Archive for Industrial rock

Iza’s Highlights of 2021

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 29th December 2021 by izaforestspirit

Another year of no gigs for me but thanks to the Covid 19 vaccine I was able to travel abroad and watch a movie at the cinema. Then new strain of the virus led to new restrictions and event cancellations. It remains to be seen whether I can go to any concerts next year but for now I’m happy with watching live streams and listening to music. Here are my highlights of 2021:

1. Cradle of Filth – Resistance is Futile
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal/Extreme Gothic Metal

Cradle of Filth - Existence Is Futile

It’s been many years since Cradle of Filth have made an album this good. It reminds me of their eerie Gothic horror masterpiece ‘Midian’. Best tracks: ‘Crawling King Chaos’, ‘Suffer Our Dominium’ and ‘How Many Tears To Nurture A Rose’.

2. Therion – Leviathan
Genre: Symphonic Metal

Therion is a band I used to like but I lost interest in their releases over a decade ago. Then I saw their video for ‘Tuonela (featuring Marco Hietala) and I decided to give their new album a go. It turned out to be everything that I love about Therion – mythical themes, operatic vocals and movie soundtrack -style atmospheric symphonic metal. In addition to ‘Tuonela’, my favorite tracks are ‘Eye of Algol’ and ‘Nocturnal Light’.

3. Bodom After Midnight – Paint The Sky With Blood
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/Power Metal

Bodom After Midnight, Paint the Sky with Blood, 10" Vinyl - Backstage Rock  Shop

This one is technically an EP but in this case I decided to make an exception. This is Alexi Laiho’s (ex-Children of Bodom) swansong, the last three tracks he recorded with his new band before he died last year.

4. Helloween – Helloween
Genre: Power Metal

Helloween - Helloween

While it’s no match to ‘The Dark Ride’, Helloween’s self-titled is the most memorable power metal album I’ve heard this year. Very uplifting and energetic from start to finish. Best tracks: ‘Fear of The Fallen’, ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Best Time’.

5. Blue Stahli – Obsidian
Genre: Industrial Rock/Electric Rock

This album is the final part of the industrial artist Bret Autrey aka Blue Stahli’s Dead Channel Trilogy and my favorite one out of the three. Energetic industrial rock at its finest. Best tracks: ‘The Mountain’ and ‘One Last Breath’.

6. Lord of The Lost – Judas
Genre: Gothic Metal/Dark Rock/Industrial Metal

I had some serious doubts about Lord of The Lost being able to produce another good album after the masterpiece that was ‘Thornstar’. The reason why ‘Judas’ is so low down on this list is because I didn’t like the second disc as much as the first. I think that it would have been better if it was shorter. Best tracks: ‘Priest’, ‘For They Know Not What They Do’ and ‘Born With A Broken Heart’.

7. Hate – Rugia
Genre: Black Metal/ Blackened Death Metal

Hate - Rugia

Hate tend to get overlooked by many extreme metal fans and dismissed as a Behemoth clone. Whilst they also come from Poland and they play blackened death metal, the similarities end there. Their music is far less technical than Behemoth but it’s just as dark and bleak. I love the Slavic mythology themes on here. Best tracks ‘Rugia’ and ‘Resurgence’.

8. Lacrimosa – Leidenschaft
Genre: Gothic Metal

Finally a new album from one of my favorite Gothic metal bands. This one has the same melancholic ambience as their previous opus ‘Testimonium’ along with some heavier, more metal songs. Best tracks: ‘Kulturtasche’ and ‘Raubtier’.

9. Blutengel – Erlösung – The Victory of Light
Genre: Synthpop/ Darkwave

For those who don’t know I have a thing for vampires and German electronica which is what got me into Blutengel. The latest opus from the German darkwave duo features several really good dancefloor hits including: ‘The Victory of Light’, ‘Wir Sind Das Licht’ and ‘Darkness Awaits Us’.

10. Eisbrecher – Liebe Macht Monster
Genre: Industrial Metal

If you like industrial, Neue Deutsche Härte and you’re looking for some new exercise music then ‘Liebe Macht Monster’ is the album for you. Best tracks: ‘Es lohnt sich nicht ein Mensch zu sein’ and ‘Nein Danke’ and ‘Dagegen featuring Dero Goi (Oomph!, Die Kreatur).

