Norway…. land of Vikings, long dark days, extreme cold and musicians that wear hats, i.e. Tommy Olssen. However we have other hat wearing musicians to talk about in the order of a band called, Mayflower Madame.

On the 27th of March, they released their follow-up album, Prepared For A Nightmare, released on Only Lovers Records. Mayflower Madame are a three piece, made up of Trond Fagernes – vocals, guitars, bass, Håvard Haga– guitars and Ola J. Kyrkjeeide – drums.

A kicking this whole album off is the title track, “Prepared For A Nightmare“. What strikes me first off with laconic guitars that jangle away and I am transported to another time of bands such as Wall Of Voodoo and Concrete Blonde.

There are tinges of Fields of the Nephilim in “Vultures” which also happens to be the first single. The lead drawls like some dark, laid back, hellion cowboy, riding the wave of guitars chiming in over each other and a good beat which promises getting darklings on the floor.

A nice big bass line with psychedelic intonation brings you “Swallow“. No we ain’t talking about the birds here here either of you get what I’m putting down. Lovely vocals and this isn’t crass but rather artfully done.

Ludwig Meidner” was a German artist, most memorable for his apocalyptic landscapes which were created before the devastation of the First World War, in which he served. Later he became a writer of unnatural stories and maybe this is the vibe of this number… that darkness that lurks within. Such a great chorus with lyrics like, ‘I wanna go, I wanna stay, I want desire, And I’ll be dancing on your grave…”.

A little dramatic and expressive with “Never Turning (In Time)” as the lads give us the last thoughts before the ultimate journey which you can never come back from.

Moody, almost Cramps inspired guitar work with drumming that beautifully fits in throughout the sixth track. . “Sacred Core” vocally also makes me think of Wayne Hussey and The Mission.

The Night Before” is a tale of maybe not only having a partner die but the loss of an unborn child. This number is shorter but seems to meander with quieter harmonic vocals.

A slightly synth start to “Goldmine” although it doesn’t take much for the stringed instruments to come back with shoegaze swirls and that underlying guitar noise.

MAYFLOWER MADAME

Once, even fallen stars had “A Future Promise” but can’t always live up to those expectations. This is dreamy and I love how it harkens back to a sound that reminds me of old guitar based Clan Of Xymox.

The last track is “Endless Shimmer” and I can’t decide if this is a love song or a lament for what the vocalist can’t reach or have because of some inner flaw. A slow start that graduates with each word.

You can hear a multitude of influences though the biggest for me is that twangy insistent guitar led music of Fields Of The Nephilim. Fagernes does not growl like McCoy but similarly, sinfully singing doomed nothings.

There are so many layers to this music and every time you listen, you will hear something you didn’t hear before within the swirling psychedelic eddies. Mayflower Madame has based itself on shoulders of wonderful past bands and then taken it to the next level, making this uniquely theirs.

Prepared For A Nightmare is going to appeal greatly to those who love guitar based music that is an inspired piece of gothic rock. An illuminated piece of beautiful darkness.

https://mayflowermadame.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/mayflowermadame/

In 1999, Slovakia saw the birth of electro-industrial group, Last Influence Of Brain. This year has started off with the release of a new album, Insomnicons after a silence of almost ten years.

L.I.O.B. (Last Influence Of Brain) is made up of three members who are mysteriously only known as Blazena, Solo and…..Bob. Not much else is known about them other than they are in other projects. Their previous album was Two Faces before their hiatus and they are featured on the Slovakian record label Alien Productions.

Last Influence Of Brain

Twone” might be something you need. This goes from grinding vocals to bright and light synths which are a almost a contrast of dark and light. The beat continues to build and swell. This is just the beginning and it’s started well. In the Urban Dictionary, Twone is described as ‘a phrase that silences participants‘.

The second track, “Invasion/Introverted” just smacks of all the things that are best about Leæther Strip, punched out lyrics and a beat you can bounce to.

Demo version of Idolatry

This is a great song with its intensity and wonderful synth cascade that crashes down on you with “Idolatry“. It rivals the sound of Frontline Assembly with the finesse of Leæther Strip.

Binarea” is heavy and wanting to force the rhythm straight down your throat at the start. The beat at times almost resembles a machine gun going off. It’s like a lethal game show and where they are taking us no one knows.

Khonsu was the Egyptian god of the Moon, who was especially worshipped at the holy city of Thebes. “Khonsu Again On His Eternal Path” is about the journey this deity takes across the sky, bringing the tides, marking the seasons and future telling with foreboding signs. To reflect this the music does feel otherworldly, space like, consistently traveling.

As we discuss the Moon, we have the track “Sedimental (In The Mare Nubium)“. The Mare is within the Nubium crater which is on the visible side of the Moon. The staccato, grained vocals punctuate through the electronic noise. The Moon will reek it’s toll on the mental faculties.

Dark and forbidding is “Hypnosphere” made all the more so with a small child crying for mummy and then sounding like a demon from the darkest recesses of hell. This is reminiscent of Skinny Puppy both vocally and musically.

There is a slightly experiemental to “Duality“. Purposeful and almost ambient as it winds itself into your brain. It is angst and beautiful all at the same time. This is emotional and poignant with so much depth.

Not sure what a moonster is but this is a “Broken Moonster” and the dynamics between those heavy vocals and light synths make this very listenable. Possibly it’s due to the weaving harmonies you perceive, as delicate as spider webs.

Almost a busy hip hop feel to the beginning of “Necrotopia“. This loops back with an almost delicate rhythm that harkens back to Skinny Puppy’sProtest” . For a song about a nirvana for death, this is very much alive.

With that understated slower pace that L.I.O.B seem to be masters of, they are taking you away to the “E-Sylum“. They growl about pressure and progress as the music backs this up with it’s own version of expanding noise. Yet it is almost cool and distant.

Twone” gets a remix by award winning industrial composer and producer Ken ‘Hiwatt’ Marshall which at the start is a tad creepy before finding a techno style beat. This is a great remix to tie up the album.

L.I.O.B are an anomaly. They sound traditional harsh industrial and yet they, in many ways are not. They obviously like to create atmosphere and this comes off as being almost dark ambient in its style.

This is a great come back album and if you are a fan of 90’s Skinny Puppy and other older acts such as Leæther Strip and especially Frontline Assembly then I can highly recommend Last Influence Of Brain and their newest creation, Insomnicons.

https://aliensproduction.bandcamp.com/album/insomnicons

https://www.facebook.com/lastinfluenceof/

https://www.facebook.com/aliensproductionlabel/

Konqistador released at the end of last year, the album Nafada. The band started back in 2005 and is a collaboration of Detroit musicians, Reginald Tiessen and Elizabeth Graham as well as Sydney artist INfest8.

This latest album has a theme, in which Konqistador invited female hip hop artists to perform on their tracks, although they are more known for their industrial, gothic and electronic music. These women are as diverse in nationalities as they are in sound.

Kicking off is Medusa Tn also known as Boutheina El Alouadi, from Tunisia with the single “Eden,Woman’s War“, a powerful start. Not only does Medusa Tn rap but her singing voice is beautiful and provocative, woven with the middle eastern traditional music and an industrial beat.

Adrestia” by Moroccan artist, Soultana starts as a staccato monologue with backing synths that you feel building up and then the beats kick in and it becomes a whirlwind of sound. This is a great mixture of electro and vocals. A Greek warrior goddess, Adrestia punishes those who cause injustice.

Solemn beats bring in “Hamazam” and if I didn’t know any better, I would say Meryem Saci has a cheeky little smile on her face. Meryem is from Algeria singing in French and English. She is bold and sexy and makes the intricacy of this song work for her. It is about strong women that use their power, not for war but rather strengthening bonds of love and peace.

Fourth track is “Karitha” by Iranian, Salome MC and featuring from Detroit, DJ Los, a heavy weight in the hip hop/rap/beatboxing world, who does all the scratching on this song. Salome’s voice soars to the heights and yet will hold your attention even when at a whisper. This is why Salome MC has been recognized not only as the first Iranian female rapper but perhaps one of the best in the world. For a song about the evil residing even in the best of intentions, it is such a gorgeous blend of industrial background with female sass.

