Category Archives: industrial

Blitzkrieg Baby – War Gods (mc 2018)

Blitzkrieg Baby again releases a tape through Beläten. “War Gods” comes quite naturally after the previous Beläten tapes with a mix between “industrial disco” and more minimalistic tracks. And of course there are the known Blitzkrieg Baby vocals.

The opening track is a recognisable Blitzkrieg Baby track with repetitive music, a steady rhythm, an organ-like sound and the typical vocals. Then follow two track revolving around a repeated sound either or not with vocals. The best track is “Bott Hammer Kiss” which has a much more industrial style. The closing track is less ‘disco’, but certainly rhythmical (slow though) with whispered vocals.

5 Tracks, a little under half an hour of music available in a limited tape edition. This makes a nice addition to the discography of the Swedish project. I like the first and last two tracks best, but “War Gods” makes an enjoyable tape overall.

Links: Blitzkrieg Baby, Beläten

Michael Idehall ‎– Prophecies Of The Storm (2018)

When I reviewed “Machine Spirit Transmission” earlier this month, I said that an album on Ant-Zen was forthcoming. Well, here it is! That other album has Idehall’s wonderful dark ritualistic style, but also the more soundscapish side of the project that is not entirely my thing. “Prophecies Of The Storm” opens somewhat uncommon, a bit IDM-ish. That is not too strange though, since Idehall used to make IDM-like music and elements of this style can be found in his music every now and then. The opening track goes over in a more recognisable approach, but not too typical and pretty damn good. The second track is even greater. It is again a developed Idehall track with the known elements of Michael’s voice, a defining rhythm and repetition, but the details on the background and the noisy tones in this track make it another great one.

“Prophecies Of The Storm” contains but small surprises. It is a logical development of Idehall’s style that I like most. The repetitive lyrics are there, the simple yet effective rhythms, together giving a ritualistic feel to the relatively soft industrial. Even though I find Idehall’s music quite unique, my girlfriend asked if I was playing Coph Nia. The link is not too weird. Both projects come from Sweden and have an occultist / ritualistic approach to industrial music. Coph Nia mostly leans towards the dark ambient side (but with industrial elements) and Idehall to a more rhythmical approach with ambient elements (and soundscapes in ‘the other style’), but both projects have clearly different sounds.

The newest album is not as dark in sound as the opening tracks of “Machine Spirit Transmissions”, but perhaps it is fairer to say that “Prophecies Of The Storm” sounds dark in another way. It is another great album and this time there are no tracks in the style that I like less. So, if you like albums suc as “Deep Code”, “Sol” and (to a slightly lesser extend) “Solar Symmetries”, you will not go bad with Idehall’s latest.

Links: Michael Idehall, Ant-Zen

Ausströmen – Immobilise (cd 2018)

A pre release review!
A while ago a young lady posted a couple of tracks of this British noise project in Haus Arafna related Facebook groups over a period of time. Especially the first tracks were pretty mindblowing wall-of-sound type noise with aggressive vocals. I shared the tracks on the Tesco Facebook page and like to think that this helped to get Ausströmen on the Projekt Neue Ordnung II compilation.

Last week Ausströmen put the forthcoming debut album on Soundcloud. The debut will be a self-released cdr available in a limited edition of 50 copies from April 20th.

Where the first tracks that I heard were (as I said) wall-of-sound type noise, later tracks were less extreme and more rhythmical and industrial in approach. On putting on “Immobilise” the album seems to have that ‘new approach’. If you know the contribution to the said compilation (it is available on the album too) you have a good idea of the style of a large part of this album.
The tracks vary from descent to very good, sometimes relatively tranquil, sometimes harsher, but always fairly dark and usually with vocals. These vocals are not always the distorted and screamed vocals common to this type of music, but also talking and something that is closer to singing. As the album continues, the sound gets even more noisy and even though the selling line says that all tracks “were recorded around the same time as the well-received “Pornography Of Violence” track” I have the idea that my first encounters are to be found at the end of the album.

“Immobilise” lasts for about three quarters of an hour. Most tracks are good to great, three are less convincing to me. If you want to get a copy of the debut of this promising debut, be quick.

