In Monsters In The Industry, Miss FD sets out on a personal journey through pain, fear and uncertainty toward redemption, inspiration and new beginnings. Unleashing raw, primal power through intricate musical layers and breathtaking beats that put conventional dance-pop to shame, Monsters is a beautiful and dangerous landscape waiting to be explored with FD s elegant blend of melodic and aggressive vocals leading the way.
Monsters in the Industry, her first full-length album under the Miss FD title, delivers something entirely new and surprising it s darker, more thoughtful, and filled with the kind of raw emotional power that's pretty damn rare for a pop album. ... As devotees of the dark arts, we all know how music can summon up monsters of the mind creations which help us face down the horrors of real life and that's something Miss FD has done through her own work, progressing from the intense dance-pop of her earlier projects to the more introspective, clever and mystical themes explored here. Monsters in the Industry is as much a chronicle of the artist's own emotional journey as it is about finding strength and hope in the face of literally horrific odds coming out stronger, wiser and more conscious of our place in the universe. ... Despite the darker spin she's taken with this project, Monsters isn't a gloomy piece... it's still dance-pop at heart, which offers a healthy balance to the weighty emotional tone. ... The album is divided into phases partially based on the symbolism of the tarot card deck, particularly the images of the Sun and Moon, The Tower and The Wheel of Fortune, and significant characters like The Fool and The Magician. Even the album s artwork reflects the symbolic nature of the songs, with hints of tarot imagery in strategic places from the obvious (FD poised on the paper moon on the front panel) to the subtle (the same configurations of stars from The Star card on the flipside of that panel). These classic symbols embody the steps of this journey, which begins with the crushing feelings of fear and anger in the emotionally intense Break Your Control, with its buzzing bass line and striking layered vocals, and the minor-key drones and unsettling distorted beats of Disgrace, before FD's biting humor emerges in the wickedly funny title track, which she says is all about pointing out the ridiculousness of it all. A cloud of despair dominates the next section, embodied in the menacing Wanderer and the experimental textures of Elements Off Time the title of the latter being a play on words, reflecting how life s circumstances can often seem way out of sync. The sense of breaking through and moving forward starts to emerge in the next section, beginning with the silky, exotic Rebel Apprentice a song about, in FD's words, leaving behind attachments but taking with you the knowledge gained from the experiences and the hypnotic and powerful Dream Door, which itself is inspired by one of the artist's own dreams. ... In the mellow-toned but solid and club-friendly track Enter the Void, the album's protagonist breaks through the wall of dreams and returns to the real world, only to find those universal connections hidden deep beneath our fabricated reality. In the 80s synth-pop flavored Realigned, she searches for that underlying truth and finds it within herself. It's this realization that gives energy to the bold and anthemic cut Thunder in the Blood, which reflects the courage that she calls the fire pulsing through our veins. The album closes, appropriately, with When the Sun Sets, in which the little-girl vocal is accompanied by a gently drifting piano line, depicting a hopeful new beginning in its images of enfolding darkness. --FEARnet
This record has all the right components that will appeal to fans of '90s gothic and industrial acts such as Sisters of Mercy and Gravity Kills--synthesizers just don't get more ominous sounding than on the album's second track, Disgrace. ... This collection of 11 darkwave tracks is surprisingly well-produced. Our macabre Madame is not afraid to experiment with textures here. Elements Off Time has her sighing heavy breaths over some pretty progressive dubstep-ish beats -- an end result that's not too far removed from material heard on Portishead's latest outing. The album's title track -- a big middle finger catharsis of sorts for Miss FD directed at her previous predicament -- has her emitting snarky Peaches-style rap verses on top of chugging drum machines. Miss FD has some dexterity in her vocals too; hauntingly crooning like Evanescence's Amy Lee on Rebel Apprentice and double tracking demonically on Thunder Blood. Although at its core, Monsters in the Industry is a gothic record, Miss FD manages to package enough danceable beats, unorthodox rhythms and sass to win over those who don't initially shrug away at all the melodrama that this dated genre usually brings with it. --The Broward Palm Beach New Times