Posts Tagged ‘Industrial’

Industrial/glam-rock hybrid Terminal have just issued a video for ‘Godfire’, a song from their debut album ‘Blacken The Skies’, which was released via Metropolis Records in 2021. Showcasing the heavier, almost metallic side of the group’s sound, the track would sit well on playlists featuring the likes of Rammstein, Rob Zombie or Null Positiv, while Terminal frontman Thomas Mark Anthony has previously cited Killing Joke’s Geordie Walker as an influence on his own guitar playing.

‘Godfire’ is presented in trademark Terminal style with frantic visuals and confrontational lyrics, with words such as "Seethe in razor wire / as your palace is your pyre" a ‘j’accuse’ pointed at those bad actors who have taken the Ukrainian invasion as an opportunity to commit their own misdeeds while the world’s attention is elsewhere.

For Anthony, who was born in South Africa but raised in Canada, anti-apartheid issues remain tragically timely. The video for ‘Godfire’ is dedicated to Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was recently killed by Israel’s defence forces while documenting their brutality in the West Bank. “Apartheid is unsustainable,” he states. "It will fall. We’ve seen it. But the longer it goes on, and the worse its atrocities, the harder it will be to have reconciliation instead of violent retribution.”

Watch the video here:

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Cruel Nature Records – 24th June 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Hot on the heels of second album Can’t Be Arsed, Cruel Nature have repackaged the eponymous debut from the Manchester makers of ‘kitchen sink punk for the 21st century with a whole side’s worth of remixes from both previous releases – including two pretty radical reworkings of snarling single cut ‘Brain Driver’.

First, to revisit the debut – it’s a primitive, noisy document of disaffection. Adam Stone’s drawling, sneering vocal style is vintage punk, less about holding a tune as conveying attitude, and from the off they set the tone with the seven-minute ‘Food Chain’. A thick, dirty bass grinds out just a couple of notes over a plodding drum while Stone vomits vitriol. If ever a track encapsulated the monotonous drudgery of existing in Boris Johnson’s Britain, this is it. Most of the songs churn away for around seven minutes, but if you’re wondering just how far a band can push low, slow, trudging bass repeating the same simple motif atop a plodding beat, then the answer lies in ‘Half Priced Chickens’ – and the answer is just shy of fourteen minutes. This quarter-hour slog is a gloomy, dark, monotonous trudge: the kick drum sounds like a wet lump of wood, and the sneering shoutiness is replaced by a blank monotone spoken word, and in combination, they create an oppressive sonic fug. The scenes depicted are mundane. Words drift in and out – mobility scooters, office, boyfriend, cough mixture, cheese pasty – and these objects assume bleak resonance as you ask yourself, ‘is this it? Is this life?’ and the answer is there, slumped, devoid of energy, eyelids half closed: yes, this is life. And this is as good as it gets. And it’s fucking endless. Until it ends, in a swampy morass of slow decayed distortion and noise.

The final track, ‘Bunker’ locks into an uptempo groove, but while the drums rattle and bounce away, the mood remains tense, equal parts The Fall and Uniform. As the track progresses, so the anguish builds, and the effect is cumulative Stone hollers roughly about world war as feedback wails and the bass and drums just batter on, and on. Same old, same old…

There’s nothing pretty about Pound Land – the band or the album – and this is a good thing: they deal with the gritty reality of living in shit times. Pound Land articulates the languorous torpor of demotivation, of waking daily to feel the aching anguish of being beaten by life, every minute of every day. Sonically, it’s a long, long way from early Swans, but the density and oppression are very much shared aspects.

By the end of the five tracks, you’re absolutely harrowed and drained.

The remixes are a nice addition, though. The Ruffians on the Train Remix of ‘Brain Driver’ ventures into swampy, almost avant-jazz / trip-hop territory, before kicking into gnarly space-rock swirl. The drums are crisp but overloading, while the bass is pure punishment. Where remixes for most other bands are either dancier or more ambient or whatever, this set – with three of the six from R.O.D., these are primarily exercises in accentuating the gnarliness of the originals, with everything simply sounding even heavier, more crushing.

Pound Land is the real soundtrack to the now. They may have to change their name to Tenner Land before the year’s out the way things are going, so you’d be wise to bag this while you can, and hunker down before things get really tough…

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6th May 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

This latest four-tracker from Panic Lift continues the trajectory of themed EPs that it’s been pursuing for a while now.

