Music Reviews



Sektor 304: Subliminal Actions

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
 Edit (6962)
Apr 02 2012
cover
Artist: Sektor 304 (@)
Title: Subliminal Actions
Format: CD
Label: Malignant Records (@)
Distributor: Malignant Records
Rated: *****
This is my first experience with Sektor 304 and HOLY CRAP! Is this ever an INDUSTRIAL album, in the truest sense of the word. No this isn't dance-floor Industrial; no EBM, 16th note sequenced electronics, catchy choruses, etc.; it is much closer to the Test Dept., Crash Worship, early Einstürzende Neubauten, form of Industrial music. Sektor 304 hails from Portugal and the members are André Coelho, J, Filipe, Henriques Fernandes, and Gustavos Costa. Sektor 304's instrumentation includes Junk, Metal, Powertools, Noises, Ambience, Amplified Objects, etc. as well as the more conventional Percussion, Beats, Synths, Trombone (trombone??, yes trombone) and vocals, usually of the shouted variety. There is nothing conventional about this battery and its coterie though. From what I can tell Sektor 304 has been around since around 2008 with a couple of previous releases, but this one is likely to dwarf prior efforts.

Opening track, 'A Carving on Metal Skin' provides a descriptive title for the bombast that follows. It sounds like a huge dumptruck of junk, garbage and industrial waste is being emptied right on your doorstep. ('Back up the truck boys and put it right there!') 'A Vessel of Guilt' features pounding post-apocalyptic tribal rhythm and angry shouted vocals accented with the screaming of circular saws and other powertools, breaking glass, twisted metal, and other dark matter. This is maniacal to say the least. If 'A Carving on Metal Skin' is the soup, and 'A Vessel of Guilt' is the appetizer, 'By The Throat' is the main course where you're thrust into an arena of death, pain and destruction that makes Mad Max's Thunderdome seem like a wimpy version of 'Hunger Games'. Gotta love those staccato percussive accents and barked orc vocals that break up the tribal polyrhythm.

This is a very dark album, and I'd expect nothing less from a band on the Malignant label. This music is all about atmosphere; an atmosphere of oppression, malevolence, torture, violence, despair, decay, and corrosion. Effective use of noise squalls, keening electronics, doom bass, and primitive percussive elements (banging on metal drums?) and dark ambiences with growled shouted vocals makes 'Subliminal Actions' a listening experience to be reckoned with. What impresses me most about Sektor 304 is that they don't stick to the same formula on every track. I imagine that a good deal of this was improvised and just sort of came about, rather than being calculated. A track such as 'Friction' with its diverse sonic elements and muted percussive aspects could only have been planned in the most rudimentary way. The further you go into 'Subliminal Actions' the more it moves away from the tribal rhythms of the earlier tracks, and seems to descend into the bowels of the hellish sound engine that drives it. This is where the tortured souls of the damned dwell; Sisyphus-like in their futile tasks to keep it all running. But there's a lot more than that- in this thick, sludgy atmosphere of desolation, the ordeal is far from over. While 'Terminal Stage' gives an impression of a long unguided tour through the abyss, 'Concrete Islands' is a trip to a demonic factory that is making God-knows-what in its abominable lair. 'A.A.D.S.' provides a measure of some relief from that environment but has an ominous quality to it; even moreso when the mechanized percussion kicks in, accented by a light tribal rhythm until the whole thing spews out a dense squall of noise right in your face. Even this machine runs out of steam, as machines often do. Final track, 'The Prismatic Sun,' begins with a thick, low frequency feedbacky drone and a whispered recitation. An oscillating tone creeps up the frequency range disappearing into dog-hearing territory and you get the sense this thing is about to come alive. And come alive it does! The most definitive pounding rhythm yet erupts and dominates the proceedings. If there was a pep rally in honor of the great Cthulhu, this would be it. Okay, well there is no chanting of 'Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn'¦' but it wouldn't be out of place.

This album is so worthy as an example of what real 'Industrial' music should be that it seems hard to top. However, I'm reserving half-a-star out of a perfect rating just in case Sektor 304 does manage to do just that with their next release.

