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    Front Line Assembly

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    Rank: history »
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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Haloed lyrics
    2Never Nearer lyrics
    3The Blade lyrics
    4Schicksal lyrics
    5Paralyzed lyrics
    6Epidemic lyrics
    7Body Count lyrics
    8The Storm lyrics
    9Big Money lyrics
    10Victim of a Criminal lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    Monument [2007]
    2Millennium Single [1994]
    3Convergence [1992]
    4Hard Wired [1995]
    5Gashed Senses And Crossfire [1989]
    6Millenium [1994]
    7Caustic Grip [1990]
    8Mindphaser [1992]
    9The Blade [1992]
    10Tactical Neural Implant [1992]


    the witnesses enter a building through the large doors. the foyer has a tall arched ceiling, reflecting the dim light that is coming from the central chamber. everything is dark, but stairways on two sides are visible leading upwards. the final beings enter and proceed towards the stairs as the doors close. above the central alcove the dim light flickers and a large beam of light is cast down upon the middle of the room. a platform raises in the center with a cauldron and a man in a shroud stirring the contents. the witnesses all begin hurtling items into the pot. all kind of machinery, soundboards, mixers, tape decks, etc... as the cauldron begins to fill, a low buzzing sounds arises out of it. at first, the sounds are undiscernable, but as the cauldron begins to overflow, the sounds develop into structured melodies. the man in the shroud disrobes and raises two metal rods to the sky as the light encompasses everyone.

    intoxicating drum rhythms, bewitching samples, throbbing keyboard effects and engrossing vocals with lyrics. all of these items placed together direct attention toward a well-oiled machine. this machine produces some of the most interesting items and throughout its lifetime, it has never ceased to amaze and astonish the public with its creations. in hordes, the public flocks to obtain these products, which have been produced by a FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY.

    front line assembly promo picture
    FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY began in early 1985 in vancouver, under its creator, bill leeb. known as wilhelm schroeder, he was a member of the infamous SKINNY PUPPY, early on and was present for it's nurturing, but he left during puppy's recording of 'mind:the perpetual intercourse,' to pursue his own career. he wanted to concentrate on something, which wasn't as jarring and blatant as SKINNY PUPPY and the result was the formation of FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY. he changed his name to bill leeb and released his first two cassettes under the fla moniker, entitled 'nerve war' and 'total terror.' both are impossible to find, since they were self-released, but have since been remastered and re-released as 'total terror I' and 'total terror II,' which includes tracks from these releases and other tracks from the early years. the tracks may sound better than they did on the cassette, but the minimalist sound quality from their early era is still present and audible. their initial furore is present on tracks like "total terror," "cleanser," "empty walls," "assassination," guilty," and "the bonening." soft percussive rhythms and tinkly keyboard effects are the main standout qualities.

    kk records, a belgian label, took notice of the two cassette releases and signed the band. in early '87, FLA released their first album, 'the initial command.' while most of the masterminding on the album was done by leeb, there were contributions by two future members, michael balch and rhys fulber. the release maintains a reminiscent feeling of early SKINNY PUPPY and FRONT 242 material, with mutated beats, long instrumentals, tinkly sample-laden constructions, and an overall, old-school industrial/gothic feel for the music -- dark, brooding and mysterious. all of these early elements can be seen on "the state," "casualties," "ausgang zum himmel," and "no control".

    the initial command
    later in the year, FLA moved to dossier records and michael balch became a full-time member. the group as a duo began work and in early '88, they released 'state of mind.' leeb and balch received support from fulber on the recording, but the album shows a different side of the band. where the previous album had a more focused approach in musical direction, this album is a bit misguided in it's flow. there are dancier grooves on this release and while the basic elements remain the same, this one takes on a cinematic feel and soundtrack-like atmosphere: a sign of things to come. they continue to pound out the gothic imagery and feeling with tracks like "first reprisal," "consequence," "burnt soul," "landslide," "sustain upright," and "and they shall bow".

    state of mind
    later that year, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY signed up with third mind records in the u.k. and in the u.s., they came to the noted industrial playground at the time, wax trax! with artists like MINISTRY, KMFDM, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT, FRONT 242 and DIE WARZAU calling wax trax! home, it was a perfect place for FLA to be nurtured and for their sound to be appreciated. the duo released two ep's, 'corrosion' and 'disorder'. 'corrosion' is the longer of the two as both continue down the path blazed by the previous two releases. the sinister, dark and enchanting melodies ring through as does a pronounced dance theme, which is prevalent on many of the tracks. there is an equal mix of up-tempo and down-tempo pieces and this can be seen on songs like "lurid sensation," "right hand of heaven," "concussion," and "dark dreams" from the first ep and "body count," "obsession," and "aggression" on the latter. these two ep's were released as vinyl only and an album was released in late 1988 with tracks from both. 'convergence' and the later re-release 'corroded disorder' had seven tracks from 'corrosion,' four from 'disorder'and three previously unreleased tracks.