Traditions can be safe and easy to follow but sometimes they are also meant to be broken and this is “Safiyya” by Moroccan songstress Soultana aka Youssra Oukaf, who has been rapping since she was thirteen and a strong voice in advocating women’s rights. The music with her voice at the beginning reminds me of vast deserts and then unleashes the storm.

Nafada” is the title track and the call rise up and rebel. Nafada means in Arabic tremor. Meryem Saci returns and is accompanied by Sultana who hails from Turkey and is yet another progressive female that championed hip hop in her country. It begins low and dark and the ladies voices are like a light, drawing you up. It feels ancient and yet it most definitely isn’t. Saci and Sultana compliment each other so well, whether they are rapping or singing.

Sahar” literally means awakening in Arabic. This piece is based on an Iranian folk tune, Morq-e sahar and performed by Miss Undastood of New York aka Tavasha Shannon. ‘My talent a gift and a curse’, when the eyes are opened to all possibility there is the realization of the double knife edge of going two ways… rising above or falling down. You can hear the influence of being brought up in America in Shannon’s style of rapping but this just brings a new facet to this story of traditional verses modern.

Kahina” by Medusa Tn is just epic. Such a big voice. Passionate hip hop bringing to life Kahlina, a queen and warrior of the Berber people. She is remembered with great fondness and kept alive in spirit as the invocation of the power women hold and that females should never be kept down or silenced because of their gender.

This could be a song Skinny Puppy created when you hear the start. Han Han brings her native Filipino languages to “Visaya“. This is fresh and dynamic with synths chiming in. The Visaya are a people in a region of the Philippines but more so the song is about how we are far more similar than we are different.

I have to use the word powerful again because that is what this album is. I’m not in any way into hip hop and yet these women are inspirational in every way. They bring a beauty to the art of rapping and yet they are so much more than that.

They are mostly the voices of a female minority of the countries they represent and this makes them pioneers and bravely throwing light on the music they love. They are most worthy of being looked up to with much respect. Not just because they are originators of an art form in their homelands but rather for their conviction to never give up or give in.

INfest8, Reginald Tiessen and Elizabeth Graham are the trio of writers that carefully crafted all the songs presented and you can hear the devotion to this project through the beautiful lyrics, as well as the fact each hip hop artist was able to inject their own influence into their track/s.

It’s an amazing cross cultural exploration and recorded mostly on two different continents, utilizing many different musical genre, mixed by INfest8 in Australia and mastered in the United States.

This is exotic and the Arabic/ middle eastern/ Filipino influences just push this into a different realm of wow. Social order, peace, solidarity and the support of women who can be the centre of change because music is the voice of change. This is Nafada by Konqistador….. hear the call.

https://konqistador.bandcamp.com/

https://www.konqistador.com

https://www.facebook.com/Konqistadormusic/

January the third was the release date of the album, Le Désert Rouge, which is a combined effort from experimental, ambient, electronic musicans, Poetry Of Thorns of Mexico and I, Eternal of France.

There are four tracks on the album with the first three composed by Poetry Of Thorns using sounds given to them by I, Eternal and vice versa for the last number.

La Porte de Sortie” translates the The Exit Gate. This short piece is metallic and almost oppressive as it reveberates with its own self made rhythm. It is eerie in the insistence as if the Gate leads to some eternal doom.

Ces pensėes pyromanes” literally is These Arsonist Pens and again there is that hollow presence of ghostly design. This is delicate and almost other worldy with a french girl speaking a little in the back ground. Maybe the title eludes to how words can inflame hearts and minds.

Echos intersections et Aubes” or Echoes intersections and Dawns reminds me of a radio trying to find the channel but not quite catching the signal. Dawn with seagulls wheeling in the grey early morning skies as they mournfully cry to each other, dropping from one wind draft only to be lifted by another, in the meeting of stale dark and new light.

This blood-colored desert or “Ce dėsert couleur de sang” is the fourth and final track. This is noise building on noise but slowly and purposely, as you hear from within the distant storm odd snippets and echos. Like a sand filled, unbearably hot desert, it is relentless and has a life of its own and a near audible heartbeat. This experimental piece goes for a whopping twenty five minutes and twenty six seconds and has an almost trance like quality.

Poetry Of Thorns‘ last album was produced by none other than goth – industrial legend, Martin Bowes of Attrition, which means they have quite a bit street credability. Both these acts really seem to enjoy the collaboration and have a great respect for the other, it shows or rather it can be heard in the care they have taken.

This is what experimental music is all about, pushing boundries and artists encouraging each other to go one better. If noise and experimental industrial music on an ambient plane is your thing or whets your curiosity, please check out Poetry Of Thorns/I, Eternal with Le Désert Rouge.

https://poetryofthorns.bandcamp.com/album/le-d-sert-rouge

https://ieternal1.bandcamp.com/album/le-d-sert-rouge

January saw the bandcamp release of Dirt Factory’s debut EP, Random Songs For The End Of The World. This electro industrial band is comprised of two brothers, Michael Gillman (programming and synths) and Daniel Allen (vocals and programming). More surprisingly is the fact that one lives in Brisbane and the other in Melbourne.

From the get go “Saibanetikku” is a koto drum dream that leads to an electronic beat followed by deep ahhhs and a fabulous synth accompaniment. Daniel’s modulated voice joins this simple and yet spine tingling build up. The way Michael mixes and brings in sounds and beats is subtle while still holding your attention completely.

Still on the Japanese cyber/futuristic theme, we have “Kaiju” which basically means monster. A commentary on our world, as we play with science and create the monsters that will eventually destroy us. Godzilla (Gojira) is a kaiju, created by exploding nuclear bombs. This is a science fiction nightmare which cuts a little closely to a dark reality.

DIRT FACTORY

Track three is an “Unseen Tragedy“. This is punchy with syncopation weaving throughout. The layers of vocals with different voice mixers and electronic synth is an immersive experience.

Sleazy greasy and oozing, “Give Me The Drugs“. Slower but still a ravenous beat is your pusher, making you desire more of this ode to wanting to throw one’s self into the arms of your chosen drug. Daniel will cajole and threaten you to get what he wants…. no placebo accepted.

DIRT FACTORY live December 2019 Flamin Galah, Brisbane

Will machines with AI eventually obtain “Digital Consciousness“? Is it a scientist speaking in the background? The music is again powerful and evocative with heavy drums and a futuristic feel… that Terminator efficiency, so to speak.

Robitic vocals bring you “Error Delete” with undulating electronics with such a catchy rhythm and breakout synths. This definitely brings visions of Bladerunner or Ghost In the Machine.

Slaughterhouse Shutdown” is horror movie homage with mentions of plastic for the blood splatters and no one is getting out of there alive. Haunting with gothic keyboard for ultimate creeping doom and everyone’s favourite …. fairground carnival music with screams overlayed with Psycho violin tendencies.

The final piece is “Corporate Greed” which brings to mind another song, “Corporate Slave” by another electronic Australian artist, Snog from the 90’s which was another excellent dance number. Could be the sounds of the financial world that become lost in the growing noise as the harsh beat takes over. The low vocals grace but do not take over. This loops and reverbs in a most delicious way with unbridled angst.

Remixes of “Error Delete” by Digital Anodyne (DJ Wolf Aud) and Vargil (Camilla Astrid Strand) have been added onto the end as extra bonus numbers for your listening pleasure which you are sure to enjoy.

Movies, especially in the genres of horror, science fiction and anime, have had a huge influence in the vision of these songs. Synth and noise maker extraordinaire, Michael’s roots in industrial music lay in the Wax Trax era and the burgeoning onslaught of the Belgium and German bands such as Frontline Assembly and co. However, more than this, he has not tried to ride their sound but rather forge his own, with brother Daniel firmly giving the band a voice.

The music is savvy, clever and down right satisfying. There is great depths to each song, crafted to sound bigger than just a two man effort, giving them an epic EP. As yet unsigned, Dirt Factory are far more than an uncut diamond, rough where needed and cutting edge when they could have been mediocre. These are the Random Songs For The End of The World.

https://dirtfactory.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Dirt-Factory-1924745841101379/

This year English duo, Unquiet Dead had the release of their second album, Anima Ignis. Located in Bedfordshire, Lora Maze is vocals and synths while Jason Kahl plays guitar and bass. Both are responsible for programming.

