Fresnel Band Scenario CD Cover

digipak mcd


19 min. 52 sec.

01 pale face
02 retina
03 fools wanted, apply
04 my track in dust

550 made

11.04. 2003

What does Arnold Schwarzenegger have in common with the hardcore scene? Other than the overt references to orgies and bodybuilding, nothing. Then Fresnel came along. This Austrian foursome is an amazing specimen of musical aggressiveness considering the less than burgeoning Austrian scene (unless I am ignorant of a teeming well of musical talent that is as of yet undiscovered). Like other European bands such as JR Ewing, Fresnel at times has more in common with American indie rock than hardcore. However, Fresnel incorporates many audible influences into its newest slab of Eurocore, Scenario.  So what does the typical Austrian band sound like? Well, I don’t know. First,if there is a typical Austrian sound, like there’s a typical Swedish sound or a typical east or west coast sound, then I am not aware of it. I am willing to wager that most American (or worldwide) kids in the scene would fall in love with Fresnel if they can get past the whole Schwarzenegger analogy.  Sometimes I like to observe bio pictures included with review CDs before I actually listen to the recording (Usually it is of four or five young gentlemen in black t-shirts with tattoos and at least one guitar being swung up in the air next to a jaded singer who is not even speaking). Then I play a (way-too-record-geek) game of does the band really sound like is what I imagined them to? So now let’s all play along boys and girls. Here is a description of the picture included in the Fresnel bio: Four skinny Austrians in what appears to be a small practice space are rocking out. The four members have the typical messy indie rock hairdo, with a couple members sporting the vintage collared shirt. The singer is screaming with the microphone under his chin and his arms collapsed to his chest. This pose can also resemble a horrific bowel movement, so the meaning of this gesture is not completely understood. The guitarist, bassist, and drummer look, as if the picture was moving, that all sorts of flailing around would be evident. Do you know what they will sound like? The lengthy instrumental introduction of the first track is very reminiscent of harder Midwest indie rock bands of the 90’s, such as Season to Risk and Shiner. There is also a slight resemblance to other noise rock groups like Unsane. Then the bottom drops out. The mid-tempoed groove turns into a sludgy, Neurosis-like dirge with a dissonant guitar and bass combination. At this point, other bands like Isis also come into focus. The singer’s surprisingly low screaming is very characteristic of Sean Ingram of Coalesce fame (Are we sure these boys aren’t from Kansas City?). The percussion in Fresnel leads the guitar and bass through winding time signatures and off beat accents. As a whole the band sounds very tight, and leaves the listener with the impression that if seeing them live, it could only be described as a wall of sound. Though not as long as Isis and Neurosis songs, Fresnel definitely explores each song’s full potential and leaves no loose ends before ending. Bottom Line: For my first experience with an Austrian band, I hope that this is reminiscent of other Eurocore bands, and that there is definitely more to come from Fresnel. “Scenario”’s only downfall is that it only contains four songs, even though with a running time of just shy of twenty minutes it is longer than some hardcore offerings with fuller track listings. If you are a fan of mid to slow tempo, intelligent, discordant, aggressive music and tire of the sing-alongs and predictable breakdowns, then Fresnel is the band for you. Go out and support worldwide bands right now.  (Ash Levitt) 8/10

The “Shoot Me Again” Journal
Voilà un petit cadeau, je pense que ça te plaira… Mais ça sent un peu la cave humide !”. Je dois dire que c’est le genre de cadeau que j’aime recevoir. Mais j’admets, j’ai un peu cherché cette réputation d’amateur de college-rock mielleux… Ca me gêne un peu de chroniquer deux CD d’affilée en les comparant à Isis, donc je vais éviter, d’autant plus qu’avec tous les groupes qu’on pourrait comparer à Isis aujourd’hui… On joue beaucoup sur les ambiances bien sûr, avec des structures toujours difficiles à anticiper, et un chanteur tantôt hurlant tantôt parlant, ou encore carrément muet. J’aime ça quand un chanteur ne se sent pas obligé de placer des mots sur la moindre note… Nous avons donc droit ici à 4 morceaux tous très intenses, dans le plus pur style mid-tempo chaotique… Et pour ne rien gâcher, le MCD (20 minutes) est soigneusement emballé dans un fin digipack au design à la fois sobre et très travaillé, c’est toujours agréable! (erik)

