Sound: The Genitorturers, which has blazed a trail of industrial sexiness since the early 90's, are no stranger to controversy, whether via lyrical content or their so-called pornographic stage shows. In 2009 vocalist Gen, bassist Evil D, guitarist Bizz, and drummer Andy are still dishing out a heavy helping of sensuality, but with their latest album Blackheart Revolution, the metal/rock aspect to the Florida natives' music is not consistently present. Not to say that this is a band that has made a name for itself strictly on musical credibility alone, but for industrial fans there may be something missing in the new record.
Co-produced by Scott Humphrey (Motley Crue, Rob Zombie), Blackheart Revolution is in many ways still true to the Genitorturers' tradition. Just looking at titles like Kabangin' All Night or Cum Junkie ensures that the dirty factor isn't a thing of the past. But musically the album is hit or miss, with many tracks coming close to possessing a pop/dance vibe. The Genitorturers are more well-known for their stage antics in any case, and genre switches will likely have little effect as far as that area is concerned.
The opener Revolution is pretty much your standard, straightforward rock tune with a Rob Zombie vibe thrown into the mix. Gen's voice, as feminine as it can be, does often times morph into the female equivalent of Zombie or Wayne Static. That vocal quality actually is what sets the Genitorturers apart and makes a sub-par track like Revolution more intriguing. Kabangin' All Night follows a similar rhythmic pattern to Marilyn Manson's Beautiful People, but again, Gen's unique singing style is a saving grace. The industrial side of the band has diminished quite a bit, which is somewhat of a disappointment. There is still plenty of drumtracks and synth at various moments, but the songs don't seem quite as dark. The one exception is the amazingly creepy Confessions of a Blackheart, which feels almost diabolical at times thanks to whispered vocal parts and some ornate keyboard lines.
The dance side of the band is creeping in, but it may be overlooked by those who are distracted by the lyrical topics. Falling Stars comes close to being a ballad, while Cum Junkie (if not for the blatantly sexy lyrics) could easily be performed by a Top 40 dance/pop singer. To Gen's credit, she is able to sound cherubic or demonic, but the sweeter side of her sometimes does not lend itself to the Genitorturers' industrial sound. // 6
Lyrics: As might be expected, the Genitorturers leave little to the imagination on Blackheart Revolution. Surprisingly, the band could have possibly even gone further with their deviant imagination. The lyrics are sexual, but never overly shocking. The choruses tend to be fairly standard fare, whether in Louder (I want it; I need it; I want it louder, louder; Yeah!) or Cum Junkie (Let's go, cum junkie; Turn me on; Let's go, cum junkie; Can't stop feeling me up all night). It all will probably make for a great live show, but on the CD it doesn't make a huge impression. // 7
Overall Impression: For a band that has been around as long as the Genitorturers, Blackheart Revolution feels slightly uninspired. You have a lot to live up to when you blaze a trail of raunchiness, and the album doesn't fully deliver lyrically or musically. The band does still show promise with unique arrangements like the ones in Take It or Confessions of a Blackheart, but in general the new record doesn't sound nearly dangerous enough. // 6