At The Heart Of The World are a duo from Portland, Oregon dealing up electronic, industrial music and February 18th saw the release of the EP, Inosculate. Seven tracks makes this a solidly packed EP with everything written, recorded and produced by the band, mixed by Derek Moree at Diamond Drive and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. Special mention goes to Andrew Gomez IV for the wonderfully ghoulish artwork.

From the beginning of “Retroject” you can tell this is going to be a great ride. Screaming aggrotech to transcendental vocals as the electronics lurch forward to ensnare your senses. The low-key swirling synths of “Synchrony“, match the feeling of disjointed dreams and reality never meshing and playing tricks on your mind. The music with its beats is near trance inducing. “Etheric Visions” is slow to start with off sync beats echoing vocals, that grow with angst, then drop away to build again, over and over. It is a sonically wonderful piece.

The manic rhythms feels like it is heralding the dogs of war in “Pain Demands Attention“. Between the booming fuzz tones and synth crunchiness, there are these delightful twittering sounds. When it comes to “Multiply The Stillness“, it is oppressive and cloying, lyrically castrating the living. The beginning of “Reflect/Reveal” could be an industrial homage to Bjork’s, “Army Of Me” but then the only similarity is probably the sentiment of inner struggle. When people judge their worth on being loved and without it, they feel they cease to be them. What better way to finish than being “Mocked By Death” and the vocals skim along the cyber synths, which is joined by some lovely glitching and crunchy electronics. It is absolutely brilliant.

Though the music can be harsh. with pounding beats and growling vocals, the lyrical content is beautifully written, a little like descriptive poetry. It paints feelings and internal torment with a fine brush, all the while using electronics to get you moving to the infectious rhythms. At The Heart Of The World have a mother load of talent so check out Inosculate.

Inosculate | At The Heart Of The World (bandcamp.com)

At The Heart Of The World | Facebook

Madre Teresa have seemingly, burst out of the Italian dark electro scene. We do not know who they are, other than a duo and that the EP, Dentro Sono Cremisi, released on April 22nd, could be their debut….maybe. Dentro, Sono, Cremisi basically translates to Inside, I am, Crimson. I would also like to point out, the EP cover picture is a booby-licious demon lady who is waving around a keyboard, a skull, a chalice and a mother loving lightsabre, so it does not get too much cooler than that.

Dentro” most definitely has a serpentine flow to it, as it seems to be about snakes, rapid temperatures, storms and six, six, six. There are changes in tempo that throw you slightly off kilter as the female vocals prettily keep you off guard and the synths happily twitter away. The way the electronics hit you like looped waved is quite wonderful in “Sono“. Madre Teresa might be the Antichrist or a projectile but really they are poison and death the only antidote. The groove through this very catchy.

Dentro” has such lines as Dal silenzio oltre il nero penetra nella mia carne or From the silence before the black penetrates my flesh (or about that) and you have to the embrace the techno bleats and delightful self duet within. A hypnotic affair. There is also a bonus instrumental version “Cremisi” that creeps its way along in a space odyssey way.

The lyrics, if my Italian was a lot better, seem to be full of symbolism and written for descriptive effect, rather than a narrative but that is only the half of it. The music jumps out at you for not being typical synthwave, engulfing you in the (en)chanting vocals, the synths going from melodic to sexy dark with extraordinary little, added jangle bits. Really there is something quite breathtaking in the way they compose and play music… so now you have the opportunity to go have a listen to Madre Teresa.

Madre Teresa (bandcamp.com)

Madre Teresa | Facebook

What do you do when you are handed a release from a project called =^._.^= ? You damn well listen to that sucker!! This is the EP, D3M0N5, from Seattle’s =^._.^= (pronounced catface), which was dropped on May the 5th. Don’t know anything about this project other than they wrote and recorded this between 2018 – 2022 and, I quote… ‘Under the influence of Alec Empire, Richard D. James and Trent Reznor‘.

The first thing you get is “SP!T“, which is the screaming of electronic alarms in a trap stew. The glitching of the languid “Bl4cK P4nth3R“, as it stalks you to your untimely squeaking end with all those lovely fuzzy notes. “y o w l” is a sassy little track with a nice little heavy bass beat and it out on the prowl.


Through all the feedback you can hear the synths lurking and biding their time in “H3llc4T“. The fuzzing tones leasing into a faster rhythm, leaving you wondering if the hellcat might suddenly spring. Swirling electronic glitches bring a little drum’n’bass to the party in the deceptively heavy “TH3 R!S3N“. The zombies are coming to get you and may the heavens help you if they are zombie cats. The asthmatic wheeze of “p u r r” pervades your senses with tortured digital sounds that wind down to dead silence.

