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 DanielWatts (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. “PsychicInstitute” is a catchy track from The Drood which I rather enjoyed quite a bit along with the video by TimNelson.
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.
Just when you thought is was safe to get back into mother nature, a single is carelessly discarded by the lads in DECOMMISSIONED FORESTS and low it was called “Drop Brick“. It was released in January, on the 14th of 2022, ahead of the soon to be unleashed Industry album. I, your humble reviewer decided to cheekily nick this description from their bio…..
Formed around the creative axis of Howard Gardner (Non-Bio,Pillars Of Golden Misery), Max Rael (History Of Guns, Spucktute, Raelism), and Daniel Vincent (The Resonance Association), DECOMMISSIONED FORESTS create music that is dark in outlook and electronic in nature.
Not going to lie, the keys from the beginning bring forth memories of Tubular Bells, but the vocals of MaxRael save us. For the initiated, Rael very well could be channeling Coil’s John Balance, it is truly uncanny and very lucky that Coil is a band that the group are very much into. On much more serious note “Drop Brick” is empathising with a monster. The thoughts that they might go through, pain, loss, anger, loneliness and the hunger to have to what is kept from them. In the end there is no end and only the exhaustion of reality. The synths peal over and over again, cementing the ground hog perception and you feel the heaviness of wanting to pass away.
The more murky sounding “I Can Stop The Noise” is kind of the b-side, filled with a story told in a matter of fact way about a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, whom hates her husband and plans something diabolical. The electronics are so low, you strain to hear them as they dwindle to a slowing heartbeat.
There are no less than four remixes of “Drop Brick” and one deconstructed mix which I think I can safely say where done by all the band mates. The Pillars Of Golden Misery is is all prickly and angry while the Safety Deposit Box version feels like a much more lighter version with it’s cute electronics, that is until the sped up vocals join in like that mantra. The Raelism remix is like a lads night down the pub with the boys that gets thrown into the Twilight Zone. Talking about the weird and wonderful is The DOMH Deconstructed version, giving you Twin Peaks vibes with the vocals running backwards, the swell of electronics in the background that just seem out of reach yet full of promise to swallow you in the noise. The Non-Bio remix is full of the noise and cacophony of buzzing electronics trying to crawl under your skin, as they are pushed to the limit and we wouldn’t expect anything less.
The guys have also included the original demo version of the song which was originally named “Halt Program“. It is a far more keyboard friendly version, the bare bones so to speak, without the vocals but it is still a very compelling piece of music and it is interesting to see how it developed into “Drop Brick”. DECOMMISSIONED FORESTS manage to find the quirk in things and bring them to the fore. The ability to make you listen to what is almost most there or the subtle yet sudden change in direction that takes on a completely different journey. Call it experimental post-industrial or dark electro-ambient or whatever but in the end it is about that journey you take with them and in that process, the visions they can bestow.
Industrial music actually covers a lot of scope, from heavy dance music to experimental, ambient noise and this is where we introduce British band, Decommissioned Forests. So far there have only been singles released by the three men behind the project, though the latest single, “Ants Part 1” will be on their debut album Industry.
From the start you can hear the undeniable homage to Coil in their spoken word phase and Rael’s utterances are uncannily like the late John Balance. Ants Part 1 (Our Last Supper) is just over nine minutes long and is like a dissonant journey that seems pleasant, yet the lyrics are the disembodied oddities of strange and disturbing sequences. The one running thread is the ants running riot over the picnic as they transcend the existence of this plane it seems. The band agreed the track “Functional Programming For Humans” was their favourite to play in the studio.The low tones almost could the far off church organ while the quirky sounds could be firing synapses while the commentary is how not feel any emotion like an automaton unless it is turned on. Grand soundscape with cold barren wept vistas. The last song is “Base” and the first bars start like a droning sea shanty though this drone is sinister and full of loathing as the piano enforces it’s disappointment.
Decommissioned Forests (is) the result of friendships going back to the beginnings of this century and a shared love of the darker post-industrial world of Coil, Current 93, Cabaret Voltaire and Nurse With Wound. In this collaboration, Daniel Vincent (of cult space rockers The Resonance Association) handles the music, ably abetted by Howard Gardner (the multi-media artist behind Non-Bio, Pillars of Golden Misery and Down With Freedom), whilst the vocals are channeled by Max Rael (the lynch pin of post-industrial noiseniks History of Guns) – Decommissioned Forests bio says it better than I can. You can hear those influences so clearly in the music these guys create and there is definitely a passion for the genre. There is a timelessness in a way to Decommissioned Forests, not only the themes but expressions of love, loss, life and always the ants.
If you are looking for some experimental ambient music, then possibly we know of the EP you need to hear. Spectrograph released at the end November, their EP, A Giant Leap Of Faith, on Depth Records.