So the intro is “Flames”, which welcomes you into the style that is Unquiet Dead. Soaring harmony with a tribal sound, punctuated with the guitar, giving it a whole lotta oomph!!!

“Ash” was a single and has an almost White Zombie, Southern American feel to it until the vocals from Maze kick in, seductively slipping into your ears. A psychedelic trip in a limosine, in leather with a devil may attitude.

Yet another single off the album is “Legend”. Do I detect the use of didgeridoo? Kahl’s driving guitar work throttles this forward. And the remix by London based electro/industrial group, Machine Rox for the single is absolutely killer. Vocally this reminds me of Faith And The Muse.

Keeping up the unrelenting pace is “Puppet Strings“. You have to love the harmonization Unquiet Dead utilize. No one is pulling their strings with this danceable number.

Now for a change of pace. Of course “Cat People (Putting Out Fire With Gasolene)” was written and performed by David Bowie with Georgio Moroder back in 1981 and has been covered a multitude of times. The whole thing with covers is to make it your own. A purposely slow beginning which changes up with the power vocals.

And back to the head bobbing ferocious beats. Burn My “Head Down” is about getting out from underneath someone’s control… which might be a theme of this album. Hints of electric T-Rex litter this.

Track seven is “Bitter Pill“, where they have to be ‘careful what I say or they might put me away’ and any song mentioning pitchforks is worthy of monster movie staking.

Build A World Worth Dying For” is pure swirling vocals entwined with guitar and backed up with synths. A plea to make this world a better place that we know it can be. A beautifully crafted song with and equally beautiful sentiment.

The synth sound mimicking a theremin in “Is This War?”, Is almost hypnotic. Not the fastest track but this will definitely keep the audience entertainered, especially waiting to hear Maze’s vocals to take them away.

I Can Hardly Wait” is slower, more dirge style piece which drags the corpse along behind it still kicking. Languid guitar riffs bubble in the cauldron.

Last track is “If You Don’t Want Me” and true to form, if you aren’t wanted, there are no constraints on what you can do and be who you want to be. This fades to a mantra of almost southern Baptist proportions.

On Bandcamp, the band have quoted Toyah Wilcox as saying ‘Really rather remarkable’. I can tell you now that in the music scene, Toyah is a very hard woman to impress as she is a bit of a perfectionist.

Whatever style you want to try to place these two, it is undeniable that Unquiet Dead are really very talented. They take the psychedelic sounds of a bygone era and marry it to a modern electronic/ industrial genre with those amazing vocals to create something just a little special.

The bastard child of Bolan/Bowie/Eno and Inkubus Sukkubus with no apologies. Check Unquiet Dead out.

https://www.facebook.com/unquietdead/

https://open.spotify.com/album/0KO0hqCUtvxZaA0BrNIuZ7

https://unquietdead.bandcamp.com/releases

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1321653244?ls=1&app=itunes

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077YC5SPC/ref=sr_1_1…

Distorded Void is the Russian label bringing you the new album, “Trakl Trauma Tracks”, by Eumourner, an Italian musician.

Eumourner has 6 tracks to convey his historical story, set in World War 1, all in the form of music. Someone commented the album cover was creepy…. but then that is what happens when we exhume the dead.

“Track I. Der Schlaf” is like moving into darkness and the unknown. The sound scape builds and undulates with impending doom. Unseen and unnatural creatures chitter as a voiceover announces details of the Great War.

Cuckoo clocks and chimes bring on “Track II. Stunderlied”. It s0 the feeling of desolation and swirling loss in a terrible fairytale with wind swept whistles intermingling with musical box tunes, until the mood changes and becomes more insistent.

Like the muffled horns of Valhalla blasting into the void heralds “Track III. Neil Krupp und Krieg”. This could be the rumbling of giant mortar cannons on the Eastern front, the orders to move forward into a hell never seen before by mankind. A machine churning through men and forever changing them and sirens sound marking the hostilities.

