Monday, October 20, 2008


Independent Release
Industrial Metal

Here, Mors In Tabula offers four blackened industrial metal tracks that move further into the electronic realm than most bands of this nature. These four tracks are culled from the band’s "Blemish" CD and coupled with some excellent artwork that befits the project perfectly.

If you were thinking of a cross between "The Land Of Rape And Honey" era Ministry and a smattering of Dimmu, you’d be close to the mark on this one. "Bloodpath" combines crisp guitar bursts with hyper-electro vocals to form a very original sound.

It’s as if the band took a hundred cool samples or pieces of songs to make one really cool sounding track. It is rigid in a good way and the production highlights the several effects utilized in the composition. "MK Ultra" offers much of the same fare to a fine result.

The music is very cold and mechanical in style, but the various effects and intricate arrangement make it compelling nonetheless. "Eye Of The Abyss" is a standout track with plenty of special effects and cool tempo changes, accented by ringing bells and haunting noises. The song lapses into a form of dark techno before returning to the grinding metal riffs.

"Noctifer" kicks off with a buzzing military cadence and warps into some tripped out cyber black vox that are a great effect. Eerie choirs, spectrum jumping guitars and strange effects combine to make for a hell of a great listen. 

A good introduction to a band with a lot of potential.

Written By: Shovelhead

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Let’s Dance
Casket Music


That’s the simplest way to describe the multitude of chaos that emanates from every track on this amazingly diverse release. Either Testswitch Isolator are seriously pushing the limits of grind, or they are inventing an entirely new style of music altogether.

You can discern elements of grindcore, rap, funk, new wave and everything but the kitchen sink here on “Let’s Dance.” At first listen, you might think that they are an Ipecac band, merely from the purely schizophrenic nature of the band’s songcrafting.

Vocalist Tom Fenn is obviously influenced by Patton, but he seems to be inspired just as much by Barney Greenway and Simon LeBon. This combination of styles makes the music of Testswitch about as crazy and out there as you can possibly imagine. Standouts here include the hilarious “Chubby Gets Slapped”, “Jazzy Jeff Owes Me Fourty Quid” and the appropriately intriguing “Now You See It, Now Its Been Shot In The Head By An AK47.”

If those song titles aren’t enough to convince you that Testswitch Isolator are fucking nuts, it’s hard to say what will.

Completely innovative, inventive and unique, the music of this group is exactly as it sounds, utterly insane, decidedly bizarre and in conclusion, highly entertaining.

Written By: Chaoslord

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

HANZEL UND GRETYL - Scheissmessiah

Metropolis Records

The German language, for some reason, is particularly complimentary to industrial metal. H&G combine both German and English language lyrics that fit together quite well, each used in their most appropriate passages. The mechanized Panzer strike of this band’s music rattles the listener, with instantly moshable riffs that are crisp and catching.

‘Fikk Dich Mit Fire’ slams a freight load of diamond plated steel into side of groups like The Prodigy and Rammstein. ‘Kaiser Von Shizer’ continues the militaristic sonic deconstruction, featuring a catchy chorus break and overtly dark operatic samples that sound like a ghost with the voice of a coloratura soprano. When vocalist shouts Fikk Dich Mit Fire, motherfucker…lookout! At the end of this track, you know this guy is not fucking around. "Disco Fire Scheissmessiah" continues the theme of inferno with a riff that sounds like it could be the best that Al Jorgensen never wrote.

The group’s guitar tone is absolutely freakin’ killer on this record and production- wise, everything is clear, buzzing and in-your face. The groups tactful use of cool, anthemic samples and neat guitar effects further adds to the coolness factor and on ‘Burning Bush’ you get some dirty samples of orgasmic ladies that would make Rob Zombie blush. “The bush is on fire, let that mutha bitch burn”.

An awesome album cover complete with lyrics and cool imagery, a trashy, satanic band image and an album full of killer Hell spawned industrial metal tunes guaranteed to put your feet directly in the fire and your ears in slamming cyber-Satan metal heaven! It rocks big time – get it or get crushed by the massive Industrial Wermacht known as Hanzel Und Gretyl!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

SOCIETY 1 - The Sound That Ends Creation

The Sound That Ends Creation
Earache Records

You wouldn’t dare tell Matt “The Lord” Zane that he has a big ego. He might make a nasty proposition. On ‘The Sound That Ends Creation’, the vocalist offers up an energetic, scathing vocal performance over top of metal tracks that at some times retain an industrial flavor and others are purely bone jarring metal insanity. Society 1 pick up where Ministry left off on ‘Psalm 69’, but throw many more metal rhythms into the foray.

‘Let Me Live’ takes on an almost grungy flavor that is super accessible for a band that is so in your face and intentionally offensive in a live format. ‘6 Months’ is a great example of the diversity of the band as they flow from cyber-punked up bashing to ghostly reverberations. ‘No Father’ offers up a dose of down tuned Soundgarden style sludge and Zane pulls off some quality vocals here, backed up with balls and cocky as hell. This song’s over the top religious references are the only thing keeping this electro-sludge from crushing radio.

