Archive for Industrial

Lumous Gothic Festival 2019

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 14th July 2019 by izaforestspirit

Golden Apes, Danse Society, Das Ich
Pakkahuone and Dog’s Home, Tampere, Finland
12-13th July 2019

Summer is here again. One of my summer traditions since 2012 has been to attend the Lumous Gothic Festival. This year was no exception. The only minor change was that of the main venue. Throughout the time that I have been going there it the main acts have always performed place at Klubi. However Klubi is currently being renovated so the event was moved to Pakkahuone, a much larger venue located in the same building. I have seen several metal shows there before but this was a first for Lumous Gothic Festival.

Friday
This was the main day for me as most of the bands which I wanted to see were playing then. I was mostly looking forward to Das Ich and I had limited knowledge of the other bands.

First up was a Spanish darkwave band called My Own Burial. These guys are really into old horror movies and the performance had lots of eerie visions. The music was catchy and fun to dance to. They reminded me a little of Los Carniceros del Norte minus the punk elements. So a good start to the night. 3.5/5
My Own Burial

Then it was time for a German Goth rock band Golden Apes. I’m not a massive fan of Goth rock but I have to admit that the vocals were pretty good. Their singer’s vocal style sounded like a cross between Elvis and Jyrki from The 69 Eyes. 3.5/5
Golden Apes

Finally it was time for the main band that I came to see. I discovered Das Ich at the same festival four years ago and it was great to see them live again. I loved the stage actics and the music was fantastic. They played some new material plus some classic hits including ’Destillat’, ’Gott ist tot’, Das dunkel Land’ and my personal favourite ’Reaminat’. 5/5
DAS ICH again

DAS ICH

DAS ICH -Bruno

Saturday

Day Two of the festival started a little earlier since I decided to catch some of the bands playing on the second stage located at a different venue called Dog’s Home. Dog’s Home is essentially a pub or bar near the train station. Unlike Pakkahuone which is primarily an event venue, Dog’s Home is mostly used as a bar but it also doubles as a small gig venue. The stage is pretty small and rather low down.

The Swedish occult dark electro solo artist Blood Magick was on first. The project was originally known as My Own Sorrow and the lyrical themes are centered around horror and the occult. Sadly the venue didn’t do the performance justice. That place really isn’t ideal for an electronic show. For instance, the stage is tiny and there is limted space for props and no means to project any visual imagery. Still, Blood Magick did his best with the limited resources. He managed to convey the creepy atmosphere through which was good. 3.5/5
Blood Magick

Next up was a Finnish goth rock band called Murnau’s Playhouse. These guys drew in a bigger crowd and they put on an entertaining show. 3.5/5
Murnau's Playhouse

Then it was time to move to Pakkahuone for the remainder of the night. The main band that caught my attention, my new discovery was the Russian Gothic rock duo Raven Said. The clue is in the name, Raven Said… I guess that ”Quoth the Raven” might have been a bit too obvious. Oh yes, this band is all about Gothic horror and the works of Edgar Allan Poe. They even have a song called ’Lenore”. The visuals worked a treat too. I will definitely have to give their music a listen. 4/5
Raven Said

Sadly I was unable to stick around for the main headliners, Inertia. So the last band I saw was a British Goth rock band called The Danse Society. More Goth rock… There is not a lot that I can say about their performance. It was fairly good as far as Goth rock goes, I’m just not a massive fan of the genre. Also with a name like The Danse Society, I expected something a bit more dance-inspired. 3.5/5
The Danse Society

In summary I had a great time at Lumous Gothic Festival. Das Ich were excellent and I made a new discovery in Raven Said. Blood Magick’s performance would have worked better at a different venue. Kiitos Lumous Gothic Festival! See you next year!

Iza Raittila

Psyclon Nine – Icon of The Adversary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 17th September 2018 by izaforestspirit

Psyclon Nine
Icon of The Adversary
Released 24th August 2018
Industrial/ Industrial Metal with Black Metal elements
Released via Metropolis Records

I really wasn’t expecting to hear anything new from Psyclon Nine again. It’s been five years since their last opus ‘Order of The Shadow: Act 1’. The following year proved to be a very turbulent time to the band with various factors contributing towards what effectively became the end of Psyclon Nine. Or so I thought… It turned out that band needed some time to recover, regroup and refocus. After several line-up changes and a few successful live shows in 2015, it became pretty clear that Psyclon Nine were back. They are now a trio and frontman Nero Bellum is the only original member left.

So that’s the background out of the way, now on to music… If I were to sum this album up into just a few words it would be ‘creepy, gritty and disturbing’. As far as genre classifications go, there’s a fair bit of dark ambient on here. This is most notably on the opening track. The eerie-sounding, analog synth and voice samples are also prominent on Behold An Icon. Nero Bellum’s black metal -esque shrieks are as haunting as ever and the guitars have a coarse and unsettling feel to them.

The predominant style is industrial metal as evidenced by the likes of Crown of The Worm which reminded me a lot of their previous works. It has all the markings of a classic Psyclon Nine song; in other words thunderous guitars, atmospheric synth noise and harsh, creepy vocals. Beware The Wolves also caught my attention due to the change in vocal style, from shrieks to an eerie rasp which reminded me of Marilyn Manson’s trilogy. The only disappointing part of the album is the final track The Last. I’ve never been a massive fan of dark ambient so having to endure it for nearly fifteen minutes seems a little too much.

In summary, ‘Icon of Adversary’ is one of those bleak, creepy “feel bad” albums. ‘Creepy, gritty and disturbing’ seems to be very fitting for Psyclon Nine in 2018 given what they have been through. I would personally skip the final track unless you’re really into dark ambient but other than that this is a good industrial album and black metal fans might like it too.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Lumous Gothic Festival 2018

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , on 15th July 2018 by izaforestspirit

Novus, Auger, Terrolokaust
Dog’s Home and Klubi, Tampere, Finland
13-14th July 2018

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to attend festivals. Lumous Gothic Festival is the biggest Gothic event in Finland and it just happens to take place in the city where I live. I’ve been attending this every year since 2012. The music ranges from Goth rock, darkwave, neo-folk to various forms of industrial and EBM.

