When you are a weirdo, you build community with other weirdos. So we are putting out the word that online monster munch, electro/industrial magazine, Brutal Resonance have launched their maiden ship of a podcast, streaming into the void of cyberspace, where someone can hear you scream and probably turn it into an epic industrial track.

That long haired hooligan, Steven Gullotta, captain of the good ship Brutal Resonance, is looking to bring you commentary, new music, interviews and formatted shows to both inform and thrill the audience… but then, quite frankly, like it or not, this red headed renegade takes no prisoners and you will listen to the ‘good shit’.

STEVEN AT BRUTAL RESONANCE HQ 😊

Resonance has gone from strength to strength and in the last few years, become a record label as well, signing some very radical acts such as Her Noise Is Violence and HOSTILE ARCHITECT.

Has this peaked your interest because it should have. Knowing Gullotta, there will be screaming, f-bombs and a lot of laughing, along with a tonne of interesting music for you to ingest. So, support the scene and my only piece of advice is, don’t let this man near a didgeridoo…. it’s really obscene………

https://brutalresonance.com/

https://brutalresonance.bandcamp.com/

https://m.facebook.com/brutalresonance/

In our recent interview with X-MARKS THE PEDWALK, in regards to their latest album, New / End, I happened to mention that I was rather drawn to the magical quality of the track, “Sacred Ground“. To my surprise and delight, it has been released as the latest single, out on the band’s own label, Meshwork Music.

There is something unearthly from the first strands of music, while the lyrics that leave ESTEFANIA’s lips are enough to give you goose bumps. The synths create a mood that both draws you in and also leaves you feeling there are things unspoken that need never be said.

SEVREN NI-ARB wrote this track for his wife, after she lost her father and it is about the bonds we have with those whom we think we have lost forever, yet they will always be a part of us. Memories sustain the presence and it is an act of love, which I think can be felt keenly in the vocals. The music is beautiful, slightly sorrowful and yet there is hope. The video is quite stunning as well, set in a forest, with a girl and a gorgeous white dog, set to some equally brilliant synthpop.

New / End | X Marks The Pedwalk (bandcamp.com)

X-Marks The Pedwalk | Facebook

May 5th dropped the single “Starter” by Portland, Oregon based project Newphasemusic. Daniel Henderson is the man behind Newphasemusic and whom also is a drummer for such acts as Trance to the Sun, Tuvan throat singer Soriah, a Cure tribute band called theXplodingboys plus others.

Geodome is Henderson‘s first and original version of “Starter“, the electronic alarms have sounded in this rhythm heavy piece, with the synths wailing lightly in the background. Obtuse, discordant piano keys or is that chimes (?) flutter through, all the while distorted vocals feel like the lips could be, up against you ear. The second version is by Dan Milligan, the lynch pin of the mega group, The Joy Thieves and another drummer by trade. This remix has strut, like it owns the hood with it’s base loaded tones, aggressive guitar and rhythms. The third remix is by SINE’s Rona Rougeheart and ooh…..wubby. It is a little sexy and a little slinky, there is a beat throughout but the concentration is on the electronics as they slide up and down, pulsating.

Kind of trippy listening to these three interpretations. The versions, with drummers, Henderson and Milligan, definitely are classy beat heavy affairs that you can bang your head to, while the SINE mix will probably have your whole body gyrating. This is the not so calm before the album hits us….and even better is the fact that you have no excuse for not downloading “Starter” by Newphasemusic on Bandcamp, as it is name your price.

newphasemusic (bandcamp.com)

Newphasemusic | Facebook

The Joy Thieves (bandcamp.com)

Music | SINE (bandcamp.com)

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

X-MARKS THE PEDWALK for some of us was the music on the dance floor in the early 90s, that was so very attention grabbing. The band has come a long way since then, with their sound changing and maturing, going through future pop, becoming the synthpop power house we have today and with that talent and touch for electronic music, has culminated in the album, New / End. This husband and wife team of SEVREN NI-ARB and the lovely ESTEFANIA, so very graciously gave us a chance to talk to them about family, the music industry and of course the latest album.

Welcome to the dark side of our world, here at Onyx, dear ESTEFANIA and SEVREN NI-ARB of X-MARKS THE PEDWALK.

Estefanía: Hello Adele, thank you for inviting us to Onyx.

The band has in essence been around since around 1987 and seen changes in personnel, style and even been on hiatus. Did you ever think you would still be so well received and still going well over 30 years later?

Sevren Ni-Arb: Until the longer hiatus we had released 5 albums with XMTP. Since the comeback in 2009, 6 more have been added to date. I released another album of my side project (SN-A) and created the soundtrack series “MUSIC.FOR.BOOKS”. I also founded my own label meshwork music and in addition to a few remixes I also produced the two albums of my son Luis Maximilian (LMX). Another one is in preparation. To be honest, no – I didn’t think it would be that extensive. But what we are overwhelmed that we still have such a great fan base and that so many new fans have joined XMTP over the last few years. This is a huge motivating factor.

