Author: Mistress Nancy

Various Artists
Midnight Radio Compilation 29
Street: 10.24.14
Midnight Radio Compilation 29 = Peter Murphy + Souls Whirling Somewhere + iVardensphere

With ambient, goth, down-tempo, noise and aggro-tech tracks, this release has something for everyone. Some of the things that stood out the most were the use of the panning technique in Ihana’s track “Fonster.” The sound travels back and forth repeatedly from one ear to another, enhancing the listening experience. The tribal and jazz mixture on Plasmas Expander’s track “Flieg” was interesting and the German vocals were a nice touch and had me melting with passion. 23 Extacy’s appearance on this compilation is more aggressive than the others, but its industrial beat and metal vocals puts it as one of my favorites. Utah’s very own Christopher Alvarado’s side project Roses In Exile appears on this and shows he has a gothic side. As I listened, the chimes, guitar and sorrowful, Peter-Murphy-type vocals filled me with pleasurable grief. This compilation is out there for free, grab it. –Mistress Nancy

Kult Of Red Pyramid
Broken Mirror
Xperiment XIII
Street: 04.12
Kult Of Red Pyramid = Assemblage 23 + Voicecoil + Haujobb
While I was listening to this enormous release, I wondered if Kult Of Red Pyramid had to schedule time away from their obligations to hear it in its entirety. One of the benefits to its length is that it provides the room to showcase the various sounds and styles the band can produce. There were a few things that stood out to me in this mound of music. The vocal style of crying out in heartache really revealed a talented voice, but it quickly became repetitive and whiney. I truly appreciated the soothing piano pieces on the track “Everything Was Taken Away From Me.” It was a beautiful addition that complemented the flow of the song. My favorite was the German vocals and EBM style, higher BPM on “Stacheldraht 2014.”  It’s a great release if you can find the time to listen to it. –Mistress Nancy
As Nations Decay
Death Watch Asia
Street: 12.13.13
BlakOPz = Sleetgrout + Nitro Noise + Tactical Sekt
Still demanding attention, BlakOPz is a duo that consists of industrial community veteran Mike Weir and Arizona’s Alex King. They have released an enticing mixture of industrial EBM. “Debris Machine” has to be my favorite track, as it has a perfect layout of how backing industrial and synth tracks can be blended. The vocals on this release confirm that a revisit to the old industrial style is taking place. It is refreshing to hear, as releases by other artists during the past few years have used horrible vocal effects. Nitro/Noise and Sleetgrout have also put their creative efforts into this profound release, allowing many different regions to collaborate and birth a new sound. This release also has a few extra remixes for your listening pleasure including one done by a recent favorite of mine, Cryogenic Echelon. –Mistress Nancy
Sacrifice Records
hERETICS iN tHE lAB = NIN + Marilyn Manson + CHANT
Lackluster! This is your basic cross between metal and industrial music. It is not horrible, and it’s put together well, but nothing really stands out. The typical, grinding guitar riffs and slower bass lines are reminiscent of those that we have heard over and over at the local strip club. I did find the slow, harmonic, piano-type keys and voice samples on “[963]” to be very relaxing and calming. The opposite “[369]” has to be my favorite track on this release with its banging, aggressive drumbeats and experimental noise–type sound. I was much more impressed with their track, “sINCERELY yOURS,” from one of their previous releases—at least it was seductive with its lyrics. I do see that there is a lot of potential for this band, as the vocals and talent are there, but I just did not hear a lot of creativity on this release. –Mistress Nancy

Of Desire

Invada Records / Metropolis
Street: 03.11
The KVB = NOIR + Psychic TV + Alien Sex Fiend

It is not often that those in love can create a project and have it become successful. Luckily for us, that is not the case with Berlin-and-London based sweethearts Kat Day and Nicholas Wood. When these two musicians conquered the difficulties of living in two different geological locations to make their music, the sound was exhilarating. Of Desire is certainly proof that today’s technology can allow inspiring, creative and stimulated minds to meld and overcome any distance. Day and Wood decided to splice their creative talents together in 2010 and have since provided and enhanced us with dark audio bliss, supporting bands like Psychic TV and headlining on their own.

Shoegaze, the newest sub-genre label of the month, has often been used to describe this band, but I hear more of a traditional gothic or post-punk style. If by chance you need a fancy sub-genre to fit them into, you could use darkwave and synth. These are just a few additional intricate little categories I would nestle their sound into. There is a slight variance in the style of these tracks, but I felt they either outshone some of the other ones or left a bad taste in my mouth. For example, the horrible, irritating haunting, hollowing and crying synth backing track “Never Enough” leaves even the blackest souls full of despair. It’s my least favorite on the album, and I was not a fan of its particular sounds, but it was done well and correctly. To its credit the heartfelt lyrical content sung in monotone completely drives in the gothic style. The hypnotizing beats of “Lower Depths’’ and powerful guitar riffs make this one my favorite of the album. “Lower Depths” seduces—I feel it’s best heard loud for the most enhanced listening experience. I immediately wanted to dance, grind and stomp out the music. For those who fancy something a little faster, “Silent Wave” will capture your attention with its driving, throbbing and quickened beats per minute. The hollowing reverb on the vocals also gives it a darker and mysterious feel. It has a simplistic four-count beat which allows for easy mixing into any of your favorite songs. The track “Night Games” has your body wanting to sway to the beat with its Sisters of Mercy feel.