This project began in 2012, combining the talents of multi instrumentalist and vocalist Virginia Bones with Phiorio who is a producer of electronic/dance music, as well as a DJ. They describe their style as post industrial/electro.
The tones are low and seemingly, almost basic but the more one delves into “Dmbt“, the more complex and convoluted it becomes with its revolving beats and tonal injections for this instrumental piece.
The single, “Dead Kittens“, is a dark affair. Slow and foreboding with fuzzy electronic pulses and synth keys that at times feel like they are wandering randomly within a space that has been forgotten.
Minimal clicks and whirs in a loop present “A Giant Leap Of Faith“, and there begins a layering effect of sounds. An occasional cymbal, electronically altered vocals of Bones and two notes of a piano creep across this piece, only to be joined by other noises. Strangely enough it never feels overwhelming or crowded and yet there is a claustrophobic ambience.
Last track, “If You Think You Can Fly” seems to convey the most urgency, like it needs to be on the move on a midnight jaunt to who knows where. It is bleak, metallic and wonderful with those odd noises.
Well constructed and rather interesting to say the least. If you don’t get electronic music then this won’t be for you but if you love electronica that push music limits with intelligence, then you should most definitely have a listen to Spectrograph’sA Giant Leap Of Faith.
October 30th was the release date for the debut album, Abyss by In Tenebris. Power noise extrodinaire, SebastianSünkler of Stahlschlag, is the driving force behind this project, out on the label, Crunch Pod.
And so into the inky Abyss we travel, with the lonely, echoing call of a raven to “Inferis“, otherwise known as the Underworld. This slow build of wind tunnel sound, rings with eerie chimes.
One of the scariest creatures is “Mandkind“. They consume everything, create war and destruction and continue on. A mixture of subtle power noise creeps into this unrelenting march, with possible gun shots and Sünkler’s distorted vocals.
An electrical impulse, that could be a message. It then stops, with the atmosphere becomes murky and oppressive. This is “Interception“, with graduating industrial bangs in the background.
“Hollow Hills” might emit whistles and groans, with an errant wind blowing through them. This feels bleak and forlorn, haunted by ghosts of the unfortunate, as the electronic chimes, twitters and knocks never seem to cease.
“Mandragora” is the drug form of mandrake and this starts off like a bad, tormented trip. The lone piano, followed by struck chords and hazy noise, make this feel other worldly and darkly unrealistic. Mental screeching and lost filaments of lucid thought, drifting away.
The wavering apparition of the “Phantasm” is a very constant electronic echo of things past, making their presence felt. This shadow is what has been and never will be again, reaching out to the living. The finish with heavy breathing makes you apprehensive.
The final track is, “Antinatal“. Maybe this is opposite of birth and a return to the aether, the limbo between life and non existence. This music is like a fog, seemingly feathery and yet heavy and unable to be penetrated by light.
This is very much an album of dark ambient style sound scapes with leanings towards the nightmare realms.
‘I started this side project because of a coincidence. Someone on instagram asked me if I could do a spooky soundtrack for one of his lost places videos. Well, in the end he didn’t like what I did for his video but because of that I discovered how much I enjoy to create dark soundscapes.’, Sünkler explained to me.
With a taste for these dramatic, brooding vistas, one can presume that this is not the last we have heard from In Tenebris and nor should it be. Have a listen to the creeping doom coming from the darkly, delightful Abyss.
Brisbane is not synonymous with the industrial/gothic music world and yet acts have spawned from this Australian city, of which one of the latest is FailedAssimilation.
This five piece postindustrial band had been working up to their debut album and have brought us the single “Wolves“.
Vocalist, JohnGreen aka JohnnyDaeus, wants to beseech you and drag you into the lyrics of love, hate and the void between. A winding whirlpool of a destructive relationship that is bringing out the worst personality traits from the darkest recesses of a human’s brain.
The rhythm section is held in good stead by Luke “Siebz” Siebenhausen on bass, powering through with CameronDodds bringing the heavy guitar work that pushes this number along, building and making it feel like an out of control rollercoaster.
This is all held together by the electronic wizardry of Jethro “Jay” Hilliard on synths and programming.
There are four remixed versions of “Wolves“, done by various artists. The first by the American-Australian hybrid group, 11Grams, followed by DominationKorporation (which is actually Siebz but we won’t tell if you don’t) followed by Brisbane’s DirtFactory and Sydney’s Z-Cluster. All are so very different in their interpretation and yet they all work.
Throw in a cover of NadaSurf’s “Popular” and two other original songs to round off this release.
I first remember seeing Failed Assimilation live as support for Amelia Arsenic and Snvff in 2016 and since then, have seen them perform in other venues as well as heard them first grace the airways on Dark Essence Radio.
This is a tight single to release and I encourage those who like the industrial genre to have a listen especially with all those tasty, talented remixes. Let’s see what the future holds for this wolf pack.