The Artwork of


Substate Reactor


"What would happen if you took Neurosis' melding of ambience with heaviness, and then pushed it in an industrial direction? It's a question that I have asked myself before, particularly when I read reviews describing Neurosis as industrial - a categorization that I have trouble understanding. I think that Substate Reactor would be the logical outcome of that unholy union between tribal atmospheres and electronic precision. This Vancouver band creates multilayered industrial soundscapes that constantly shift and fill in any gaps with sampled sounds or voices. SR allows itself to stretch into ambient passages that effectively build the tension, set the mood, and act as a prelude to the smashing aggro industrial stompage. The rhythms, with their tribal complexity and mechanical precision, are the highlight, laying the groundwork for a dense mashing of distorted vocals, samples, and a variety of other sounds. Substate Reactor's rhythmic industrial will please those fans that like their industrial invested with heavy doses of experimentation."

    Chaotic Critiques ezine on 'Isolate'
    October 1998

"Out of Vancouver BC, Substate Reactor's, Isolate is a dark electronica oriented, excellent piece of work. It begins with a minimal sound on track #1 Non-Element. A quiet unsettling backdrop of noise, and sampled vocals (I think...), and develops into a looped drumming that fades off slowly, then buzzes its way into Inferior, with knocking synth drums, the clang of a bell to herald the onset of a barrage of noise, samples and fast beats, a bit reminescent of a melding between Leatherstrip, FLA and Puppy but noisier...Good track, great mastery of synths, and unrelentless energy abounding throughout the track. Newstate continues on with a pounding of noise, guitar-ish sounding wall layered over with drums blasting, treated vocals, of which are quite threatening and omnipresent, very hard driven. Infected is a chaotic noisey powerspeeding collage which sounds like some mid-80s Puppy put on fastforeward.. ..nonetheless, an excellent track. Isolate and Purify has a rather slower *mood* to it, with heavily treated garbled vocal sample smoothed into a power synth drum loop in the forefront, and sonic waves in the background. Treated dark and quite eerie vocals in the background step in to bring a sense of wholism to the track, which is quite minimal in essence -- it slows down at the end (as if the knob for speed was tweeked), then speeds up again, a long pulsating structure of speeding up, then slowing down a number of times, and ending with a way slowed down version of the drum loop fading off... Overall this is an excellent release by Substate Reactor if you enjoy the more noisier electro- industrial genres. Make another one soon! I didn't get quite enough this time around."

    Last Sigh Webzine on 'Isolate'
    April 1998

"The debut CD release of a new band from that most famous place for industrial music - Vancouver! Its always fun playing a CD having absolutely no idea what it is going to be like. From thefirst track Non-Element I figured that this was a kind of isolation ambient release. This is a nerve wracking soup of deep drones, bleeps and quiet echoing noises and voices. Rather disturbing and all the better for it. I was just about to settle down for half an hour of this when the second track came on and bang! - big guitars! But thankfully they are played in a great way, rhythmically over a pounding experimental beat. In fact it sounded quite similar to the guitar oriented songs on the last Skinny puppy album The Process. This is really good too! Track 3 is along the same lines and track 4 is a complete distorted sonic barrage of drums, cut up samples, bits of guitar and manic vocals. Great! Track 5 is a return to the more spooky ambient scapes, but this time with nice flanging drums and some whispered vocals. What an appetizer! I guess if this was a whole CD of ambient or the harsher guitar stuff it wouldn't be so good, but the way it is mixed together like this is seems really complete. This is well worth purchasing (see the web site listed on the right) and I wait impatiently for the album length release Infiltrate coming soon."

    Oblivion Webzine on 'Isolate'
    June 1998

"A dark mix of electronics and noise, low ambiance and screeching distorted vocals, strange samples and heavy electronics over an industrial five song body. Dark and twisting."

    Middle Pillar on 'Isolate'
    February 1998

"The Canadian outfit Substate Reactor released thier Isolate MCD in 1997. This 5 track, self-released CD is a testament that the industrial scene still thrives in Canada...Melding elements of coldwave and experimental together with a smattering of EBM, Substate Reactor come up with a formula that works... Clocking in at over 7 minutes, Inferior displays what Substate Reactor's sound is all about. Churning guitar chords, solid / dance beats, grainy vocals, and a smattering of samples make this track a complete aggression reliever. New State leans a bit more towards the Misinstry-esque style of industrial with it's dense guitar elements and barely audible, scratchy vocals. Even though it is the shortest piece on the CD, Infected is also the most complex and intriguing. A speeded up collage of beats is meshed with a mixture of desultory vocals to create a piece that could easily be considered experimental coldwave. Laslty, Isolate and Purify rounds out the CD with hollow / nightmarish beat programming, distant vocals, and a cascade of scraping sequences..."

    Industrial Bible on 'Isolate'
    April 1998

"This is hard hitting stuff. The mechanisms and machinery induced songs are synthesizer created and controlled. It has a taste of noise, electronics, and machinery to form the disciplines of music. It has a nice, rhythmic noise intro in the first track. Later, the second track makes you feel like tap dancing into someones dear face. The third track has a 4/4 mechanic beat with samples that give it its last bit of humanity while in contrast, the vocals don't sound at all human. The fourth track, "Manufacture," sounds like the perfect epic soundtrack ballad for factory workers with its contiuous hammering rhythm and a touch of base to add to the melancholy. The following piece is a layering of noise/sound until finally vocals are inserted into place. The lyrics in this one are on the cyber/android theme. There's a lyric sheet to help you translate the vocals which seem to be more in the background because all the machine noise is dominant. It all finally ends in an instrumental which signals the demise of the album...."

    Industrial Nation on 'Sterilize'
    July 1994


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