silent stagnation netzine
Beside a two song demo Fresnel also took part at the “Postcards From Heartland” Compilation on Firewalk With Me Records! “Scenario” is the first record by Fresnel from Austria and also the first record by Noise Appeal Records which is also based in Austria. I immediately thought of Fall Time’s “Coma” album whereat Fresnel have a bigger noise touch. The beating bass in the back, the disharmonic riffs and falling over drumming plus the hopelessly screaming makes this EP to a musical nightmare of destructing tunes. Sometimes they seem to act with no sense for harmony and play stop-and-go parts, anti-rhythms ending up in total unconsciousness… when I finished the first listen to the 20 minutes I thought Fresnel is an intoxicated noise machine! Neverending crushing parts and when I lost hope they play right-placed guitar harmonies! But it’s not very often they rather like to form a slow-downed sludge machine of destroying inharmonic rock. In spite of this amount of weird tempo-changes and at the moment where all is lost they put back the structure to the song. The only time you can really breathe in is the beginning of the last song “My Track In Dust” where the first three minutes only contain laid-back guitar harmonies and sparse drumming but it’s just a matter of time till to noise-core machine starts their multiple brutal chaos again. This is the ultimate result of rage, anger and melancholy created by abysmal angry minds! 4.3 / 6 stars  (marcel)

Böse Musik und böse Texte, für das Hören der vier Songs ist schon eine gewisse Ausdauer erforderlich, man wird jedoch belohnt etwa mit komplexen Songstrukturen – ich habe keinen einzigen geraden Rhythmus rausgehört – und Texten die vor Zynismus nur so triefen, sowie einer Produktion die sich mehr als hören lässt.  Für Freunde von Bands wie KNUT und BOTCH alles andere als ein Fehlgriff, eigentlich ist der Vergleich mit vorhergehenden Bands zu kurz gegriffen weil ja, es gibt so etwas wie Eigenständigkeit hier. Und das soll ja nichts schlechtes sein. Übrigens die erste Veröffentlichung des neuen österreichischen Labels Noise Appeal und eine mehr als würdige. (8/10)

Noch eine Scheibe, die ähnlich wie A Case Of Grenada, bei mir eigentlich in falschen Händen ist. Und obwohl mich die Österreicher Fresnel in ihren extremen Momenten noch mehr an Norma Jean erinnern wie ihre deutschen Kollegen, gefallen sie mir nicht ganz so gut. Zwar bieten die Songs auf „Scenario“ auch ein gewisses Maß an Abwechslung, sind mir aber insgesamt doch zu schwer verdaulich. Über die Länge von vier Songs kann ich das noch unterhaltsam finden, aber ein ganzes Album wäre dann wahrscheinlich doch zuviel des Guten.

inside knowledge netzine
This is Fresnel’s second release (apart from a song on a compilation CD). The Band started in 2001 and they’ve played together with Kaospilot, Jr. Ewing, Nikad, Cataract, etc. Scenario is a MCD consisting of 4 really energetic songs, which are a bit chaotic, and maybe a bit dark.  No fast guitar and drum rhythms, but atmospheric music that is closely connected with a emotion where we can all relate to. bart

XstormX inside-netzine
About a year ago I saw these guys playing in Vrhnika and I have to admit I had a hard time awaiting their last song. Really! It was so indigestible, painful and anti-fluid I just couldn’t stand it. Now when I’m listening to it again I like it much more. It’s still heavy as fuck and pure disharmony but I guess you need to go through it few times before it really sucks you in. Sometimes it seems like they play it slown-down backwardly and although I can’t find them a band to compare I think they use a bit Breach type riffing on some occasions. They all handle well their instruments and giving you the imperssion like they are a bunch of artists trying to create something beautiful out of chaos. The vocalist is using harsh screaming/shouting manner and in the song ”Retina” even speak few words. I really like his vocal, it’s so hmm…heavy! CD delivers only four tracks but I guess it’s enough for the start since more noise could cause pain in the head, although I just got a feeling I like it more with every listening. The layout is one of the most beatiful I saw in the last few months! Fantastic, a little bit thinner digi-pack with great abstract painting that doesn’t have this typical hardcore appearance, but rather jazzy or something in that direction. Beautiful! Through the lyrics you come across melancholy and frustration as well as they share nicer topics like lying beneath the sun or words about enjoying our lives. ”Scenario” is a first release for both Noise Appeal and Frasnel. I think it’s a great start!

I’ve been listening to this for the past few days every evening when I was in front of the monitor – partly because I am having a really hard time coming up with words to describe this and partly because… well, yes – it’s just that good. I’ve always jokingly described Fresnel as Fall Time. junior, but that’s half true at best. The main difference is that Fresnel are far less melodic than that other band, and listening to them makes me want to smash things or pick a fight while Fall Time. always makes me want to make out. I totally dig the heavy as fuck bass sound on these four songs. And the drumming is top notch, too – it just confuses me just as much as talking to Andi. The song structures are from outer space, impossible to follow. You’ll just completely lose yourself in this wall of noise. “Scenario” is like a sonic labyrinth, or the musical version of that “Memento” movie… just when thought you’ve got it figured out, along comes the next break and laughs at you for being so stupid. Obvious reference points are Breach, Knut or Deadguy but Fresnel definitely stand on their own and they are THE BOMB live. (tr)

