Songwriter, producer and musician, Ilja Rosendahl is at the helm of the award-winning project Latent Anxiety that mixes dark industrial musical themes with rock, pop and dance influences. Fresh off the press, the project has just released the album “Salvation”. The record is pretty downright accessible and a gateway entry point for anyone remotely interested in this genre-blend, dialing down the experimental edges that Darkwave or Industrial is sometimes known for. And you should be interested Latent Anxiety, especially if you dig Nine Inch Nails.
The project’s influences might not be entirely mainstream, but it is there – in an entire sub-genre of Gothic keyboard and guitar rock, in a way harkening back to the early stuff from the ‘80s, right up until the modernity of the 21st century thrown in.
Ilja Rosendahl’s vocals can be both straightforward melodic or low and menacing but always easy to parse, and when you listen to what he’s saying, much of it comes off as being a stream-of-consciousness.
Sometimes though, the lyrics tend to go over your head, not because they’re not captivating but simply because “Salvation” is such a damn tuneful beast, one that isn’t afraid to go in many diverse directions, that you are overwhelmingly mesmerized by the soundscapes.
This album does what it does so satisfyingly well, that it makes you rethink the concept of industrial music. While NIN’s Pretty Hate Machine was a keyboard based album, you think of the more metallic “Head Like a Hole” and what followed in that band’s catalog as what the definition of modern industrial should be like.
Hammered home by Ministry’s following of the same path in the early ‘90s. But Latent Anxiety here make keyboards sound just as devious and menacing without going too far over the top: and when Ilja lays his hands on the electric six string it can be bone crushingly good.
This is certainly dark music that you can dance to. Latent Anxiety has honed its sound to a point where it is remarkably commercial in ambition to an extent, but never losing its cult-like core sound.
While the majority of his industrial brethren have faded, are dying of natural causes or have somehow managed to stick around way past their welcome, Ilja Rosendahl stay consistent and relevant, in an ever changing musical world. Yet Ilja executes
“Salvation”, distinguishes itself from the rest in its genre, because it does not sound as if it has been thrown together in a couple of hours on a laptop using plug-in software.
And if the proof is in the pudding, then I urge you to check out standouts like “Alone”, “Binary”, “Gorgeous Mystery”, “Rhythm Machine” and “When The Lights Go Out”. This last song is probably the most radio-ready and could easily stand proud on any Top40 chart.
Overall, “Salvation” is a strong record that I honestly think stacks up well against anything in this genre you’re likely to find on the market currently, even if it doesn’t re-invent the wheel, it creates a number of little wheels to savor with delight.
Ilja Rosendahl is in top form throughout. For the most part, the songs have a verse-chorus structure and are built with a wide variety of sounds – which is what makes this recording so accessible, and so thoroughly entertaining on so many levels.