Music Reviews

Porn: The Ogre Inside

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Sep 10 2017
Artist: Porn (@)
Title: The Ogre Inside
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Rated: *****
If you're looking for porn on the Internet, it shouldn't be too hard to find, but if you're looking for Porn, the French Industrial Metal band, that might be a little harder but worth it. This is Porn's third album, and sorry to say I haven't heard the other two. I'm also willing to bet Porn are (currently) a lot bigger in France and Europe than they are here in the U.S., but perhaps 'The Ogre Inside' will change that. The first positive aspect for American appeal is that the vocals are in English. Second is that vocalist Philippe Deschemin doen't just growl, he also actually sings. Philippe Deschemin...hmmm...where have I heard that name before? Oh yeah, he was behind that 'An Erotic End of Times' album. Didn't much care for that one. He's also a novelist, lecturer, and political philosopher, if I recall. So here we kind of have the thinking man's industrial-metal, rather than the typical in-your-face fist-pumping stuff that passes for Industrial Metal these days. You will find plenty of industrial strength muscular guitar (playing a fair amount of familiar riffage) and as well as effective electronics sewn through the mix, yet it's not all sturm und drang. For the occult-minded, there are vocal samples of master-magus Aleister Crowley sprinkled throughout the tracks.

The album plays like a graphic novel exploring themes of violence, lust and desire, pain and suffering, control, death amd mortality, and more. It's a loose concept album, but a concept album all the same. The "ogre inside" is obviously the beast that thrives on destruction, sadism, cruelty and an appetite of excess. For Deschemin it's a losing battle he's waging here but he doesn't go down without a fight. What I felt didn't work too well on 'An Erotic End of Times' seems to work fine here. Maybe I wasn't expecting much from a band called Porn (you've got to have some balls to name your band that), but this is well-produced, musically varied, yet still tough as nails Industrial. Deschemin's vocals are introspectively emotive when they need to be, and also ragingly powerful, and even over-the-top when the song calls for it too. There are times I'm hearing shades of Pete Steele which might make some old-schoolers want to check this out. I really feel that this is an album that needs to be taken as a whole, so I can't pick a standout over the 9 tracks here. Truth be told, they're all good and there's nothing you'd want to skip in the 51 minutes from beginning to end. I think they have another album coming out soon too, and I'd be looking forward to that.

Glaukom Synod: Vampires and Gorgeous Throats

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Aug 31 2017
Artist: Glaukom Synod
Title: Vampires and Gorgeous Throats
Format: Tape
Label: Visceral Circuitry Records (@)
Rated: *****
This French harsh electro-industrial project has been around since at least 2005 with a bunch of releases prior to this one that of course, I've never heard. 'Vampires and Gorgeous Throats' is a 7-track EP because the tracks are all so short. What it is, is absolutely manic-panic synth and drum programming with as lot of sampling thrown in for good measure. It's all instrumental, as the only "vocals" are the infrequent spoken word samples. They are used infrequently, except for the archetypal "Tarzan yell," which forms the basis for "Jungle glaukom fever" as the sample is multiplied and heaped layer upon layer in this one. It's all too much and gives the music a cartoony ambience. In fact, many of the tracks on the EP sound cartoon industrial. Although there were a few breaks from the breakneck pacing, it was all a little much for me, and seemed like pointless hardcore at many times. Those who like their industrial rhythms spit out from a machine gun might enjoy it, but I'm not sure you'll be able to listen to it seriously, especially now that I've labeled it "cartoon crazy". Available on cassette or digital download.

