Chaos Doctrine – And In The Beginning…They Lied

Chaos Doctrine – And In The Beginning…They Lied
Self-Released
Release Date: 25/06/2021
Running Time: 40:46
Review by Wallace Magri
9.5/10

Chaos Doctrine is a South African based band, that brings to us, in their sophomore album “And in the Beginning, They Lied”, a chaotic mixture of Extreme Metal music, guided by old school bay-area Thrash Metal, elements of Black Metal, technical sections similar to Death Metal and Industrial Metal programming fuelled with noise layers, to give the proper ambience to their partially conceptual album, with lyrics addressing themes of religion, corrupt politicians, mass media control within a very dystopian scenario.

Don’t get me wrong, the fact that Chaos Doctrine allow interactions among musical styles to create their sonority doesn’t mean that they are a band without musical direction or trying to appeal to a too wide audience. On this album the band has been able to move forward from their self-titled debut record, released in 2018, developing a very peculiar sonority, that possesses unique identity.

I’ll make things easier for the Ever Metal readers: You know a band called Slayer, right? So, put Slayer in the epicentre of the musical chaos delivered by Chaos Doctrine and we have the basis to start to describe the metal assault that awaits you here! As a matter of fact, they play a cover version of ‘South Of Heaven’ on the album  and, at the same time that they pay tribute to their main influence, they also had the ability to reactivate the rage of that seminal song, with an approach which is much rawer and more disturbing.

Disturbed is a good word to help to describe how I felt when I started closely listening to the nine original tracks (the Slayer’s cover is a bonus track) on the album. I noticed some slips in the mixing, but nothing that spoilt my enjoyment of “And In The Beginning…They Lied”.

This is because they have reached the skill to keep the listener well fed during the listening experience – a hard thing to do these days when people have plenty of songs (and other things) to distract them and they see no point on wasting time listening to a whole album.

What we have here is 36 minutes of very well arranged, original, heavy music and it sounds clear that the band took their time in the composition of each one of these songs, making it tough for me to find some highlights to talk about in more detail. I will say that the opening intro, ‘And In The Beginning…’, followed by ‘Blood Serpent God’ are a superb way to kick off the album: Industrial Metal elements to help with the gloomy ambience, Fear Factory style, but, when the guitar/bass/drum assault kicks in it, personally, relates to old school Extreme Metal, in a time when bands weren’t quite aware of the distinguishing elements amongst Thrash/Death/Black Metal. In the 80’s bands like Possessed, Slayer, Exodus, Kreator, Destruction etc were creating a new musical genre based on the things they were used to listening to, and giving their best efforts to turn it more brutal and unpalatable – by their own means.

That is the same sensation I had listening to ‘Blood Serpent God’, because Chaos Doctrine pick various heavy metal element that are needed for their own music benefit – in this case, old school paced Thrash/Black Metal with a brutal chorus (reminiscent of Sepultura’s “Arise”-era) and Industrial Metal interventions.

Now, welcome to the Slayer side of the story, delivered expertly in ‘Black Friday Bedlam’ – a kick ass old-school Thrash Metal track guided by strong guitar riffs and ferocious drum and bass. I also enjoyed the duel between the screamed vocals, that are guttural as fuck, and the other vocal line, that evokes Tom Araya at his best!

Even though the songs are built around the talent of all the musicians, I think that what gives them the old-school flavour is the guitar work, because it is not full of ultra-technical playing, as many shredders use these days. The solos have more feeling, helping in the transition of the songs, like in ‘Father Grigori’.

I think that with these tips, you can proceed on your own to the rest of the songs on “In the Beginning…They Lied”, whose quality speaks for itself. Now, you may ask me why I rated the album 9.5, if it is that good. Well, the answer is because I am sure that they will come back with new releases that are going to beat this one. They are a young band, very focused on their musical creation. So, I’ll save my 10 for the next one!

