01. Artificial Madness 02. Wait For Amateur 03. Classically Wounded 04. Cold Blood In Present Company 05. Compatibility 06. The Modern Swine 07. Imperfect Star 08. The Paraffin Hearts 09. The Subjects 10. The Goner 11. A Career In Falsehood
Remember Lulu? Trying not to remember Lulu? Well, now that you do, bring in mind the pretentious muttering rambled out by Lou Reed. Yeah, this album is like the not-nearly-as-bad version of that. Let's be reasonable though, comparing any recording that isn't the sound of farting into a coffee can to Lulu is a bit unfair. Chris Connelly's Artificial Madness has much of the same sort of attempts-at-snobbery appeal, just with less catastrophic results.
For one thing, this ex-Ministry member actually supplies some aspects of quality if your not into the whole message-outweighing-performance thing. The guitar work is actually incredibly solid, making Artificial Madness the decent listen that it is. In fact, Chris Connelly's consistently flat, monotonous vocals seem utterly unnecessary. Why, You ask? Well, even if the man's vocals are sleep-inducing most of the time, at least he can recognize some great musicians, bringing in guitarists from the likes of Nachtmystium, Wolves In The Throne Room, and Indian (just to name a few) to lay down some riffs. It's hard tell whether these guests are actually playing all that great, or they just stand out over the unexciting backdrop of Artificial Madness, but they really shine through.
At its best, Artificial Madness is a depressive hard rock album with some interesting, pop-infused guitar melodies put through some kind of rough, bleak strainer (Blake Judd, is that you?) At its worst, it's an aimless, rambling display of pretentiousness. To be fair, Chris Connelly does make an attempt at singing the vocal parts from time to time, he's just got an incredibly unmoving voice at the best of times.
With a few changes, this could have easily been a pretty neat instrumental album. Instead, we have an ok album which seems to be more focused on the artist than the art.
This album sounds nothing like Lulu and the comparison is a complete miss. Artificial Madness is simply a very decent post-punk release and a return to the sort of music Chris has been making back in the 80s and early 90s. An enjoyable release from one of the godfathers of industrial metal.