Hexas: Liberty Nest

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Aug 30 2017
Artist: Hexas
Title: Liberty Nest
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Hagshadow
Rated: *****
Hexas is the new creature born from the collaboration of Patrick Leagas of Sixth Comm/Godlesstate/Mother Destruction/SchrÄge Musik fame and Gaya Donadio (active as ANTIchildLEAGUE and boss of Hagshadow). "Liberty Nest" is their first release and contains six tracks that are the perfect mix of their past music experiences. The meaning of Hexas in the original Greek form is the number Six, perhaps also Hexe, which in German means "witch", is connected to a continuation of the subject 6. Hexas' aim is not to point the finger indicating what's wrong or else, Hexas is a mirror and it's reflecting back to you images that you'll decode looking at it from the different angles. Besides the fact that we're living in a corporate controlled regime where the crazy dictators can recall you the Reptilian alien Visitors of the 80s show having the same title, musically what we have in this six tracks MCD? Well, as I said Patrick and Gaya musical souls interacted and if Gaya brought in her noisy semi controlled sounds, Patrick merged that with rhythms and a bit of melodies. The tracks differ the one from the other in which way the elements have been balanced. To give you some idea, the opening track is sounding like being under a bombing where between the explosions we hear martial rhythms, dissonant chords and declamating treated vocals. "Reptilian Culture" sounds like a SchrÄge Musik track remixed by Gaya. "Hellborn" is tense, noisy and mix a rhythm which recalls me Boyd Rice's roto guitar sound with feedbacks and Gaya's vocals. At the moment is not important to describe how much noise or rhythms every track contains, because this MCD contains no fillers and it's a really inspired release that I'm suggesting you to check if you liked any Patrick's past one. If you are more into power noise and you knew mostly ACL stuff, well, this is the right chance to check another side of her music!

Mikroben Krieg: Intrascape

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Aug 22 2017
Artist: Mikroben Krieg (@)
Title: Intrascape
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Crime League (@)
Rated: *****
When last I heard from Portugal's Mikroben Krieg (Nelson L. Brites), it was 'Final Cut' (2010). Seven years later MK introduces 'Intrascape' which is a very different animal on a different label. This time around there are no vocals (maybe a mixed blessing as Brite's vocals were never that strong, but did humanize the music somewhat) and no spoken word samples. This is orchestrated instrumental electro-industrial heavy on the mood and rhythm. There are only five tracks in a total of 35 minutes (less than half the length of 'Final Cut'). The rhythms are much more elaborate and refined than what was on the last release, and has somewhat of a DnB sound to it. In a way, it reminds me of the instrumental side of Front Line Assembly, or what they use in the instrumental portions of their songs. One thing that is somewhat lacking is defined melody. What melodic content there is tends to be amorphic and simplistically vague. I suppose this is intentional but it leaves something to be desired. MK's rhythms incorporate more breakbeat elements than the last time out too, so things really do move along. 'Intrascape' vacillates between light and dark adding an element of mystery to its soundscapes. While I wasn't really knocked out by it, 'Intrascape' makes for pleasant enough listening, and shows some evolution in Mikroben Krieg's techniques. Maybe next time out will be the killer album.

PIG: Prey & Obey EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
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Aug 20 2017
Artist: PIG
Title: Prey & Obey EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
The creativity of Raymond Watts, the man behind the PIG moniker and the mixing desks as a sound engineer of many well-known names of the scenes (Einsturzende Neubauten and Psychic TV) and also known to be one leg of KMFDM, is experiencing a real state of grace: he released a brand new album - "The Gospel" -, a collection of remixes - "Swine & Punishment" and a couple EPs. "Prey & Obey" is one of them and maybe the most interesting for a set of reasons: the eye (and the ear) could be immediately caught by the inclusion of the remix of the title track by another big name of electronic industrial and synth-rock scene as Leather Strip (...and certainly the remix by Claus Larsen - LS's birth name - is amazing, and IMHO I think he noticed - as I did - that the way of singing sometimes could resemble - it sounds unbelievable - the one of Pete Burns in "You Spin Me Round"), but the track could be a very interesting starting point for forthcoming musical blossoms, as it comes from the collaboration between Raymond and an important portion of industrial-techno band Cubanate (Marc Heal and Phil Barry). This is not the only collaborative track of the EP. Actually, the other two tracks came out of collaborations as well: the more atmospheric "The Cult Of Chaos" got handled by former Combichrist member Z.Marr (he also dropped an electronic remix of "The Revelation"), while the cheekily rockish "The Revelation" (many would be tempted to misspell the title as "The Revolution", as Raymond managed to pour the word 'revelation' into a set of common lyrical constructs where the word 'revolution' gets typically matched..) got forged together with Ben Christo (Ghost, S.O.M.). Furthermore, the Berlin-based producer En Esch pushed an interesting remix of the title track by pushing it towards the boundaries of easily chewable adaptation of electronic dance to soundtracks for those series full of murderers, vampiresque entities or zombie killers.

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