Swiss sampledelic outfit the Young Gods has survived for more than 15 years in an industry that treats innovators like lepers. But it hasn't been easy. Led by composer- vocalist Franz Treichler, the Young Gods take qualities that typically torpedo bands -- bombast, camp, and long-windedness -- and turn them into virtues. Before anyone else, the Gods were building tracks around lifted heavy-metal guitar blasts on their self-titled debut album. Fusing said metallic thunder to pummeling industrial-rock beats and Treichler's stentorian bellows resulted in uniquely aggressive music that has aged better than a fine cliché. As they moved through the '90s with panther-like grace, the Gods expanded their palette and opened up loads of space into their claustrophobic sound.
Second Nature ought to make Trent Reznor envious: The otherworldly dread and futuristic miasma NIN strenuously tries to attain, the Young Gods achieve as naturally as a yogi assuming the lotus position. While the Gods' trademark scalding guitar samples and irrepressible propulsion still leave bruises, the trio also brings a throbbing, cavernous approach to techno. But even when they drop ballads, the Gods blacken your heart more than they comfort it.
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