After the techno sensibility of Twisted Thought Generator, Velvet Acid Christ has brought forth a hard electro darkbeat offering in Hex Angel: Utopia-Dystopia. Velvet Acid Christ has returned to stylistic form with this release, but perhaps a step too far. Leapfrogging past the accomplishment of former success Fun With Knives, Hex Angel: Utopia-Dystopia jumps back and captures the twitchy goth-industrial of earlier material. Fans of Church of Acid will find the sinister beats, heavy samples, and thin synths of Hex Angel appealing, but something of the later Velvet Acid Christ sound is lost. "Haunted" provides a solid opening, with the contrasting dark bass and stabbing high synths on which Fun With Knives was founded. However, the third track and single release, "Pretty Toy," suddenly sets the mode to early Velvet Acid Christ, with signature overstated movie sampling, goth-esque synth voices, and a wildly flanged guitar. While this may set the general tone of Hex Angel: Utopia-Dystopia, this release is not a simple return to previous methods. "Dead Tomorrow" flirts with power noise rhythms and colliding noise voices set against a frantic tempo, all governed by the dark Velvet Acid Christ view. The band is also not content to target dance beats exclusively, as so many other electro artists do -- "Eva" balances echoing analog sounds against sparse percussion and distant vocals. These diversions work well enough, but whether Hex Angel: Utopia-Dystopia hits its target is still a function of listener taste. Fans of the raw early Velvet Acid Christ sound may be pleased by this evolution on an original path, but those seeking the more accomplished electro darkness of Fun With Knives may be left wanting by this release.
Performance CreditsVelvet Acid Christ Primary Artist
Bryan Erickson Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Noise,Sampling
Paul Lippman Bass Guitar
Technical CreditsBryan Erickson Programming,Producer,Sound Creation,Sound Manipulation
Bonnie Bush Programming,Instrumentation
Shawn Gaddy Artwork
Morgan Perkins Artwork