=^._.^= are doing some pretty funky, experimental trap and industrial noise. It is fairly easy to listen to and actually rather fun because you are trying to discern if there are cat noises or slinky, shifty hisses. More to the point…..IT’S A KITTY and that was enough to hook me in. The Onyx cats completely agree with me that you need to go check out the Bandcamp page, which is name your price! Meow.

D3M0N5 | =^._.^= (bandcamp.com)

CatFace | Facebook

Nightcall is the new EP from Swedish duo, De Arma, released on May the 6th, with the label, Silent Future Recordings. Formed in 2009 by Andreas Pettersson and soon joined by Johan Marklund, it seems these guys roots lay in the black metal scene originally, though over the years, their sound has evolved into gothic rock and even darkwave/synthwave.

If the first track is an indication of the rest of the EP, I think it is a safe bet that I will like the other two tracks. “Shame Drifter” has those programmed drum loops and synths fused with fine guitar work. There are also the dancing vocals of Pettersson with Maria Oje and the music is definitely full of passion.

Photo by Nicklas Lundqvist

After Dark, You’re There” has a Fields Of The Nephilm feel to it with that beautiful guitar work and yet this still had a more Nordic taste, a wanderer of the icy wasteland rather than the dusty plains. Then, half way through, it hits you that you could be listening to early My Dying Bride. The remorse is almost palatable, for what could be taken as a one sided love affair, filled with yearning.

The last track is “Sunset Dreams” and I love the synth start and the fact this track features the vocal talents of Oje, along with Pettersson and it is a glorious ode to love. It seemingly drifts lightly, with no effort, on the guitar solo, which I have it on good authority, is played by Häxkapell and damn, he’s a good guitarist.

For me, “After Dark, You’re There” is my favourite but then I am a bit of a sucker for that style of guitar lead, melancholic music but that isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the other two tracks, because I did. The fact De Arma are experimenting with their sound is a pretty exciting thing and even better that they are nailing everything they do. The fact they have gone to using Korgs and Rowland drum samples like they did in the late 70s and early 80s can be heard, especially on “Sunset Dreams“. It is goth with a twist and I seriously admire that in a band.

Nightcall (EP) | De Arma (bandcamp.com)

De Arma | Facebook

Silent Future Recordings – Swedish record label founded for the exploration of dark and dreamy music of the modern age

Silent Future Recordings | Facebook

Music | Häxkapell (bandcamp.com)

Häxkapell | Facebook

Brisbane’s HOSTILE ARCHITECT has dropped the EP, :​​:​​EX​​-​​LOG​​:​​: REMANUFACTURE ME, as of the 29th of April, on Brutal Resonance Records. This is a one man, dark industrial project by the not so hostile Mitch Kenny and this EP is the follow up to the album, LOWGRADELIFE.

This is something a little different for the hostile one. “REMANUFACTURE ME” is this amazing mix of industrial and darkwave, as Kenny goes from monotone vocals through to singing. The synths are just perfection as they skim and glide across this track with a fabulous pop sensibility. In “ECONOMIES OF SCALE” you can clearly hear the HOSTILE ARCHITECT tell tale touches but even this sound is expanding. The beats never let up and just has these incredible moments of amazing electronic noises that make you wonder how Mitch has wrangled them out of a machine. The first single, released before the EP is the brilliantly, energetic “POWER OVERWHELMING” and this is the GOLD MIX and it is a bloody amazing track that pumps along at hair singeing speed at times.

Oh yes, welcome to the “TERMINAL GRIND“, which is all stellar synths twittering at you with murderous intent in this instrumental piece. All hail your overlord, the HOSTILE ARCHITECT of techno delights. Maybe inspired by the Australian yearly heat we have the expansive “BLACK SUMMER” where the ‘Sky’s on fire and so am I‘. There is something scintillating and spine tingling about this track that makes the hairs on the back of your neck raise up. Those that have followed the releases will know that “HOSTILE THEME” was on the LOWLIFELIFE album and now there is the NYTESHAYDE RMX, Roger Menso being Nyteshade, who also did all wonderful mastering. This is the metal industrial version you never thought you would hear. Wow. I know this song so well and this was just mind blowing to hear it done this way.