Links: Ausströmen / Faktion

Nordvargr – Metempsychosis (cd 2018)

This album sounds a bit like a companion to “Kainskult” of Trepaneringsritualen. Even though Spotify lists TxRxP’s cooperation for only one track, I have the idea that all vocals are done by Ekelund. Otherwise Nordvargr’s voice sounds very similar!

“Metempsychosis” in some tracks sounds like the more tranquil tracks of “Kainskult”, very dark, with similar sounds and especially with similar vocals. In other tracks there is more of the dark ambient sound of “The Secret Barbarous Names” and towards the end some more experimental (technoish) sounds that Nordvargr sometimes blends into his music. This does result in some nice sounds though.

I particularly like the TxRxP-like tracks, the others are nice to good. The album is fairly short: 37 minutes.

Links: Nordvargr, Cyclic Law

Michael Idehall ‎- Machine Spirit Transmission (mc 2017)

So how could I miss the latest Idehall until he informed me about it himself? “Machine Spirit Transmission” is a tape on Raubbau, but it is also available on Spotify and I believe I noticed it there, but forgot to listen to it (or something)… And when I look at Discogs, there are more releases that I missed!

Now Idehall is a bit ‘difficult’ to me. He has great ritualistic industrial tracks in a unique style that I love, but also more soundscapish tracks / albums that do not really ‘work for me’. When I put on this release, I expected it to be of the soundscapish type and that I only skipped through and forgot about it. This is not true though. Not entirely at least.

The album opens with a dark and noisy “Opening” with Idehall’s voice. It is obviously Idehall, but slightly different. Then we go to the great “Ma Kra Oum Ka Bra Nha” which also appears to be Idehall in a somewhat more industrial mood. “Power Mantra” is a very good, somewhat more typical track with a slow rhythm and vocals. Then one more great track and then the style starts to change. “The Singing Of Machines” is a dark and slightly noisy soundscape, not bad at all. After this come more ambient tracks which are somewhat dark, not all that bad, but not too interesting to me either. Particularly the 17 minute closing track is not really my cup of tea.

So about half of this album is great and the other half is descent or alright.

There is an album forthcoming on Ant-Zen by the way.

Links: Michael Idehall, Raubbau

v/a * Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay (dvd 2015)

Like “The Sound Of Progress” a documentary about industrial music. Amélie Ravalec and Travis Collins interviewed some industrial icons and cut these interviews with old footage. The result looks a bit messy and the old footage is always way too short and cut-off to go back to the interview.

The documentary takes 52 minutes. The 30 minute bonus material are the interviews in their entirety. There is footage of and/or interviews with Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, NON, SPK, Test Dept, Clock DVA, Re/Search – V Vale, Z’EV, Click Click, Sordide Sentimental, Hula, The Klinik, Ant-Zen, Orphx, In The Nursery and Prima Linea, some longer than the next.
The longer (and bonus) interviews are with Cris and Cosey (separately), Genesis P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, etc.), Stephen Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire, etc.), Boyd Rice (!), Graeme Revell (SPK), Stefan Alt (Ant-Zen) and Udo Weissman (Winterkälte, Hands).
The latter two I find a bit strange. Why not Tesco, Cold Spring or Malignant? Did the makers want to make a bridge to more ‘modern sounding’ industrial? Or is is, like with “the Sound Of Progress” that the focus lays less on the underground side of the scene? Not that Ant-Zen and Hands are major labels, of course, but the other labels have more of an unruly approach, the latter are ‘easier’ so to say.

The documentary gives a nice idea of industrial music and the early musicians’ backgrounds and inspiration. Nothing that I never heard of, but there are some images that I never saw and all interviewees are spoken with in their current days looking back at when they were young. Some of them were quite offensive in their time, but little is seen of that in the documentary (even Boyd Rice is more of a Georges Clooney inspite of his police cap and glasses). This makes the documentary a bit too ‘goody’ for the subject.

An amusing watch though.

Link: Industrial Soundtrack

Michael Idehall * Solar Symmetries (2016)

This album showed up in my Deezer “hear this”. It appeared to be a remix album and now I see that there is no physical version of this release. That is not too bad, because even though “Solar Symmetries” is nice, it is not a ‘must-buy’.

