From the wild open spaces of Oregon comes Warm Gadget, ready to help you get your metal industrial on, with their new EP, Rituals, released in April. Tim Vester is the lead vocals and effects, Austin Williams on bass and backing vocals and then it seems Colten Williams maybe the insidious, evil mastermind who plays everything else, did backing vocals, wrote the music and produced it. This makes him a busy fellow.
First cab off the rank is the first single we previously reviewed here, “New Industrial“. There is the head to head clash of guitar versus electronic, that smacks of derision and angst at the system.
“Full Of It” is just angry, so very angry. A fuck you to the world who uses, then casts you aside when there is nothing left after giving promises of false dreams. Full on raging guitar and Vester screaming his discontent.
Not many relationships end on good terms and it seems “If I Only Could” is very much in that vein. I’D REMOVE ME FROM YOUR MEMORY; (YOU’RE DEAD TO ME) IF I ONLY COULD is a very telling line, conceding most songs talk about forgetting the other person. It’s a bit like if Tool met Queens Of The Stone Age in a fist fight.
“Symptoms” could be a commentary on the modern lifestyle where everything can be fixed taking medications. The music is steady and the vocals raw with emotion of wanting to live with the ‘disease’, so that they can just live.
The guitar riffs are great in “Dead To Me“. It’s a more electronically crunchy number that really rocks. The concept that love is binding and that the other person can suddenly turn on you, leaving you wanting to get the hell out of Dodge.
The last two tracks are remixes of “Symptoms“. The first by Witch Eyes which illicits a more old school industrial sound. The second is by Snowbeasts and this propels the track into a whole new stratosphere, going far more electronic and cutting out all the vocals.
This looks back to the metal bands of industrial such as KMFDM, Ministry and My LifeWith The Kill Thrill Kult, while giving it a more grungy effect, making it dirtier and slightly more unhinged. Keeping the blood pumping with their musical force, Warm Gadget gracing your lobes with Rituals.
Far Away From All Of This are a Swiss band that released their second album last year in September. Called Outward Bound, this duo comprised of VEGA (guitars, synthesizer, harsh vocals) and IX (vocals, bass, synthesizer, drums), describe their music style as space rock/post rock/metal.
These guys obviously like an epic, as “Haven” goes for over eight minutes and is not even the longest number. The track honestly took me back to the early 90s. Teenage Fanclub and the Lemon Heads, IX even sounds a bit EvanDando. The return to psychedelic swirling, wall of sound guitars and keyboards that take you away on a cloud.
Nice light guitar starts “Reality Check“, a whimsy about not looking too hard at life or it will lose its magic by ‘breaking the spell‘.
They say we are getting older everyday and that this is the “Last Call” to get on life’s roller-coaster. It’s a very positive and uplifting piece with rolling drums and VEGA having momentary cathartic screams.
Break out the synths for a gliding space journey in the “Stellar Stream“. Smooth and relaxing as the engines whisper in the solar slips of this ambient soundscape.
“NGC 4063” is the final and longest of the tracks. It is a gradual build up of electronics, filling the empty places, like a space exploration facing the dark voids to bring knowledge and light, even though this is a very overwhelming prospect.
The first half is all the crazy human emotion of living with hopes, dreams and modern life, with guitars and a more frantic pace. The last two are after they have left Earth with its electronic life-support, going into the unknown. Really enjoyed this album due to my fondness of guitar jangle and wall of soundscapes which Ride were famous for doing beautifully as well. Well worth giving Far Away From All Of This a go with their Outward Bound.
For those that love their cyberpunk industrial music, should be thrilled that Seattle act Rabbit Junk released a new album on 23rd of October, Xenospheres.
Wired a little differently? You’re on the vertical while everyone else around you is the horizontal? “Neurodivergent” will speak volumes to you as it calls for a standard world to be more flexible or prepare to be broken. It’s vocal, it’s loud and it’s going to catch your attention.
“The Bends” is bass heavy metal with that injection of industrial sensibility. It is almost bipolar with going from nu/core, straight into synths, without missing a beat. For those unfamiliar, the bends occurs when deep sea divers surface and then suffer from decompression sickness.
The harder the bastards push you down, you get back up to push back harder. This is “Relentless (Omicron Nu Epsilom)” and it soars vocally, with the great aggresive guitar and synth highlights.
Really like the mix of male and female vocals here in “Prismatic“. It works so well in a responsive sassy way about feeling invincible and wanting to get down to partying.
For something completely different, reggae style vocals greet you in “Angry People” and we all know these sort of people who want to start fights but take the stance of the injured party.
This is just rising levels of guitar angst for “Curse” and then in the middle it hits you… is that a passing nod to the “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop?!
Talking of Mr Pop, RabbitJunk have taken the single “Kick It“, that Iggy sang with Peaches and given it an industrial makeover. It was already a punchy, punk number which now has an even sweeter, juicier bite to it.
A really nice mix of metal vocals and that beat heavy industrial noise in “Bits AndRazors“. Intense guitar heralds the growing swells of the chorus.
The last track, “From The Stars II (Kite and Vireo)“, is a wonderful science fiction story that becomes a headbanging epic. This is the invasion of the alien technology within humans… or is this the other way around? Humans invading cyber space….
