Built For The Future have been around since 2015, releasing two very well received, Sc-Fi themed, progressive albums, ‘Chasing Light’ (2015) and ‘Brave New World’ (2021). The albums are produced and performed by Patric Farrell, with vocals by Kenny Bissett.
Their new album, ‘2084: Heretic’, is a take on George Orwell’s 1984 dystopian future, as it parallels to our current times. 2084 is our future. As told through Orwell’s views and language. The album is said to be darker and heavier than anything the band have done before.
With Patric writing all of the music and Kenny providing vocals and melodies, the duo decided to return to the shorter song format and focusing on a more direct delivery and a heavier, alternative, sound.
What is immediately obvious is a very strong 90’s influence on the sound, Patric’s Fender Jazz bass really brings to mind that exciting Manchester vibe of the Happy Mondays and the like, add in Kenny’s Sci-fi intoned vocal delivery and the dominance of the Mellotron and you really get something unique and rather brilliant.
The urgent, driving nature of opener Memory Machines with Kenny’s at times strident and, at others, elegant guitar playing and the bang on tempo drumming and you could literally be in a world of machines. The bass and guitar riff at the start of The Thought Police has a real Inspiral Carpets note to it and the whole song has a cool, laid back vibe to it, I must admit I am really digging the drums on this album and the bass is ever so cool. Argot opens a little harder with an early Rush vibe to the riffing and some delicious, effects laden, guitar. Central to the concept of an Orwellian-like future that the band are trying to portray is Kenny’s unique vocal delivery. For some types of music, his voice wouldn’t really work but here he has found his home and that voice is perfect for the music.
The excellent songwriting continues with Proletariat, a dream like, thoughtful track that seems to mesmerise and mystify at the same time. Almost brooding in tone but with a chink of light just out of reach to signify hope, it’s a powerful piece of music. Supernatural has a edgy, risky feel to it from the get go, your joining something that doesn’t tow the line, you’re a rebel and you will fight for your freedom. Powerful guitars, moody keyboards and a dynamic rhythm section all combine on this musical thrill ride. That edgy feeling returns with Diaspora, a deliciously dark and heavy intro that brings to mind a dystopian underworld leads into Kenny’s powerful vocal and continues in the background. Then, from out of nowhere, comes a superb chorus that wouldn’t be amiss on a Tears For Fears album. It’s a track with a Jekyll and Hyde nature and one that makes an impressive statement.
Zeit sees Patric’s bass go all Peter Hook, it’s a modern day New Order song that just sounds so good. The way that Patric and Kenny get this brilliant sound with influences from all around and different decades is just incredible. The ebb and flow on this track lends it a feel of nostalgia and wistfulness and makes it one of the stand outs on the album. That nostalgia and longing continues into the mellotron heavy wonder of The Collective where Kenny’s voice is seeking solace and has a touch of remorse. A meaningful, profound song that leaves its mark. Title track Heretic is another driving piece of music that has the 90’s written all over it and I think it work so well with this concept, the guitar and bass are superb and exude energy and intensity. Things come to a close with the epic 101, based on Room 101 from the original Orwell novel. Ten minutes of profound wonder that hypnotises and draws you in to its embrace to leave a mantra running through your mind as the song comes to a close and the last note plays out. Like the best longer tracks, it always holds your attention. The lengthy, subdued and elegant, guitar section and the fractious, staccato piece play off each other perfectly to deliver a clever and inventive piece of music.
Built For The Future have returned with a highly accomplished piece of musical theatre, a concept album that promises a lot and delivers in every way. ‘2084: Heretic’ brings the band to another level entirely, their musicianship and songwriting is sublime and I am sure will just continue to get better and better. A highlight of the year for me!
Released 17th August, 2023
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