Remixes by known and new (to me) projects, a couple of doubles in chosen tracks and usually the remixes come nowhere near the original versions, a few exceptions notwithstanding, the tracks of Hadewych and Alvar.

Links: Michael Idehall, Ant-Zen

v/a * The Sound Of Progress (dvd 1988/2016)

Around the time that I was reading “Industrial Evolution” and “England’s Hidden Reverse” Cold Spring started to announce the rerelease of an old documentary about that very period of early industrial. Four bands are featured on this DVD: Test Dept, Coil, Foetus and Current 93. The last three are extensively featured in “England’s Hidden Reverse”. It was nice to see persons with the stories and interviews that I read in the book.

The documentary was made by country-mates of mine (from the Netherlands) and there is life footage of Test Dept. in an abandonned building in Amsterdam and Foetus in Paradiso (also Amsterdam). Of Current 93 there is live footage from Hamburg, Germany. There is no live material of Coil.

The 40 minutes feature snippets of interviews and the mentioned live footage. It has all been cut and montaged a bit and sometimes you can see who are talking, sometimes you do not. Of Coil there are interviews shot in the house of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson (1955-2010) and John Balance (1962–2004). There are also parts of an interview with Balance and Stephen Thrower (1963-) outside a studio. Then there is footage from inside a studio when the band was recording “Horse Rotorvator”. The other bands are interviewed around the shows that I mentioned earlier (inside or outside the places they played in).

This DVD certainly makes a nice addition to the mentioned books. The interviews are not groundbreaking, but the live material and the Coil studio material are particularly nice.

Link: Cold Spring

Thorofon * Roots (cd 2016)

Celebrating their 20th aniverary Thorofon reworked some old material. However I thought I was quite familiar with this German industrial project, I do not recognise a whole lot of tracks.

As you can expect the sound on “Roots” is a bit more old-style, more industrial than the recent ‘industrial disco’ type of releases. Recent releases do seem to have more extremities between harsch industrial and more ‘disco’ tracks than “Roots” though. This new album is fairly consistantly industrial, but in the Thorofon style of course.

A nice release from Ant-Zen.

Links: Thorofon, Ant-Zen

Michael Idehall * No Man’s Land (cd 2016)

A new Idehall. Would it be a ritualistic soundscape or more in the vein of “Sol” and “Deep Code”? Since it is released by Ant-Zen (in collaboration with Beläten), who also released the two named releases together on one disc, I had hopes for the latter. This is not entirely true though.

“No Man’s Land” in one way holds the middle between the soundscape style and the other style of Idehall, but it actually presents something new as well, a development of style, because the music is still recognisable as coming from Michael Idehall. The sound is still ritualistic and somewhat dark, but it got more of a dirty, industrial touch with squaks, noises and rhythm. Sometimes the music is downright noisy. This new sound is good too.

The album opens with a ‘noisescape’ type of track, but the second track “Yoni” has more of the “Sol”/”Deep Code” style with Idehall’s mantra-like singing and a repetative rhythm. What follows next sounds a bit like a very dark IDM track with an odd rhythm, a very interesting track. The title track is a bit like the previous, again relatively tranquil. Then follows a bit of a dark space ambient track with a ‘spacey rhythm’ and ‘spacey sounds’. The next track is actually called “Deep Code” and is again a somewhat softer track with echoing voices and a bit of a spacey ambient sound. Next up is the highlight of the album. “Nightmare” is a brilliant industrial and noisey track with a bit more tempo and distorted vocals. The next tracks are mostly industrial ambient type of tracks with the Idehall-style ritualistic darkness. There are two more rhythmical tracks. Compared to the first half, the second seems a bit less dark.

I think this album may appeal to people who like ritualistic dark ambient with an industrial and noisy edge, perhaps it is not unfair to drop the name of Coph Nia who also uses a ritualistic and magical dark ambient style, but the result is different from Idehall though and Coph Nia rarely gets as dirty as Idehall on this album. When you like Idehall’s previous releases, you should certainly listen to this new one. Be warned that it is a little different though. Personally I still prefer “Deep Code”, but I also enjoy this new album quite a bit. It has a couple of great tracks and a bunch of good ones.

Links: Michael Idehall, Ant-Zen, Beläten