‘Blood Serpent God’ feat. Anna Hel (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. And In The Beginning…
02. Blood Serpent God (Feat. Anna Hel)
03. Black Friday Bedlam (Feat. Jörgen Sandström)
04. Harlot
05. Nocturna Mors
06. Father Grigori
07. The Rite
08. Christ Church Horizon
09. They Lied
10. South Of Heaven (Bonus Slayer Cover)

LINE-UP:
Daniel Burger “Dr D” – Vocals
Alec Surridge – Guitar
Rory Townes – Drums
Phil Carstens – Bass, Backing Vocals

LINKS:

Previous EMQ’s Interview with Chaos Doctrine:

Chaos Doctrine ‘Harlot’ Visualiser Video – Ever Metal Premiere:

Chaos Doctrine ‘Enjoy The Silence’ Video – Ever Metal Premiere:

Chaos Doctrine Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Lycia – Casa Luna EP

Casa Luna EP Cover Art

Lycia – Casa Luna EP
Avantgarde Music
Release Date: 11/06/2021
Running Time: 26:44
Review by Wallace Magri
9/10

Long history; short version: According to the press release, Lycia, an Arizona, US based band, has been around for a while, since 1988, and are possibly one of the pioneers of the Darkwave/Electro-Gothic Rock style. During the 90’s they made their way through the US underground, not in a thunderous way, though achieving cult success, and they have also released several albums over the past two decades. Now, after the Avantgarde Music Label re-issued their 1991 debut full-length “Ionia” in early 2021, Lycia is back with a new release.

And, since I am not reviewing albums to pay my bills, I took my time and got into Lycia’s back catalogue (yeah, I’ve never heard about them before), just to find out how appropriate it was for me having the chance to review their newest release, the “Casa Luna” EP. Because, sometimes it feels good to me to crawl into my darkest thoughts for a while, something like a creepy meditation, guided by slow beats and dragged melodies, that I could describe as New ‘Dark’ Age songs (Shoegaze, Ethereal Wave, you name it).

If you liked the description above, so we can move on to “Casa Luna”.

So, now that you already know that the intention of the EP is to be really minimalistic and dark, you can just let the grey palette frequencies of your brain surface and you’ll be able to enjoy the 30 minute ride through your own mind.

The songs on “Casa Luna” arouse an uncomfortable sensation throughout. Upon listening your aura will cool down and, because everything is so slow and melodic, it feels like you are in an underground lake, with a constant icy wind on your face, as you sail among stalagmites, mainly during the first two songs, ‘A Quiet Way To Go’ and ‘Do You Bleed’.

All of a sudden, when you get inside the boat, the electro beats get a little warmer, inviting the listener to a lone party, enlightened by bright candles, to the sound of ‘Except’ – a Depeche Mode-like Darkwave song. I was also reminded of Dead Can Dance whilst listening to the ethereal song ‘On The Mezzanine’, because of the renaissance touch in the vocals and the beautiful acoustic guitar conduction.

And, to close down this brief introspective journey that “Cold Luna” gives us, the song ‘Galatea’ keeps the dancing beat as a highlight once again, just to guide us back to the nothingness full of rich melodies on final track ‘Salt & Blood’ – and the realisation that time is ineffable, and that there is nothing we can do about it but relax and let go of the negativity hidden in the depths of our souls, just for a moment.

It worked for me. I hope you enjoy the dark meditation, too.

‘Salt & Blood’ (Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Quiet Way to Go
02. Do You Bleed?
03. Except
04. On the Mezzanine
05. Galatea
06. Salt & Blood

LINE-UP:
Tara Vanflower – Vocals
Mike VanPortfleet – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Synth
John Fair – Synth & Drum Programs
David Galas – Bass & Drum Programs

LINKS:

Lycia Casa Luna Advert

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Aleksander Susi – Transformations

Transformations Album Cover Art

Aleksander Susi – Transformations
Inverse Records
Release Date: 19/03/2021
Running Time: 29:52
Review by Wallace Magri
8/10

Aleksander Susi played in several Finnish bands, such as ALEXANRED, A:S:Örchestra and ”a.s.andtheloudorchestra”, and also was founder and ex-member of 2 Wolves and ex-member of the Death Metal outfit Scent Of Flesh, during the first decade of this century. He is also associated with various other bands and projects in his homeland.

Since 2020, he decided to launch himself into a solo project, called simply, Aleksander Susi, his given name, where he plays all the instruments, sings and takes care of the programming, as well.