Friday

This time I was mostly interested in the Saturday line-up. There was however a free show happening at The Dog’s Home (a pub next door to the main venue). So I went to check it out. I did not know anything about the band except their name – Chaos Research. It turned out to be a mixture of neo-folk, neo-classical, darkwave and ambient. Eerie operatic vocals, electronic with some additional instruments such as an electric cello and drums. Their show produced a relaxed atmosphere in the venue. 3/5

Saturday

The main day of the festival. I was mainly interested in the industrial rock band Terrolokaust but I checked out the rest of the line-up as well. First up was a British electronic duo called Novus. I quite enjoyed their show. It was fun to dance to. So a good start to the night. 3.5/5

I really liked the next band, Auger – darkwave and also from the UK. Their music sounded like a mixture of Blutengel with the Gothic horror atmosphere of The Vision Bleak. Very theatrical performance, powerful vocals, haunting keyboards and good guitar work. Great show! I really want to check out some of their music. 4.5/5

Then it was time for the night’s headliner – the industrial rock band from Cataluña, Terrolokaust. I’ve seen them live once before at Resistanz Festival in 2016, so I pretty much knew what to expect. They played a very energetic show featuring a mixture of old and new material from all their albums. My personal favorites included ‘El Mundo Sigue Girando’, ‘Reasons’ and their cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Spitfire’ which they played as an encore. 5/5


In summary I had a great time. Terrolokaust was my favorite performance of the night. I also made a new discovery in the form of Auger. I really liked their show. Lumous Gothic Festival was pleasure as always. See you next year!

Iza Raittila

 

Iza’s Highlights of 2017 part 2: Industrial & other non-metal

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 30th December 2017 by izaforestspirit

This year saw the return of some of my favorite industrial artists. I also made some new discoveries and I checked out some genres that I would have never thought that I would listen to. So here are my top 10 industrial and other non-metal albums of 2017:

1. Suicide Commando – Forest of the Impaled
Genre: Aggrotech/Harsh Industrial/Harsh EBM

 

2. Grendel – Age of the Disposable Body
Genre: Aggrotech/Harsh Industrial

Grendel - Age of the Disposable Body - 2CD

 

3. Blutengel – Leitbild
Genre: Synth-pop/Gothic EBM

 

4. Aurelio Voltaire – Heart-Shaped Wound
Genre: Dark Cabaret/Goth/Alternative Rock

 

5. The Crüxshadows – Astromythology
Genre: Dark Wave/EBM

Cover-Astromythology

 

6. Scandroid – Monochrome
Genre: Synth-wave

 

7. Centhron – Allvater
Genre: Aggrotech/Harsh Industrial

Image result for centhron allvater

8. Blue Stahli – Anti-Sleep Vol.4
Genre: Electro-rock/ Funk-rock/instrumental

Image result

 

9. Cephalgy – Gott Maschine Vaterland
Genre: EBM

Cephalgy - Gott Maschine Vaterland - CD

 

10. iVardensphere – Hesitation
Genre: Power noise/Tribal Industrial

One album that didn’t make my top 10 was Celldweller’s ‘Offworld’; a good effort but no match for his earlier work. I prefer his heavier, more metal-oriented albums.

Best Live Show
Nachtmahr live at Lumous Gothic Festival

Biggest New Discovery
Aurelio Voltaire

Most Anticipated Albums of 2018

New albums from God Module and FGFC820.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Two Witches 30th anniversary show

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , on 9th September 2017 by izaforestspirit

Dark Side Cowboys, Freaknagel, Harmony Garden
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
8th September 2017

The Finnish Goth rock band Two Witches celebrated their 30th anniversary last night. And what would be a better place to celebrate it than one of my favorite venues in their home city – at Klubi. I’ve seen them live before, but their anniversary show promised to be something special. Support bands including the Swedish alternative rock band Dark Side Cowboys, Estonian industrial band Freakangel and others.

I arrived too late to catch the first band Harmony Garden, who apparently played an acoustic set. The first band I saw was Dark Side Cowboys. I’ve seen these guys live before when they played Lumous Gothic Festival a few years ago, so I pretty much knew what to expect. Their style is difficult to categorize, it’s a mixture of old school, Fields of the Nephilim -style Goth rock with hints of darkwave and even some industrial. One thing is for sure, they know how to put on a great show. 4/5

Freakangel is a band that I used to like a lot when they first came out; I really like their first album. Sadly I’m not that keen on their newer releases and I don’t particularly like the direction that they are heading with their latest album. Their show was better than the first time that I saw them live, but it’s a shame that they only played one track from ‘The Faults of Humanity’. Other songs I recognized included ‘Parasite’, ‘The Used’ and ‘Book of Violence’. 3/5

Then the time came for the heroes of the day, Two Witches. These guys are usually very good live. This show was special in the sense that it gave the audience an insight into the band’s history. Singer Jyrki Witch was keen to share some anecdotes about the band’s early days. They also had some surprise guests with two former members of the band, Nauko and Toby joining them on stage for a few songs. As usual, they played an mixture of old and new songs including fan favorites such as ‘The Dark Angels of Sin’, ‘Dead Dog’s Howl’, ‘Inner Circle Outside’ and ‘Burn The Witch’. One surprise addition to the setlist was an old darkwave track called ‘Cat’s Eyes’ sung by Jyrki alone as an encore. 5/5

In summary I had a good time. Good music and it was a fun night out in town. Dark Side Cowboys were great live, Freakangel had its moments. As for the night’s heroes…Thirty years and still going strong. Happy anniversary to the Two Witches!

Iza Raittila

Blutzukker calls it a day

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , on 11th January 2017 by izaforestspirit

The German musician Ben Blutzukker has recently announced the decision to end his horror themed dark electro project Blutzukker. This news comes just a month after the dark electro project released their greatest hits collection via their Bandcamp page.

The artist has decided to focus all his efforts on his solo heavy metal project Ben Blutzukker. He has also added that he is currently working on some new material for Ben Blutzukker which will be influenced by bands such as The Vision Bleak, Abbath and Cradle of Filth.

 

More details about Ben Blutzukker coming soon. In the meantime, fans of his dark electro project can enjoy the band’s last video here:

For more information visit:

https://www.facebook.com/blutzukker/

http://ben.blutzukker.com/

https://blutzukker.bandcamp.com/music

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!

