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The Present Moment - The High Road CD (album) cover


The Present Moment


Progressive Electronic

3.95 | 2 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars After being mostly disappointed with The Present Moment's most recent album, which was a modern clone of Depeche Mode's popular and gloomy magnum opus Violator, I decided to listen to their debut album, The High Road, which I am very happy to say is not more of the same. Though this is still mostly coldwave electro-pop, the songs are much stronger and include the progressiveness that I was initially looking forward to when I learned of this group.

There are some subtle differences between The High Road and The Present Moment's most recent outing, however. First of all, the music has quite a bit more of an industrial flavor, which is refreshing compared to the tame coldwave of Loyal to a Fault. This become obvious as soon as the album starts, "Arrival" being an entirely industrial intro to the album and songs like "Baby Doll", "Emily", "Low Dead", and "Candy-O" which are have a strong industrial churning and demanding beats that are really uneasy and extreme compared to The Present Moment's other songs. The most industrial song here is definitely "The Damage is Loved" and is super-harsh and almost Nine Inch Nail's type of industrial noise rock complete with muffled and disturbed vocals - this song is definitely a standout and one of the best on the album.

Something else different about this album is the production, which is noticeably murky and dirty, in almost the same way that some sludge metal or doom metal albums might sound, even though this is definitely not metal. This murkiness really enhances the cold, industrial nature of this album and makes the listener concentrate and dig deeper to truly enjoy the songs.

One of my biggest gripes with Loyal to a Fault was the lack of progressive music (this is a progressive rock site, after all), but on The High Road the progressiveness is apparent even if a bit sparse. These tracks have a lot more going on and really benefits from some dedicated attention. The most progressive track here is the instrumental "A Certain Breathing" which consists of ambient droning constantly flowing over forceful industrial grinding that gets progressively stronger as the song steadily stomps along it's 8-minute runtime before climaxing and finally fading out into a dying drone over a simple robotic beat that truly does sound like a certain breathing of a despondent AI robot: definitely another standout track.

Also included with this album are two remixes. Whatever, they're remixes that don't really sound any more interesting than the other tracks. Don't expect any dubstep or glitch remixes. No Skrillex appearances here.

All in all, I have to say that The High Road is definitely more enjoyable than The Present Moment's most recent offering, and is made even better by the fact that this album is free. For fans of thick industrial coldwave with light progressive touches, I recommend this album strongly.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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