Honorable mentions:

Ex Deo – The 13 Years of Nero
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSVkjiUxW0M
Theatres des Vampires – In Nomine Sanguinis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XCn6mihi6s
Powerwolf – Call of The Wild
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf5SMqG-JHk

Most anticipated albums of 2022 – Sabaton – The War To End All Wars, new albums from Suicide Commando and Agathodaimon.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Iza Raittila


Ministry – Moral Hygiene

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 1st October 2021 by Mickelrath

Ministry
Moral Hygiene
Industrial, Nu-Metal
Released: 1st October 2021
via Nuclear Blast

Ok, this album is pretty intense. They have never been the sort to hide away from their views and thoughts on the world. On this album they really go for the jugular and hit home. Their unique blend of eletronica and metal is present and their industrial sound is very stylish and works well here. Ministry is one of those bands that I could never truly get into fully. They make music that is slightly out there music and it can be quite difficult to get into at times. I guess I just have to be in the mood for it. However, this new record Moral Hygiene is an interesting listening experience… in 2021. It really does feel that the band should’ve released this in Donald Trump’s presidency. As some of the lyrics are questionable.

As always with Al Jourgensen and his merry band of industrial insanity, the music is pretty heavy. Both in lyrical theme and in production. The production itself reminds me of all of the good things in the industrial genre. Heavy toned chords, electronica and heavy percussion that hits hard. The music is really abrasive and confronts you directly. It’s a Ministry album, to say the least. I really like how the album flows together from one song to another. Like the intro “Alert Level” goes straight into “Good Trouble”, which makes the album more bingeable, and allows the listener to go through repeat listens without too much stop, start. You can tell that Ministry has a clear influence in EDM as they integrate EDM into heavy metal quite well and pretty seamlessly. 

Lyrically, you can tell that the band wanted to put this album out during the Trump administration as quite a few lyrics seem to be directed to him and the support for the republican. It ultimately still works. Though it’s still jarring in 2021 after Trump is no longer in power. The same can be said for the previous album AmeriKKKant. It’s not bad but it makes the album pretty dated. Unlike other political rock albums they don’t really make much of an effort to make the songs timeless. An example of political albums that stood the test of time would be The Clash’s London Calling

Overall, not a bad album. Again, I’m not much of a fan of Ministry but this was a bit more listenable than a lot of their work that I’ve been exposed to. It’s a good album and for Ministry fans, it’s more to add to the back catalogue. 

6/10

Mick Birchall

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

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, 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!

Deathstars live in Tampere, Finland

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , on 28th September 2014 by izaforestspirit

Woland, Deathstars
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
27th September 2014

Deathstars and I go way back… I first discovered them in my late teens, back in 2003 when their debut album was released. I liked them then and I still like them now. This was actually my third Deathstars gig – I saw them at a festival once then again a few years later when they supported Rammstein. The last show I saw was at a massive stadium; a venue which though perfect for Rammstein, was way too big for these guys. They struggled to connect with the audience and looked uncomfortable when faced with such a massive crowd.

Tonight was much better. The venue, Klubi was considerably smaller and packed full of eager fans.

The warm-up was a Finnish black metal band called Woland. These guys were only on for half an hour so there’s not an awful lot that I can say about them based on such a short performance. Their style is melodic and atmospheric at times. They sounded decent but there was nothing particularly exciting about their music. 3/5

Deathstars
The night club Klubi offers more intimate setting that Whiplasher and his motley crew thrived in. They played a good mix of old and new tracks including ‘Explode’ and ‘The Devil’s Toys’ from the new album and several classics such as ‘Tongues’, ‘Synthetic Generation’, ‘Play God’ and ‘Blood Stains Blondes’. The two main highlights of the night for me were the ultra catchy ‘Death Dies Hard’ and one of my personal favorites ‘Cyanide’.

