Front Line Assembly

Front Line Assembly (FLA) began when Bill Leeb, decided to part company with Canadian Industrial pioneers Skinny Puppy under alleged controversial circumstances and set out of his own musical quest. Whilst Bill trading under the pseudonym Wilhelm Schroeder had real little influence in Skinny Puppy, it was a place where he learnt his trade and saw the germination of some of the ideas that would form the backbone of FLA. Following two self released demo tapes ‘Total Terror’ and ‘Nerve War’, (which are like gold dust to the hardcore FLA fan although Total Terror was re-released as part of the two CD ‘Total Terror 1 and 2 in 1993) FLA debuted in 1987 with their first album ’The Initial Command’. On this album Michael Balch joined Bill with help from a young Rhys (pronounced Reece) Fulber on several tracks. ‘Initial Command’ set the sound for early FLA a combination of heavy sequenced bass lines, earth shaking beats and an overdose of synthesizers and samples. Elements that have remained at the core of the FLA sound throughout their history, although the application and (mis) use of these ingredients has developed and metamorphosed over time. The FLA sound fitted in snugly with the burgeoning European EBM scene as well as the growth of the American Industrial scene, with it’s combination of heavy beats, complex layered melodies and harsh distorted vocals.

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