The extremity of the topical matter Zane tackles in his lyrics is the only factor that holds this band back. Yes, it’s their shtick, it’s the image that adds to their appeal, but at times it goes overboard, sacrificing ambiguity in search of Manson’s ‘Antichrist Superstar’ crown of thorns.

Make no mistake; these guys can write a great riff. At the same time, Society 1 has a good sense of arrangement that focuses on speaker blasting Celestion crunch folding into razor wire harmony breaks.

Songs like ‘Touch A Girl’ and ‘Bleed’ are so filled with attitude that listeners will instantly respond to the outrageous themes and for metal listeners, this is an absolute magnet.


STURMGEIST - Meister Mephisto

Meister Mephisto
Season Of Mist Records

"Meister Mephisto" offers a listener an industrial strength dose of metal that succeeds in melding thrash and black metal influences. A bit more evil than Hanzel Und Gretyl and considerably more impacting than the latest Mortiis offering, Sturmgeist have a lot to offer those who enjoy the militant tonality of industrial music, yet crave the sheer chaos that black metal has to offer. An album which maintains a grim feel throughout its nine tracks, Cornelius von Jackhelln excels in crafting material that would make those pretty boys in Rammstein whimper in fright. If Rammstein are your cup of blood however, and you are partial to vocals delivered in Deutsch (at times) combined with ominous ambient overtones and crunching metal guitars, this is a record that you'll no doubt find to be very interesting.

"Erlkonig" is an anthemic statement that oozes with dark emotion, while "Shock and Awe" is a vehement attestment of the forces of war mongering. A chunky, galloping metallic riff ushers in "Army Of Odin", relaying von Jackhelln's Nordic influence, accented by pulasting keyboard accompaniments reminiscent of The Kovenant. The spacy, hollow tones which grace "Master Hunter" provide a bleak tone as von Jackhelln chants "Jagermeister" during the chorus.

Buzzing bass tones give this music a violent distorted feeling that is severely crushing on this, the showpiece of the album. "Rattenfanger" contains an enormous, howling refrain and an overallsound that resonates with sonic electricity. "Meister Mephisto" closes with a two part black symphony entitled "Walpurgisnacht" that is simply a wall of buzzing, voraciously amplified haterd that is as overpoweringly overwhelming as it is a celebration of exhilarative wickedness.

"Meister Mephisto" is nothing short of remarkable, as von Jackhelln has generated one hell of a bandersnatch of a metal album.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

MORTIIS - Some Kind Of Heroin: The Grudge Remixes

Some Kind Of Heroin: The Grudge Remixes
Earache Records

Although the last Mortiis record, “The Grudge,” was a solid record in its own right, there’s no reason for an entire remix album to appear as a follow-up. In Era 3, Mortiis is a much different artist than we’d heard during his prior days. No longer is the one-time Emperor member fascinated with medieval atmospheres and sorcery.

These days, Mortiis is focused on club ambience and apparently enamored with Trent Reznor and the sound of “Pretty Hate Machine”-era Nine Inch Nails in particular. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think the glory days of Mortiis are now completely over. Most fans will be in direct opposition to the rave-like material to be found on “Some Kind Of Heroin,” The PIG remix of “Gibber” implants visuals of blood-soaked discothèques and while this may sound like a great idea on the surface, the end result is just too damn messy to enjoy.

While certain black metal fans might get excited about The Kovenant’s reworking of “Way Too Wicked,” there’s no metal to be had, just another house/trance/darkdiscowave stab at shaking the asses of people who are probably way too fucked up to even know what they’re hearing in the first place.

Enough experimentation already - let’s hear “The Stargate 2.” Either that, or change the name of the band, it makes no sense to put this record or any one in the future that’s similar to it, under the banner of Mortiis.


Snakeskin - Cantatronic review

Snakeskin - Cantatronic
Hall Of Sermon

Blending elements that are more generally associated with techno and club music with metal sensibilities is a concept that’s been most generally associated with Mortiis as of late. Here, on “Canta’tronic,” Snakeskin combines the aura with that artist’s amazing record “The Stargate” with the more up-tempo groves found on “The Grudge.”

In doing so, Snakeskin doesn’t come off as total imitators, as the sounds of each of the aforementioned records are very dissimilar. With the inclusion of operatic female vocals on vamped out tracks such as “Bite Me”, you end up with a creepy vibe that’s like a worldlier Sturmgeist or a Hanzel Und Gretyl that’s been stripped of guitars.

Is this type of darkwave entirely satisfactory?

That depends solely upon your own particular point of view. But if you’re the type of listener that was waiting for a full-on rave to crop up during the middle of the theatrical version of “Interview With A Vampire,” file down those fangs, grab your pacifier and get your bloody little boogie on to “Canta’tronic.”