With two new cuts and a remix of each, it’s reminiscent of the old-school 7” and 12” formats, and ‘Every Broken Piece’ accompanied by ‘Bitter Cold’ would make for a perfect 7”, with the additional tracks – remixes respectively from Mechanical Vein and Tragic Impulse – fleshing out a 12” and CD… Such reminiscences are relevant because Panic Lift’s harsh industrial dance sound is rooted in the 90s when multi-format releases were de rigueur. Much as they were clearly a way of milking fans and boosting chart positions, I do kind of miss those days, since the majority of releases don’t even come in a physical format.

For Stitched, James Francis, aka Panic Lift, revisits the kind of sound that defined his debut, Witness To Our Collapse, and talking of the physical, there’s a strong physicality to both ‘Every Broken Piece’ and ‘Bitter Cold’ – not just their thumping hard as nails grooves and pounding beats, but the overall density of the sound hits with a physical impact, while the forced, rasping vocals equally hit hard, the sound of anguish and rage and a host of mixed and conflicting emotions aflame.

‘Every Broken Piece’ was a feature of Panic Lift’s online performances during lockdown, and it’s from this place of inner turmoil that these songs emerge, with the accompanying notes pointing out that they ‘continue with the familiar themes of stress, coping, and concerns of self-image’, and the rippling synth lines, juxtaposed against snarling, abrasive vocals, are the perfect expression of internal conflict. There’s a lot going on here in the arrangements, with churning metal guitar grazing against cinematic synths, and the slower chorus on ‘Bitter Cold’ brings impact by contrast.

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The music of Psyclon Nine is not for the faint-hearted. The brainchild of Nero Bellum, the dark, aggressive electronic assault of his group’s 2003 debut album Divine Infekt immediately earned them popularity and notoriety worldwide. Its follow-up, INRI (2005), displayed a marked evolution with a lyrical focus on religious themes. In the ensuing years, Bellum’s music has taken him down an even darker path, his distinctive whispered-scream vocals guiding us through an idiosyncratic take on modern underground music that has implemented elements of black metal and post-punk influences that, although often featuring haunting melodies, has often had an undercurrent of unbridled menace.

The forthcoming new album, Less To Heaven, is a complex and immersive work that sees Psyclon Nine at a creative peak, with concussive, machine-precise drums, hammering guitars, scathing vocals and evil electronics all interplaying seamlessly. It also sees the group charting undefined musical territory that bridges elements of metalcore with doom electronics, trip-techno with black metal, and experimental cinematic soundscapes with alternative rock.

While many acts have a constant faster-louder approach to industrial-black metal, Bellum is unafraid to use all manner of tempos to build atmosphere. This is evident in the record’s first single, the seething ‘Money And Sex And Death’, which builds with writhing tension, like a snake preparing to strike its victim, before exploding into an all out audio assault.

Watch the video here:

Bellum states of the song that “it was inspired by the excitement we feel when we see the world burning around us and the abhorrent personal truths that we hold as sacred. The misery of others has never been viewed by so many angles, and strictly for our entertainment. With ‘Money And Sex And Death’ I am presenting your reflection to yourself.”

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1st June 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

It shouldn’t be a deal, really, but it is: Glytsh are a rare thing, namely an all-female industrial duo, comprising French singer Jennifer Diehl (aka Luna Blake) and Swiss guitarist Claire Genoud (aka Hella Sin). Like so many ‘rock’ and metal-orientated genres, industrial of all shades, from the electro to the metal end of the spectrum is depressingly the domain of the white male.

In this predictable, recycle-heavy world of white male angst, Glytsh are a breath of fresh air. But Glytsh aren’t a breath of fresh air because they’re women: they’re a breath of fresh air because they’re fucking exciting. While ‘(Hard)core memory’ still works with established tropes, their debut single, a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer’ set out their stall and managed to draw a fair bit of positive attention in the process. On the one hand, it was a pretty faithful cover, but also had enough of a slant to it to show that they’ve got game. And now, with the arrival of ‘(Hard)core memory’, Glytsh prove that they’ve got both style and substance, meshing together both electro and metal elements in an explosive three and a half minutes.

