Madlife’s latest release “21st Century Megalomaniac” fuses hard rock, industrial and electronic elements to create a sound that is not easily categorized, but at the same time, very intriguing to anyone who appreciates edgy, melodic music, provocative lyrics, crime dramas and suspenseful movie thrillers.
There are many songs that can be used to set the tone of a television show or a scene in a movie; Madlife has had songs featured in both formats. However, the songs on “21st Century Megalomaniac” go well beyond being used to set a tone.
Hollywood would be wise to create a script around the story that has already been written by Madlife vocalist, Angry Phil, on this concept EP that is reminiscent of Queensryche’s epic “Operation Mindcrime” album. Angry Phil’s delivery on the more subdued moments of the record may very well remind you of Geoff Tate. However, the similarities end there, lest anyone think that Madlife is at all derivative. If anything, “21st Century Megalomaniac” should be praised for its originality.
The story begins with the incredibly melodic “Just One Gun” that features heavy riffs accented by electronic, industrial sounds and drumming that hits you like a punch in the face. It is written from the perspective of the gun itself, at the mercy of the user with no personal agenda.
“To Live And Die In Hollywood” is an equally powerful song about dealing with isolation and inner demons. If not for the inevitable comparisons that would be made with the movie “To Live And Die In L.A.,” this would be a perfect movie title to capture the essence of the story.
Moody, angry, yet still somehow melodic and catchy, “I Know The Feeling” reveals depression and self-loathing.
“This dead feeling of empty anger…I slip deeper into the arms of despair…This tragic picture that you see is me…Haunting as it may be, believe me, it’s true.”
You can feel your pulse racing as the industrial “Pain Of Pleasure” hits its crescendo. The suspense builds with pulsating beats and frenzied electronic sounds as Angry Phil repeats…“When’s it gonna go down?”
The story concludes with “Still Alive,” which begins with calming atmospheric sounds that allow you to briefly catch your breath before an impending sense of doom is brought to life by ominous keyboards. Eerie background chants, power chords and rhythmic beats lay the foundation for Angry Phil to bring closure with a mixture of hauntingly distant vocals and defiant anger, ending abruptly with the words…“Sometimes death is my only friend.”
Like a movie with an ending that is left to interpretation, “21st Century Megalomaniac” leaves you wanting an explanation of what you think you just experienced, but aren’t quite sure. While the story may be cryptic, there is no doubt that this is an inspired, original hard rock album.
For more information about Madlife, go to www.MadlifeOfficial.com.
[…] PART 3: Interview with Angry Phill of MADLIFE. […]