Gothic Rock with Dark Electro elements is what defines most of what is heard within the 10 songs performed on “Transformations”, his first full-length, after releasing several singles and one EP, that takes only 30 minutes long to make its point clear.

Aleksander Susi kept everything pretty simple on the songs, hugely influenced by Type O’ Negative, especially due to the vocals lines on songs like ‘Industrial Zone’ and ‘Green And Grey”. Sometimes that Pete Steele’s seminal band influence comes packed in a much more Electro vibe, thanks to Darwave programmed ambiences, that adds an even more obscure approach on such songs as ‘Children Of The 80’s’!

Some songs bring a pop dance appeal into the mix, turning ‘World Has Changed’ into a radio friendly kind of track, bringing to my mind Linkin Park in their darkest hours (‘One Step Closer’, for instance), but yet palatable to Darkwave Electro Pop fans.

Honestly, I got a little bored during the listening of the full record, but even though, I guess I was able to understand the musician’s proposal – after almost 20 years, he got tired of bandmates and the business part of music and decided to care only about expressing feelings about the world we live in nowadays, with deep sincerity and no concerns about market exposure.

That is something to be applauded and which has also allowed him to get all the way into the, already mentioned, Type O’ Negative Gothic Metal emptiness, met halfway with 80’s Synth and Darwave, giving a kind of post-punk aura, what is noticed on the minimalistic ‘Office Driver’ and ‘The Gates With Two Songs’, that closes the record, flirting with elements from The Mission and The Sisters Of Mercy.

Yeah, “Transformations” provides the listener a really linear listening experience, with nothing exactly new, but full of sincerity that reflects the transformations Aleksander Susi is going through in his musical career, deciding to isolate himself in his own musical state of mind.

I’d definitely like to listen to the next material from Aleskander Susi, bringing more diversity into the arrangements and caring a bit more about the programming sessions and the synths lines, in order to keep things more dynamic. But, even so, it is a good choice to listen to during a short walk outside in the woods, on dark rainy days.

‘Children Of The 80’s’ (Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. The New Songs
02. Industrial Zone
03. Green And Grey
04. Our Star
05. Officer Driver
06. Children Of The 80’s
07. Life Is A Funnel
08. World Has Changed
09. Our Peaceful Green Path
10. The Gate With Two Suns

LINE UP:

Aleksander Susi – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keys and Programming.

LINKS:

Aleksander Susi Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Eisbrecher – Liebe Macht Monster

Liebe Macht Monster Album Cover Art

Eisbrecher – Liebe Macht Monster
RCA Deutschland
Release Date: 12/03/2021
Running Time: 56:29
Review by Wallace Magri
9/10

So, here I am…a guy from Brazil, trying to write in proper English about a band from Germany that doesn’t give a shit about the rule that you should sing in English if you want to have your music noticed around the world.

By the way, I’ve just reviewed an album from a Portuguese band – named Grunt (check it out!) – and I said there that, even though they have some lyrics in Portuguese (yeah, in Brazil we speak Portuguese), I wasn’t able to understand a single word that they sang, but even so, I enjoyed it. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about lyrics, which I do, a lot.

But there are certain musical styles whose message behind the songs are not about WHAT is being sung, but HOW the speech intonation dictates exactly what the words should mean – even when you don’t have a German or Portuguese translator dictionary by your side. Vocals aren’t supposed to be only about semantics at all.

Listening to “Liebe Macht Monster”, Eisbrecher’s 8th album, I remembered what I’d said in my very first review for Ever Metal (Terminal – “Blacken The Skies”, check it out): Neue Deutsche Härte is the perfect Heavy music for the pandemics fucked up era that we live in, mostly due to the Teutonic power vocals, which lend grandeur to the melody and intimidates those who listen to NDH’s songs. Allied to that, the disturbing guitar riffs and Dark-Electro Industrial ambience fulfils the role of putting the listener into a trance allowing them to understand any kind of language through beats and melodies…at least while hypnotized by the song and dance thing.