Lumous Gothic Festival 2016

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 17th July 2016 by izaforestspirit

Shiv-R, Two Witches, Aesthetic Perfection

Klubi, Tampere, Finland

1516th July

For the past few years, Finland’s biggest Gothic event – Lumous Gothic Festival – has been one of the highlights of my summer. There was some rumours going around that last year’s 15th anniversary edition was going to be the last one. Luckily that was not the case. Not only is Lumous still running, they actually sold out the Saturday’s show. This year the music on offer was a mixture of EBM, Harsh Electro/Aggrotech, Goth Rock and neo-folk.

Friday

First up was the futuristic-styled EBM duo Blastromen. These two really looked like extras from one of the Tron movies, thanks to their luminous “space robot” suits. They played some catchy EBM enhanced with robotic vocals and plenty of flashing lights. The flashing lights were a bit too much for my little camera to handle but I enjoyed the performance. 3/5

Goth rock is one of the most popular genres at the festival. I’ve seen a number of good Goth rock bands at Lumous and Canis Lupus was no exception. Unlike some goth bands who tend to overdo the melancholic and gloomy atmosphere, these guys actually looked like they were enjoying themselves. Their vocals and overall style reminded me of Sisters of Mercy. 4/5

The night’s headlining act, the Australian Harsh Electro band Shiv-R was the main band that I came to see. I’ve only discovered them recently so I was keen to see what they are like live. Their show was very energetic, filled with lots of creepy imagery projected from the screens and lots of very catchy dark electro tunes. I was dancing pretty much throughout the show. 5/5

 

Saturday

Every year Lumous Gothic Festival features at least one “wild card” – a band or solo artist who sounds or sometimes looks dramatically different from all the others. This year that “wild card” was the British neo-folk artist Naevus. This was a special “solo set” featuring just the band’s singer on acoustic guitar. Whilst I can fully acknowledge that Mr. Lloyd James has a good voice and he is a talented guitar player, this type of music is simply not my style. 3.5/5

Local favourites, the renowned Finnish goth rock band Two Witches are big part of the local Goth scene and they are heavily involved with the festival. Last night was the official release party for the brand new live album ‘Voodoo Wytches -Live. I’ve seen them live before but each show is a little different… This time they played at a venue packed full of cheering fans at a sold.out show. Their set consisted primarily of old songs including several classics such as ‘Vampire Empire’, ‘The Dark Angels of Sin’, ‘The Omen’ and ‘Burn The Witch’. It was really good to see them live again. There’s not that many Goth rock bands that I enjoy but Two Witches is definitely one of them. 5/5

 

Whilst I’m not a massive of their latest work, I have to admit that American electro- industrial Aggrotech band Aesthetic Perfection are always entertaining to watch live. I’m a big fan of the first three albums so I was really happy when they played most of the hits from that era including: ‘Spit It Out’, The Great Depression’, ‘Inhuman’ and ‘The Ones’. ‘Antibody’ wasn’t bad either but I’m not super keen on their mellow ballads. 4.5/5

 

So there you have it. Another great weekend at Lumous Gothic Festival. Two Witches is always fun to watch live, Aesthetic Perfection put on another great show, Shiv-R was a new discovery and my favourite performance of the festival.

Iza Raittila

 

Surgical Meth Machine – Surgical Meth Machine

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 19th May 2016 by Pieni

Surgical Meth Machine
“Surgical Meth Machine”
Industrial Metal
Release: 15th April 2016
Via Nuclear Blast Records

 photo Surgical Meth Machine - Surgical Meth Machine - Artwork_zpsdfjnceab.jpg

When Nuclear Blast sent over this album I volunteered to review it simple because a) my musical taste has a fair share of industrial metal in it and b) I thought the name was cool. My first thought when I started listening to it was “what a Ministry rip-off!”. So you can imagine how hard I laughed when I realized this was an Al Jourgensen’s project. It also gives you an idea of the difference between Surgical Meth Machine and Ministry – pretty much none.

There’s a bigger sense of humor though. Starting right off with the opening track “I’m Sensitive”, where that sensitivity regards opinions posted on social media and therefore the title bears a huge amount of sarcasm. “Unlistenable” lives up to its name, sounding extremely annoying, but the lyrics save the day: Jourgensen is asked about some “really cool” bands like Iron Maiden and then bands that “everyone loves to hate” like Nickelback and his verdict is always the same – they all suck. Even Ministry, who the frontman claims to “hate fucking industrial bands”. Devo, on the other hand, rule! And a heavier version – not exactly industrialized – of Devo’s “Gates Of Steel” kicks in. In the same vein, the fun goes on with “Spudnik”, which sounds like an ‘80s arcade video game soundtrack. “I’m Invisible”, the second song made public prior to the album release, if I’m not mistaken, has an unexpected funky vibe, but the rest of the album has that grinding industrial beats that Ministry got us used to. My favorite song is “Rich People Problems”, but “I Want More”, the aforementioned “I’m Sensitive”, “Tragic Alert” or “Smash And Grab” are just as hammer-forged. So yeah, it may lack innovation, but this album surely dwells in high-caliber ground.

4 / 5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Resistanz Festival 2016

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th April 2016 by izaforestspirit

Grendel, iVardensphere, Godflesh
The Corporation, Sheffield, The United Kingdom
Saturday 26th  March 2016

 
Resistanz was one of those festivals that I’ve wanted to return to. I’ve been there once before; in 2011 which was the very first time that it was held and one of the few times that it didn’t sell out. Since then the dates have been moved to the Easter weekend, which meant that it usually clashed with a family gathering making it impossible for me to attend. This year was an exception, I just happened to be in the U.K. that weekend and within easily commutable distance of the city where it was being held.