REMANUFACTURE ME” just blew me away, possibly my favourite number, from the beginning and there is not a mediocre track on this EP. Not one. Kenny always fills his music with movement and you can see his evolution of the character, the HOSTILE ARCHITECT, in the evolving sound. There is definitely some synthwave/darkwave creeping in and it sounds amazing. Mitch is a really creative and talented musician and it shows in how he crafts his tunes, so I am hoping more people pick up on this project and spread the word that the HOSTILE ARCHITECT is asking…….. IF THIS IS SUCH A BRAVE NEW WORLD WHY DO YOU SEEM SO SCARED?

:​:​EX​-​LOG​:​: REMANUFACTURE ME | HOSTILE ARCHITECT | Brutal Resonance Records (bandcamp.com)

Music | Abelisk (bandcamp.com)

HOSTILE ARCHITECT | Facebook

Brutal Resonance | Facebook

NyteShayde (bandcamp.com)

NyteShayde (facebook.com)

We are going back in time about a year, February, 2021 when the EP, Retribution, by Fossil Fuel was released. RODNT is the man behind the mask, behind the experimental music and as of now this was his second EP.

First track off the EP, “Recoiled” feels like an ancient landscape, with rumbling tones along windswept snowy peaks. It is deep and mysterious, as if you are in budhist temples of Woah, “Retribution” is a whole different kettle of fish. Angry lyrics that strike as a snake would, accompanied by the speeding beats and bleating electronics that push this along. The track, “Drafted” is this curious forty-four second piece, that is obviously referencing the army with the ongoing marching rhythm, that simply fades away.

There is something futuristic about “Delay, Decay” with synths soaring in long stretches, while the programmed beats punctuated the dissatisfaction with those in the ‘system’. “Frantic Age” rounds off the EP, experimental in terms of the beats are going in and out of sync, while extra rhythmic sounds chime in irregularly. Rodnt’s vocals drone in a unemotional thread of consciousness.

I am trying to work out why the EP on Bandcamp is $10 US to purchase (which seems a little steep for five tracks) or you can purchase each track at $1 US. One feels there is a marketing ploy in there, somewhere but there is also a cassette available. I definitely think those that have a taste for electro, industrial experimentation will really enjoy this offering from Fossil Fuel.

Fossil Fuel | Facebook

RETRIBUTION | FOSSIL FUEL (bandcamp.com)

Most people have a fairly good grasp of what OMG stands for in social media, however the EP title of Fredrik Croona’s new project, Against I, it stands for Obscene Morbid Gore. Many would be familiar with the Swedish Croona’s other bands, Menschdefekt, Croona and Cynical Existence. The EP hit us on March the 11th, 2022 and it is out on Insane Records.

Title track straight up. “O.M.G.” As soon as you hear those harmonic synths, you know you are about to hear something big and it doesn’t disappoint. The hoarse aggro vocals with the backing speeding guitars and fuzzing tech. The anguish about a society that will watch on while others suffer, no matter how bad it gets. I always shake my head in wonder how this style of music has such harsh vocals and yet there is this wondrous techno-cyber light keyboard refrains backing up all of it. The “Other Half” is a perfect example of those keyboards while Croona screeches out the lament of the loss of humanity due to people no longer finding connection to others.

Disgust” is a really bouncy maelstrom of discontent over overtly judgmental types. It has such good momentum, The single is “Scum” which swirls and picks up pace. Croona invites you to call him scum if you want to though I feel this is a mirror reflecting the actions of other. You know the Tecknovore remix of “Scum” is going to kick arse and it just pops! Klontzas has cut back on the guitars and just gone for full on electronic immersion. “Scum” by Death Verified is a glitch tech fest, again the guitars have been dropped in favour of synths but there is no loss of veracity.

It is very angry but that is what Croona does very well. That miasma of pained, screaming vocals, guitar distortion, those fabulous synths and techno beats that underpin it all. Most of this would easily make it onto club floors and dance mixes. But when you have the time, listen a little more closely to messages as there is something in that as well.

O.M.G | Against I | Insane Records (bandcamp.com)

Insane Records – Dark Electro Gothic Industrial Aggrotech Synthpop EBM (facebook.com)

Insane Records – Dark Independent Label – Industrial / Goth Label (insane-records.com)

Due to lockdowns and the like over 20/21, the Berlin based band X-Vivo decided to take a few tracks from their 2017 concept album Petrichor and remix them for an EP to be fully released on the 18th of March. The added bonus was having Nico from BIINDS also helping in the remixing, bringing in yet another style.

