Extinction or Reawaken is the third work of industrial/dark electro duo Asseptic Room, after Morbid Visions (2006) and Visceralophobia (2011). Asseptic Room is composed of Carlos R, a well-known DJ of the Madrid nightlife who was part of Dioxyde and Mario González. Extinction or Reawaken has been released in a beautiful box-set version (already sold out) with T-shirt, badges and signed postcards and also in a standard 2Cds version.
Classifying the album as dark electro is too easy, since the album, especially in its second CD, explores areas close to dark ambient and industrial. It is difficult, as a critic, to face such a complex and ambitious work. Extinction or Reawaken is a double album that, at first, is overwhelming, either by the solemnity of the music or by the number of ideas you can find in it. The album, marked by the personal tragedies suffered by the two musicians, seems to immerse us in a story that is equally told by the music as by the lyrics and that presents an incredible atmosphere.
Let’s move on to comment on the album, which is divided into a first CD with more pure dark electro songs and a more conventional format (compared to the second CD, of course). “The Ascent” serves as a majestic and at the same time disturbing gateway to the album. The title track is a powerful and classic dark electro banger, with keyboards having the typical sound of the style. Very catchy and with an interesting vocal performance. “4. 13 Insomnia” is a nightmarishly atmospheric track, with the voice in the background, and the mastery worthy of Wumpscut. “The Darkness Party” lives up to the name, and is a feast of darkness and a lot of aggressiveness. “The Rise of Doom” is another powerful and disturbing track with a sample saying, “Hay cosas malas.” With another sample as protagonist, “Apocalypse” follows the path of the previous track, and is even more terrifying and disturbing. In “Memoria Oscura,” the epicness rises with its operatic vocals, industrial sounds and our favorite production of the album. “Insane from hell” is a dark interlude with terrifying synths. “Diente contra diente” is one of the heaviest and most oppressive tracks. In “Desidia” the military percussions help the crescendo of intensity of the tune. After this track, we find another version of “Extinction or Reawaken” that separates the album from the next three remixes. With “Insomnia,” Acylum manages to further rarefy and spoil the atmosphere with phantasmal sounds and keyboards while foregrounding the vocals. Instead, Hyoctan and Nano Infect take their remixes to the dance floor. The first CD ends with the orchestral “Eternal” following the rhythm of the beating of a heart.
The second CD begins with the cinematographic, “The Memory of Silence (sentimental Overture)” and we are already getting the idea that this part is going to be more experimental. Another of the best tracks is “Processed life.” It’s characterized at the beginning by oppressive industrial percussion, pulsating synthesizers and a terrifying voice in the background. An alarming siren and church choirs mark the beginning of “The Destroyer of Worlds,” until a playful 80s synthesizer loop enters, the military rhythm returns and the song gradually increases in intensity. On the other hand, “Nucleardhrama” presents heavy atmospheres and a slow and heavy rhythm. “Ardid Karma” has oriental touches and is one of the few tracks with vocals of this CD. The oriental influence continues in the following “The Bitter Farewell,” a song with an evocative name that reminds me of works by Ryūichi Sakamoto. “Backbones” is another interesting instrumental that is quite cinematic. “Syndrome of Decay” is another haunting track marked by military rhythms. “Shockwave” gives you goosebumps and is perfectly placed ahead of the shorter “Redeemed,” which is more dark ambient. “Ascension,” of which we highlight the percussive part, is once again disturbing and not only because of the samples. In “Lost longing” we find a hellish voice in a song with great production. We approach the end with “Entre Cruces,” another short track full of drama. “I Become Death (Coda EoR)” is, unsurprisingly, an epic closing.
Extinction or Reawaken is an inexhaustible album with more than two hours of genre-transgressing music. A work that cannot be missing in the collection of any lover of darkness.