Posts Tagged ‘Nine INch Nails’

7th October 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Having been introduced to GLDN this summer via the gritty industrial gore-flecked First Blood EP, the vehicle of Nicholas Golden continues at juggernaut pace, having prefaced the full-length Haemophilia with lead single ‘Suicide Machine’.

While some are particularly sensitive about anything pertaining to suicide, its disturbing prevalence means it’s a topic that needs to be out there and under discussion. While rates among the young are conspicuously high, here in the UK, rates are now highest for men in the 45-49 bracket (my own demographic), while globally, it’s rocketed among those beyond retirement age. And, traumatic as it may be for some directly affected, it shouldn’t be considered taboo or require a trigger warning – otherwise, pretty much all industrial and metal would need to carry warnings before every song.

Point is, that suicide, death, and, indeed, the fixational theme of plasma and platelets that dominates the work of GLDN are as much tropes, themes as much metaphorical as literal – and that’s ok. To confront one’s darker thoughts is healthy, and is a world apart from acting upon those thoughts. More often than not, those who produce the most dark and grotesque art, in any medium, prove to be the most balanced and the least dangerous, as they’ve found a healthy outlet for whatever it is that’s chewing at them.

On the evidence of Hemophilia, there’s a lot chewing at Nicholas G, and he channels every last ounce of that angst into his art. The result is an album that’s tense, taunt, relentless. And yes, of course it’s harsh. Not to a power electronics level of extremity, but this is an album that’s edges are serrated with industrial abrasion every inch of the way. Oh, and there’s blood and guts all over – just look at the cover. It sounds how it looks: by turns incendiary with rage and ominous and sinister with disconsolate darkness, Hemophilia has sonic and emotional range, but at the sae time, it’s bleak, bleak, bleak, as song tiles like ‘Self-Mutilation as a Form of Compliance’ indicate.

It opens with the lo-fi punky metal thrashabout of ‘Animal’, which is as up-front as it is unexpected, with GLDN roaring raggedly against a gritty, grimy guitar blast. But ‘New Face, Same Lies’ is bleakly electronic, dingy, subterranean, whispered and tense and is everything you would expect. The contrast of these two tracks alone tells you pretty much everything you need about GLDN and Hemophilia – namely it’s every inch the gritty, dark industrial album you’d expect, but it’s got twists – lots of twists. ‘#1 Crush is just one of them – a chugging metal reworking of the flipside to Garbage’s second single ‘Vow’, it clearly recognises the song’s lyrical darkness, then plunges is into an abyss and culminates in screaming angst. Despite being familiar with the song – it’s something of a personal favourite from the Garbage catalogue – it didn’t land as immediately recognisable, and that’s a positive, and a measure of just how much GLDN have twisted and mangled the tune – or put their own twist on it, if you’re talking more commercially. It’s a bold move, and one that proves successful. In contrast again, ‘Half-Life’ is sparse, stark electronics and as gritty, grimy and gnarly as hell.

At times it’s pure NIN: often it’s much more, not least of all in that it does its own thing within the industrial framework and at times pushes beyond, making for an exciting and dynamic album, and one that is, naturally, brimming with anguish and existential angst. And relentless, pounding beats, too. ‘Suicide Machine’ stands as a highlight, with parallels to ‘Happiness in Slavery’ from Nine Inch Nails’ Wish, which is clearly one of Nicholas Golden’s touchstones – and it’s a solid choice, as a release that really took harsh noise to a massive audience.

Hemophilia is dark, dense, and intense, the sonic equivalent of bloodletting. And the production is tight. It’s clearly a studied work, and the execution is magnificent – not just the performance, but the production, too, which presents the songs in their best light, tugging out the details and the dynamics to yield maximum impact.