Aphelion” kicks off and I get a real Deathstars feel when these guys are in full flight. This mix by aleX-Vivo is verbose and yet there is something reflective with the angst. Also mixed by aleX-Vivo is the huge sounding “Hail The King“. This is definitely the track you will want to turn up. Both metallic and cold as it speeds along at full throttle, throwing you into false lulls before taking off again. The next remix is done by BIINDS is “Echo Of The Unseen” which has a far more gentle mood than the original which was tending to be more glitch tech, while this version is full of small beats and rhythms that bear it along.

The Waves Of The Ocean Are Gone” again is a BIINDS version where the original piano has been replaced with a far more electronic accompaniment and I perceive a male voice in this version. It reminds me of early Within Temptation. “Perihelion” has been changed into two tracks, Part 1 appears to be the culmination of female vocals which extend forth, as if in a dream. Wherein Part 2 is the male vocals like distant thunder rolling across the empty hills. These were created by aleX-Vivo.

Most remix releases normally follow the course of bringing on the big beats especially when it comes to industrial bands. X-Vivo seem to be bucking that trend. The lower and slower tracks are treated with reverence and great care to hold onto the key components that give them such refined delicacy. “Hail The King” is a banger of a tune but sometimes it isn’t always about the loudest tracks but rather the whole composition.

https://x-vivo.bandcamp.com/album/petrichor-remixed

X-Vivo | Facebook

BIINDS | Facebook

From the dark depths of merry old London town, there is a project by the name of VHS¥DEATH. What is this all about you might ask and I shall reply Natalie Wardle is VHS¥DEATH and along with Cruel Nature Records are releasing the EP, Corrupted Geisha on limited tape format as of March 11th, 2022.

So we start off with “Space Bankers See You, The End Is Near” and the title alone is intriguing enough. Hip hop beats with broken pieces of conversation, singing and maybe a little Southern soul, that is until a man is telling how things are in the real world to a sweet stream of relaxation music. “Falsehood Of Man (Dystopian Mix)” is a whirlwind of soliloquy angst and breakbeats before “666 Pounds of Zero Gravity” with its electronic vocalizations. The connections between the demonic, the angelic and creation.

The dour organ plays sickly to Wardle’s distorted utterances for “Snakes In The Grass“. Like a possession gone wrong, this is part disturbing and part cute with the drum and bass tapping along nicely, Guitar distortion and multi layering are almost to the point of overwhelming in “What Is Your Worth, Vampire?“. Underneath all is this lovely guitar jangle and vocals that eventually comes to the fore.

If you are into industrial music and you don’t know the original “Everyday Is Halloween” then you should go sit in the corner and contemplate what you are doing with your life. The Ministry track is given a synth makeover, making it even more electronic, if that is possible. Wardle definitely can sing and does a sterling job in this sensuous ode to being a weirdo in a weird world.

This is experimental industrial music and it is not going to be everyone’s taste. The best way I can describe VHS¥DEATH is chaos with a zen centre. A sponge taking in all around them and then trying to make sense of so much information in order to find balance. The fusion of hip hop, drum & bass with synths and a smattering of guitar can be challenging and yet also pleasing to the ear. Well worth the listen and maybe your curiosity to listen to the Ministry cover might pull you in.

Corrupted Geisha EP | VHS¥DEATH | Cruel Nature Records (bandcamp.com)

Cruel Nature Records | Facebook

From Fort Lauderdale in the US, electro-goth pop princess, Miss FD has released her latest EP, As Above, So Below as of the 11th of February, on Quantum Release Records. She has taken inspiration from the archaeological exploration of  Göbekli Tepe, a Neolithic settlement in South Eastern Anatolia, Turkey and some spirituality as well.

There is a delightful Middle Eastern influence in the “Summoning” mixed with the electronics and perhaps conjure an ancient angel or djinn to find solace in the desert night air. “The Veil” is thought to be the barrier between the living and the dead. Only the dead may pass though and at certain times of the year, Day of the Dead/Halloween the veil is at it’s thinnest. It pulses with life and beats while wishing to dalliance with the ethereal to meet with lost loves. A bit darker and oh so alluring is the title track, “As Above, So Below” with that great driving rhythm and the alluring vocals of Miss FD sweep you away to the dichotomy that is the earthly and the mystical.

The term as above, so below is used as a reference in the belief that what we do on this earthly plane, will also be played out in the spiritual world. Through all three tracks, you can hear the references to the other worldly, intangible and karmic. The music curls around your ears, like the smoke from the hookah the Caterpillar smoked in Alice In Wonderland, permeating your being just as a drug would and Miss FD’s vocals coo and call you to the other side like a siren. Maybe time to contemplate your mortality because As Above, So Below.

As Above, So Below – EP | Miss FD (bandcamp.com)

Miss FD | Facebook