(All Album Reviews by ffroyd)
Anybody remember Skinny Puppy??! Industrial maniacs from Vancouver, psychodramatic stage shows and chaotic sound sculptures ring a bell? Well, since their breakup, singer Nivek Ogre has kept himself busy. There was the amazing Rx collaboration with Martin Atkins in which they did a killer version of the Syd Barrett tune "Scarecrow". He's also got the ohGr project which released Welt in 2001 and this, one of the most intriguing albums of 2003.
The marriage of technological experimentation with commercial success has always been a tough one, especially for Kevin Ogilvie. Known simply as ogre now, his voice has probably been under more electronic treatment than any other. He's used literally every effect known to alter his voice which alone can also be quite frightening. During the Puppy days he was never recorded without the use heavy distortion or other disguising things. He's lightened up a wee bit recently but don't think he's softened his approach any. There are things far weirder that he does with his voice now.
OhGr's picture would not be complete without mentioning Mark Walk. Without his incredible production talent, ohGr might just be one big mess, who knows. He's been involved in a few projects with Kevin before including the soundtrack to the PC action game Descent II. Definitely in tune with ogre's vision, Walk provides some slick atmosphere and eerie dramatic effect within the heavy industrial music. If you like Nine Inch Nails, this stuff can be similar but I feel it's much more advanced.
SunnyPsyOp's cover was designed by Stephen Gilmore, an artist that Kevin Ogilvie has worked extensively in the past. His visuals have always gone great with Skinny Puppy music and this looks to be one of his most mysterious creations yet. There's also a bonus video on the CD for the song "maJiK". It probably goes without saying that the video is very weird. The video is a strange stop-motion animation segment recorded at Artomic Design studios. Very cool.
Saying the music here isn't for everyone would be quite an understatement. Many prog fans don't enjoy the synthetic alien nature of the sounds and repetitive beats that are used frequently in techno, industrial and similar styles in the electronica spectrum. For those that have a taste for this, I can assure you SunnyPsyOp is a delicious disc of sonic mutilation.