I missed the first band, Neonsol. The next band was a local band Randolf & Mortimer, who played a mixture of EBM, techno, punk and early Ministry -style industrial rock. It was catchy at times and definitely a good way to start to the night. 3/5

Terrolokaust were one of the main bands that I was looking forward to. They’re essentially a Harsh Electro / Aggrotech band, similar to the likes of Combichrist but the vocal style is different from most of the bands of that genre. They played some tracks from their upcoming album along with older tracks plus a few covers including their take on The Prodigy’s ‘Spitfire’. I had only heard a handful of tracks by them before the gig so most of the stuff they played was unfamiliar. I enjoyed the show so much that I bought two of their albums afterwards. 4/5

Next up was the British EBM band Cyferdyne. They played some catchy and mostly dancefloor-friendly electro. It was fun to dance to and some of my friends also really enjoyed it. Personally I preferred Terrolokaust to them. 3.5/5

Grendel was the main band that I came to see. I’ve been a fan of their music for years and I’ve missed several opportunities to see them live. So, needless to say that I was really looking forward to their show. And they didn’t disappoint. They had two guitarists with them on stage along with the usual industrial synths and JD’s harsh electro vocals. They played all the hit songs including: ‘Chemicals & Circuitry’, ‘Timewave Zero’, ‘Hate This’ along with some older material including one of my favorites ‘Pax Psychosis’ and two new tracks from the upcoming EP ‘The Age of the Disposable Body’. I had a great time dancing and singing along to all the songs. This was my favorite performance of the whole night. 5/5

I had no idea what to expect from iVardensphere. I assumed them to be an experimental industrial noise band, which is the type of stuff that tends to give me a headache. I was initially reluctant to see their show. Then one of my friends convinced me to give them a try, saying that their style was more power noise mixed with some tribal music influences. I have a much better experience with power and rhythmic noise bands such as SAM, X-RX and Memmaker. This sub-genre tends to sound good live, so I decided to give iVardensphere a try. What I heard turned out to be a lot better than I expected. Their music is a fascinating mix of techno, industrial and power noise along with some tribal music. They even did a cover of Sepultura’s ‘Roots Bloody Roots’. Their performance was very energetic, great to dance to and the additional tribal elements made the songs sound all the more intriguing. 4/5

Now, I like my metal and I like my industrial music. I also like some industrial metal so in theory Godflesh should have been right up my alley. The thing is, they seemed a little out of place at Resistanz Festival being the only metal band there. They also happened to be the headlining act, playing after a very catchy power noise band whose fans packed the venue. It’s not that I hated Godflesh’s performance; it was decent-sounding industrial metal but not as memorable as some of other industrial metal bands I’ve seen in the past such as Ministry. 3/5

I spent the rest of the night dancing and hanging around with friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in years. Overall this was an intense, exhausting but also really fun way to spend Easter Saturday. I finally got to see Grendel live, Terrolokaust were really good and I discovered the delights of iVardensphere. It’s really a shame that this was the last Resistanz Festival. I’m so glad that I got to attend it, even if it was just for one day after such a long break.

Iza Raittila

 

Man.Machine.Industry – Box Of Horrors

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 16th March 2016 by Pieni

Man.Machine.Industry
“Box Of Horrors”
Metal
Release: 4th March 2016
Via KMP

 photo 004_mmi_box of horrors_cover art copy_zpsfad9ra91.jpg

Man.Machine.Industry’s new album “Box Of Horrors” gives you a little of everything the band stands for – all strains of metal.

Even though their sound has always been braided with an industrial thread, frontman Jhonny Bergman is a pretty old-school soul. I believe “Trend Killer” is the one song – not only in this album but in all M.M.I.’s discography – that mirrors it, thrashing away like there’s no tomorrow.

Now “Let It Burn” has the aforementioned industrial twist to it, not compromising the aggression at all. It just adds some texture, that’s all. It’s go the same vibe of the previous (and my favorite) LP, “Lean Back, Relax And Watch The World Burn” and the chorus is catchy, not in a melodic way but in the sense that will make you want to scream along with it. Powerful!

“20.000 Horns At The Sky” may not be as speedy, but its marching beat and groovy bass line make it quite belligerent just the same. As for the exquisite melodies that M.M.I. have gotten us used to, in songs like “Vivete et Sinete Mori” or “Colours”, take a listen to “Rise Above”. Plenty of melodic exquisiteness there.

Living up to its name, the title-track is a creepy ballad, heavy on guitars. Some string arrangements, acoustic notes and somber choirs make a hell of a combination.

I was surprised to hear another ballad right after this one, but “Destroyers Of Gods And Man” carries such a sadness and despair that you’ll put aside the slow pace and will keep in mind just its weight.

The rhythm is spicy again in “Too Close To The Sun”, with hints of Arabian cadences. “Rise Of The Fallen” is one of those in-your-face kind of songs and the album closes up with yet another ballad, “Heading For Nowhere”, with some keys that somehow remind me of R.E.M. “Everybody Hurts”, so yeah, a ballad in the full sense of the word.

So now you know what I meant by “all strains of metal”. “Box Of Horrors”, like its predecessor “Lean Back…”, is a diverse and solid album, better appreciated if listened to at a high volume.

4,5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Iza’s highlights of 2015 (part 1: Industrial, EBM, Darkwave)

Posted in Misc., Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 27th December 2015 by izaforestspirit

Christmas is 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 – only this time I’ve decided to do the Industrial edition first. I struggled to come up with a list of top ten albums, so here are my favourite songs of 2015:

1. Celldweller – New Elysium

Album: End of An Empire
Genre: Industrial Rock, Electro, Drum’n’Bass, Trance, EDM

Celldweller is probably the most diverse artist that you will find in my personal music collection. Since the project’s humble beginnings back in the late 1990s, the multi-instrumentalist Klayton, Celldweller’s sole member, has been experimenting with a vast variety of genres ranging from industrial rock, metal, trance, ambient, EDM and even dub-step. ‘New Elysium’ is taken from his third “vocal” album ‘End of An Empire’ (if you don’t count the movie and video game soundtracks). This song reflects the things that I love about Celldweller – industrial rock and trance have never sounded so good mixed together.

2. Blue Stahli – Down in Flames

Album: The Devil
Genre: Electro Rock

Blue Stahli was introduced to me by the same person who got me into Celldweller. The two artists also happen to be on the same record label, they are friends and they have toured together in the past. Blue Stahli is also a one-man industrial brain child of Bret Autrey. ‘Down in Flames’ has been selected from his second album ‘The Devil’, and it has become one of my favourite songs to play when I’m at the gym. No trance or ambient melodies, just good old “ready or not here comes The Devil” “burn baby burn”! Electro Rock…

3. Suicide Commando – My New Christ

https://pro.beatport.com/track/my-new-christ-original-mix/6630162

Album: TBA/Electro Storm vol.6
Genre: Aggrotech/Electro-Industrial/Harsh EBM

‘The Pain That You Like’ may have been this year’s single but ‘My New Christ’ was the track that caught my attention. Profound and complex lyrics to match the dark atmosphere and intensive synth melodies. In short, this song features all the things that make Suicide Commando one of my favourite artists. His new album won’t see the light of day until 2016, but you can get this track and many others by various industrial artists from the Out of Line label’s ‘Electro Storm vol.6’ -compilation CD.