“Track IV. Grodek” is the longest track at over 10 minutes long. It is not so much the sounds of violence but rather, the spirits of men leaving their tortured bodies, or at least this is what it feels like to me. The terrible aftermath left on a battlefield, which few forget amd even fewer wish to repeat. The lament of ghosts of the fallen, crying for what they have lost.

Birds chirp and maybe chimes or cow bells in the distance. We hear the words of Georg Trakl‘s poem “All Roads Lead To Black Decay” wavering over this piece, “Track V. Landschaft”. It sounds so calm and yet there is a sudden burst of a gatling gun to break the serenity.

“Track VI. Die Ungebornen Enkel” closes this album. It is the void filling with near distant rage and cacophany with pieces of violin flitting in and out before a plateau, decending into unearthly screams of that which sounds not human. Oppressive and swelling. The character, Trakl’s descent into madness, with his overbearing feeling of depression due to his inability to cope surrounded by the damaged and massacred, fueled by his overdose of cocaine, pulling him into the depths of hell. It finishes with the innocence of children singing and the music box.

For the uninitiated, Georg Trakl, born in Salzburg, Austria was a poet who suffered from depression for most of his adult life and found refuge in the army life as a trained pharmacist, until the beginning of the Great War where he found himself serving in the Austro-Hungarian army.

While in the Battle of Grodek, against the Imperial Russian Army, he was forced to look after approxiamately 90 wounded soldiers, which overwhelmed him and Lieutenant Trakl attemped to shoot himself, however was thwarted and resulted in his being hospitalized. Not long after this he was found dead of a cocaine overdose.

Eumourner has taken a small piece of dark history and put it to dark ambient and experiemental music, to paint you a life cut short in a time of war due to mental breakdown, even using the poets own style of evoking spirits in the quiet recesses of what is not said. It is an evocative soundscape on a grand scale.

https://distortedvoid.bandcamp.com/album/trakl-trauma-tracks

https://www.facebook.com/DistortedVoid

Third Realm are back with a brand spanking new album and I have been lucky enough to have been listening to it before the release date, thanks to the main driving force and frontman, Nathan Reiner.

Since 2000, Reiner has been creating music with this project and the latest album is out on the darkTunes Music label with bandmate, Luis Felipe Blanco, from their hometown of Buffalo, New York.

Let the insanity ensue with “Bipolar Pop” featuring CHIASM. Emileigh Rohn is the solo artist behind CHIASM, an electro/darkwave project but here backing up Reiner. Slower more deliberate beat with the atmosphere that you could be stalked by some sex crazed (well there is a little sensual moaning) porn pop princess or prince. This is still raw in its electonic style which is a nice way to start.

‘I tried to be myself and suffer…’ is the start of the chorus, “Be Myself” which I am guessing is the fear of putting your true self out there…. and then finding rejection or indifference. I hear hints of Chris Pohl‘s Blutengel influence, especially vocally which is no small feat as many wish to be Pohl but often fail.

The first single from the album is the amazing, “When The Sun Goes Down”. Third Realm couldn’t have picked a better single to introduce their latest work with. Totally danceable and more to the point, you will find yourself singing away in no time to the vampiric chorus. The beat is driving and the vocals just weave themselves into pleasure centre of your brain.

Fourth song off the rank is “Banshee” which gives a slight nod, it feels, to Sisters Of Mercy’s “Vision Thing” crossed with Blutengel‘s flare for the dramatic supernatural.

“Gazing At The Stars” is a ballad with a beat. It’s a sweet ode to dreams of love and wishing. It is poignant tribute and the synths sing out true over this catchy number.

A more techno start for “Garden of Lust” gets the body moving. There is a strange electronic moog like synth in the chorus which is a tad distracting while Reiner is singing but in all its an agreeable song, with spooky intonation.

“Background of My Mind” has a punky retro feel. It’s bouncy and very two fingers waved in the air in sentiment…. ie you cannot rule my life by playing me.

Love the synth beginning with a disco beat for “Who’s Really Listening?” and this lends to the claustrophobic nature of the album, fraught with paranoia.

