Music Reviews

Artist: Nazoranai - なぞらない
Title: The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once Has It Arrived Already... ? 一番痛い時は一度だけそれは もう 訪れているのかな...
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Ideologic Organ (@)
Rated: *****
The sound of this trio of giants of contemporary music - Keiji Haino, Oren Ambarchi (hitting on drums on this chapter) and Stephen O'Malley (from Sunn O)))...if you never heard them while braggin on your musical culture till now, you can reasonably scrape off the bottom of your shoe! - is majestically apocalyptic and intense on this second output that I imagined Maldoror, the notorious fictional character by Isidore.Lucian Ducasse aka Comte de Lautrement, the true literary paladin of iconoclasts, misanthropists and flagellants, in the act of taking part to a live session of Nazoranai with a view to a possible collaboration for the purpose of giving a score to his notorious chants. "You Should Look Closely Those Shattered Spells Never Attaining Embodiment As Prayer They Are Born Here Again" - it's the title of the 19-minutes lasting first epic track, not a personal recommendation! - stirs up huge dust clouds by a harrowing wind that blows from eerily metallic scraping, riven distortions, sinister howling voids and pressing drums. Their sonic world turns more and more grey on the following "Will Not Follow Your Hoax Called History", whose oppressive tightness, that got emphasized by Ambarchi's sticks that sound like saying the time has come, could let you imagine the above-mentioned Maldoror sharing some crack with Jesus while observing the retrograde stepping of mankind. The whirligig of chaos keeps on spinning on "Who Is Making The Time Rot", whose rock body in advanced stages of decomposition seems to clinging on life on the final title-track "The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once Has It Arrived Already..?". Take a ride.

Himiko: Victims of Greed

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
 Edit (8628)
Mar 03 2015
Artist: Himiko (@)
Title: Victims of Greed
Format: CD
Label: DTrash Records (@)
Rated: *****
Himiko's at it again, a new release of 13 tracks in the Digital Hardcore, Speedcore, Death Metal, Grindcore, Goregrind, Gabber, and Breakcore mode, and none of them over a minute in length. I get the impression that she's refined what she spewed forth on 'DethNoizzz', and may be taking it to the next level of nastiness. There is an often present squealing/whistling on this album that may not be surprising considering the revolting pig image on the CD cover. The album smacks of total excess, a point I'm sure Himiko is painfully trying to make. I'm not sure how much further she can go in this genre, as much of it is beginning to sound the same. Would have been nice if she threw in something completely different just for shit and giggles (something to make you say, "what the fuck???") but Himiko remains true to form throughout, perhaps too much to appeal to anyone except the fans she already has. If that was the intent, it works, but I think she's going to have to shift gears for the next one if she wants to gain more traction.

Lost Tribes: Solace

 Posted by Emanuele Ratti (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
 Edit (8611)
Feb 18 2015
Artist: Lost Tribes
Title: Solace
Format: 12"
Label: Avant! Records
There are, I think, three logically possible ways of combining electronics and punk. First, you can do punk and then use some synths to reach a certain sounds that you wouldn't be able to reach only with guitars. Many hardcore bands can have this approach sooner or later, and basically it depends on the fact that, while they're recording an album or an ep, in the studio there are some synths and they use it ('Ok well, to enrich our gloomy atmosphere, let's put some basic lines of organs!'). The result is usually nice IF THE BAND PLAYS GOOD PUNK. Conversely, there are bands who are completely into electronics music and they use some guitars to enrich their sounds. Consider for instance Alien Vampires: they do (horror) trance/ebm, but since Nysrok is also a talented guitarist here and there they make use of guitars. Nice result too. Finally, there are bands that combine hardcore guitars and electronics and they form a real hybrid: they play neither 'punk with some synths' nor 'ebm with guitars' but they play something else. Digital hardcore is a good case in point. I'm terribly sorry for this long introduction, but it was necessary to introduce this band called 'Lost Tribes' produced by the very good label Avant! Records. Lost tribes' 'Solace' is an album combining hardcore punk, with crust vocals, with some little tiny synths (some moog bass-like and pipe organs). And that's it. I don't see exactly why one should buy such an album if he is into electronics. I mean, this is a crust album (not particularly original) with some synths. I have the impression - probably I'm wrong - that this band is supposed to play the mix of electronics and punk of the third kind. But this is not the case. Therefore, I cannot rate this album since for Chaindlk is out of topic.