All in all, this is a rip roaring album, thumbing their noses at societal conventions whilst bringing the beat heavy noise.
Xenospheres is a free download from Bandcamp because the band decided that in this current economic environment, it would be worth giving back to the fans. Just goes to show though that Rabbit Junk are really a nice bunch, so please support by getting Xenospheres.
Pablo Zumarraga is the man behind the act known as Trust In None. He hails from the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires and this year released his EP, Inhale, with five tracks in all on it.
“The Law of the Weak” is the intro track with a near imperceptible beat before a sudden explosion of guitar. I feel like I’m listening to some lost Trent Reznor track from the Pretty Hate Machine era.
A nice piece of guitar work and the second track that seems to be nameless brings in the drum machine. The whispers become musical screams that say “I never, never trust you!”. This has an extremely bluesy feel even though it is also very industrial at the same time.
“Inhale” has echos of White Zombie/Rob Zombie with the drum machine having little metal blast beats and is quite a heavy number. Lots of distortion and feedback with a revisitation at the end just to remind you of where you have just been.
The rather interesting named “Squirt”. Pablo mixes his violent whispers whilst dueling with his guitar work. This is full on rock and roll and you could roll on down the highway with this blaring out. The guitar riffs just keep on coming and persistent, spiraling out of control.
Last is the single, “The Circle of Shame”. Again you here Zumarraga’s love of the blues coming through. Heavy and dirty. The vocals are distorted and pain filled. The guitar work here reminds me of the old Soundgarden sound from BadMotorFinger
Not kidding when I say it reminds me very much of the early industrial days of Nine Inch Nails, especially vocally. This is brooding and dark and with the distorted guitar work, is indeed heavily blues influenced and yet this adds to the sinister heaviness of it all.
So if you are looking for something that ignites your blood with punk attitude and industrial smarts, then check out Trust In None.
From the Ukraine, hails the band Mirratal. Since 2013, these guys have been honing their skills by releasing singles and E.P’s but now have unleased their debut album, “Castaway”. These natives of Kyiv describe their style as progressive symphonic metal.
“Abyss Of Lunacy” begins with an actual real cello playing which is really nice to hear instead of the normal computer generated classical instruments which can be very prevalent in this genre of music. The frentic cello is the intro of a band about to give us a really big sound and then the blast beats of the drum kick in. This is a powerful first song with nice harmonizing and a good use of creepy whispering as well as play off solo’s of guitar and synth. They even managed to fit in a choir behind. This has started well.
Then next song has a hail of guitar before the synths break through. The lead, Igor Roshenets doesn’t sound like Vile Valo but something is the way he sings makes me think of him. Maybe it is the passion he sings “Poison” and other songs. I really like the slightly middle eastern sound they incorporate into this and yet there is much wailing guitar.
With the title “Timeless Sea”, you expect a more sedate piece, an oboe wistfully plays and some fellow is talking about psychology…… and then…. it goes full bore. No taking it easy for these guys. This is pretty deep talking about multiverses and time beyond us all that is the endless journey to this timeless sea.
Duelling synths and guitar of Andrii Pavlenko and Sergii Stygar respectively, mark the beginning of “Distinguished Phrases”. Then Roshenets wastes no time launching himself right into the middle of the maelstrom. A song about depression brought on by the cruel words of others. This goes though lulls and then frenetic neck breaking speeds.
No fooling me this time with a nice sedate piano and violin. You know that isn’t going to last and true to form “Mystery” takes off but it is very pretty in some ways. The harmonies and the poetic lyrics though no less metal. The charged piano playing is quite delightful.
Number six has a lovely intro of classical proportions and joins with a nice clear guitar. “Find Your Name” is a duet with female singer, Kateryna Kapshuk (Scarlet) . It is one of those pieces that builds and builds apon itself, with layers of music, instruments and vocals.
Next is “Run” which evokes all sorts of ideals. Monastic choral singing with bells tolling with a provincial French over tone… getting a ‘In The Name Of The Rose’ vibe. This is a slower power number with doomsday is nigh connotations.
And so we come to the title track. They have blown me away already with the electronic beginning changing it all up. Clearly these guys like to be constantly giving themselves a challenge but by using different techniques even within the one song. This goes from power and questioning to ambient and peaceful. Of course this doesn’t last, so bring on the metal choir!
Ever feel like you are going insane but unable to tell anyone? Then you will understand “Sounds” perfectly. Was it the loss of something or someone? Love, love, love the sound of a harpsicord and it is used to blinding effect to help create that disquiet, uneasy tension. I somewhat wonder if this song is what it would be like inside the head of one Captain Jack Sparrow.
BONUS TIME!!! and last number on this album is called “The Wind”. Fabulous percussion with again that wonderful use of orchestration. This shows a great appreciation for the art of music and an ability to incorporate real symphonic instruments with metal and bring a purely instrumental piece to life.
For fans of good drumming which Sergii Ivanov delivers in spades (that guy must be so tired after shows because I felt exhausted just listening to the blast beats he was putting out} or those that really like great guitar solos or thoughtfully crafted music with a very classical grounding, then this is for you. The vocals are strong and soaring for those that want that revelling high.
This album has obviously had a lot of thought put into it by Mirratal as well as passion. This is one of the better symphonic releases in a while and I urge you to check out “Castaway”.