„Scenario“ nennt sich das Debut Album der Wiener Formation FRESNEL. Die vier Tracks entspringen allesamt wohl dem Genre Noise. Unstetig wirkende, holpernde Rhythmen dominieren die Songs auf diesem Album. Wer Krach mag weiss, dass dies schon mal Gutes bedeutet. Die Vocals sind ebenfalls nahezu durchgehend in schreiender Form zu finden – auch dies ganz ok. Die Songs entbehren weder der notwendigen Brachialität noch einer gewissen Melodie. Auf dem Opener „Pale Face“ finden sich zum Schluss des Stücks backing Vocals, welche, meinem Geschmack nach, durchaus öfter zum Einsatz hätten kommen können. Hinter FRESNEL finden sich übrigens einige Mitglieder der Noise/HC/Death/whatever Band CAUTERY wieder, welche wohl einigen von Euch noch ein Begriff sein dürfte. Der große Nachteil von „Scenario“ ist wohl die Spiellänge. Mit knappen 20 Minuten ist das Album leider viel zu kurz für diese Stilrichtung. Abgesehen davon sind die vier Stücke mal wieder sowas wie ein Lichtblick für die heimische Noise-Szene, da sich auf diesem Sektor in letzter Zeit nicht so wirklich was tat. 5.5 von 7 Punkten

Right from the first beats, “pale face” is a screaming, kicking act of musical violence, heavily beating chords, drums and lyrics into your face like there is no tomorrow. Hardcore has always been about the release of energy and tension, a cathartic moment that produces peace of mind and physic. Fresnel only need four songs to calm down a storm – a storm of heavy music, they fired up themselves. Some might say, that they have heard this many times before, but they ain’t really listening. So they ain’t hearing the honesty and dedication behind the expression of feelings like despair, rage and anger. This record makes me grow young again. Debut-release of a band and a label – reason enough to celebrate. Not counting a demo and a contribution to a compilation (the “postcards from the heartland”-comp on Fire Walk With Me), “scenario” is the first record by Fresnel from Vienna and the first record to be released by noise appeal-records, also from Vienna. Not that it is really important where a band or a label comes from / is situated, using the internet and everything, but since I am also from Vienna, there is the old spark of “support your local scene” glowing up in me. And that is not the only old spark being fired up inside me. Listening to the heavy-duty guitars, the disharmonic screaming, the enormously distorted and bass-heavy sound of this band, I am reminded very much of the days I used to spend in cold and moist cellars that were called clubs, listening to bands spilling out their heart’s blood to a bunch of drunken punks. Somewhere in-between a long row of unbearable bands, churning out the same rhythm, the same riff and the same stupid slogans over and over again, there was always one band that stood out by being different. Different sound, different lyrics, different ideas. Those I liked the most, were usually also of the heavier kind. The more distorted a band sounded, the more I liked it. I am sure not a lot has changed since I “dropped out” that scene, but I am quite sure that Fresnel would be the band standing out from the rest by virtue alone. In other words, if Fresnel are a mediocre band, hardcore must have gotten a lot better. But I doubt it heavily. Because I enjoy Fresnel a lot. It is hard to put new life into hardcore, and I am talking about heavy, manic, sludgy hardcore that screams, kicks and falls into neurotic fits from time to time. Some people will tell you, that it is all done and over with ever since Neurosis became esoteric ambient-freaks. Fresnel will prove the opposite. The four songs on “scenario” are kicking heavily, bursting into fits of rage and screaming at the walls like patients in an insane-asylum. They will stop to take a breath from time to time but only because they’ve spent all their energy and anger and frustration already. Anger, energy and frustration are still three main pillars of hardcore / punkrock and everything associated with it. Even though Fresnel mainly sing about relationships, and the bad parts of them being in the main focus, the hurt and pain and hopelessness, I still believe music like this to have a political message in itself. In my opinion the personal viewpoint expressed in the music in connection with an alternative lifestyle is worth more than the most correct political punkrock singing about veganism and war. Oh, I am quite sure that the “revolution” and the “evils that men do” are still of major concern to the leftist scene. Somehow they seem to survive without help all by themselves. More important than the zombified “issues” of leftist music is the fact there are still (and hopefully will always be) young people deciding to try things for themselves. Do a label, found a band, write a fanzine. There is no better school to learn about being open-minded, to learn to think for yourself, to get to the core of what has been called “enlightenment” in earlier years. And whenever that happens, the people responsible will get my support and my thumbs up. If the result is as fresh and energizing as this four track EP, then I am doubly delighted. P.S.: The second release on noise-appeal is quite different to this one but also very good, a seven-song-CD by Once Tasted Life.

