The opening strains of Death & Glory are an announcement that Hungarian darkwave producer Lazerpunk isn’t fucking around. Beginning with operatic voices, opening track “Ego Death” sets the tone, and you are about to be altered forever. Like a magician, Lazerpunk sets you at ease before he pulls the carpet out from under you completely, letting you plummet into the abyss. To say that the beats of “Ego Death” are punishing is an understatement. Time signature changes, tempo changes, breakdowns, and vocal passages are all just components to the complexity. And that is just the first song.
“Speedracer (feat. Quixotic)” begins with the roar of thunder, the sound of rain and the revving of an engine. The song is pure Outrun glory. A driving beat, and the sound of sirens underneath. This track oozes the feeling of adrenaline and speed. “Digital Demon (feat. Daniel Deluxe)” is a dark and relentless track, doom-laden and punctuated by a sample from Pinhead in Hellraiser: Bloodline, “I cannot die. I am forever.”
“Power” starts with the sounds of rattling chains, laying the baseline of an aggressive beat, punctuated by screams. The sound of a man shouting, followed by the sound of a crowd chanting acts as a call and response, before the track gives way to booming bass. “Black Lambo” has a funky metallic sound and a dance hook, that could really cause people to sweat on the dance floor. It has an amazing build and drop. The hook sounds like it is sung by Optimus Prime.
“VHS Horror” seems to spin up, before a sinister beat kicks in. A simple melody plays on top, like the music from a giallo. “Poison” is one long build up that comes in waves, cresting, receding and coming back even faster more insistent and more aggressive. “Anger” is slow and insidious, unsettling in the way it seeps into your head. A klaxon runs under the whole song with piercing metallic shrieks that put your nerves on end.
“Revenge,” is a great closing track. A simple melody builds into an almost anthemic call-to-arms. The beat drops away completely, leaving the simple beauty of the song, before it builds up again layer by layer. This track shows promise of a future complexity in Lazerpunk’s music.
Death & Glory has an underlying current of anger and primality that you don’t hear in Dark Synth contemporaries. Perturbator is more composed, Carpenter Brut is more fun and GosT is more orchestral. It might even be an inkling of desperation, as if his life depended on getting these songs out. The stakes somehow feel higher on this album. The good news is that he succeeded. This album is a triumph of dark, hate fueled music, and it works on every level.
Lazerpunk is currently revamping his live show. So look for dates soon here. I hope he makes it to the US, because it would be great to see this album live.
Prepare to have your ears destroyed and listen to Death & Glory below: