Many VAC fans are going to or have heard this album and thought, what the hell? I did, but give it a chance; you will discover a great album. What Bryan Erickson has done is blasphemy to some industrial fans, he has created an album that features acoustic instruments – incorporating them into a similar VAC sound we all know and love. If you are a hardcore synth junkie, play it once and be shocked and repulsed! Listen to it again. Even the acoustic hating cyborg at the heart of rabid industrial fans will find something to cherish within this album. The mix of acoustic and electronic tracks including the tracks where both are blended work well without interfering with the flow of the album.
The Art of Breaking Apart opens with a typical VAC dance track Tripped out before tentatively introducing the acoustic element in Vaporised. Definitely one of the strongest tracks on the album, Vaporised follows the tried and true structure of VAC’s EBM/industrial tracks that leads to the simple guitar riff becoming repetitive. Ultimately, Vaporised is a forgettable track. Thankfully, Black Rainbows breaks in a better acoustic track. With a sound reminiscent of the Cure, many older listeners may be struck with nostalgia for earlier days when the scene was more than just a beauty contest.
Phucked Up Preak is a call back to earlier VAC, particularly the track Phucking Preak, with the heavy inclusion of samples taken from the movie “Se7en”. Strangely, for me, this isn’t the highlights of the album. While Phucking Preak is a great track, the albums title track is my pick. Down temp, succulent acoustic guitar counter pointed by the calling of its electrified brother, brooding pads, droning eighties inspired bass, melancholic vocals and lyrics brings VACs acoustic direction to a peak.
Though Erikson says, with this album, he isn’t trying to bridge any gaps within the scene, effectively that what this album does, it brings in the old skool goths and the electro floor junkies alike. For those of you who aren’t into industrial or haven’t had the chance to give it a go, this album is a great place to start.
The Art Of Breaking Apart easily makes it into my top albums for 2009.