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30th September 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

This is a proper slap round the chops. It follows many conventional industrial tropes, and you could readily lump it min with the endless catalogue of Nine Inch Nails rip-offs, primarily because NIN set the benchmark and the tone from way back in 1988. Prior to that, it was either mainstream sleaze with soul drawing influence from Depeche Mode, or pulsating electro industrial that was either on or wanted to be on, Wax Trax!

Pretty Hate Machine was actually more Depeche Mode than Ministry, but its use of extraneous noise and the general production was, to use a cliché, a gamechanger. It created a new conduit for simultaneous anger and emotional fragility in ways that had previously been untapped.

Anything post PHM is therefore destined to stand against comparisons to NIN if it’s angry electro and industrial, and ‘SAV@Ge’ is all of that – plus tax.

Luna Blake spits lyrics about blood and bones and shame, pain, and death, against a thumping beat-heavy surge of sleaze-grind that’s strong on the stomach-churning low-end and that classic NIN-style production that’s dense and distortion-thick yet crisply digital. The dynamic range and optimal use of dropouts just before everything powers in at twice the volume achieves maximum impact. ‘SAV@Ge’ is aflame with fury and condenses all the rage into just a fraction over two and a half minutes that absolutely blow your face off.

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"White Noise is about sensory overload and the overwhelming feeling of claustrophobia that neurodivergent humans experience on a near daily basis,” explains lead vocalist Harvey Freeman. “It’s a horrible feeling of helplessness and anxiety that nothing can really help other than a quiet space and something to take your mind off of the situation.

We wanted to create something visually that could portray how that experience feels. The room used with the exposed hole in the wall was the perfect fit paired with the mirrors in particular scenes. We wanted it to almost look like you were inside the mind of someone going through that feeling."

Mixing moments of snarling nu-metal aggro and the scalding fury of Slipknot’s debut album with instrumental passages that at times recall the genius of Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, is where they have nailed the Graphic Nature sound.

Check the video here:

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Manchester-based art-rock five-piece Sylvette have shared a spine-tingling cover of Nine Inch Nails classic, ‘Right Where It Belongs’, which appeared on 2005’s With Teeth.

The new track arrives as the band confirm a release date for their third album: ‘Single Thread’ – which will arrive on 25th November 2022.

A sprawling rendition that sees Sylvette pay homage to the Nine Inch Nails original just as easily as they do douse the track with their own allure, the band initially released an early version of “Right Where It Belongs” on YouTube back in 2020. Having amassed almost 20,000 views since, the cover gained traction with Nine Inch Nails fans who flooded the video’s comment section “proclaiming they connected to it just as much if not more than the original.”

Quietly contemplative cover that’s laced with a heart-rending sense of feeling, vocalist Charlie Sinclair explains how it finds its place on their upcoming album:

“”Right Where It Belongs” is the first cover we’ve ever played together that really felt like we made it our own. The song is about questioning your reality and how going through change and trauma can distort the way you perceive yourself. It really felt appropriate for the theme of our upcoming album ‘Single Thread’, so we made it the closing track on the record.”

Staking their place as one of the most prolific and intriguing bands on the Manchester underground scene, ‘Single Thread’ will emerge on 18 November and promises to show a completely new side to the group.

Born out of Charlie’s personal struggles whilst caring for his disabled and terminally ill father, and the subsequent loss he experienced during lockdown, the album sees Sylvette shed their fantastical and dramatic sound to make way for a deeply personal, more honest and intimate kind of songwriting.

Capturing the sound of a band becoming more emotionally in-sync than ever before, the album was recorded in guitarist Jack March’s rented shipping container-turned-studio. Working on the project only between the hours of midnight and 3am, to avoid noise spill disturbing neighbours in the unit, ‘Single Thread’ is the band’s first completely self-made record, with Jack on mixing and producing duties.

With shades of John Martyn or Nick Drake appearing in some of the album’s instrumental moments, Charlie’s haunting falsetto will evoke the spectre of Jeff Buckley. Tracks like “Borrowed Time” and “Marble Stone” have a bitter-sweetness comparable to the likes of Cocteau Twins, whereas tracks like ‘Safety in Solitude’ are gently reminiscent of the darker, stripped-down side of Nine Inch Nails.