With the release of the album is the second single, “Tides of the Sea” featuring again CHIASM. This is just a beautiful electronic number and vocally, Reiner and CHIASM interweave so well and compliment each other. Expressing love as being as constant as the tides, that pull and rush, the heartbeat and pulse of the seas.

I can hear the infuence of Marilyn Manson in “Deviant”, in the way the song is structured. The chorus is a persistant and tenacious stream of conciousness which pushes to be heard. One man’s deviance is another’s normalcy because we are who we are.

First impression of “Medusa” was it is going to be a power noise piece until the melody kicks in. Even though Medusa was a gorgon, this is another homage to vampiric beings and reminds me very much of the 90’s goth/electronic sound.

“Passion” has air light keyboards and that great constant danceable beat, with the slight VNV Nation smoothness that makes their older songs just soar. This is EBM at it’s best.

Some believe that soul mates are awaiting us, also known as “Twin Flames”. The ultimate partner that completes you and that joy can be heard in the jauntiness and pop sensibility given to this piece.

Slowly, the title track, “The Art of Despair” crawls darkly across the floor, a vision of murky oblivion. It is insistent and pokes at your reality.

The last three songs are remixes of “Bipolar Pop”, “Be Myself” and “When The Sun Goes Down”. Aesthetic Perfection‘s Daniel Graves, really injects himself into “Bipolar Pop” which brings extra raw power. “Be Myself” mixed by Subliminal Code, just leaps out as an electronic dance number and last “When The Sun Goes Down” is given the super slick treatment by Panic Lift.

Third Realm‘s sound is developing over time. Originally, a harsher industrial music style which has become a bit more electro and synth savvy but hasn’t lost any of its intensity.

It is not lost on me that you can almost taste the heavy German EBM, darkwave and gothic influences and especially, Blutengel and L’Ame Immortelle.

Nathan Reiner‘s Third Realm has unleashed for you a gothic horror album of inner demons, monsters in human guise and immortal love, all to a wonderous industrial beat.

https://thirdrealm.bandcamp.com/album/the-art-of-despair

https://www.facebook.com/ThirdRealm/

https://www.darktunes.com

July saw the release of the concept album, “Alone In The Network” by α Ori and Yakaanima. Julian A Lacroix’s experimental project is α Ori, composing dark ambient/electronic pieces. Yakaanima is Sábila Orbe from Chile who is also the programmer for his other experimental music project, the duo, Humanfobia.

Alone In The Network” is of course the title track and starts the album off ominously with its slow beat and a female, who sounds like she is in a clinical void, talking over the top.

The electronic journey continues with “Blue Lights” with its fusion of regular synth with experimental bleeps and keeps an interesting rhythm.

Now you can feel the futuristic adventure taking on form and speeding up. “Stretched Plain” is aloof and imperious. What is that woman telling us? This is a foreboding shadow.

We have entered the Twilight Zone. “Lyrical Pain” is light yet creepy. Trapped neither here nor there which leads into “Glitched Pain” which features Wildsilences. Imagine hearing breathing that is not breathing. The whispered acknowledgment of the disembodied voice of a tortured soul.

Track six is “Rose Altitude” and an electronic sound scape. A computerized heartbeat of a ghost of an organ reaches out without reply.

All computer data is essentially zeros and ones and maybe it is kept in the “Numeric Crypt“. I love the glitching, chirping sounds over the ambient music, as it just adds a new element.

Moire Hormones is the kind of track that makes you feel a little on edge with its inconsistent tones and rhythm.

The wondrous “Cybernetic Owl” breaks up the moody pall with its strange yet charming ethereal quality, indeed almost Zen like but finishing in noise.

Everyone knows these days about the Matrix, the centre of the computer mind and now “Archons In The Matrix”. This delicately reminds me also of the music in Akira.

Does artificial intelligence fear passing away and no longer existing on any plane? “Electronic N.D.E.” or electronic near death experience might be the equivalent of leaving the physical and going towards the light. But it isn’t time to go and return is inevitable to the last track, “Level 0“, the shortest and most loneliest of the tracks. It calls out to the world.

If you haven’t guessed now, the album is based on the Japanese manga/anime Ghost In The Machine, which looked at a future where a human’s conscience could be downloaded to a computer but with that came with all sorts of other issues including the knowledge of no longer being a human who could physically love because in the machine, it is cold and lonely.