4. Hocico – Bienvenido A La Maldad

Album: Ofensor
Genre: Aggrotech/Electro-Industrial/Harsh EBM

My favourite Mexican Aggrotech duo are back with a new album. It was tough to pick a favorite song from ‘Ofensor’ since I love the whole album. In the end I decided to go with ‘Bienvenido A La Maldad’ due to the vibrant and fantastically choreographed music video. It’s also a great dance tune.

5. Blutengel – Asche Zu Asche

 

Album: Omen
Genre: Gothic Synth-pop/Darkwave

I have to be honest here… The first time that I came across Blutengel, I couldn’t stop laughing at their ridiculously cheesy vampire video for ‘Reich mir die Hand’. As cheesy as it was, the song did stick in my head and after a few weeks I ended up buying one of their live DVDs followed by most of the discography… Given my general dislike for synth-pop, the chances that if these guys didn’t sing in German about vampires and other Gothic themes, I probably wouldn’t pay any attention to them. ‘Asche Zu Asche’ is my favourite track from the latest album ‘Omen’.

6. Eisbrecher – 1000 Narben

Album: Schock
Genre: Industrial Rock

I’ve been listening to Eisbrecher for a few years now. Earlier this year I finally had the pleasure of seeing these guys live in Helsinki for the first time. It was one hell of a show. They played a lot of the new songs from their latest album ‘Schock’ but ‘1000 Narben’ is the one that I found the most memorable.

7. Zombie Girl – Panic Attack

https://alfamatrix.bandcamp.com/track/panic-attack-4

Album: Killer Queen
Genre: Electro-Industrial, EBM

There’s not an awful lot of female electronic artists that I regularly listen to. What I was hoping for this year was a new album from the Unter Null. Sadly that was not to be but I discovered that Zombie Girl, an artist who been away from the scene since 2009 had just released a new album. ‘Panic Attack’ was the first single and my favourite track from her latest opus ‘Killer Queen’.

8. Alien Vampires – All Fakes Must Die

Album: Drag You to Hell
Genre: Aggrotech/Electro-Industrial/ Harsh EBM

When it comes to sinister sounding Harsh EBM and risqué imagery based on either drugs, BDSM and infernal blasphemy, nobody does it better than this dark electro duo. “Evil Bloody Music” it sure is and it’s damn catchy as well. The whole album is really good but ‘All Fakes Must Die’ is my personal favourite.

9. Noisuf-X – Big Bang (2015 Demo Version)


Album: 10 Years of Riot
Genre: Power- Noise

Noisuf- X is a relatively new discovery for me. I’ve been a fan of Jan L.’s main project, the wonderfully eerie and atmospheric harsh EBM that is X-Fusion. Noisuf-X is the slightly younger brother; the music tends to be more dance-oriented and club-friendly falling under the category of power-noize. I always dance to it when I hear it at a night club but with this album being a best of, I decided to buy a copy to play at home. ‘Big Bang (2015 Demo Version)’ is one of the new track from the bonus disc.

10. Blutengel & Meinhard – Kinder der Sterne

Album: In alle Ewigkeit (EP) – the Blutengel version
Genre: Gothic Synth-pop/Darkwave

Normally when I prepare these lists for my annual highlights, I try to avoid mentioning the same artist twice. This year I’ve decided to make an exception. ‘Kinder der Sterne’ isn’t just a Blutengel song, it’s a collaboration between them and another German electronic artist, the eccentric and theatrical Meinhard. The song was actually written by Meinhard who then asked Chris Pohl of Blutengel to join him and create this superbly catchy piece of Gothic electro. You can find the Meinhard of this track on his new album ‘ALCHEMUSIC II – coagula’. Personally I prefer the Blutengel version.

Best New Discovery of 2015: My Own Sorrow

Best live show: it’s a tie between Das Ich at Lumous Gothic Festival and Eisbrecher live in Helsinki.

Most Anticipated Albums of 2016

New albums by Suicide Commando, Heimataerde and Unter Null

That’s all for now… Stay tuned for part 2. The Metal edition, coming soon

Mind Driller – Zirkus

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 19th September 2015 by Pieni

Mind Driller
“Zirkus”
Industrial rock
Release: 25th June 2015
Via Red Mutante

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A few months ago, Mind Driller released their sophomore album “Zirkus”. And even if they have stronger tracks here to name the album after, I find “Zirkus” a title more than appropriate – once you hear it, you’ll find yourself dealing with a circus of emotions. Three voices (two male and one female) singing in three languages (English, German and Spanish) is already an interesting feature, but the music itself is just as attractive. I know that “industrial” and “German” in the same sentence will automatically light a neon sign reading “Rammstein” in your head (and okay, I admit there are a few occasions when the sound is somewhat similar), but the general outcome of Mind Driller is more vibrant and melodic than the grinding beats of Rammstein. Like “Lüg Mich An” or “Ich Bin Anders”, with their rock-ish vibe and catchy choruses. And Mind Driller are also able to seduce you into a goth/dark wave realm, through songs such as “Deadworld” and “Memories”. Rich in details and variations, “Zirkus” is a thorough and intense industrial album, from which I highlight “M4R10N3T4”, the aforementioned “Memories”, “Escape” and “Together (Chapter II)”.

I’m not very familiar with the Spanish industrial scene, but after listening to “Zirkus”, I dare saying that Mind Driller – along with Killus – are among the top bands that country produces within this genre.

4,5 / 5

By Renata “Pieni” Lino

Phal:Angst release new haunting clip for Hardwire

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 15th December 2014 by Nico Davidson

Austria’s premier industrial mobsters Phal:Angst have recently unveiled the new clip for their upcoming single Hardwire. The track is taken from the band’s new album Black Country. Having worked tirelessly to make a name for themselves in their homeland of Austria, Phal:Angst are now setting their sights on bigger game.

