As Nations Decay
Death Watch Asia
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
hERETICS iN tHE lAB
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 “” to be very relaxing and calming. The opposite “” 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
Invada Records / Metropolis
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
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