Have you ever watched the movie ‘Midsommar’? If you did, you would remember what happens in the last ‘ladies’ dance’. That is what I am talking about here. If you haven’t watched the movie (which you should do), just listen to album opening track, ‘Es lohnt sich nicht ein mensch zu sein’, to understand what I mean: the organic drum beat combines perfectly with the synth’s bass tune and layers of gothic ambience that open space to the heavy guitar riffs to settle the tone of the music and then the vocal lines kick in to confer even more heaviness to the song as a whole. Even tough I don’t speak a single word of German; I am singing along to the mid-tempo chorus of that song right now! And the lyrics make sense to me, as a matter of fact.

Well, if you didn’t get into the same musical trance as I did listening to ‘Es lohnt sich ein Mensch zu sein’, and also if you don’t know what the hell NDH is, just read the following explanation about their music from Eisbrecher’s lead singer, Alex Wesselsky: “eternal bloodbaths between rock/metal and pop electro-industrial” (available on Eisbrecher’s website).

Eisbrecher have been around since 2003, releasing albums regularly and constantly growing their fan base in USA and Europe. In Germany, the albums “Die Höle muss warten” (2012) and “Schock” (2015) were certified gold and “Sturmfahrt” hit #1 in the German charts. They have also played on major European festivals, such as Summer Breeze and Wacken Open Air, as well as gigs with UDO and Scorpions and a bunch of tours around Europe.

And it seems like Eisbrecher is getting very busy during the COVID-19 lockdown, since they released “Schickalsmelodien” in 2020 (where they perform cover songs from German bands) and, only 5 months later, here I am giving my impressions on their latest release “Liebe Macht Monster”, that shows Alexx Wesselsky (vocal) and Noel Pix (lead guitar, programming and production) allowing themselves some experimentation, delivering a much more synth pop approach on ‘Systemsprenger’ and ‘Leiserdrehen’. On ‘Wer bin ich’ we listen to something close to what bands like Bring Me The Horizon used to play, in a very accessible musical outfit.

Die-hard fans don’t need to get worried about that unfamiliar approach, because “Liebe Macht Monster” keeps the traditional musical style heard on the previous albums from the Ice Brakers.  ‘Himmel’ relates to the Electro Gothic with magnificence. On ‘Dagengen’, Dero Goi, from the band Oomph!, shares lead vocals with Alexx on one of the best songs of the album.

‘FAKK’ and the title track are based on Neue Deutsche Härte’s heavy guitar riffs and powerful chorus, as can be heard on any of Eisbrecher’s back catalogue – that anyone, regardless of language spoken, is able to sing along to. Which takes us back to the main theme this review was based on.

Eisbrecher’s new album is definitely worth the listen, even though you may get a little lost on the language diversity. Just let your mind be guided by the heavy electronic beat and guitar riffs that are going to help you to find out your way into their Neue Deustche Härte world and, suddenly, it will feel like home.

‘FAKK’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Es lohnt sich nicht ein mensch zu sein
02. FAKK
03. Nein Danke
04. Im Guten Im Bösen
05. Frommer Mann
06. Dagengen (feat. Dero Goi)
07. Liebe Macht Monster
08. Sytemsprenger
09. Wer bin ich
10. Himmel
11. Kontrollverlust
12. Leiserdrehen
13. High Society
14. Es lebe der Tod

LINE-UP:
Alexx Wesselsky – Vocals
Noel Pix – Lead Guitar, Programming, Production
Jürgen Plangger – Rhythm Guitar
Maximilian Schaver – Keyboards/Programming
Achim Färber – Drums
Rupert Keplinger – Bass

LINKS:

Eisbrecher Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Grunt – Discipline

Discipline Album Cover Art

Grunt – Discipline
Larvae Records
Release Date: 02/04/2021
Running Time: 36:59
Review by Wallace Magri
10/10

Grunt is a Death/Extreme Industrial Metal outfit from Portugal that absolutely deliver on “Discipline”, their third album, containing seven songs that are going to turn your day darker and bring some mental chaos to your thoughts!

I want you to know that even though Portuguese is my mother tongue, I wasn’t able to understand a single word that Boy-G sings on ‘A Valsa Libitina’ and ‘Piedade’, allegedly sung in Grunt’s native tongue, thanks to Boys-G’s guttural vocal technique, increased by distortion effects, that reminded me of Six Feet Under’s Chris Barnes singing in slow motion.