Human Services: Animal Fires

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
 Edit (8604)
Feb 16 2015
Artist: Human Services (@)
Title: Animal Fires
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Human Services is a band from Hampton, Virginia, its members, long-time veterans of various local music scenes. To categorize them as Industrial Metal wouldn't be entirely accurate, although that's the general core of their sound. One minute they're doing an industrial doom metal kind of thing ala Neurosis, the next, a mechanical clatter-fest, ala Einstürzende Neubauten, then a dirty boogie like ZZ Top if Rob Zombie took over. 'Animal Fires' is really whacked out and frequently heads off the rails; a hot, chaotic mess even when the band is in song mode. There's a part towards the end of "The River Pig" where an otherwise pounding, frenetic industrial rock song morphs into a kalimba & drum solo. Since real drums and percussion are used for most all the rhythm parts it has a live band feel, not something that was completely cooked up in the studio. It's headbangers meet rivetheads for a duel to the death in the parking lot. Screaming hoarse, and occasionally growled vocals with only an intelligible word sporadically emerging, and a jammy, improvisational feel with the guitar interplay. A track such as "The Electro-Ape" is all buzzy, noisy, electronics backed with drums. Then the band switches gears on "Rhinocide" with quieter electric guitar tapping followed by heavy Ginger Baker style drums, growled doomy vocals, more electric guitars and buzz-saw electronics. Yeah, it was a song...of sorts, I guess. The problem with 'Animal Fires' is that although unusual for Industrial Metal, none of the songs really stick, and more often than not, the band sounds disjointed, more interested in self-indulgent experimental jamming than in giving the listener anything memorable. Nowhere is this more evident than in the final (live) track, "No Structures in the Eye of the Jungle". If these guys could just focus now and then, they might have something. Until then, I don't see them going wide. I liked the CD cover artwork much more than the music contained within, and that says something. Hot mess indeed.

Taxim: Full of Empty

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
 Edit (8575)
Jan 28 2015
Artist: Taxim (@)
Title: Full of Empty
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: XenoBiotic Records (@)
Rated: *****
Taxim is a dark electro and experimental project from Essen, Germany, founded by Alex Ney in 1996 as a one-man project. The current line-up consists of: Alex (music, lyrics, vocals, bass), Kat (keyboard, vocals) and Jigels (keyboard). Including singles and EPs, they've had over a dozen releases since they began, and this is my first experience with the band. 'Full of Empty' begins nicely with a neoclassical piano chordal melody and arpeggios with a female voice humming along, then- WHAM! The door closes and heavy metal chords take over with electro-industrial percussion, synth orchestration on the melody, building all along with the same simple melody. A bit of a bombastic beginning, like symphonic metal, but all instrumental. The second track follows this format (exempting the metal guitar) and uses a different but similar melody. I should let you know that Taxim employed only one synth for the electronic parts, and made copious use of the Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra sample library on this album. Most of the tracks on the album are along the symphonic metal (or industrial, if you prefer) lines, and when not full-on, neoclassical. Prominent female (spoken) vocal samples come to the fore on "Keine Angst" ("Ich habe keine angst", or "I have a little anxiety"), and this track shows more industrial muscle while not sacrificing any of the symphonic. Other tracks such as "Computer Depression" and "Vollkommen leer" incorporate brief vocal samples as well. Taxim also puts industrial ambient synth effects to good use in transitional passages. Most of 'Full of Empty' sound a bit Blade Runner-esque; somewhat cinematic, but perhaps even grander; melodically simple but orchestrally rich. Last track, "Schizoid and Happy" features Kat's wordless vocals, which is very nice, but I found myself craving songs with lyrics. Maybe it just isn't their style to do that, and maybe they haven't found a voice strong enough to pull it off yet, but if they decided to head down that road, Taxim would likely gather a much bigger following. Still, 'Full of Empty' is an album to be reckoned with if you like symphonic industrial with a metallic edge. The album is available from XenoBiotic Records as a digital download (only), and there was supposed to be a physical CD released on MMD Records, but I couldn't find it in MMD's catalogue, so I guess that either fell through, or hasn't happened yet.

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