N.E.O.: Sindustrial

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
 Edit (6958)
Mar 30 2012
cover
Artist: N.E.O. (@)
Title: Sindustrial
Format: CD
Label: Koerperschall Records/Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
"Welcome to the industrial paradise...welcome to the underground...welcome to... industrial". This is the way N.E.O. (acronym for New Electronic Order), a duo made up of Arne Gutowski aka Tandrin (some acolytes of electro-industrial scene might remember him for being the voice of Mechanical Moth as well as for his very long blonde dreadlocks, which let someone argue he could have a steel-plated scalp!) and Disdain greats the listener with a cold female voice, whose articulating looks like she would announce some train delay in Hell-o. This Sindustrial (nice word trick!) offers quite good stomper with many interesting vocal samples, distorted guiras, mechanical noises and drum machine's rumbling, which are going to make the wearing of gas masks compulsary for the big amount of sweat they can produce in proper settings (amongst others, tracks I reccomend are "Irre Explodieren Nicht", "War Of Fidelity", "Enjoy My Sickness" and the interesting final march of "Hoffnung" - maybe the best one - for some interesting sonic make-up), but the clutter of references could appear a little bit cliched even though it pretend to be "unconventional" or referred to underground culture. The risk a good product could sink in listener's opinion just for looking so stereotyped to be associated with an exergame by Konami or with the nihilist kinks of some omnidirectional teeny-geeky anger (as the declaration of intents in the booklet in tune with those resounding proclamation made by groups of angry nerds speaking about a revolution against "all these downpressed beats, limited to their death" whereas other kinds of revolutions could be more meaningful...) is high, but this is just their debut and I'm pretty sure it will have good response (and just some cramps in legs) in more frenzied cyber or industrial-goth appealed parties.

Industriegebeit: Wer Schoen Sein Will Muss Sterben

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
 Edit (6954)
Mar 27 2012
cover
Artist: Industriegebeit (@)
Title: Wer Schoen Sein Will Muss Sterben
Format: CD
Label: Koerperschall Records/Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Almost in conjuction with the issue of last Ellipse's album I've recently smuggled in Chain DLK's server, this second rise under Industriegebiet moniker by the mind behind Korperschall Records corroborates my good opinion on Massimo's hyperkinetic creativity. Its stomping steps, the asphyxiating pumping in the groove of distorted drum machines' snarls, synth trumpets, sinister industrial noises, phat beats and other stylistical elements could lead to an easy association of other notorious acts of industrial dance such as Combichrist, Eisenfunk or Nachtmahr, but Industriegebeit's sound often hitches other sonic wagons such as hard techno, breakbeat and goa without disdaining the addition of funky breaks and psychedelic digressions insomuch as projects such as Eat Static (maybe because of braking noise and toytronic sounds in Erniedrigung recalled tracks like "Crash & Burn") and many other "ravenmeister" of that scene. Moreover he joins to the interesting musical flow which tries to vehiculate social exposure, current affairs related to the devastating bequests of the dying beast of capitalism and most morbid misapplication of liberalism by the humorous usage of samples. The title itself, "Wer schoen sein will muss sterben" (whoever wants to be beautiful has to die), might refer to the distinctive feature of some contemporary culture systems, where every aesthetic and even ethical say-so must go through a burial ceremony. This album is rich of sonic firebombs for dancehalls, being my favorite ones "Traum, der nie zu Ende geht", "Gott hat Urlab", "Herzblut" (it really seems Massimo made a sonic and rhythmical translation of recordings taken from interventricular or coronary arteries of a giant!) and "Auf den Tisch hauen". It's possible some devotional Kraftwerk fans - I refer to that kind of fan who thinks a musical track could be sacred that cannot be transfigured - can turn up their nose at that cover of Die Roboter, but its presence doesn't jar with the rest of the album.