From a low, bass-heavy electronic intro, ‘(Hard)core Memory’ starts slow-grinding and sultry before tearing into a lumbering rock riff with screaming metal vocals, a collision between Rage Against The Machine and Marilyn Manson. It’s pretty full-on, and that’s before the Slash-style guitar solo blasts in near the end.

‘(Hard)core Memory’ has got the lot, and yet I somehow suspect that Glytsh have got a lot more to offer yet.

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14th February 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Was I the only one to misread the band’s name on first seeing it? Probably, and I suspect it says more about me than anything. Ah well. Meanwhile, as much as the quality of the band’s new single speaks for itself, the list of collaborators who’ve contributed remixes to this EP says a fair bit about the Chicago ‘post-punk demolition duo’, notably Stabbing Westward and Dean Garcia of Curve / SPC ECO.

It’s the Stabbing Westward remix that’s up first, and it’s a stonking industrial rock chugger. It has a crisp, bright feel and is driven by an explosive snare, the likes of which you rarely hear now, but was popular in the 80s. Of the different versions, it’s arguably the most radical, yet at the same time is also the one with the broadest commercial appeal, in that it is more overtly industrial and metal-edged.

Structurally, the song’s interesting for the fact it consists of several sections rather than a simple verse / chorus, and as each section rolls around, it develops something of a cyclical feel (I usually tend to feel most songs are a linear listening experience. ‘Confusion’ and ‘confusion’ make for a nice rhyming pair, but it’s the bass that’s as strong a hook as any of the lyrics, and it’s the bass that dominates the band’s own single version, which adds ten seconds to the original, which appeared on the Dead Lights five tracker released last year. Said bass is a shuddering low-frequency grind, and the drum machine tips a nod to ‘Blue Monday’ then goes into overdrive, giving the song a real urgency.

The DG Impulse remix grinds harder and longer, stripping it back to the bare bones of that sonorous bass and a pounding beat, to oppressive effect, while the IScintilla Remix is a full-on rabid aggrotech workout, and pretty nightmarish with it.

In contrast, the Loveless Love take on the track plays to the songs 80s electropop roots, coming on like The Human League remixed by JG Thirlwell or Raymond Watts.

It makes for a varied listening experience, and one that marks a neat evolution from the band’s previous releases to date.

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The latest release from the darkly delicious mind of Raymond Watts aka PIG is ‘Baptise Bless & Bleed’, a brand new EP awash with religious lyrical fervour and riffs that could effortlessly crush a tank.

Teased in early May, the relentless juggernaut of a title track opens proceedings and is followed onto the dancefloor by ‘Speak Of Sin’, which sounds like an instant PIG masterpiece and of which Watts says “I wanted to brew up a song of bounteous horrors and delights for the barren of belief, bathed in the brutality and beauty of pure electronic savagery.” The song sports a matching video, with Watts simply explaining: “Who else to turn to but Ed Finkler? His acid soaked visuals are the perfect balance to burn your eyeballs like a sacred heart will seduce the soul.”

Things then take a turn for the sublime as ‘Tarantula’ sinks its pernicious fangs deep into the psyche, clasping the listener tight in its electronic web, while closing out the release is the slower but no less ecclesiastic ‘Shooting Up Mercy’, an epic paean to the cosmic joke that is human existence.
Accompanying these four new slices of PIGgish playfulness on its 12” vinyl format are three bonus extended versions added to the digital release to fully sate your fix.

The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? ‘Baptise Bless & Bleed’ completes PIG’s tarot quadrilogy, a tragedy in four parts that also includes the earlier volumes ‘Sex & Death’, ‘Pain is God’ and ‘Drugged Dangerous & Damned’.
Providing blessings, but hopefully not the bleeding, on this particular release are regular PIG collaborators Steve White, En Esch and Michelle Martinez.

As with the other releases in the set, Watts has determined that presentation is paramount, and the spellbinding physical edition of ‘Baptise Bless & Bleed’ comes on opulent 12" white vinyl in a die cut custom sleeve that houses a printed inner sleeve and three brand new tarot cards.

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Industrial band Panic Lift continues the unraveling of its themed EP release cycle with the band’s first release of 2022 titled Stitched.