Listen to their version of ‘Right Where It Belongs’ here:

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SYLVETTE LIVE DATES 2022

27 September – Manchester, Carlton Club

24 November – Manchester – Album Listening Event, Details TBC

15 December – London, Off The Cuff

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Sylvette

22nd July 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

New York industrial rock act GLDN, the vehicle for Nicholas Golden’s twisted noise, set their stall out pretty strongly with their debut single, ‘Parasite’. Accompanied by stark, hypersaturated visuals, it was a screaming blast of pain and anguish straight from the school of Broken era Nine Inch Nails and Strapping Young Lad’s first album.

And so it is that they follow up with a debut EP, in the shape of First Blood. It’s a fitting title, and again, exploits striking, in-yer-face gored-up visuals render the pitch in explicit terms before you hear a note.

Lead track ‘Gravedigger’ grinds in with a pulsating synth bass groove and driving, metallic guitars, and they’ve achieved that perfect crisp guitar sound common to NIN, Pig, and Ministry. It’s abrasive and it’s noisy, and in following the popular quiet verse / loud chorus structure, it’s far from radical, but the key here is that it’s actually a decent tune. The title track alludes to The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ with its slow fade in, before settling to a low, slow, murky trudge. Stripped back and bassy, it’s also gnarly as hell, and finds GLDN at their most Marilyn Manson. Nicholas can deliver a truly blood-curdling scream, and when he does, it’s unsettling.

‘Ripe’ is seething, serpentine, and with its squalling guitar and snaking bassline, slips into gothier territory, like Christian Death meets Filter.

Where so many NIN-emulators fail is that they’re too preoccupied with following the blueprint, with lifting and referencing; where GLDN succeed is in assimilating the elements to create something unique, and something unswervingly brutal and harsh. Its viscerality is more than worthy of the title and cover art: it’s the sound of a guy spilling his guts and experiencing a pure catharsis at a thousand decibels.

It’s ‘Parasite’ that closes off this six-tracker, and it’s a strong and violent finale, which makes the prospect of the already-in-the bag Hemophilia EP set for release in August, even more exciting. I suspect we can expect more blood.

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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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Greece has spawned countless instances of criminally underrated music acts in diverse genres ranging from black metal to electronic to avant garde pop music, and the sophomore album of modern progressive metal act Playgrounded titled ‘The death of Death’ is yet another striking example.

“Where did this come from?” you will find yourself wondering, while absorbing the stunning intensity and musical prowess on display. From the perfection of the production and the inherent innovation in defining heaviness by means of not only downtuned guitars, but also elements of electronica are the pillars of an intriguingly idiosyncratic, incredibly mature sound.

Hailing from Greece, but spending most of their time in the Netherlands, the musical pedigree of the members of Playgrounded is quite unprecedented in the metal/rock underground. Main composer and producer Orestis Zafeirou is a graduate from the Institute of Sonology of the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, a department focused on electronic music education and production research. Additionally, he works in a synth factory. Vocalist and co-producer Stavros Markonis graduated from the Amsterdam conservatoire and is an award-winning composer for film and TV. Bass player Odysseas Zafeiriou and guitar player Michael Kotsirakis both work as computer engineers, while drummer Giorgos Pouliasis is a graduate from the Rotterdam Conservatoire, as well as a drum teacher and a popular session musician in Greece as well as in the Netherlands.

Starting out in 2007, Playgrounded have been together for over 15 years, playing both national and international tours, while also opening for bands like Riverside and even Nine Inch Nails in Amsterdam. Their first EP Athens (2012, Casket Music) portrays an already mature band playing modern prog rock influenced by Tool and Deftones. Their debut full-length In Time With Gravity (2017) shows the band in full flux, experimenting with extended compositions as well as influences from influential contemporary electronic music acts like Modeselektor and Moderat.

