World-renowned producer Federico Agreda Alvarez, aka Zardonic, released his latest full-length studio recording Become late last month via eOne. The album, his ninth full-length studio recording, comes three years after the release of his most recent recording, 2015’s Antihero. The record’s musical arrangements, which boast a solid mix of dubstep and industrial metal creates a sound that will appeal to fans of Ministry, Gravity Kills, The Prodigy and other similar acts. Its lyrical content adds just as much interest to the record as its musical content, with its engaging themes. Keeping in mind the lyrical and musical content presented throughout, ‘Children of Tomorrow’ proves to be one of the album’s most powerful entries. It will be discussed shortly. ‘Takeover’ is another notable addition to the album, and will be discussed a little bit later. ‘Follow The Light’ is yet another of Become’s most notable entries. Between these songs and the eight others that round out the rest of the album, the 11-song album in whole proves to be a surprisingly enjoyable effort for those unfamiliar with Alvarez’s work and just as enjoyable for his more seasoned audiences.
Zardonic’s new studio album Become is a powerful new offering from the Venezuelan producer/DJ/keyboardist that will appeal just as much to his seasoned audiences as his new fans. That is due to the combination of the record’s powerhouse musical arrangements and its equally engaging lyrical themes. ‘Children of Tomorrow’ is one of the most notable examples of how that joining of elements makes Become a strong new offering from Zardonic, aka Federico Agreda Alvarez. This is proven in part through the song’s musical arrangement, which is a heavy, driving composition. The brooding, contemplative vibe makes it even more impacting. In the same breath, that engaging vibe is a good accent for the song’s equally brooding, contemplative lyrical theme, which focuses on those people who have and do stand against oppression. As Alvarez pointed out in an interview, “ ‘Children of Tomorrow’ is an anthem for the resistance; for the people who have raised their voice as the system continues to oppress us.Many sadly took this fight to the streets and violence, leading eventually to riots and their death. This is our homage to them.” As the song’s lead verse states, “Got a heart full of sorrow for the children of tomorrow/Fire in the sky/Beg, steal, kill or borrow/Their purpose is worthless/their days numbered/Can’t take the heat/Watch it rise to the surface/Death or dishonor/Grab the dog by its collar/Dog eat dog, let us fight over dollars/They don’t know/They will never ever show what we go through/Red lights on/Won’t stop until you do.”
The second verse illustrates that message just as much, stating, “We’re not safe/devastate when they legislate/Designate hate/Take the food off your plate/And the clothes off your back/We’re under attack/We’re under attack/Gear up/Rise up/Put on your gas mask/Take that Molotov/Blast counter attack/This is streetside manpower fighting back.” The song’s chorus is just as direct in its message, following the wording in the verses closely. What listeners get overall is a song that is not just another protest song or even just another industrial or Electronic Dance Music (EDM) work. It is a work that sets a solid hybrid EDM/Industrial metal arrangement alongside a tribute to those who have fought against corrupt powers in Venezuela for a work that could just as easily inspire those fighting against corruption around the world. Simply put, it is entertaining and inspiring all in one, and in turn, clearly one of Become’s most powerful entries. Of course it is just one of the album’s most notable additions. ‘Takeover’ is another of the album’s most notable compositions.
‘Takeover’ is its own important work because it bears its own identity separate from the rest of the songs included in Become. This song, composed along with the work of the Qemists, does boast that noted familiar feel in its arrangement. What is truly interesting here though, is that along with the clear influences from Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, Celldweller’s influence can be heard, too. The joining of those influences makes this arrangement another powerhouse presentation that will definitely appeal to a wide range of listeners. That hard-driving arrangement is only one part of what makes the song so worth noting. Its lyrical content plays into its importance, too. Alvarez pointed out in his interview about the album that the song, musically and lyrically is a tribute to Zardonic’s forefathers. He said, “Takeover’ is a reminder to the world that before EDM and rock/metal became the trend it is today, we were pursuing this sound since 2004, and there were also many before us all the way back to the 60s…We pay homage to the great artists before us, those who made it big, those unsung – Pendulum, The Prodigy, Celldweller, Ministry, Linkin Park, and all other great artists that contributed to bring electronic-fused rock to the mainstream, and as the scene takes shape, you better be ready to brace for ‘Takeover!”
That tribute is clear in the song’s lyrics. The song’s lead verse reads, “Oh, we’ve been doing this since the dark ages/With fast paces/Takin’ rock and metal/Throwin’ drum and bass in/And this one goes out to the cell dwellers/Who stood alone/metronome full force to the trendsetters/Rock the people/Rush the stage/keepin’ bodies movin’, yeah/But melting the face/Crushin’ the metal/Punchin’ the bass/Rockin’ the place as you brace for takeover.” The tribute continues in the song’s chorus, reminding listeners to “be ready for takeover.” It’s a message that the biggest and best is yet to come, and is sent defiantly and proudly, too. That pride and positivity in the song’s message couples with the equally upbeat and infectious nature of the song’s arrangement to make it another standout addition to ‘Takeover.’ The end result is a song that clearly proves why it is another of Become’s most notable works. It is not the last of the album’s most notable compositions, either. ‘Follow The Light’ is one more of the record’s most notable works.
‘Follow The Light’ stands out in part because unlike the arrangements presented in the previously discussed songs, this song comes across as the most EDM-centered arrangement. Yes, the industrial metal influences are there once again, but this time, they seem present more in a supporting sense, while the EDM elements take more of a center stage. What really make the arrangement stand out is its sense of urgency, which makes the little lyrical content in the song more relatable. The one real line of lyrics states simply, “We reunite as the worlds collide/Fear is an illusion/We are your salvation/By eventide our journey begins/So heed the call and follow the light.” As Alvarez noted of that content, “The worlds collide is a perfect analogy to our manipulated society. It pains me to see this, because I see the results of it in every aspect of our lives. How through fear, people are led to create enemies out of fellow humans, and are capable of the worst atrocities against them.” He goes on to note that because of the negativity and hate filling the world, he follows the light “that lets me see the with real eyes, what is going on once you look at the bigger picture.” He is saying that people in general need to see that light and stop the evil and hate filling the world, thus that noted seeming urgency in the song’s arrangement. That urgency and the urgency evoked through the song’s growing tension drives the message home even more. When one takes all of this into consideration, the whole of the song proves even more important and notable. When it is joined with the other songs discussed here and the rest of the album’s works, the end result is an album that is not just another EDM/Industrial presentation, but a work that combines those elements in a unique fashion while also presenting some equally engaging lyrical themes. The combination of that engagement and entertainment makes the album in whole a presentation that is sure to impress Zardonic’s fans new and old alike.
Multi-talented producer/keyboardist/DJ Zardonic, aka Federico Agreda Alvarez’s latest full-length studio recording Become is a powerful new offering from the veteran composer, producer and performer. It is a work that is certain to have a wide-ranging appeal. That is proven in part through arrangements that solidly balance Alvarez’s EDM influences with his more rock and metal influences from one song to the next. That in itself guarantees listeners’ sustained engagement and entertainment. The record’s wide range of lyrical themes is sure to keep listeners engaged. This is just as clear from start to end. When all of this is considered in examining the album in whole, the record proves to be a solid new offering from Zardonic, and easily one of the year’s best new industrial and EDM offerings. It is available now via eOne. More information on Become is available online now along with all of Alvarez’s latest news and more at:
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