Archive for Industrial rock

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!

Deathstars live in Tampere, Finland

Posted in Gig, Industrial, Live, Rock 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

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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

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

The Gifted – Inside Out

Posted in CD, Industrial, Rock with tags , , on 21st October 2013 by izaforestspirit

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

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‘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 Alternative, CD, Industrial, Rock 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