    capitalizing on their growing underground popularity, FLA released their fourth album, 'gashed senses and crossfire' in '89. the material on this release was more dance-oriented than anything created to that point and combined with some of the instrumental tracks, 'gashed senses and crossfire' became their first real breakthrough on the album. they released two singles for "no limit" and "digital tension trauma," which took off in the clubs and on the dance charts. the album, which included "antisocial," "bloodsport" and "foolsgame," allowed them to launch their first european tour. after the tour finished, balch left the band to explore other interests, one of which lead him into an early MINISTRY line-up. the departure allowed rhys fulber to become a full-time member of FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY.

    gashed senses and crossfire
    FLA took a short break after this and began working on a slew of side-projects. they had already begun DELERIUM, which was a trip into ambient dance and noise unit, which was similar in many ways to FLA. after their short hiatus, FLA released two singles for "iceolate" and "provision," which appeared on the album, 'caustic grip'. the singles became instant club favorites and the album has been cited as one of the best albums ever. it has also been linked in the influential circles with that of MINISTRY's 'mind is a terrible thing to taste,' SKINNY PUPPY's 'too dark park,' KMFDM's 'naive,' and NINE INCH NAILS with 'pretty hate machine'. bill leeb and rhys fulber twisted a tweaked the nodes of FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY to a new level with this release. hard driving beats, intricately places rhythms and samples and bill's methodical tone are fully realized on tracks like "resist," "victim," "overkill," "threshold," and "mental distortion".

    caustic grip
    after their tours, bill and rhys came back, worked on DELERIUM and two new projects, WILL and INTERMIX. in early 1992, they released two singles for "virus" and "mindphaser". and after the tremendous work on 'caustic grip,' it was almost unthinkable that something could have more of an impact than that album did: enter 'tactical neural implant'. leeb and fulber had severed their tie with wax trax! and was on third mind worldwide. 'tactical neural implant' was the perfect blending of techno dance rhythms and their brand of neo-industrial mayhem. the tracks are more intricate and the effects are deliciously layered on top of each other. it's aggressive in a pacifistic nature; it's thunderous in a misting rain; and it's soothing like a shotgun blast. words can only describe the rhythms and emotions evoked by songs like "final impact," "the blade," "bio-mechanic," and "gun". the band was even honored by mtv, as they gave FLA the 1992 mtv award for best independant video.

    tactical neural implant
    leeb and fulber decided to leave third mind and sign with the notoriously guitar-heavy label, roadrunner. the move was puzzling, but the desire to switch may have arisen from the success that MINISTRY and NINE INCH NAILS had achieved with their incorporation of guitar riffs. the duo wrote a new album and then discarded it, due to dislike of it's style. later, they would create new material, which was similar to that of 'psalm 69' and 'the downward spiral'. the caveat in the production of 'millennium' was that most of the tracks were built with the guitar riffs as a foundation and the beat, rhythms, vocals and samples all layered on top. the album was a true experiment for the band and many fans were turned away by the blatant use of guitars, while others heralded the combination, which differed from MINISTRY's release, in that it still maintained certain elements which FLA was founded upon. along with brilliant artwork, the first of many albums to follow by dave mckean, leeb and fulber attack with tracks like "vigilante," "millennium," "liquid separation," "search and destroy," "this faith" and "plasma springs". many tour offers were made by artists such as NAPALM DEATH, FEAR FACTORY and other roadrunner bands, but the band chose to focus on INTERMIX, NOISE UNIT, DELERIUM, WILL and a new project, SYNAESTHESIA.

    with the success that FLA had been in touch with, the duo left roadrunner for the smaller industrial label, metropolis records. metropolis served as a new-age version of wax trax! as it became home to many noted and underground artists and it allowed FLA the freedom to experiment with their stylings. in late '95, after a quiet build-up, leeb and fulber readied themselves for criticism and acclaim as they delivered their eighth album, 'hard wired,' to the masses. the album proved once again that FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY had the ability to outdo themselves, as they launched their finest attack on the musical world with and effective integration of guitars, samples, beats and rhythms. as in the past where they had used parts of 'falling down' and 'aliens', FLA continued their notorious use of cinematic samples as they utilized segments from 'stargate'. the overall masterpiece was complimented by the ingenious artwork of dave mckean, once again and leeb and fulber douse the listeners with an onslaught of musical visions and prophecies on "neologic spasm," "re-birth," "circuitry," "transparent species" and "condemned".