Anyway, the main Portuguese Culture influence on “Discipline” is the Fado – a sad musical style that has melancholic flamenco guitar fingering on the arrangements – heard especially in the guitar solo of ‘A Valsa Libitina’, performed by Boy-S… yes, Grunt is an ‘all boy band’: Boy-G (Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Synths), Boy-S (Guitars), Boy-Z (Bass) and Boy-M (Drums).

I would say that Grunt is much more a Death/Extreme Metal band that takes advantage of synth programming and sampled ambiences to increase the song’s sludge aesthetics, than an Industrial Metal band that resorts to Heavy Metal musical instruments to increase the heaviness of electronic beats.

By the way, if you are into bands like Fear Factory, I am sure that you will relate to songs like ‘Relinquish Control’, that deliver dense Drop D guitar riffs along with tribal percussion into the mixture, thanks to the astonishing drum and bass work. On ‘Captivity and Abominable Idolatry’ we hear another amazing guitar solo, that provides a Prog Metal aura to the song, helped by the incredible drum rhythm brakes and transitions.

The excellent mixing and production of “Discipline” deserve to be mentioned (by Ivy Skuratov and Boy-G, respectively), giving the proper strength to each musical instrument, highlighting the guitar solos and showing good taste in the selection of beats and synth programming, in order to make every song on the album more gloomy and dismal, as you can check out on ‘Vertiginous Asylum’ and ‘The Blackest Suitors’ – both masterpieces of Avant Garde Doom/Black Electro mayhem, that open minded metalheads are gonna be pleased to listen to.

All that said, “Discipline” is the best album I’ve heard in 2021 so far, and don’t mind if you can’t understand the lyrics sung in English – I couldn’t understand the ones in Portuguese either. But what I do know is that Grunt isn’t singing about sunflowers and pink orchids, unless they are dead flowers laying in sludge.

‘The Blackest Suitors’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Vertiginous Asylum
02. A Valsa Libitina
03. Piedade
04. With Agony Driving So Deep
05. Relinquish Control
06. Captivity And Abominable Idolatry
07. The Blackest Suitors

LINE-UP:
Boy-G – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Synths
Boy-S – Guitars
Boy-Z – Bass
Boy-M – Drums

LINKS:

Grunt Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Skold – Dies Irae

Dies Irae Album Cover Art

Skold – Dies Irae
Cleopatra Records
Release Date: 05/03/2021
Running Time: 38:18
Review by Wallace Magri
9.5/10

Tim Skold is well known as a multi-instrumentalist, synth programmer plus a highly requested composer and music producer. His first musical journey was around 1987 with the Swedish Glam/Sleaze Metal band Shotgun Messiah, that recorded three albums and, by the way, the last Shotgun Messiah’s release, “Violent New Breed” (1993), was one of the very first Industrial Glam/Rock albums to date. After splitting Shotgun Messiah, Tim Skold launched himself into a solo career, releasing “Skold” in 1996, and right after that, he was invited to join KMFDM.

For those who are not that familiar with Industrial Rock/Metal Music, KMFDM is an institution in that genre. They were one of the pioneers on turning the noisy-non-commercial Industrial’s original proposal (search for Throbbing Gristle on google) into a more electronic Heavy Oriented sound, once they realized that it would be a cool idea to sample really extreme heavy guitar riffs and repeat them to the limit, until it becomes a wall of sound that fit just fine with the Industrial noisy beats and raging vocal performances.

Tim Skold collaborated on KMFDM’s 1997 album “Symbols” and remained in the band for “Adios”, released in 1999. After leaving KMFDM he started to produce and compose with Marilyn Manson and ended up playing bass guitar on “The Golden Age Of Grotesque” (2003) and also composed all the songs, programmed the samples and produced Marilyn Manson’s 2007 underrated album “Eat Me, Drink Me”. On that album there were lots of good guitar licks and solos, performed by Tim Skold. On ‘Evidence’ I heard the best guitar solo ever, on a Manson album (I am sorry, John 5…).

