Brainchild - Meet Your Maker
So how do you make better one of the most iconic releases in electronic/metal hybrid history? With this 2nd installment in the 2016 resurrection of COD remaster/re-release series, Klayton has managed to defy the odds and tweak this classic (once again) and make it sound like a modern metal release. Here are some excerpts from a review I wrote way back in time from the original “neon green” Mindwarp CD:
“Difficult to describe, Brainchild is not your typical industrial piece with lots of noise, samplings and obscure lyrics. There are definitely lots of loops and samples to enhance the basic songs, but these songs have guitar driven riffs and audible/discernable vocals. And the lyrics have tackled some really heavy sociopolitical and spiritual issues. Unlike most industrial metal, which gives the listener a headache after about 2 minutes, this can be enjoyed for the better part of an hour without interruption. While all of the songs here are groundbreaking, “Regressor” has to be one of the best with the “Aggressor” remix not too bad either. I love the heavy riff in “Deviate,” which is just killer, and the upbeat, aggressive and heart throbbing “Course of Ruin” is another highlight. “Pale Reflection” is one of the darkest songs here with samples from the movie Blade Runner - “I want more life.” Surprisingly, it is the relative presence of a song structure and memorable groove (rather than the lack of it so to speak) which serves to distinguish this release from others within the genre.”
“Would you like to be modified?”
Originally released in 1992 as the side project Mindwarp, Brainchild has undergone metamorphosis and revision over the past 2 decades. The original ’92 version was re-released in ’94 under the COD moniker and 3 of the songs were “modified” – the intro narration was dropped from “Telltale Crime,” “Prayers of a Deadman” was revised and “Deviate” was remixed, altering the opening sequence and lengthening the song by nearly a minute to accommodate the middle section “gang warfare” commentary. This version of the release was then remastered and re-released in 2005 by Retroactive Records in a Limited Edition series (1000 units).
“I Want More Life”
With Klayton regaining the rights to his music this past year, Brainchild has come full circle and truly been granted “more life” with this deluxe 2CD edition which has been completely remastered and revitalized really. The original recordings suffered from the anemic limitations of Klayton’s budget circa ’92 and ’94. But with over a decade of experience honing his skills in self-producing Celldweller on his F.I.X.T. label, all of the Circle of Dust material can now be experienced the way it was meant to be heard. As with the debut remaster released earlier this year, the guitars and drums have been brought way up in the mix, giving these tunes a monster crunch. And while the difference isn’t quite as noticeable this time around, the difference is audible. For those wishing a deeper explanation as to what Klayton has done with these tunes, watch the videos he has posted on the COD Facebook. In other words, he didn’t just make the whole track “louder” as has been implied by some.
“I’m afraid that’s a little out of my jurisdiction”
One of the perks of owning your own music is that you get to do whatever you want with your creation. Not only has the album cover been granted a facelift – didn’t think anything could top the original “neon eye” but the new artwork is stunning – with this release, the 2nd CD worth of material contains 64 minutes of extra life. For those who haven’t already heard “Contagion” – a totally new 2016 song for the upcoming new release – you are in for a surprise. The song features all of the greatest elements from the COD vibe – the scathing/truthful lyrics, the catchy riffs, the vocal samples and the electronic ecstasy. Blue Stahli’s remake of the iconic “Deviate” is solid but in my opinion not as fantastic as his version of “Nothing Sacred.” The controversial Steve Taylor remix “Am I In Sync?” is sure to make this bonus disc priceless for fans, as might be the live VHS audio of “Twisted Reality” and “Deviate.” The first 4 “dust” tracks here are cool too, featuring some raw and rhythmic elements that would be more fully expanded on Brainchild, but the noisy “Dust 14” and “Dust 15” (also appears at the end of the live version of “Deviate”) might tax the tolerance of even the greatest fan.
“He shot, the guy shot”
The 3 songs that were modified for the ’94 release are included on the bonus disc, perhaps to give back to the fans what was taken away from Mindwarp. I much prefer the original version of “Deviate” because of how it starts with the dialogue. While most all of the COD songs were prophetic in a way – and still highly relevant – the message of “Deviate” needs to be heard (and heeded) more now than ever.