Within a genre as oversaturated with mediocrity as that of dark electro (or "Endzeit EBM," "Hellektro," or what-have-you) it is a rare pleasure to find something fresh and aurally stimulating hidden amongst the dross. Control Alt Deus' eponymous demo EP affords exactly this.
As well as the rape of Mozart's "Requiem in D Minor," tastefully mixed with static bursts and samples from the infamous "Ringu" videotape, on the opening "Verus Dies Irae," this five-track disc offers a grand spectacle of things to come from what could be one of the more exciting acts to emerge from a cynical, jaded scene. Percussion is tight and infectious, basslines deliver a burning-in-the-guts groove, melodies are catchy (but far from synthpop-saccharine) and the vocal treatments are wonderfully antisocial - even if they've all been done before. Yes, the influences of other big names in the genre (like Tactical Sekt's harsh drums and Amduscia's techno/trance synthesizers) can definitely be felt, but Control Alt Deus successfully creates thoroughly enjoyable music that defies many of the clichés into which others have fallen.
If I were to find any negatives regarding this release, they would be as follows: firstly, the mastering is a bit soft, so increasing the volume reduces sound quality; secondly, by the time you reach "Reaktor," the final cut on the EP, you face the disappointment of not having any more listening to do - a terrible anticlimax following the great buildup you've just been through. In any case, that's what demos are for, aren't they?