Rock and electronic are perfect strangers. While the two genres are polar opposites of one another when presented by themselves, their pairing results in what have become some of the most memorable songs in music’s modern history. Case in point are songs from the likes of Duran Duran, Nine Inch Nails and Powerglove. Another act, going by the name of Master Boot Record, added itself (the composer does not list his real name anywhere – clearly his marketing gimmick) to that mix of acts to make memorable hybrid electronic and rock sounds this week with the release of its new album Floppy Disk Overdrive. Released Friday through Metal Blade Records, the 12-song, 68-minute record is a work that will especially appeal to fans of Zardonic with its use of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) – the music that sounds like it was composed strictly for 8-bit video games – and more modern metal elements in one setting. Throughout the course of the album’s hour-plus run time, MBR takes those elements and creates compositions that are in themselves unique from one another. In the bigger picture of the album, they are equally unlike other similar songs past and present from MBR’s counterparts in the electronic rock world. That is proven in part through the album’s opener ‘ANSI.SYS.’ It will be addressed shortly. ‘RAMDRIVE.SYS,’ which comes a little later in the album’s run, is another example of how that hybrid sound makes this record stand out. It will be addressed a little later. EMM386.EXE is yet another example of what makes this album stand out. It certainly is not the last of the songs that serves to show how the crossing of electronic and rock elements in this album makes it stand out from so much similar music out there. All things considered in this album, proves to be one of this year’s most unique hard rock/metal offerings and potentially one of the year’s most standout records in general.
Master Boot Record’s new album Floppy Disk Overdrive is a presentation that for those who might be new to MBR’s work, will want to hear. That is especially the case for those rock and metal fans who are especially fans of the industrial metal realm. The album’s opener, ‘ANSI.SYS’ is just one of the songs that serves to show why those noted audiences will appreciate this record. The song’s arrangement takes the noted keyboard and MIDI elements and crosses them seamlessly with an upbeat, guitar-driven composition for a whole that boasts its own unique identity. The sound crafted through the song’s electronic elements immediately lends itself to comparisons to the work that Daft Punk did for the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. The addition of the metal elements to the song gives the arrangement a whole new identity. There are some moments, thanks to the metal elements, that sound like death metal, thanks to the guitars. At other elements, listeners will get thoughts of music for some anime-based RPG video game. On yet another level, the whole of the song’s elements lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Powerglove, who themselves have crafted music based on video games and cartoons, much like Master Boot Record. The whole of those noted elements sounds like a presentation that might not work, what with so much going on, but MBR makes it work, and with full expertise, too. As already noted, it is a unique work that, because of the expert fashion in which way everything was crossed, stands strong on its own merits. It develops its own identity within the album and in general, which so many listeners will appreciate. It is just one of the album’s most notable entries. ‘RAMDRIVE.SYS’ is another example of what makes MBR’s new album stand out .
‘RAMDRIVE.SYS’ opens its nearly nine-minute run with what is best described as a symphonic metal approach. It has soaring keyboard runs that a little more than a minute in, are joined by some very heavy, crunching guitars that are certain to appeal to plenty of rock and metal fans. As the song progresses, things move back to the more symphonic, keyboard-driven side before eventually going all out again with the heavy crunching guitars. One could almost argue that, from a music theory standpoint, it’s a bit of an ABC setup. The addition of the MIDI element, again, to the mix adds a touch that is rare to any well-known counterparts of Master Boot Record past or present. In other words, what this digital composer has done with this song is crafted a work that is unique in and of itself and in the bigger picture of the rock and metal community. It is just another way in which this album proves itself such a notable new entry in this year’s field of new hard rock and metal offerings. It is hardly the last of the album’s most key entries. ‘EMM386.EXE’ is yet another example of the strength of Floppy Disk Overdrive.
‘EMM386.EXE’ is important to address because it is unlike the other songs noted here and also unlike many of the other songs featured in MBR’s new album. The song, which clocks in at a little more than five-and-a-half-minutes, opens with a decidedly introspective sounding MIDI keyboard line meant to sound like a guitar that in its simplicity, grabs listeners’ attention with ease. That brooding opening section eventually gives way to something a bit more upbeat. That more upbeat work does eventually go back to a more contemplative moment roughly three –and-a-half-minutes in, but is very brief to say the least. It is just enough time for listeners to catch their collective breaths before the heaviness returns. The whole thing eventually builds to a heavy, crunching finale in the song’s final minute or so. By the time this opus ends, listeners will look back and know that they have heard something that is rarely if ever heard from any other hard rock and metal acts out there. Those listeners will also know that they have heard a work that is another example of what makes Floppy Disk Overdrive one of this year’s most unique hard rock and metal albums. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the album proves itself a work that every hard rock and metal purist is recommended to hear at least once this year.
Master Book Record’s latest full-length studio recording is a presentation that rock and metal fans alike are certain to appreciate. That is because it is more than just another industrial metal album. It is more than just some kind of power metal album. It is a hybrid of both and more. Clearly each arrangement featured in the album was well-thought-out, too. Each composition ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment through those arrangements and the elements that compose each work. That is evidenced in all three of the songs discussed here. Those songs, considered with the rest of the record’s works, make the album in whole one of the biggest surprises so far this year for the hard rock and metal community. The album is available now through Metal Blade Records. More information on the album is available online along with all of Master Boot Record’s latest news at:
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