October 12, 2020 CyberScream – CyberScream (Album Review)
When he is not pounding the skins for Industrial Metal titans Combichrist, Dane White spends his time off tour writing, producing, and performing throughout Orlando, Florida. Under the guise of CyberScream, the talented singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist crafts pulse-pounding beats that he sets amid crushing guitars and heavy synthesizers. His most recent product is CyberScream’s full-length debut LP, the eponymous CyberScream, which arrived on all streaming platforms on Saturday, October 10, 2020.
Though the 11-song collection is most definitely not Combichrist, it can still be categorized underneath the Industrial Metal umbrella. Much less filmic Sci-Fi odyssey than Powerman 5000, but less synth-driven than most Industrial, CyberScream melds together a multitude of White’s influences to craft a sound that is not so easily defined—and we love that!
CyberScream kicks off with the heavy guitar of “Shadow Side.” Wth its steady beat and catchy chorus, it’s the perfect amuse-bouche to whet the palette for this one-man-band. However, it’s not a representation of the entire disc, as is proven when the sludgy riffs of “Get It (Idiots)” kick in and show no restraint. “I’m surrounded by fucking idiots,” White muses and we can totally relate. “If you want to be a king, you have no time for drama queens.”
Although, his next offering, “HyperSexual,” is a little too blunt to actually be sexy, in our humble opinion. But we see where White is going with this one, and his frenetic-paced sonics provide a thick body for his “lady killer” antics. Next up, synths weave throughout “Black Ranger,” adding a melodic element as White battles himself and the pressure, vocally speaking. But it’s the fat bass and ominous layers of sound that encompass “Happiness Is Distraction” that provide the LP’s shining moment. Here, amid spot-on synth atmospherics and a superb guitar solo, he allows his vocals to truly soar, embracing an emotionality that you won’t find elsewhere on the collection.
The crunchy Metal guitars of “Parts Unknown” (“I’m homesick for a place I’ve never been”), dramatic theatrics of “Seizure,” and angst-ridden “Opt Out” follow. This all sets the stage for electronics to ignite the senses on “Pseudo,” as the musician fights to awaken the sheep. “You’re the worst type of slave because you think you’re free,” he muses as he allows himself to reach for something more with his ‘clean’ vocals on the choruses.
Reaching back in time to the heyday of the Sunset Strip, dredging up the earliest moments of Mötley Crüe , White delivers the instantly recognizable classic, “Live Wire.” Remaining fairly faithful to the original, but adding elements of his own style, he rocks out; hitting that killer high note better than Vince Neil has in decades. And yet his final hurrah comes in the form of the namesake track “CyberScream,” a throttling anthem for the project that’s meant to get the crowd screaming. It does just this before altering itself midway through, taking chances that show that CyberScream isn’t just another clone in an endless herd.
Which is the biggest takeaway from White’s CyberScream debut: the multi-talented musician isn’t here to follow the script. Edgy, provocative, and aiming beyond the stars, he creates a sound that never conforms and is hellbent on pushing boundaries. Although more experimentation, particularly vocally speaking, will greatly benefit the evolution of his work, CyberScream is a solid debut that introduces the world to Dane White. And he is no shrinking violet! For this, Cryptic Rock gives CyberScream, the album, 3.5 of 5 stars.