Although this is music I have never heard before, it is very reminiscent of many artists from the early ’90s. It honestly is not the most monumental or earth-shattering release, nor will it have you shouting, “Praise Jesus,” but it does have its moments that sparkle. It is packed with emotions—music that makes you feel. I found a number of tracks to fill my dark inner voids. It is an impressive album and is sure to stimulate. The composure and recording are clear, and it is a well-produced and polished to provide an outstanding aural experience. I assure you, it will even provide listening pleasure to those with the most eclectic taste. –Mistress Nancy

The Foreign Resort
New Frontiers
Sad Cactus Records
Street: 02.24.14
The Foreign Resort = The Cure + Sisters Of Mercy + The Church

If you are looking for a sound that you have never heard before, you might want to try something else. Although this is a new release, it is nostalgic gold. It has that post-punk, dark alternative rock sound we all have become accustomed to. The front man’s voice had me begging for a variance. His vocal style became too whiney for me after the third song. This music is put together well, but I really wish they would have picked up the pace on a few tracks and shown a little more of what they are capable of. On the plus side, once “Dead Leaves” began playing I became entranced by its pulsating, driving beat. The song progressed with its refreshing, clear notes and delay on the electric guitar—I was in audible heaven. I like this one, but I will take it in small doses. –Mistress Nancy

Blush Response
The Drift
Basic Unit Productions
Street: 04.18
Blush Response = 3 Teeth + Bombardier + Kevorkian Death Cycle

When you create something good, you get to choose. New York’s Joey Blush has become a hot commodity and has had to make a tough decision about which label he wants to carry him. Those who have an appreciation for elite electronic music and how it works will enjoy this one. As for this release, it’s mechanical, organized and precise music that falls into the noise genre. It is also compiled with some industrial flair. I appreciated “Black Sun” and found it humorous, as some of the clicking backbeats sounded as if they should be mixed into the Knight Rider theme song—I wondered if the KITT car was going to appear. The instrumental “Body Hammer” starts off with hollowed down-tempo beats and progresses into noise, which brought the song gently into the genre. This release bridges noise and industrial music. –Mistress Nancy

Crucifixion Machine
Street: 12.13.13
Crucifixion Machine = Assemblage 23 + Beborn Beton + Kulture Culture
Crawling out of the hole of Central Missouri, David “Synner” Winn has released music I could listen to for hours. His creativity combines darkwave, synthpop and electro-industrial. He uses vocal samples instead of singing, which is one of my favorite styles of music. I feel it allows your mind to wander where it needs to go without imposing a lyrical meaning to the songs. The distorted effects on the vocals of “Sabotage” are soothing to the ears. The synth on the track “Dues ex Machina” flows eloquently and has a surreal beat compiled with a chip tune sound reminiscent of the early ’80s. My favorite on this release is “Electronic Mind Control,” which has a layered, dark EBM style and its post-apocalyptic samples entice you to feel more aggressive as you are listening. This is varied electronica—there really is something for everybody. I enjoy this ON3. –Mistress Nancy

Our Time Will Come
Street: 10.14.14
KMFDM = Ego Likeness + Drill + MDFMK

This release is packed with the guitar riffs, drums and chants that we love so much and have become accustomed to with this band—they have varied little from their usual sound. Sascha and Lucia provide you with a light, humorous lesson in German on the opening track “Genau”—the beats on are quite similar to those on every stripper’s favorite song, “Juke Joint Jezebel.” The catchy lyrics on “Respekt” were annoying and repetitive. The chorus states, “I will punch your head until you say I respect you.” I guess providing a good beatdown is all it takes to make someone respect you. This one will be stuck in your head all day. They redeem themselves with the amazing, softer style of “Our Time will Come.” It has more melodic, slower vocals and surreal beats. They rarely use this style, but when they do, it always pays off. –Mistress Nancy

Kevorkian Death Cycle
Distorted Religion
Negative Gain
Street: 07.22
Kevorkian Death Cycle = Front Line Assembly + Skinny Puppy + HexRx
California’s Kevorkian Death Cycle seem to be releasing music on a regular basis again, and nothing could please me more. The God Am I release was one of my favorites last year. Although releasing a single may be more profitable, it can be such a tease. This four-track single is a tasty morsel and has me yearning for more. The statements from the late, bible-thumping Fred Phelps at the beginning of the “Distorted Religion V2” remix by Assemblage 23 makes the point of the song stand out: Most organized religions have a set belief system that does not coincide with today’s society. I appreciate the attention drawn to this on the track. As for “The Promise,” I prefer the HexRx version compared to the original, as it appears to be a souped-up doppelgänger of Skinny Puppy’s “Worlock.” Give me more, please. –Mistress Nancy