This four song EP features two new songs titled ‘Every Broken Piece’ and ‘Bitter Cold’ with remixes from Mechanical Vein and Tragic Impulse.

Lyrically, “Every Broken Piece” and “Bitter Cold” continue with the familiar themes of stress, coping, and concerns of self-image. Hardcore Panic Lift fans may remember “Every Broken Piece” from Panic Lift’s lockdown shows in 2020 that were broadcast online during the height of the COVID19 Pandemic.

For Stitched, Panic Lift explores a harsh ebm sound more stylistically similar to their landmark debut record , Witness To Our Collapse. James Francis explains “I’ve always tried to find a happy medium between what I’m doing now, and where I started” he continues “but now that I’m doing smaller releases, I have the ability to experiment with different styles without having to worry much about how they fit with the rest of my catalog.”

Watch ‘Every Broken Piece’  here:

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Christopher Nosnibor

Purveyors of aggrotech and dark electro, Against I, take something of a swerve for this new release, a four-track EP led by single ‘You and I’, which features guest vocals (and lyrics) by rising star on the scene, J:dead, who comments that “‘You And I’ is a story about a relationship breaking down, because either person cannot love themselves first. Each person is trying to hold the other up from their own struggles but in turn, is forgetting about themselves and their own needs.”

The cover art is more horror than dark techno, and it’s not entirely representative of the EP’s sonic contents, but you should never judge an EP by its cover of course.

First things first: ‘You and I’ is a richly atmospheric tune, with a so much texture and detail. There are strong leanings towards later Depeche Mode, and I’m most reminded of ‘Little 15’, but there’s a lot going on here, not least of all a thick, chuggy guitar and an insistent bass that’s pure goth vintage. The baritone vocal – rich and crooning – very much invites positive comparisons to Dave Gahan and it broods and cruises the mid-pitch, mid-tempo sonic structures that climb and loom over damaged emotional states. As a single, it’s a sock in the chops.

As an EP, this does feel like a bit of a cobbled-together effort that may have worked better with either the lead track and either the instrumental ‘My Madness’ – a high-octane technoindustrial stomper (a strong contrast) – or the ‘Club’ remix of ‘You And I’ as a B-side. Said remix is pretty decent. I don’t actually know if goth club nights are still a thing, but then this isn’t excessively dancey, and hasn’t been remixed as a dancefloor-packing stormer, but instead accentuates the track’s solid mid-tempo groove.

But then there’s the ‘Mayhem’ remix of ‘OMG’ from the debut EP, courtesy of Guilt Trip, which is so much more overtly metal, and snarls and rages like a rabid beast – save for the mellow Kraftwerkian rip in the mid-section. And if ‘You and I’ was intended to showcase a different aside of ‘Against I’, the inclusion of an older track feels like a slightly awkward fit.

Minor niggles aside, it’s a solid effort led by a cracking single tune.

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The latest release from the darkly delicious mind of Raymond Watts aka PIG is ‘Baptise Bless & Bleed’, a brand new EP awash with religious lyrical fervour and riffs that could effortlessly crush a tank. The title track is a relentless juggernaut before ‘Speak Of Sin’ takes to the dancefloor. It sounds like an instant PIG masterpiece.

Things take a turn for the sublime as ‘Tarantula’ sinks its pernicious fangs deep into the psyche, clasping the listener tight in its electronic web, while closing out the release is the slower but no less ecclesiastic ‘Shooting Up Mercy’, an epic paean to the cosmic joke that is human existence.
Accompanying these four new slices of PIGgish playfulness on its 12” vinyl format are three bonus extended versions added to the digital release to fully sate your fix.

The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? ‘Baptise Bless & Bleed’ completes PIG’s tarot quadrilogy, a tragedy in four parts that also includes the earlier volumes ‘Sex & Death’, ‘Pain is God’ and ‘Drugged Dangerous & Damned’.

Providing blessings, but hopefully not the bleeding, on this particular release are regular PIG collaborators Steve White, En Esch and Michelle Martinez.

As with the other releases in the set, Watts has determined that presentation is paramount, and the spellbinding physical edition of ‘Baptise Bless & Bleed’ comes on opulent 12" white vinyl in a die cut custom sleeve that houses a printed inner sleeve and three brand new tarot cards.

Watch the lyric video for ‘Baptise Bless & Bleed’ here:

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