A stark and frightening clip, the band had this to say regarding the clip, which can be viewed down below:
The first video to the new Phal:Angst album Black Country is to the song Hardwire and it was shot in the legendary Viennese café/bar Café Stadtbahn which enjoys a perfect reputation with local bohemians, (sub)cultural people & heavy drinkers. So, a perfect ambience for Phal:Angst.
Also note the sign for "Kat’s Caravan" which was a regular event there and refers to the legendary radio show by Jim Lowe & John Peel. The "story" of the video is social alienation, boredom, voicelessness but also a glorification of slowness. It might not be a coincidence that this one comes out of the city of Vienna, well known for it’s morbidity, leisureliness and psychoanalysis.
It took the viewers of the test screenings usually about 5 minutes to start asking themselves "what the fuck?!”
At the end all questions should be answered.
Phal:Angst is an Industrial/Post-Rock-Band from Vienna, Austria. Formed in 2006, they sit between Industrial, EBM, Post-Rock and Doom; taking influence from bands like Earth, Mogwai, Coil, Front 242 and Neurosis.

Phal:Angst online:

http://facebook.com/phalangst

Interview with VoA from Ad Inferna

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 17th June 2014 by izaforestspirit

The French industrial band Ad Inferna have 7 albums and over a decade worth of experience to their name. Iza caught up with their keyboard and guitar player VoA VoXyD to discuss the band’s black metal roots, collobrations, movie soundtracks and their latest release ‘Opus 7: Elevation’.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Iza: You originally started out as a symphonic black metal band and then after debut album ‘L’empire des Sens’ you switched to an electronic/industrial style with ‘Trance N’ Dance’.
What was it that persuaded you to change the style of your music?

VoA VoXyD:
Right after our album “L’Empire des Sens”, we encountered a lot of issues with our first label, essentially some money problems. The studio we have been recording in (Excess Studio) was asking for 1 month of recording bill and it has been very tough to finish the recording with them and starting the mastering in the Kohlekeller Studio. Once everything was finally done, our label Last Episode went bankrupt, we then signed for a sub division of Metal Blade called Silverdust, everything was fine with them, but we found out that someone printed some Ad Inferna shirts with a very tricky sentence on the back – something we never claimed, some words that Arkames never wrote down. Then, we decided to stop for a while and we had a very long 7-year break. Once back, we didn’t feel comfortable enough to release a black metal album, cause we’d changed a lot, and we didn’t find any good reason to release a fake black metal album. TnD is NOT a very good reference for Ad Inferna, but it reflects our wishes to want out with the black metal scene and with our past.

Iza: Do you still follow what is happening in the metal scene or are you more interested in the industrial one?

VoA: Personally, neither, but I’m still a big fan of the black metal bands between 1990 and 2000. I really don’t have any clue about the industrial scene!

Iza: Your first electronic album ‘Trance N’ Dance’ was very dancefloor-orientated yet over the years I’ve noticed that your songs were becoming more and more atmospheric especially on the albums ‘Ultimum Omnium’ and ‘Im Mortelle’. Was this planned or were you just experimenting?

VoA: I think we are part of artists who just wanna explore more and more horizons between each album. The composition period is generally very short but intense, and depending of our state of mind, our album will be more or less metal, more or less atmospheric. I personally always enjoyed the atmospheric side and it’s so easy and logical to include it in Ad Inferna.

Iza: Your first two electronic releases ‘Trance N’ Dance’ and ‘DSM’ featured the female singer Asphodel (Penumbra). Then after ‘DSM’ you have had various guest singers doing the vocals. What happened? Why did Asphodel leave the band?

VoA: I don’t know. We’ve been very close but I think she was super busy with her other band. But we miss her, she has a huge talent and we wish her all the best.

Iza: You have collaborated with various artists over the years including Zombie Girl, Vasi Vallis (Reaper/ Frozen Plasma), Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth live) and Morfeus (ex-Limbonic Art). Who has been your favourite person to work with and why?

VoA: All of them have been professional with us. Obviously, my preference is to work with Melissa Ferlaak who is my partner in life, and also because I have followed this band since the beginning, I really enjoyed working with Morfeus. But it’s always exciting to work with all of them, they all have a particular way to impress us, and that’s a good feeling!

Iza: Let’s talk a bit more about your latest album ‘Opus 7: Elevation’. Can you elaborate more about your inspirations for this one?

VoA: All I can tell you is that it’s a huge album that we are 200% proud of. We have worked intensely on this album to create a 100% unique sound and a kind of “soundtrack” for the music we really wanted to do for a while now. It’s a book, a movie, a piece of our existence that you can’t cut off such everything inside is linked together. The lyrics are awesome, and we plan to provide translations in several languages for non-French people. What you see on the artwork is what you gonna listen with the album, then if you’re interested or fascinated by religion, possession, weirdnesses and ghost stories, you’ll definitely like it!

Iza: ‘Opus 7: Elevation’ sounds dramatically different compared to its predeccessor ‘Im Mortelle’. The atmospheric/ambient elements are still there, but the overall sound feels more aggressive and sinister. Can you explain the reasons behind this?

VoA: Absolutely. Im Mortelle is more “pop”, easier to understand and to listen to. It’s a very good album because of the catchy songs like “Moïra” or “Equinoxe” but the composition of Im Mortelle has been radically different. We were focusing on making some independent good songs, one by one, trying to make a song the most efficient and emotional possible. The concept was different and deserved a very ominous way to compose. As I said before, Elevation is a book, with chapters and themes, and for that we have been focusing on a whole concept, from the beginning to the end of the album. It’s a one song album, with a lot of aggressive parts, and dithered of more or less short movie oriented passages.

Iza: In many ways this album features an interesting and complex mix of styles. We have the industrial/electronic programming and synths, classical operatic vocals and black metal screams and guitars. How would you describe this new evolution in style? Do you have a name for it?

VoA: A very good question again. I like the term of “Operatic Electro Dark” that a magazine used to describe our sound. But you’re right, and everything you mentioned is true.

Iza: I’ve noticed that the last few albums have a certain “soundtrack quality”. Some of the songs sound like they were written for the opening scene of a Gothic horror movie. What are your thoughts on this?

VoA: Besides Ad Inferna, I run my own recording studio (Akamaradara Studio) here in MN, USA, and I am a music composer, and even if I’m trying to avoid the “too much soundtrack oriented” for Ad Inferna, I must admit that I broke my rules on the last opus!

Iza: If you were to pick one song from the latest album which you would play to someone as an introduction to Ad Inferna, which one would you choose and why?

VoA: Without any doubt: Elle est Moi (Track 10) and InVisible (Track 13 only on the physical CD)

Iza: I’ve heard rumours that this will be the last Ad Inferna album. Is this true and if so why?

VoA: Maybe?

Iza: Do you have any final words for your fans and your readers?

VoA: Along with “L’Empire des Sens”, “Elevation” is the album that I’m the most proud of (as is Arkames). I would like everyone to forget the name of Ad Inferna between those both albums and just focus on the music. Thanx a lot for your interest Iza.

‘Opus 7: Elevation’ is out now on Advoxya Records.
http://www.adinferna.com/
https://www.facebook.com/adinfernaband?fref=ts

Deathstars – The Perfect Cult

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 13th June 2014 by Pieni

Deathstars
“The Perfect Cult”
Industrial goth
Released on 13th June 2014
Via Nuclear Blast

 photo Deathstars-ThePerfectCult-Artworkcopy_zps3f44e279.jpg

Deathstars have always had a dark sound and image, but in the five years that have passed since their last studio album, that darkness seems to have grown thicker. No, I’m not saying you’ll feel like you’re attending a funeral or visiting the depressive ward of a mental institution – by the contrary. But while “Synthetic Generation” and “Termination Bliss” sparkled defiantly, their sharp beats and aggressive licks an invitation to rebel, Deathstars started to soften the edges in “Night Electric Night” and the process eventually lead to a classy glowing seduction with “The Perfect Cult”. It’s more mature, more sober, aiming to enthrall you rather than blasting you. And at the same time, it’s a darkness that’s pretty much alive. I guess this definition could light up a “gothic rock” neon sign in your minds, but that’s not the case either. This is something else. This is… well, it’s Deathstars. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard people saying they’re like a mix of this and that, but I still think they’re quite unique.

On the official trailer of the album you hear Nightmare Industries claiming that the guitars “have never sounded so heavy”. Well that’s no salesman talk and there’s really no other way to say it – they’re the heaviest so far. Which doesn’t mean its nature has changed; one still recognizes Nightmare’s watermark, but in a more intense outcome. There’s even a solo in “Temple Of The Insects”! How about that?

Skinny Disco’s bass has also become more solid, making all the difference in songs such as the first single “All The Devil’s Toys” or the title-track.

Whiplasher Bernadotte’s vocal style is probably the one thing that remains unchanged – the deep, strong pitch against the raspy whispers here and there. What did change though was the increased number of overlapped and backing vocals in the choruses, creating an effect of grandeur. Like “Explode”. Or “Ghost Reviver”. Or even “Noise Cuts”. Hell, all of them!

On the aforementioned trailer, Nightmare also said that this was the first album recorded with live drums. I confess I didn’t notice any difference, meaning that Vice is that good. Although there’s something on the drums of “Asphalt Wings” that sounds more… human.

Last but not least, the wider range of synths, from the creepy and cold patterns of “Bodies” to the eighties’ vibe in “Fire Galore”, going through the sneaky keys of “Track, Crush & Prevail”, there’s all kinds of electronic flavors here.

Personally, I would’ve preferred if they had stuck with the spunky nature. But at the same time, I’m the one who’s always encouraging bands to risk a change so they won’t repeat themselves. Plus, by the third time I was listening to “The Perfect Cult”, the new not-so-edgy sound had started to grow on me and I just had to admit its greatness.

4 / 5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Angelspit – The Product

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 13th April 2014 by izaforestspirit

Angelspit
The Product
Released 30th March 2014
Industrial Rock/ Electro Punk
Released via Black Pill Red Pill

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‘The Product’ is the new album from the Australian industrial group Angelspit. This latest brainchild of Angelspit’s mastermind ZooG Von Rock is the follow up to their 2011 release ‘Hello My Name Is’. This album features several guest musicians including Helalyn Flowers, Miss Ballistic, Steve Jones (Agent 13) and Adam Newman (Lab4); each of whom leave their own unique mark on the songs that they contribute to.

Now, my previous exposure to this band is limited to watching their surreal music video for the song ‘Vena Cava’ and listening to the remixes of ‘100%’… So needless to say that I had some catching up to do.

Angelspit has a very unique sound which is incredibly hard to classify. There’s some strong punk-rock elements in there along with some industrial synths as well as raw industrial noise with distorted guitars and vocals. Yet it’s the bizarre vocal style which truly makes these guys stand out. Take the track Because God for instance, the chorus featuring Zoog and Miss Ballistic’s shouting duet in making them sound like the leaders of an angry mob who are out there to cause havoc in the streets. Fight Dirty is a disturbing mix of heavily distorted electro-rock guitar, synths, glitchy noise samples with punk-style shouting vocals and melodic vocals from the Italian Goth Rock duo Helalyn Flowers.

Then there’s the eerie sounding, industrial noise instrumental Creeper (Featuring Steve [Agent 13] Jones) which is true to its namesake. The synth solo really did remind me of the some of the machine noises that you would expect to hear inside a factory. Velocity comes off as a bit of a surprise as it sees Zoog attempt a softer, more melodic and somewhat “cleaner” vocal style. The same vocal style is also present in the ultra creepy, slow-paced industrial rock track Walking In the Woods (Featuring Teknocracy) which is definitely one of the highlights as well as one of the most unique souding songs on this album.

Overall ‘The Product’ features an unsual mixture of different styles but still manages to retain its true identity as an Angelspit album. It takes a few listens to get into it and even then some of the tracks will leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth. Whilst I have no doubt that their existing fans will enjoy it, their music is a little too quirky and experimental for my liking.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Iza’s Highlights of 2013

Posted in Live, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 30th December 2013 by izaforestspirit

It’s been one hell of a busy year in the world of alternative music. Lots of great new releases, memorable shows and festivals. I’ve decided to write a short summary of some of the highlights of 2013. Here are some of the albums that caught my attention this year:

1. Chthonic – Bú Tik
Genre: Melodic Black Metal/ Oriental Metal

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This is easily my favourite metal album of 2013. ‘Bú Tik’ brings together the aggression of black and death metal with the melodic oriental sounds of the erhu for that unique mix that only Chthonic are renowned for. The results of this combination are both complex and beautiful in their design. Best tracks: ‘Supreme Pain For a Tyrant’, ‘Sail into The Sunset’s Fire’ and Defenders of Bú Tik Palace’.

2. Suicide Commando – When Evil Speaks
Genre: Industrial/ Aggrotech/ Harsh Electro

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I’ve been a fan of Suicide Commando for a number of years now. ‘When Evil Speaks’ is the long-awaited follow-up to ‘Implements of Hell’. Based around the overall subject of hate and evil in today’s society; the album features dark and sinister lyrical themes, old-school EBM tunes and Aggrotech dance-floor hits. Best tracks: ‘My Blasphemy’, ‘Unterwelt’ and ‘Monster’.

3. Children of Bodom – Halo of Blood
Genre: Melodic Death/Power Metal

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I’ve been of a fan of this band since my early teens, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to review their latest album. Aside from the odd surprise such as the ballad ‘Dead Man’s Hand On You’, ‘Halo of Blood’ features the signature Bodom sound and is without a shadow of doubt their strongest release in years. Best tracks: ‘Transference’ , ‘Bodom Blue Moon’ and ‘Dead Man’s Hand On You’.

4. Psyclon Nine – [Order of the Shadow : Act I]
Genre: Aggrotech/ Industrial Metal

 photo PsyclonNine_OrderoftheShadowActI_zpse9992e54.jpg
This band is not an easy one to categorise into a specific genre. Some industrial and EBM fans dismiss their style by saying that their black metal influences are too strong to earn them a place in the industrial scene. Not that I give a damn since that’s precisely why I like them. ‘Order of The Shadow…” is their harshest and most aggressive release to date. After 10 tracks of intense, adrenaline fueled, blackened industrial, I was shocked to hear the sombre ballads at the end. Best tracks: ‘Shadows Unveiled’ , ‘Use Once and Destroy’ and ‘The Saint and The Valentine’.

5. Agathodaimon – In Darkness
Genre: Melodic Black Metal/ Symphonic Black Metal

 photo Agathodaimon-InDarknesscover_zpsd0e06cd6.jpg
This album marks a departure from the gothic metal days of its predecessor ‘Phoenix’ and a return their older, melodic black metal sound depicted in earlier releases such as ‘Chapter III’ and ‘Higher Art of Rebellion’. Whilst not quite reaching the greatness of ‘Chapter III’ (an album which holds a special place in my heart); ‘In Darkness’ is definitely a step in the right direction, offering a mixture of agression and melancholic melodies. Best tracks: ‘In Darkness (We Shall be Reborn), ‘I’ve Risen’ and ‘Favourite Sin’.

Best Live Shows of 2013

1. Sabaton live at Sauna Open Air, Tampere, Finland.

2. Children of Bodom live at Sauna Open Air, Tampere, Finland.

3. Chthonic live at Klubi, Tampere, Finland.

4. Suicide Commando live in London, the U.K.

5. Heimataerde live at KOMA festival, Oslo, Norway.

Best New Discovery of 2013: ErilaZ
 photo Erilaz_zps5dc772f4.jpg

This Finnish band caught my attention during their performance at this year’s Lumous festival in Tampere, Finland. What do they sound like? Imagine a mixture of Fear Factory, Front Line Assembly with the combined lyrical themes of Amon Amarth. Impossible, you say? Go on, I dare you to give them a try!

To finish off I’d like to list some of the releases that I’m looking forward to in 2014:

Most Anticipated Albums of 2014:

1. Behemoth – The Satanist
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Release Date: 3rd February 2014

2. Vader – TIBI ET IGNI “For You (and only You) and Fire
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: Spring 2014

3. Kampfar – Djevelmakt
Genre: Pagan Black Metal

Release Date: 27th January, 2014

4. Combichrist – We Love You
Genre: Industrial/ Aggrotech
Release Date: 15th March 2014

5. Nachtmahr – Feindbild
Genre: Industrial/ Aggrotech
Release Date: 14th February 2014

That’s all for now. Happy New Year!

Psychema – The Entry Point

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 10th July 2012 by mariadodarmata

Psychema
The entry Point
Released on 25th April 2012
Prog. Metal
Released via Inverse Records

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It starts with a smooth, instrumental song. The soft melody gets to your head and relaxes you in a way that when the second song starts your senses jump in surprise. The vocals start up harsh, but they soften up as the song progresses. You gives you an idea of what to expect from the album. By song number three and four, the heavy melodies get softer with hints of Symphonic/Neo-classical metal, Industrial and somehow Pop-rock.

My head had wondered off the music when song number six, The Past, started. With a slow rhythm, the acoustic song came in the precise moment to pull back the attention. Clean vocals beautiful melody, all ends to give space to the next song that goes direct to the point. It brings back all the heavy elements and keeps them throughout the rest of the album. It finishes with a beautiful outro song.

I have mixed feelings about the vocals that go from reminding me to Sepultura on the Cavalera era, to reminding me of Therion. They are right in the middle, too harsh to be clean, too clean to be harsh. But in spite of that the album is good, fun to listen to. It might be Prog. Metal but the influences of other genres are clear, giving the music a somehow Powermetalish sound that is surprisingly heavy.

4.5/5

María Mata

DJ 501- The Journey to Tranquility [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 30th October 2011 by izaforestspirit

Band: DJ 501
Album: The Journey to Tranquility
Release year: 2011
Genre: Electronica

‘The Journey to Tranquility’ is the second full length album by a Vampire Freaks user of the same name. DJ 501 started life as small project with a handful of song samples distributed for free via the Vampire Freaks site and promoted via the Industrial music forum. As with most of DJ 501 releases this album is mostly instrumental with the occasional film samples thrown in for good measure. There are also two memorable re-mixes by Atomik Tanz and Pigswill.

Musically, the album features an unusual mixture of ambient tracks akin to the start of a video game like ‘The Journey Begins’ and ‘Hope Remains’, catchy synth tunes enhanced by samples like ‘Electronic Alien’ and ultra cheesy dance music like ‘Das Pretzl (DJ 501 Redoux). This frequent change in style has certain drawbacks however as not all the tracks are in sync with one another. Highlights include the atmospheric, ambient ‘Tranquility’ which lives up to its name taking the listener on a journey to inner peace; the dance track ‘Vengance’ and DJ 501’s first real dance-floor hit, the ultra catchy ‘Captain Gasmask’ which is easily the best song on here.

Overall this is DJ 501’s most mature album to date and although the ‘Journey to Tranquility’ may be over, the long journey to dance-floor domination has just began.

2.5/5

Iza Raittila