Ellipse: Verlorene Zeit

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
 Edit (6952)
Mar 26 2012
cover
Artist: Ellipse (@)
Title: Verlorene Zeit
Format: CD
Label: Koerperschall Records/Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
In spite of such a title - "Verlorene Zeit" means "wasted time" and refers to the concept this release revolves around -, lending an ear (or two) to Maximilian Wall aka Massimo's third album with his moniker Ellipse is not a waste of time. Maybe his ideas will not appear so bright or groundbreaking to experienced listeners, but I'm pretty sure some stylistical hooks and a certain indie aftertaste are going to please many young listeners, who are approaching to different genres and looking for both entartaining dynamics and lyrics of significance, so that it seems that Massimo blazes an eliptic trail around EBM, darkwave and techno in order to seed it with good guitar phrasing, various instrumental parts (there are many tracks with catching "orchestral" melodic hooks) and well-chosen female back vocals (Serathina on the mic), which succeeds in polishing the peculiar brutality of this kind of musical stuff without appearing too convoluted. Any insert isn't obstructive so that any song goes straight to the ears and body of the listener, which will be enchanted by the balance Ellipse's sound manages to hold between technology and a vague sense of classical beauty combined with a strong hook to the surrounding reality (maybe overcrowded by other kind of hooks, which steals our precious time, which could be devoted to the research of this balance, as songs like Fakeland, an occasion for Massimo to introduce a new voice of the scene, the one by Pete, whose project Pain Lavel should be launched soon, seems to suggest). I enjoyed tracks where he let pulse a dark-folk vein more ("Grenzwert", "Zeitmaschine", "Herzwalzer"), but there are many highlights such as "Wir schaun uns dumm", "Ich weiss nicht mehr wer ich bin", "Bleib bei mir" (the one entirely sung by Serathina) or "Geldsucht" which are ready to inspire wild dances and climb dedicated charts.

Herzparasit: Fromme Lammer

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Music / Industrial Metal / Aggro Industrial / Electro Metal
 Edit (6943)
Mar 20 2012
cover
Artist: Herzparasit (@)
Title: Fromme Lammer
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
In order to quieten any doubt about filing the music they play since their debut release, Herzparasit stated they situate their style in the so-called Deutschen Herz-Industrialmetal (literally meaning German heart industrial metal) definition and, as it's clear from what they sing in "Scharfer Schlaf", they don't like any comparison with well-known bands such as Rammstein (I've noticed many people clumsily lug this best-seller band any time they recognize a band singing in German and using distorted guitar even if it plays lollipop blues!) or OOMPH!. In reality, this formation, made up of singer Ric-Q (former frontman and singer of Redline) and guitarist El Toro (Monztafarm), could be placed in a sort of stylistical enclave, surrounded by the above-mentioned notorious bands and other quite famous ones such as Eisbrecher and Unheilig, but they arguably sieved their wheat in order to propose a personal way to reach listener's heart (in order to poison them?) through a blend of those ferocious industrial-metal embodiments and dark, electronic and gothic-metal elements, so that holding Herzparasit up as plagiarists wouldn't be so fair. More than Rammstein or OOMPH!, it seems the real starting point of this band is gothic-rock stuff, which sounds really refurbished with such a crossbreed with industrial metal musical syntax, as someone could guess by concentrating on the lyrical content (a little bit specious in some moments and too close-fitting with some "spiritual" cliches of the scene, but quite intense and metaphoric) and on the use of synths and effects. I don't really like some songs when Ric-Q looks like emulating power-metal way of singing with high note prolonged vocalzing, but discerning it as discord could just be a matter of personal taste, whereas there're some nice songs where he juggles with voice in a funny way (such as in "Alphatier", "Flaschengeist", "Blut will fliessen" - one of the highlight of their weaponry - or in the duet with Nemesis on "Giftschlange"). In some days, Herzparasit will support Umbra et Imago during their German tour, a good occasion to spread their music and outline their personality by making those differences some music press has often missed clearer to trained audiences. I'm pretty sure they'll reach their goal as well as I'm sure you're not going to find their cd inside an Easter egg due to the provokingly nice cover artwork!


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha