Archive for Heimataerde

Iza’s Highlights of 2016 (part 1: Industrial/EBM/darkwave)

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Industrial, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30th December 2016 by izaforestspirit

2016 is almost over which means that it’s now time for my annual “Best of” or “Highlights” as I prefer to call them. This year’s edition will be in two parts – industrial and metal. I’m still working on my list of top ten metal albums so I’ve decided to list the industrial ones first. So here are my favorite industrial/EBM and electro releases of 2016:

1. Lord of the Lost – Empyrean
Genre: Industrial Rock/Dark Rock

Lord of the Lost is a new discovery for me. I’ve been ignoring them for years, thinking that they were some sort of glam rock band. Then this year I had the pleasure of seeing them live when they supported Combichrist and I was totally blown away by their performance. I ended up buying all their albums. They sound like a mixture of HIM and Deathstars. ‘Empyrean’ is their heaviest and most complex album to date. Stand-out tracks: ‘Drag Me to Hell’ and ‘In Silence’

2. Heimataerde – Aerdenbrand
Genre: Medieval Industrial/Aggrotech

The German brotherhood of dark electro Templar knights are back with a new album. Fans of their work will know what to expect from this one; atmospheric dark electro with a medieval tinge. It’s a delightful mix of creepy and catchy Aggrotech with both ballads and dancefloor hits. Favourite tracks: ‘Fühl die Zeit (featuring Joachim Witt)’ and the kids’ nursery rhyme -inspired ‘Hick Hack Hackelbeil’.

3. Combichrist – This is Where Death Begins
Genre: Industrial Rock/Aggrotech

This album was not the easiest one to get into. Fans of Combichrist’s older songs will be shocked to discover just how guitar-driven this band has become. The previous album ‘We Love You’ was just a taster of what’s to come. The industrial and harsh electro elements are still present, but guitars are making inroads and they are here to stay. Combichrist is now an industrial rock band. As soon as you accept that you might actually start to enjoy this album. I did. Favourite songs: ‘Exit Eternity’, ‘My Life My Rules and ‘Skullcrusher’.

4. Memmaker – Let There Be Lasers
Genre – Power Noise/Rhythmic Noise

Eight years is a long time to wait for an album and that’s how long it’s been since Memmaker released their debut ‘How to Enlist a Robot Uprising’. Luckily the follow-up ‘Let The Be Lasers’ was worth the wait. The Canadian power noise band have essentially picked up from where they left off. So if you like power noise and songs about space travel and robots is your thing, then this is the album for you. Best tracks: ‘Doom Ray’, ‘Manipulate’ and ‘Race to Space (feat. Detroit Diesel)’.

5. Nachtmahr – Kampfbereit
Genre: Techno Industrial/Aggrotech

Nachtmahr are a bit controversial band within the industrial scene. Their music has always had a militaristic theme which has led to allegations of fascism. They sure like to harbour a fetish for women in uniform but I never quite got the fascist or misogynistic connections. I personally I like their music and I try not to think too much about their imagery. This year was the first time that I chose not to buy a physical copy of their new album. I have enough coffee-table books and these days I mostly listen to their music at the gym. So I bought the digital version instead. It’s great treadmill/cross trainer music. Best tracks: ‘Kampbereit’, ‘Tempus Fugit’ and ‘Burning Bridges’.

6. Scandroid – Scandroid
Genre: Synthwave

Scandroid is a side-project of the American musician Klayton (Celldweller, Circle of Dust). It was originally a two-man project featuring Klayton and Nick Pittsinger (Varien) who took on the identities of “Red” and “Raven” in the futuristic cyberpunk world of Neo-Tokyo, where the Scandroid story takes place. “Raven” left the project in 2014 which means Scandroid is now a solo project with “Red” as the main character. The music is a mixture of ’80s -style synth-pop/synthwave with a sci-fi tinge. The album tells a story so it’s difficult to pick out any specific individual tracks, but personally I’m very fond of ‘Aphelion’, ‘Empty Streets’ and ‘Neo-Tokyo’.

7. Terrolokaust – Dissensions
Genre: Industrial Rock/Aggrotech/Dark Electro

This year I finally got to see this Spanish harsh electro duo live at Resistanz Festival. That was a good show which served as my introduction to the band. They are similar to Combichrist in a sense as their style has changed from Aggrotech towards a more industrial rock sound. Their latest opus ‘Dissensions’ contains a mixture of both styles. There is something here for fans of either genre – whether it’s dance tracks like ‘Pursuit of Ruin’ or guitar driven industrial rock song such as ‘A Masochist’s Tale’.

8.Ost+Front
Genre: Neue-Deutsche-Härte

I have to be honest here in that I have mixed feelings about this album and Ost+Front in general. They give the impression of being essentially a Rammstein-clone, adapting not only the music and vocal style but also the themes and the imagery of their world-famous countrymen. Despite this I decided to include their new album on this list because of a few tracks that stood out – the sombre and profound ballad ‘Sternenkinder’ and ‘Bruderherz’. ‘Fiesta de sexo’ also deserves a mention due to guest appearance of Erk Aicrag (Hocico).

9. My Own Sorrow – The Entity
Genre: Dark Electro/Occult Ambient

‘The Entity’ is the latest album from the Swedish dark electro artist My Own Sorrow. His music is primarily instrumental, atmospheric dark electro with strong themes of horror and occultism. All the songs have an eerie feel to them. It’s like listening soundtrack to a horror movie. Best tracks ‘Succubus’ and ‘Rats In The Walls’.

10. Blutzukker – The Ultimate Collection
Genre: Dark Electro

Blutzukker is the dark electro project of the German artist Ben Blutzukker. He is currently involved in two projects; a heavy metal band under the name of Ben Blutzukker, who released an EP last year and the aforementioned dark electro act Blutzukker. What we have here isn’t really a new release but rather a collection of all Blutzukker’s works including some rarities and unreleased demos. So if you like dark electro, horror themes with a touch of humour then I would strongly recommend this. Best tracks ‘Fright Club’, ‘Queen of the Nite’, ‘The Vampire Strikes Back’.

Biggest new discovery: Lord of the Lost
Best live show: it’s a tie between Combichrist live in Tampere and Memmaker at Club Infektio, Helsinki
Most Anticipated albums of 2016:
Marilyn Manson – Say10
Blutengel – Leitbild
New albums by Suicide Commando and Grendel

Stay tuned for the metal edition, coming soon!

Advertisements

Iza’s highlights of 2014 (part 2: Industrial)

Posted in Industrial with tags , , , , , on 31st December 2014 by izaforestspirit

Best Industrial albums

1. Combichrist – We Love You
Genre: Aggrotech/ Industrial Metal


I remember when Combichrist announced that the new album was going to feature guitars it sparked endless discussions in the industrial scene. Some individuals hated the idea of an electronic band incorporating guitars and a “metal influence” into Aggrotech music. Not me. I’m a fan of both industrial and metal so I was more than happy with this combination. Their previous release, the Devil May Cry sountrack ‘No Redemption’ was a taster of what was to come. ‘We Love You’ still has many of the catchy, dance-floor friendly songs which make Combichrist so good but like ‘No Redemption’ it also has the aggression of a metal album. Best tracks: ‘Can’t Control’ , ‘From My Cold Dead Hands’, ‘Maggots at The Party’,

2. Nitronoise – No Cure For Apocalypse
Genre: Aggrotech

The main thing that I love about this band is the sheer energy and the intensity of their music. Listening to it makes me feel like I’m participating in a competitive sports event. It gives you that rush of adrenaline, making you want to keep fighting or go that extra mile. I have both their albums and each one has a few songs that I frequently listen to when I’m working out. Best tracks: ‘Want Some’, ‘Censorshit’ , ‘We Demand Better (featuring Nachtmahr).

3. Heimataerde – Kaltwærts
Genre: Dark Industrial/ Medieval Electro


The beauty with Heimataerde is that despite their distinctive style, no two albums of theirs sound the same. This one has a lot of atmospheric undertones but it also features some dance-floor friendly club tracks. Oh and there’s a story too: “the dark antagonist Zebaoth has captured friar Andreas and is now setting out to bring fear and horror unto the world. The brotherhood wants to stop this evil force at all costs and embarks into the cold to destroy the demon once and for all times and to rescue the friar.” Best tracks: ‘Bruderschaft’, ‘Schwesterlein’ and ‘Weiß schwarz’.

4. Nachtmahr- Feindbild
Genre: Aggrotech


I was very busy with some personal stuff at the time when this album come out. I remember when this delightful coffee-table CD book arrived, I simply put it on the shelf in hope of finding the time to enjoy it at a later date. When that time came I gave it several listens and all I can say is that it’s a very good album though not quite as memorable as their debut or ‘Veni Vidi Vici’. Best tracks ‘The Torch’ and ‘Die Fahnen Unserer Väter’ .

5. Ad Inferna – Opus 7:Elevation
Genre: Industrial/EBM with black metal elements


This band is hugely underrated in my opinion. Their style is a mixture of EBM, industrial with a atmospheric elements. They originally started out as a black metal band. If you’re interested in learning more about them, check out my interview with VoA (https://valkyrianmusic.com/2014/06/17/interview-with-voa-from-ad-inferna/). ‘Opus 7: Elevation’ is their strongest and most complex release to date. There’s a bit of everything here, from aggression, dance tracks, atmospheric, movie soundtrack style elements to operatic vocals and black metal shrieks. Best tracks: ‘Non- Existance’, ‘Soumission’ and ‘InVisible’ (featuring Morpheus from Limbonic Art).

6. KMFDM – Our Time Will Come
Genre: Electro-Industrial/ Industrial Rock


This is actually my very first KMFDM album. After several years of ignoring the recommendations from various friends, I finally decided to give them a try. I took a few listens but in the end I’m pleased with my discovery. I like their combination of tongue n’ cheek humour with catchy, heavy beats and powerful vocals. Best tracks: ‘Genau’, ‘Respekt’.

Most Anticipated Albums of 2015

Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker (release date: 15th April 2015)

New albums by Cradle of Filth, Suicide Commando, Alien Vampires and Unter Null.

Happy New Year Everyone!