    hard wired
    the response to 'hard wired' was immeasurable. they followed the album up with a single for "plasticity," which may be the band's hardest and most easily accessible dance track. both of these releases truly captured that hearts of fans, both old and new. all the attention the duo received, prompted them to launched their most expansive world tour and the resulting product was captured in video and audio format. FLA released 'live wired,' a two-disc concert set from the hard wired tour, displaying their strong live performance. those fans who were lucky enough to find the limited edition box set were treated to a small brochure detailing the journey of the tour, a metallic FLA logo pin and a video, which showed live footage from the shows and promotional videos for that FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY had done for "iceolate," "millennium," "virus," "the blade," "laughing pain" and "plasticity".

    live wired
    aside from FLA, bill leeb teamed with chris peterson on another project, PRO-TECH, while the leeb-fulber machine released two NOISE UNIT albums and a SYNAESTHESIA album. their other project DELERIUM was receiving rave reviews for it's latest body of work, 'karma' which has undoubtedly sold more copies than any single FLA release. with everything seemingly going right in leeb and fulber's world, rhys decided to shake things up a bit. he felt the time was right for him to move on. the departure was amicable as leeb and fulber are still working on some of their side-projects. this allowed for the inauguration of chris peterson into the fold. with the new line-up, FLA sought out to begin their experimentation with musical stylings once again. where 'millenium' showed the integration of metal into industrialism, 1998's 'flavour of the weak' showed a venture into the world of techno and electronica. some felt that the album was a disappointment, while others received it as a stroke of genius. one thing is for certain is that the dark and bleak anthems of yesteryear were gone and replaced by evident samples of artists such as UNDERWORLD, PRODIGY, CHEMICAL BROTHERS, ORBITAL and DAFT PUNK and simplistic lyrics. while the change of style was unexpected, the duo doesn't fail to combine the elements into a beat-filled stew with such standouts as "corruption," "columbian necktie," "evil playground," and "life=leben".

    flavour of the weak
    rather than tour or take any part in promoting 'flavour of the weak,' the duo sat down and began writing new material. some of it appeared as a drum n' bass experiment with EQUINOX and the other material appeared as FLA's tenth album, 'implode'. released in the middle of '99, FLA makes an attempt to win back the disillusioned fans that they lost with the electronica overload on the last album. just like they did with 'hard wired,' leeb and peterson tried to incorporate a new style with their storied past. the hard driving samples and rhythms coupled with these new electronica elements blend and form some fantastic sounds, but it doesn't hold the album together. 'implode' kicks off with the infectious grooves of "retribuion," "fatalist"' and the hard-driving "prophecy," but the album hits a lull in the middle with songs that are more like SYNAESTHESIA and DELERIUM. FLA closes with two great tracks, "torched" and "machine slave," which feature evident PRODIGY and NINE INCH NAILS samples and a special surprise appears in the form of "stalker," which is simply beautiful in its efforts to portray its namesake. the album is still a viable release, but it seems to fall short of certain expectations.

    leeb and peterson toured briefly in support of 'implode', while leeb and fulber released another acclaimed DELERIUM album, 'poem'. FLA quickly returned to the studio and the resulant product of their efforts may be their finest masterpiece to date. 'epitaph', released in late 2001 shows the complete maturation of the FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY's efforts. the music is shows their experimental electronica elements effectively fused with the indelible FLA qualities that have become namesake over their career. where 'implode' attempted to win back the "old-school" fans of FLA, 'epitaph' shows that the group is as viable as ever and they don't fail to impress on bludgeoning tracks like "haloed," "backlash," "everything must perish" and "epitaph". and as has become the norm, the album contains an extra track which sounds as if it comes from the intro of a video game. many fans had hoped that some thing would come out of this album, but the duo has been quiet for some time. rumors have been circling about the status of the band. the duo was to perform at a festival in germany in 2002, but many felt that a clone of bill leeb was sent, leaving many to inquire as to the whereabouts of FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY.

    time will only tell... epitaph, as the word is described, may be just that for FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY. and if this is to be true, let the inscription read: here lies FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY... an accomplished innovator, creative genius, and stalwart icon in the music industry... r.i.p.

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