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Last Avenue – Integration Protocol – Album Review

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Last Avenue
Integration Protocol
Release Date: Out Now
Review by Yok Rzeznic

French industrial metal has a very small place in the international focus, modern acts like Degoba have stirred the waters first impacted by cult heroes Tropenom Pal many years ago but there hasn’t been a whole lot happening around them, now Last Avenue are putting in an effort to make a noteworthy contribution.

Last Avenue’s second full length, Intergration Protocol, is a sprightly fresh collection of synth drenched modern hard rock/metal tunes that are easily accessible to the ear and are catchy as hell. 
 The tracks shift parameters between danceable downtuned slices of simple riffs, wiggly synth lines and a fondness for effected vocoder vocal passages.

Menacing industrial shines through in The Factory while Spying From The Future has a cocky rock vibe throughout, which are a bit jarring placed together in the mix but says more about a band doing what they want and enjoying it. Also in the mix are peaks of synthpop indulgence and little hints of a band that could venture into much more creative territory if they don’t constrain their heavy simplicity as it feels they do here.

The tone of the album is set by opener Fear To Stay, which provides a precedent for the majority of the experience.

Big, heavy riffs signal a stark nu-metal influence, the twin guitar attack between Will and vocalist Dèj doesn’t have much disparity between but the tone is absolutely killer even if it does mostly overshadow Elie’s simple following bass lines.
 Drummer DDA (Who has real names anymore, anyway?) works well through the flow of genre influences, the track Wait having some tasty lines that pick up between industrial-cruise control 4-4 and typewriter kicking to some competent time changes and fills.

The keyboardist, Flo, does a notable job of making the most of the atmosphere of each song with clever synth and sampling, adding the majority of the depth of this release.

Overall, Intergration Protocol sounds very full and well produced, even if a little differently than most modern metal as it is not your standard modern metal album, with hints of stalwarts Fear Factory, Rammstein and Korn smashed together with layers and layers of synthpop fandom easily making their sound tastefully unique but ultimately familiar.

Throughout the listen, it felt like this album was about to bust out of it’s own self regulated shell and show me something mind-blowing, especially past the relative safety of the first few tracks being strict first impressions before the latter half of the album exposed the creative core of this band.

 Definitely worth a look!

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