alifeless-ordinary netzine
Fresnel from Vienna with their long awaited release on the Vienna based newbie Label ìNoise appeal recordsî (done by * marion * & wood(y)). So, in my situation its not easy to be objective, but I try to. So, They serve us 4 songs in 20 minutes packed in a Digi-pack cd. The Artwork is great done. They play dark, heavy and slow high ‚ technical grooves interrupted by noisy breakdowns. Heavy guitars pressure in front of a wall produced by the drum groove. Screaming vocals are making the whole thing complete. Then an picked acoustic intro followed by and nervous driving rhythm. Hell, Fresnel are really rockin. The production of the sound is done very well. Iím looking forward for their next release. check this stuff out! written by michael  **** of *****

broken violence
Fresnel sind eine Noiserock/-Hardcore Band aus Österreich, die mit der folgenden MCD ihr erstes “offizielles” Release vorlegen. Die Lieder sind relativ vertrackt und abwechslungsreich, so dass man es hier mit einem sehr intelligenten Sound zu tun hat der irgendwo zwischen Noise (die schweren Gitarren) und Hardcore (die komplexen Rhythmen und Breaks) anzusiedeln ist. Schwere Gitarrenwände treffen auf gezielt platzierte Breaks und disharmonische Melodien und Riffmonster. Das ganze zieht einen schon mit dem Opener “Pale Face” in den Bann, gesetzt den Fall natürlich dass man mit Namen wie Breach oder ISIS etwas anfangen kann. Leider ist das eben nur eine MCD und dauert mit insgesamt 4 Songs nur ca. 20 Minuten. Zu hoffen bleibt, dass dies hier nur ein Vorgeschmack ist und Fresnel sich bald auf ein komplettes Album konzentrieren und dann auf Tour kommen. Und wenn das eben nicht klar rauskam: Diese Scheibe ist groß! (Ralph Hermann)
Sich einmal wirklich vom ganzen Einheitsbrei der restlichen Szene absetzen – sicherlich ein Traum vieler Musiker, den aber die allerwenigsten jemals erreichen dürften. Fresnel dürften diesem Ziel bereits auf ihrer ersten MCD ein gehöriges Stück näher gekommen zu sein, immerhin lässt sich “Scenario” wirklich schwer einordnen. Vom Sound her des öfteren an ISIS erinnernd, erscheinen die Vocals des öfteren doch chaotischer und weniger melodisch als der Rest des Ganzen. Und genau darin liegt der Reiz der vier Songs, immer wieder türmen sich wahre Soundwellen vor einem auf, die man hier und so nicht erwartet hätte! Einzig das oft ausufernde Songwriting stößt bitter auf, bei einigen Songs hätte man sich auch gut zwei Minuten kürzer fassen können. Sieht man jetzt noch über die recht holprige Produktion hinweg, kann man Fresnel einen echten Volltreffer attestieren! Das hier kann was, was danach noch kommt wage ich mir gar nicht vorzustellen!
Ovaj kvartet ?ine Roland Hormann (bubnjevi), Harald Sagl (gitara), Andreas Emberger (bas) i Andreas Zwirchmair (vokal), te su tipi?ni predstavnici ostavštine noise-rocka na zasadima ameri?ke škole ’80-tih i ’90-tih. Nema što tu puno da se utvr?uje. Gradivo je vrlo dobro poznato s konotacijama The Jesus Lizard, Killdozer, rastrganim neurozama Circus Lupus, malo smjese Big Black i Shellac uz dodatak Butthole Surfers i ponešto japanske noise tradicije. Na našim podru?jima ovakav stil su preferirali mnogi bandovi u vrijeme Earwing Records i kompilacije “Feathers, Wood & Aluminium”. Samo ?injenica je da su mnogi nekad zna?ajni sastavi ovakvog stila potpuno nestali i da ovakve glazbe više nema mnogo. Bijesni vokal, opsjednuti tekstovi na engleskom jeziku koji su ponekad vrlo bolesni, nafilana distorzirana gitara i rastrgani ritmovi. EP ima samo 4 skladbe (“Pale face”, “Retina”, “Fools wanted, apply” i “My track in dust”), traje 20 minuta i nema niti trunku optimizma. Pravi neuroti?ni underground noise-rock koji je na sre?u vrlo dobro snimljen.
Interesantno je da su odmah u prvoj godini postojanja, 2001. nastupali u Kutini (Baraka) s Intoxicate i Bakanali, u Varaždinu (klub Ex) sa Uzmi ruke, a 2002. u Zagrebu (Attack) sa Pledge Alliance i Stepping Stone, te su potom slijedili nastupi u Požegi, po Sloveniji, ?eškoj, Njema?koj, Nizozemskoj…
ocjena albuma [1-10]: 7??horvi // 20/11/2008