Playgrounded’s sophomore album lives up to the aspiration of its lofty album title. The death of Death is music that results from mastery rather than lacklustre exploration and experimentation. The album was recorded at MD Recording Studios by Nikos Michalodimitrakis, long collaborator of Stavros in film productions. Mixing was handled by C.A.Cederberg (Leprous, Shining, and more) in Kristiansand, NO, while the album was mastered by George Tanderø (Madrugada, Satyricon, Jaga Jazzist, and more) in Oslo, NO.

Guitarist Michael Kotsirakis comments on the album’s title track which the band shared today,

"The death of Death" is a study of unity in opposition, a disclosure of contradictory aspects of reality, an expression of their mutual relationship.  For the occasion of sharing this first taste of the album with the world we worked closely with director Dimitris Anagnostou and director of photography Yannis Karabatsos, the duo that we came to know from the award-winning short film Mare Nostrum for which Stavros composed the score.  The director’s idea about a "study of movement" using early cinematography techniques drew inspiration from Orestis’ dialectically composed lyrics and was eventually adapted into the clip’s script. We felt that Karabatsos’ sinister photography was the perfect means to explore the song’s contradictions… black and white, direction and diffusion, alienation and struggle, stillness and life.”

Watch the video for ’The death of Death’ here:

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Demonstrating a profound understanding of the glitches they produce, Playgrounded evoke a sense of the uncanny closely related to the cut-up movie fragments of sound artists like the German Orson Hentschel. “We start with dynamic sound design structures, most of the times initiated by Orestis,” explains guitarist Michael Kotsirakis. “We then work in pairs expanding the musical space and creating variations and flourishes. Sometimes the lyrics and vocals will dictate a change in quality, other times it’s one of the instruments. After many ideas are on the table Stavros and Orestis sit together and propose a song structure. After this loop has been repeated over and over we have a very good idea of all the parts. That’s when we hit the rehearsal space and refine the details.”

The result is a collection of songs that reveal Playgrounded as composers in the act of decomposition. The memorable guitar riffs and vocal melodies serve as gateways to a deeper layer of glitchy synth textures and liquid drumming, until the perspective of radical decomposition consumes one whole. “The shortest sound units become extended themes,” explains main composer Orestis Zafeirou. “Steady rhythmical blocks interact with unstable ones. Noise becomes tone and melody. Sonic grains gather to form masses, masses dissolve into a single entity. With every repetition, comes change.”

On The death of Death, Playgrounded analyse and take apart their surroundings, reducing reality to its smallest components, subsequently converting them into sound to create a new platform – a representation of reality from which they build their artistic vision. In essence The death of Death is dialectical, a study of unity in opposition. A disclosure of contradictory aspects of reality, an expression of their mutual relationship. From these contradictions the band manages to construct a brooding world of dark magnificence. The death of Death has the appeal of a film score that slowly starts to haunt you as the movie progresses. The more you listen to it, the more its sublime beauty becomes apparent.

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Danny Elfman and Trent Reznor have joined forces to deliver a brand new version of ‘True’, one of the standout singles from Elfman’s acclaimed new double album Big Mess [ANTI- / Epitaph Records]. Released today, the reimagined single showcases a sonic collision of two of music’s most iconic artists, melding vocals from Reznor and Elfman with vicious industrial percussion, cinematic piano flares and walls of feedback.

“This is the first duet/collaboration I’ve ever done in my life, so to do it with Trent was a real surprise and a treat,” says Elfman. “He’s always been a big inspiration to me, not to mention he has one of my all-time favorite singing voices.”
Today, Elfman has also debuted a new music video for the reimagined single of ‘True’. Directed by Aron Johnson, who contributed visual effects to the Sarah Sitkin-directed music video for the album version of ‘True’, the piece features warped imagery and retro VHS aesthetics that capture the song’s intensity. Combining segments of Sitkin’s archived footage along with brand new 3D modelling, the visual serves as a remix in itself of the original music video, reinterpreted through the eyes of Aron.