Ghost In The Machine was also a huge influence on the movies of The Matrix, a futuristic society anchored to a programmer’s code.

You can both see and hear the Japanese influence on both the art and the music. This album is thoughtful and thought provoking as it digitally creates you a picture.

The album was released on Cian Orbe Netlabel and the artists, α Ori and Yakaanima are offering it to you for free. Sometimes good things can be free.

https://cianorbe2nd.bandcamp.com/album/alone-in-the-network-cior-332

DOWNLOAD ZIP FILE MP3 320 KBPS: 
archive.org/compress/aloneinthenetwork/formats=VBR%20MP3&file=/aloneinthenetwork.zip 

DOWNLOAD ZIP FILE WAV FORMAT: 
archive.org/compress/alone-in-the-network-album/formats=WAVE&file=/alone-in-the-network-album.zip 

https://humanfobia.jimdo.com/yaka-anima

https://archive.org/details/@yaka-anima_noise

https://apsu.neocities.org/alpha_ori/

https://wildsilences.bandcamp.com/

August saw the release of Chmcl Str8jckt’s latest album on Cleopatra Records. Kevin Snell, Mike Scott and Ian Omega are self claimed proponents of outlaw industrial rock, who have so far released two previous albums, 2017’s self titled and 2018’s RMX. Now we have Wrtchd Thngs to ravage our ears.

These guys, from New Jersey, love the sound of the Waxx Trax era combined with the kitch macabre horror imagery, wrapped up in metal guitar fusion.

Title track “Wrtchd Thngs” is the twenty eight second introduction to the album before what is arguably the best song on the album, “Ode To Peckinpah (Bloody Sam)”.

For the uninitiated, Sam Peckinpah was an American flim director, who revolutionized the cowboy western movies and most notably, the explicit violence. This track will be remembered for the lyrics, ‘43 dead in a sea of red‘. A really punchy little number and there is definitely a nod to My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult. It feels a bit manic in that twisted, murderous happy-go-lucky way.

Next might be an industrial live ballad, “The Only Thing That’s Real“. It feels like only the Americans, just like Ministry, can write tunes this way. The overall feeling here is that the most real thing in life is the person you are with, this being enhanced with power cords and heavy vocals from Snell.

I like the industrial, completely electro feel to “Cut Deep” at the beginning. The guitars chime in but they are far more subdued and that adds to the claustrophobia.

We always need to have songs about our favourite demon and occult denizen, “Baphomet“. This is a bang up mixture of old school Ministry and Front 242 plus who doesn’t like a bit of devil worshipping?

Fantasy” sounds like it is set in a slick world of helicopters, neon lights and hedonistic sex…. but we know this isn’t real life.

A slow and stalking build up for “Cactus” which harkens back to similar acts like Killing Joke, though this isn’t KJ and most definitely stamped with Chmcl Str8tjckt’s boots.

Always a worry when faced with a song titled, “Love“. Starts with rather subdued guitar work. Yeah not really a romantic piece but more so everything goes to hell and love gets broken

Bomb Cyclone” is a good mix of electro and guitar work with a understated constant beat and the other single. The lyrics honestly will tell you the story of the song.

Tenth in the lineup is the brooding “Black Vulture“. If you are pro Christian then you might not enjoy this. This has an interesting mixture of styles within it. Choral overtones that become tribal with a drop in tone as it become guitar heavy and dark.

Finishing track is “Meat Hook“. The psycho bombastic over tones would make Rob Zombie very proud and the horror inspired conclusion rips your head off.

It wasn’t until I finished listening several times to this album, that I became aware that John Bechdel produced this album which may also explain the atmosphere of some of these numbers. Bechdel Is currently the keyboard player for Ministry and also played for Fear Factory and one of my favourites, Killing Joke.

These guys might be short a few vowels and if Ministry, My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult etc are your thing, then donate to a good cause. The guitar road warriors who are the missing link for an industrial bygone era.

https://www.facebook.com/chmclstr8jckt/

https://chmclstr8jkt.bandcamp.com/