Your last album, “Transformation”, was released in 2020 and now you have followed it up with the fabulous “New / End”. What has it been like creating and releasing albums during a pandemic?

Estefanía: Especially in the times of lockdown, music was of course a wonderful energy booster and a welcome “refuge”.

Sevren Ni-Arb: Otherwise the production processes have remained the same. With “NEW / END” I was extremely disciplined and efficient with my resources this time.

What is behind the title “New / End”?

Sevren Ni-Arb: “NEW / END” closes the conceptual framework of our last three albums. While “Secrets” is primarily a look inside, something closed and reserved, “Transformation” deals with barriers, people and behaviors that constrict us emotionally. It´s about recognizing one’s own weaknesses in order to convert them into new energy. In “NEW / END” this energy is the core. It´s about determination and personal strength, to make conscious decisions, to shape your life differently. “NEW / END” marks the end of a process of change, to take new directions.

It has been stated that the themes are determination and strength through hardship and loss but would you say, that the common theme throughout this latest album is having faith, whether that is in one’s self or in others?

Sevren Ni-Arb: Yes, above all trust in yourself and your own feelings. Expressing and acknowledging these feelings clearly. This allows you to realign yourself emotionally. Accordingly, there are also melancholic moments of pain and loss on the album.

“Firestorm” is definitely a standout track but I also really like “Sacred Ground” for its sweetness and a slightly magical quality. Are there any standout tracks that you particularly love?

Estefanía: I’m glad you like “SACRED GROUND”. Next to “Yesterdays” and “I’m on your side” it’s a song that’s very personal and touches me deeply. It’s about the death of my father, who passed away last year. When Sevren finished the composition and lyrics, I was surprised. I didn’t expect him to confront my feelings in this way. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to freely sing the song in the studio. But in a way, it’s also part of my grief.

What would be the major influence in writing this album?

Sevren Ni-Arb: I’ve been making music for so long now, I don’t have much time to listen extensively to other artists. So I always go my own way. But sure, we are unconsciously influenced by many things that touch us, move us or leave a mark in some way that is also reflected in the music.

On Facebook, I was reading a thread, where they were talking about how people are still saying that they are surprised your sound is now electro synthpop. Why do you think this is?

Sevren Ni-Arb: We were very successful as an EBM industrial band. We were one of the first bands with this style on Zoth Ommog, the then still young, but later extremely groundbreaking label in Germany. “Abattoir” from 1992 is still extremely popular in clubs. And it’s not the only hit from the past that’s still being played a lot today. We also did provocative live shows that fit the image of a “hard” and “aggressive” band. But I’ve always changed the sound of XMTP. Change is part of XMTP’s DNA. I implemented that in my music sometimes more radically, sometimes more nuanced. If you look at our discography, you will see that from album no. 4 (“Meshwork”) onwards the sound was already extremely different from the Industrial/EBM of the early days. With the releases “Facer” and “Meshwork” I’m considered the founder of so-called future pop – that was back in 1994/1995. That was almost 30 years ago. At that time there were already different reactions. Some were excited, others disappointed. And so the disappointed fans “wake up” every time we release a new album. And that’s fine with me. Luckily, taste in music vary and are allowed to change. I understand that fans would rather hear the early works and wish we would come back to that style again. We’ve definitely lost some fans that way. But on the other hand, we gained a lot of new fans and there are so many that have stayed with us over the years. So many have also gotten carried away by all these changes, by the always new and surprising changes in the sound. It’s the very unique spirit of X MARKS THE PEDWALK.

X-MARKS THE PEDWALK is on Meshwork Music, which is your own label, catering to electronic musicians. Before Meshwork Music, you were also signed to some huge labels such as the now defunct Zoth Ommog, Cleopatra, Metropolis and Infacted Recordings that rose from the ashes of Zoth Ommog. What did you learn along the way that inspired you to create a record label?

Sevren Ni-Arb: When founding Meshwork Music, the main motivation was to work completely independently – not only musically – also to make your own organizational and financial decisions, when and how to invest in production and marketing. It is now my personal money that is used. But I am still in regular contact with Torben from Infacted Recordings in particular. He still has our back catalogue in the program. The time with him was really great! He’s one of those people in the music business that’s really on the artist side. Just a great guy!

Do you do much live touring now and would this be something you would like to do with the new album?