Anyway, after being fired from Marilyn Manson, Tim Skold went back to his solo career for good, releasing “Anomie” (2011), “The Undoing” (2016) and “Never is Now” (2019). On those albums, Skold flirted a lot with Electro Synth Industrial and relegated the live guitar element to a second place role.

“Dies Irae”, on the other hand, is another kind of monster. “So let me start from the beginning, because that will help you understand”*. Skold’s fifth album is mostly built over ferocious live guitar riffs, as heard right in the first song, ‘Dirty Horizon’. That reminded me of Mercyful Fate’s ‘Don’t Break The Oath’ NWOBHM Satanic Music (which was my favourite bedtime nightmare music, in my messed up childhood back in the 80’s).If you enjoy those kind of guitar oriented Metal songs, but also accept some dark-electro ambience in the seasoning, just listen to ‘This Is The Way’, and tell me what you think about that kick ass guitar solo in the middle. On ‘Unspoken’ Tim Skold has, arguably, performed his best guitar solo to date (* By the way, I’ve taken the first verse of the ‘Unspoken’ lyrics to help me to introduce my impressions on the album)

After listening to “Dies Irae” a bunch of times, it felt like Tim Skold is in his best shape ever, delivering the kind of music that he helped to create along with KMFDM and mostly in the Marilyn Manson years, from whom he inherited that peculiar singing technique. So, beware, because Tim Skold’s vocals are something that the listeners need to get used to. Don’t expect something like King Diamond here because he sings in a constant growling and distorted style, for the purpose of expressing his feelings through his viscera.

On ‘Terrified’, Skold explores in its perfection that sort of “singing technique” and it really gives me Goosebumps, especially while he sings the melancholic chorus: “I am not afraid of dying/I am fucking terrified”. Follow that by listening to the post-electro-punk ‘Love Is A Disease’ and keep going with ‘As Above so Below’ and ‘Kill Yourself’.

On ‘Silicon Dreams’ he invocates his best David Bowie’s melodramatic approach in the pre-chorus, that fit just fine with Industrial Rock/Metal music. I am afraid to say that David Bowie ruled the crazy minds of all those “cyberpunks and crypto-anarchists”, such as Skold, Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson, allowing them, in silicon dreams, be kings and queens, through their noisy machines, while worshipping Baphomet (*adapted from the ‘Silicon Dreams’ lyrics and listening to Bowie’s “Black Tie White Noise”, from 1993, right now).

The fact is that “Dies Irae” has many exciting moments and shows that Skold is delivering the goods to keep his relevance in the growing EMB/Gothic/Industrial scene. If you enjoy this kind of music, just push the play button and I am sure that you are going to enjoy the guitar work, the production, mixing and the excellent choices of programming and layers of noise that provides the songs a good taste of gloomy ambience that defines the general aesthetic of the album.

‘Dirty Horizon’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Dirty Horizon
02. Unspoken
03. The End Is Near
04. Terrified
05. Love Is A Disease
06. This Is The Way
07. Silicon Dreams
08. As Above So Bellow
09. Kill Yourself
10. Goodbye

LINE-UP:

Tim Skold – Guitars, Vocals and Programming

LINKS:

Skold Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Wallace Magri and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Terminal – Blacken The Skies

Blacken The Skies Album Cover Art

Terminal – Blacken The Skies
Metropolis Records
Release Date: 05/02/2021
Running Time: 33:29
Review by Wallace Magri
9/10

The New German Hardness (Neue Deutsche Härte) is the perfect soundtrack for the neo medieval era that we live in today. The Dark Electro gloomy and cybernetic textures taken from sonorous samples are filled with a squall of sequencers laying a constant gothic ambience, creating the rhythmic backbone to sustain the Teutonic and distorted vocal lines, yet human, that delivers an ensemble of suffocating and scary scenarios, making a perfect match to our dystopic cruel world, right on February 2021.

Therefore, taking advantage of the global madness and the digital sorrow people are stuck in, it seems like Neue Deutsche Härte might take over the world of Metal and Electronic Oriented Music for good! It is all about fixing the beats per minute, controlling the rhythm of our bodies, while vocal frequencies slowly crawl over our brains, clarifying ourselves about the malaise of civilization.