Watch the video here:

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Blind Mice Productions – 18th June 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

As the liner notes to Australian electro-industrial band SHIV-R’s fifth full-length album explain, ‘there is a Zen teaching that if you meet God on the road, you must kill him… What the killing of God means to each listener will be a unique and personal revelation. In a world full of gatekeepers and figureheads whose only interest in you is to tell you what to do, illusions will need to be shed and those who profess to have all the answers will need to be confronted’.

The title track launches the album with some harsh metallic guitars pitched against a pounding technoindustrial groove, where beats and synthesized bass are melded together perfectly. And while a lot of bands in this vein – even the likes of KMFDM to an extent – peg the guitars back in favour of pushing the synthesised elements of the instrumentation to the fore, to give a harsh, but ultimately slick, digital vibe overall, SHIV-R to crank up the guitars, and they punch hard, providing a strong counter to the danceable, mechanoid beats and throbbing low-end.

While growly or distorted vocals are common to the genre, it’s often strained-sounding or raspy, whereas Pete Crane has a rich, full-throated metal roar that has real depth and proper guts. That said, on ‘Spark’ and ‘Promises of Armageddon’ where they slip into grinding electrosleaze mode, evoking Pretty Hate Machine era Nine Inch Nails and mid-90s PIG, Crane shows a cleaner tone that’s poppy, but dark – which is a description that fits the slower pace of the Depeche Mode-like minimal electro of ‘Blue Turns to Black’. It’s well-placed at what would conventionally mark the end of side one – and highlights another strength of Kill God Ascend: it feels like an album in the classic sense, with ten tightly-structured and concise tracks that are sequenced in such a way as to drop the tempo, and conversely, slam in with an absolute banger, at just the right time. More than anything, it’s reminiscent of Stabbing Westward’s debut – but at the same time, Kill God Ascend is very much an album with its own identity.

Sixth track, ‘Empire’ is exemplary, kicking off virtual side two with a dark stomper on which Crane snarls, “I’m on my own path. Get the fuck out of my way.” He sounds like he means it, too.

There are some solid hooks, and Kill God Ascend sustains the angst from beginning to end – even when they bring it right down for the brooding penultimate song, ‘Valley of Death’, it’s as a prelude to the epic finale, the dark, slow-burning ‘Turpentine’ that’s gnarly and hefty and brimming with twists, turns, and glitches, a track where the machines finally devour the human components in a mangles mess of rust and dirt, blood and guts. And it’s at this point, you realise that god is indeed dead.

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Warm Gadget, the recording trio made up of multi-instrumentalist/ producer Colten Williams, bassist Austin Williams and vocalist/part time instrumentalist Tim Vester has self-released a brand new alternative metal/industrial E.P. entitled Rituals.

The Rituals E.P. showcases five brand new, original songs, as well as remixes by notable electronic artists such as SNOWBEASTS and WITCH EYES. This  E.P., which features the band’s signature blend of industrial and alternative metal, was released in digital format exclusively to the WARM GADGET Bandcamp page.

This new release, Rituals is filled with the band’s brand of hard-hitting songs, electronic beats, synth melodies, un-melodic synth chaos and hook-laden, crushing guitars. It also showcases the longing, bleak, dismal yet aggressive lyrics and deliveries that the band has perfected. Colten Williams has topped everything off in the studio by producing an album that sounds crisp, heavy, and intense. The Rituals E.P. also marks the band’s return to writing & recording together after a 3-year hiatus, showing that they have violently shaken the dust and cobwebs off and have come out swinging.

With strong hints of NIN and Filter, they’ve unveiled a video for ‘If Only I Could’. Watch it here:

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