Sevren Ni-Arb: We played our last concert at the Wave Gothic Treffen in Leipzig – 2009. We invested a lot back then and produced very complex stage projections for this show, because we produced a live DVD. Since then there have always been thoughts about a tour or individual shows. We are often asked when we’ll be back on stage. But it is an enormous challenge for us – especially in terms of time. We’re not full-time musicians. I am the managing partner of a digital communications agency, and I have also founded another company in which Estefania is the managing director. I also have my label meshwork music. We have to plan the remaining time very carefully.

Estefanía: There’s our family, our dog, friends… Sometimes we just have to recharge our batteries and we want to spend and enjoy our time as a couple. Not to mention my fear of flying…

Sevren Ni-Arb: … so, there are no plans yet. But there are thoughts again…

I am in awe of your relationship. You are a couple whom have created music together, had a family, chosen to put music on the back-burner to raise that family and then come back to it. What is it like having that other person in your life and not just music plus are you each other’s best friend?

Estefanía: We both known each other for so long – we’ve been together for nearly 35 years now. Before we got together, Sevren was already making music and it quickly became his profession. So I took part in and accompanied all these developments, we made decisions together on how we would like to shape our lives. My involvement in XMTP has grown over time. After so many years we are lovers and best friends at the same time. We have so much in common and are still making new plans for our future together. It’s great and a wonderful feeling that the music has now also become a common part. Even if Sevren can be quite strict in the studio sometimes 😉

Sevren Ni-Arb: But only a little 😉 We have a lot of fun in the studio and when a song is finished and we hear the result together, it’s a great feeling to share this moment with the most important person in life.

I always like to ask about people’s influences, so what do you guys into the industrial/electronic scene?

Sevren Ni-Arb: In the beginning, before I finally launched my first own EBM project (“Scarecrow”) in 1988, there were a few bands and artists who absolutely moved me and played a major role in my wish to make electronic music myself. For example: FAD GADGET – especially “Back to Nature”, KRAFTWERK – especially “Computerwelt”, DEPECHE MODE – “Some Great Reward” – still my absolute favorite album by DM, THE KLINIK (“Memories”), FRONT 242 (“Geography”) , CLICK CLICK (“She´s chewing them”), TWICE A MAN, GARY NUMAN, ALIEN SEX FIEND (“Ignore the Machine”) and of course SKINNY PUPPY.

What or whom do you enjoy listening to these days?

Estefanía: Today we mostly listen to music on the side, while cooking (Sevren’s passion), at dinner, with family and friends… We listen to so many different kinds of music: pop, jazz, classical, swing, electro, dance, soundtracks…

Sevren Ni-Arb: Yes, the soundtrack to “Interstellar” by Hans Zimmer is outstanding! In general, we like to discover music in films.

If you both had to write a lyric or two, for a love song, dedicated to the other, what would be in those lyrics? (It can be anything from you make my day, to you keep my feet warm in bed)

Sevren Ni-Arb: Oh there are love songs on our new album – not that obvious. But “Yesterdays” is dedicated to my sons and my wife. When you listen to the second verse you have the lyrics 😉

Estefanía: … and these could also have come from me. That’s why I was touched from two perspectives when I heard the song and lyrics for the first time.

What is coming up next for X-MARKS THE PEDWALK?

Sevren Ni-Arb: “NEW / END” is on the market for a short time now. The reviews are great. We’re really glad. I’ll think about how to proceed with XMTP later. Now it’s time for my son’s third album. We’re soon in my studio to produce it. But I can tell you this: It’s going to be a great album!

Thank you for giving us your time and the new album is exquisite!

Estefanía: Thank you for the interview.

New / End | X Marks The Pedwalk (bandcamp.com)

X-Marks The Pedwalk | 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

It doesn’t seem so long ago that the lads from the north of England, Auger, were the new kids in the gothic/industrial scene, but here we are in 2022 and they have released their fourth studio album, Nighthawks on the label The Big Chair.  Kyle J Wilson (vocals, synths, writing, production and mixing) and Kieran Thornton (guitars and backing vocals) dropped the album on April 1st.

We kick off with the very deliberately slower and immersive “City Never Sleeps“. The wailing guitar on a cool breeze of electronics and it reminds me of old friends. It evokes regret for something that was lost in a time gone past. “Oxygen” just has this magnificent movement about it that presses forward. There are sparkling synths that sprinkle points of light through the darkness and an honestly sweet expression of wanting. Spine tingling could be the statement about “Forever Mine“. The guitar solo is hauntingly beautiful about a love story that might be over before it has truly started.

Depeche Mode written all over “This Pain l Compress” in the style and attitude. There is this fantastic welling of emotion joined by buzzing guitars giving it overwhelming vehemence. We hear Wilson pushing deep on those vocals in “Libra” with the wondrous spiraling chorus that sucks you in. Maybe we are talking the astrological sign and I do like the mystical Middle Eastern strains throughout. “Holding On” features Chris Harms of Lord Of The Lost and let’s face it, Harms never does anything awful as far as I have heard and this is no different. This reminds me of early Lacuna Coil and the dueling vocals of Harms and Wilson is magnificent as they intertwine and shatter against each other.

The machine is that which will consume us without thought and without remorse, so the “Sound Of The Machine” with the mechanical vocal distortion, is an anthem to never giving in. This was the first single that gave us an inkling of what this album was going to be like. Beautiful synths desingerate ,”As The World Falls Apart” featuring Imogen Evans with her lovely vocals, mixed in swirls of guitar laden waves, only broken by electronic fractures. They are roaming into dangerous waters of attraction in “Smother“. The refrains are heavy and sexually charged, then the chorus is so wonderfully plaintive and sonorous.

Another single, “Angel Dressed In Snow” and Wilson is channeling HIM in oodles. It might be the deep voice or the way he rounding his vowels, but I am pretty sure Valo would be okay if this was one of his. Thornton proves what a skilled guitarist he is and this is a song to play that person that brings joy into your little dark heart. “Sharing Shadows” is the final track and they are going out on a slower number and it kind of feels like a soul song in some ways. a very sad and mournful piece.

Nighthawks is most definitely Auger’s most definitive album to date. It has soaring vocals, beautiful melodies, driving rhythms and sonic affairs about love, loss and obsession. You can hear many influences pulled together with that Auger sound of guitar/synth and riveting deep vocals that are completely mesmerising. The guest vocalists were perfectly picked for their parts and each track is a carefully crafted, dark crystal piece that reflect the many fragments of a beating heart.

Nighthawks | Auger (bandcamp.com)

Auger | Facebook

The Drood are coming!!!! No less than with their single, “Psychic Institute“, which was dropped on April 21st. Hailing from Denver, Colorado, they have been around in different forms since 2012, but settled as a two man electronic/post-punk unit made up of original members, Nathan Jamiel (vocals, guitars and synths) and  Daniel Watts (drums, percussion and synths).

The playoff between electronics and guitar, The bleeps and synths have that very old school feel such as early era Gary Numan, while the guitar injects a more modern post punk feel, to a track that is a hurdy gurdy of resentment within the whirling noise.

There is the bleakness of the post-punk dribbling throughout, married to the cold industrial electronics while the vocals that are cajoling and pointing to the human error of sentimentality and erring into lies. “Psychic Institute” is a catchy track from The Drood which I rather enjoyed quite a bit along with the video by Tim Nelson.

Psychic Institute | The Drood (bandcamp.com)

The Drood | Electronic-Rock Band from Denver Colorado

The Drood | Facebook

Brisbane’s Disfigured Mistress, has been releasing industrial noise for just over a decade. The man behind the project is retiring in the public eye, though in real life a gregarious hugger, who likes a laugh. With that decade under his belt and a veritable catalogue of industrial noise tracks, it seems to the perfect time to compile some of these gems into a huge 17 track behemoth called Decade Of Destruction (2011-2022), which was unleashed on April, 14th.

Just by the list of track names, you have to realise that most of this was not written to be all happy joy. There is a lot of angst, self doubt and even loathing, that is not even thinly hidden. You can bask in the pounding “Sex And Violence” as the bass beats fracture in in ever heightened frustration or go from synth perfection into being stuck with pointed electronics in “Bleeding To Feed The Fake“.

The previous single “The Black Depths Of Hatred” is so fucking heavy, you could weight down a body with it, and it just gets better every time your hear it. Yet, it the midst of all this is the slower and ethereal, “Never Fade From Me” with acoustic guitar and ghostly accompaniment, that is like a breath inhaling and exhaling over and over until it is no more.. There is also the latest single, “Drown It all Out” that is overbearing and full of abrasive metalized distortion which fills your ears, unrelenting.

In The Flesh Of Fallen Angels” has the glitching beats and the mind numbing harsh noise trying to crack your head open in “Black Mother Devourer Of All” are tracks I just need to mention because of their stellar execution and how magical they are.

The whirling “The Rage Within” is just epic and just made to murder a industrial/techno dancefloor as it screams in fury, lost in its own world. And it just goes on and the thing is that I am not trying to write about every track, because there are a lot here and yet as you listen, each one is so different in the use of synths, programming and even instrumentation. Occasionally you hear a distorted guitar that just adds to the amazing cacophony that assaults your ears, so brilliantly orchestrated.

Traditionally, it the Europeans that have this affinity with harsh powernoise but I am going to say that Disfigured Mistress could easily be just as good as any of those acts. He has a talent for weaving those electronic threads into powerful rhythms, that will touch your primal animal which lays at your core. So, there is no time like the present to immerse yourself in the Decade Of Destruction of Disfigured Mistress.

Decade Of Destruction (2011-2022) | Disfigured Mistress (bandcamp.com)

Disfigured Mistress | 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)