This was definitely the best Deathstars gig I’ve been to. It just shows what a big difference the venue makes to the overall experience. Deathstars are best suited for a small club venue and I’m glad that they came to my city. 4.5/5



Iza Raittila

New single, video and album from Inkilina Sazabra

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 28th May 2014 by Pieni

 photo DSC_0952_1_zps455daf0d.jpg

Portuguese industrial rock band Inkilina Sazabra (see live report from HardMetalFest here) are about to release their third full-length album, “Maldita(mente)“. The date is set for 9th June, via Dicepeca Records, and it will have the following track list:

01-Maldita(mente)
02-Oiço conselhos demais
03-Desejo maldito
04-Sê maldito
05-Aos mortos
06-Capital animal
07-Não o queiras como amigo
08-Mesquinho
09-Lado negativo
10-Psico
11-Vejo a tortura
12-Ao longe
13-Se for amor

 photo malditamente_zps03589309.jpg

Until then, you can purchase the single “Desejo Maldito” and/or enjoy its video:

The Gifted – Inside Out

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 21st October 2013 by izaforestspirit

The Gifted
Inside Out
Released 6th July 2013
Industrial Rock
Hit It With A Hammer Records

 photo insideout_zps1305f263.jpg

‘Inside Out’ is the new album from the Sheffield based, industrial rock band The Gifted.

First up is the rather gloomy sounding Why (Make Me Feel This Way)? featuring the guitar patterns and haunting vocal style of Marilyn Manson. The melancholy doesn’t stop there either as the subsequent tracks offer more of the same depressingly nihilistic industrial rock akin to the likes of mid-career Nine Inch Nails or early works by A Perfect Circle/Tool. The short instrumental ‘Smile’ is a good example of the Nine Inch Nails influence creeping into the guitar sound. There’s even hints of old Ministry here on some of the guitar patterns e.g. the intro to Break.

The industrial influence can be found in the keyboard style and guitar patterns on tracks such as Everything Is Relative. One thing that I can’t get my head round are the vocals and the way the singer keeps alternating between three different styles: the eerie, slightly distorted Marilyn Manson -esque ones, the angry shouts of Nine Inch Nails and the clear Korn-esque nu-metal moaning. Personally I think that the former style suits them better but that’s just me… Then there is the weird slow ballad Home which is so distinctly different from the rest of the album it actually sounds like it was performed by another band….

Overall this album has some potential as far as industrial rock goes. The problem is that the vocals are all over the place in terms of style and influences. A little less experimentation and a little more focus could be the keys to success for these guys.

3/5

Iza Raittila

Broken Links – Disasters: Ways To Leave A Scene

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 18th November 2012 by izaforestspirit

Broken Links
Disasters: Ways To Leave A Scene
Released: November2012
Industrial Rock / Goth/ Alternative Rock
Released via Devil Theory Records

Disasters: Ways To Leave A Scene is the debut album from the British industrial rock band Broken Links.

Electrik seems like a fitting name for the opening track which features a good mix of synths, heavy guitar riffs and standard rock style vocals. There’s something very uplifting about this band’s take on industrial rock, I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. Somehow the combination of the energetic guitar riffs and the singer’s passionate, melancholic vocals creates this happy vibe making you want to wave your hands around and sing along. The synth-laden intro to What Are You Waiting For? gives the track a certain darkwave/gothic feel to it. For a while you think this is going to be a slow and sombre ballad, then melodic guitars kick in picking up the pace and with them the vocals breathe new life to the song.

Then there’s the atmospheric, ambient-style, synth-driven Choice/Decay (Part I) and its melodic guitar infused twin Choice/Decay (Part II)’; the combination of which is the closest thing the band has to a rock ballad. There’s some really odd stuff happening during the intro to Therapy Sessions In The Dark; experimental guitar riffage and synth…hmm…I’m not sure if that was really necessary – then again neither was the industrial noise part in the intermission track. The weirdness doesn’t stop there though, as the bizarre synth noise makes a brief comeback in the later stages of the track. Luckily next up is Cherno which is a far less complicated beast, marking a return to the energetic industrial rock style of its predecessors.

Another noteworthy track is the melodic and atmospheric instrumental A Memory of Home which has this tranquil feel to it setting it apart from the rest of the album.

Overall this is one of the most unique rock albums I have ever reviewed. Broken Links is not an easy band to categorise and their debut is full of surprises. It may not be flawless but it’s definitely worth checking out in my opinion.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila