Bethlehem - _Suicide Radio_
(Red Stream, 2003)
by: Aaron McKay (
Always changing. Always evolving. Always creative. Bethlehem consistently pushes hard against the grain of experimentally dark, ambient metal. One thing remains the same with these hopelessly dispirited German veterans -- only change is constant from one release to another. Total running time of this 2003 offering into the furthest reaches of a distorted mind is just over thirty-six minutes. Generally speaking, the "special edition" of _Suicide Radio_ is a wickedly intense glimpse into a graphic computer sub-conscience packed full of multimedia perks. Playing this effort as a regular CD, however, is not an option; a computer is a must -- and therein lies the rub, Watson! Four movies and five songs await the computer savvy Bethlehem fans able to navigate the requirements to launch this disc. Largely well-done remixes complete with better-than-average sound quality haunt Bethlehem's newest release, but the presentation is lacking in versatility. While the "extra" CD-ROM bonuses are mostly appreciated, having the option for use in one's car or home CD player would be pretty high up there on the necessity chart. Depressingly sadistic in nature, as was intended, _Suicide Radio_, when placed into my computer drive, is exactly what this band stands for: an exploration in depravity, abandonment and despair.
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