The music heard on “Blacken The Skies” (the debut album from Terminal, a Canadian studio project idealized by Tomas Mark Anthony – who is a producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist) is hugely influenced by the already mentioned Neue Deutsche Härte. However, it is not common sense harsh industrial that is delivered over the 12 songs on the album, since the Dark Electro established ambience dialogues with 70’s Glam Rock right in the first song, ‘Terror Ride’. If Marc Bolan were sat, right here by my side, he would find quite the same catchy chorus that was heard on ‘Get It On’, but with a very distinct approach. And surely the T Rex leader would approve of it right away.

Yeah, no electric guitars, live bass and drums are required here to deliver heaviness on songs like ‘Riot Shields’. Tomas Mark Anthony is the only human being existent within Terminal, and he and his machines open an actual musical vortex to emulate everything that Mark has heard over his musical journey up to now, all of it homogenized combining good taste for electronic grey textures with the typical hypnotic 200 bpm of EBM’s electro sessions, fastening our heartbeats and warming our bodies. That kind of beat makes you wanna twist your body, doesn’t it? Don’t mind if you are shaking your hips a little bit right now, while listening to “Blacken The Skies”. That doesn’t mean that you dance because you are happy – that’s only your body responding to the music in a very primitive way.

Terminal also finds a place to slow the beat down to 120/133 bpm in order to celebrate the 80’s Synth/Dark Wave era on several songs, such as ‘Fault Line’ – that brings to my mind the proto-industrial Heavy/Rock performed by the likes of Front 242. On ‘Godfire’ Terminal pays tribute to its Canadian peers, Front Line Assembly, while underscoring Techno Music elements and also adding oriental elements in the mix.

The funny thing about all the enthusiasm while I write this review, talking about Electro Nightmare Music, is that back in the 80’s, when I was a young metalhead listening to Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Metallica and all those sorts of trivia Metal Bands, I just HATED electronic music, synth wave, post-punk, gothic rock, etc. In the 80’s, it was almost a duty for metalheads to reject that kind of song, because the music that I loved was supposed to be delivered through fast drums, guitar riffs, while the lead singer screamed and shouted over the mic. Electronic music meant bubble-gum songs to play on the damn radio stations, so there was no room for that kind of music in the 15 years old raging heart of mine…until 1992.

Thanks to Uncle Al Jourgensen my mind was blown away over songs like ‘New World Order’ and ‘Jesus Built My Hotrod’, by Ministry and in the early 90’s, I was converted to a Newborn Industrial Music Fan! Those songs were pure rage and mayhem, so I could connect to it! And, to shorten the story, around the 2000’s I finally revisited and made friends with New Order, The Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus etc in pure gothic joy! What I learnt during this process was…we are able to change our minds all the time.

By the way, “Blacken The Skies” is released under the Metropolis Records belt, what is relevant information. In case you don’t know, this record label has been responsible for spreading the Industrial Rock/Metal word around the US, since 1993, along with Wax Trax Records, reverberating the Harsh Industrial wave, that started its engines on German and Belgian ground at the beginning of the 90’s, with bands like KMFDM and Oomph! amongst others.

I can go back in Industrial Rock/Metal history on another review. So, if you are enjoying it, let the Ever Metal’s editors know, please. Anyway, if this review becomes my only one around here (It won’t be – Rick), I just want you to know that Terminal’s debut album has got it all and makes crystal clear, through its dark synthetic songs, that the time has come for thou metal heads to surrender to the new soundtrack for our apocalyptical world: accept the electronic harsh heaviness, just get yourself a glass of booze (or whatever) and enjoy the ride. Pretty soon you are going to forget about the relevance of the metal guitar riffs to make music sounds heavy enough for your ears, and then, you are going to realize that Neue Deutsche Härte is just fucking cool music to listen to and to dance with, a little bit. Just give yourself the chance.

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Course Of Empire
02. Terror Ride
03. Deadline
04. Fault Line
05. Crackdown
06. Extrajudicial
07. Dance Fall
08. Needle Park (Time To Die)
09. Riot Shields
10. Godfire
11. TRMNL
12. Collateral Damage

LINE-UP:
Tomas Mark Anthony & Machines

LINKS:

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