My Enemy’s version of “Iron Fist of Just Destruction” has a fantastically thick guitar sound that justifies its “Cosmic Cubanate Remix” name, while the Alter Der Ruine remix applies their own mutant electro approach with good results. I’m not terribly fussy about Acucrack’s dubstep-touched mix of “King of the Impossible” and for the life of me I can’t figure out why Uberbyte would have a raved up hardstyle clubmix of “Monsters of the Modern Age” end on a fadeout, but neither is particularly offensive as remixes go. Those seeking something for the dancefloor will likely be satisfied by the Aesthetic Perfection mix of “Iron Fist”, although for my own part I think the original version of the cut has some potential in that arena.

I’m sure some folks will backhandedly suggest that The Tyrant Sun EP is a “more serious” effort from Everything Goes Cold, and while the more theatrical tone might support that assertion, I don’t know that it’s justified; EGC have always seemed serious about what they do, even when winking at the audience. More interesting to me is where it fits into the broader spectrum of current industrial: the band exists in a continuum where artists affect personas constantly in their music – from Johann Van Roy’s hell-obsessed serial killers in Suicide Commando to Andy LaPlegua’s rivet-broseph in Combichrist (BrOgre?) – the difference being that EGC openly acknowledge and embrace it. There’s probably some hay to be made from discussing how that admission ties the band into some of the conceptual roots of industrial vis a vis the effect of societal constructs on the creative voice (I just got done rereading Drew Daniel’s book about 20 Jazz Funk Greats, sue me) but I’m getting off topic… As a progression in Everything Goes Cold’s sound and concept, the EP serves as a good taster, and yields some excellent tunes in their own right. Consider our appetite whetted for the next full-length, whenever that may be.

Buy it.