Industrial Metal

All posts tagged Industrial Metal

Rob Zombie performing at Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio. Photo by Brandon Judeh.

Rob Zombie performing at Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio. Photo by Brandon Judeh.

By Brandon Judeh (Music Reporter)

Halloween arrived early Monday night, when Rob Zombie and his “Super Monster Sex Action Tour” rolled into W. D. Packard Music Hall in Warren.

Set to a backdrop of famous monsters such as Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolfman and King Kong, Zombie and company rocked the intimate venue for nearly two hours.

Coming out in a cloud of fog and red lights, Zombie, guitarist John 5, bassist Piggy D and drummer Ginger Fish kicked things off with 2013’s “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy,” much to the fans delight.

The sold out crowd erupted after the first few notes of White Zombie classic, “Super-Charger Heaven” which set the tone for the rest of the night.

The layout of the concert was much more low key than a typical Rob Zombie show, using backdrops, lighting and fog to set the atmosphere.

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Photo by Brandon Judeh.

A big contrast to the high-end productions Zombie has been known to put forth in recent years. Missing were the giant robots, fire and big screens.

Surprisingly, this did not take away from the show; rather it proved that Zombie and his team could put on a high quality show, no matter the setting.

“Living Dead Girl” and “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown” stood out as two of the best songs of the set, with Zombie’s energetic stage persona leading the way.

As the quartet hammered through “House of 1000 Corpses,” “Meet the Creeper,” and “Never Gonna Stop” they switched gears by throwing in a couple of covers.

In between “Thunder Kiss ‘65” the band stomped out heavy renditions of the Ramones classic “Blitzkrieg Bop” and Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.” With Zombie adding “I’m sure sometime in the 22-year history of the Ramones that they came through your town. If you didn’t see them, well, you fucked up. If you weren’t born yet, that’s your problem.”

The Ramones did indeed roll into nearby Youngstown in July of 1976, when they played their first concert outside of New York at the Tomorrow Club inside of the old State Theater.

Joey Ramone also met future members of the “Dead Boys” that night.

Guitarist John 5. Photo by Brandon Judeh.

Guitarist John 5. Photo by Brandon Judeh.

As the band returned to the stage after a brief intermission (with the crowd chanting “ZOMBIE, ZOMBIE!”), John 5 came out and proved why he is one of the best Metal guitarists.

His gritty guitar solo of the National Anthem was the perfect segway into Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band.”

Aside from that, John 5 showed all night long why Zombie works closely with him on albums and with the music he provides for some of Zombie’s movies (see Lords of Salem).

As the night slowly closed to an end, John 5, Piggy D and Fish played a slow, sludgy and heavy rendition of “The Lords of Salem” before closing with the fan favorite, “Dragula.”

When the band left the stage and the lights went on, the crowd continued to chant, but this time the beautiful horror show was over.

 

By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)

Godflesh

Artist: Godflesh

Album: Decline and Fall

Release Date: 6/2/14

Rating: 9/10

Many of the down-tuned, guttural vocal bands that dominated the scene of the late 90’s, owe their entire career, and then some, to Godflesh. The pioneering industrial metal act, led by mastermind guitarist and vocalist, Justin Broadrick, burst onto the scene in around 1990, just as the industrial sound as it came to be was reaching it’s creative peak. Whereas acts like Ministry and KMFDM where fusing sampled drum loops with thrash metal guitar riffs, Godflesh choose a similar path, only using slowed down, low-tuned doom and sludge metal style riffs.

Their innovative style, an entire song or a good portion of a song revolving around a repeating heavy riffs and mechanical grove, proved to be a huge influence on nu metal acts like KoRn and Coal Chamber several years later. With successful albums such as Streetcleaner, Pure, and Songs of Love and Hate, Godflesh also helped push future industrial acts like Fear Factory and Static-X in a more metal-dominated direction.

After retiring Godflesh for nearly a decade and striking out with the more indie/shoegaze project Jesu, Broadrick resurrected the band four years ago and now returns with a new EP.

Decline and Fall is the Godflesh fans have been yearning for. It represents a refreshed, mature and even more angry unit, with the energy and passion of a new act on their debut release. The EP kicks off with the single “Ringer,” a slamming industrial-sludge grinder that boldly sets the tone. From there, the ferocious “Dogbite” and the droningly melodic “Playing with Fire” return Godflesh to their heyday, but with an even darker and heavier take. Finally, the closing track, “Decline and Fall,” shows Broadrick and bassist G.C. Green hitting a creative high.

The best thing about Decline and Fall is that it sounds like an industrial metal from the genre’s heyday without feeling dated. Perhaps Godflesh was always a few steps ahead of their time, and only to be imitated, and in some cases ripped off, by acts who would achieve far more mainstream success. Still, if anything, Decline and Fall boldly proves that Godflesh are, and always have been innovators and originators.

The only flaw is that the EP ends abruptly. It rises, nearly climaxes, but drops. However, despite the tease of an EP, a full-length is scheduled for the Fall of this year. In the meantime, fans from back in the day, as well as fans of industrial and the growing sludge and doom scenes will appreciate Decline and Fall, as it is truly a return to their gloomy glory!

By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)

Ministry

Artist: Ministry

Album: From Beer to Eternity

Rating: 3.7/5

Release Date: 9/10/13

Following the release of 2007’s The Last Sucker and the world tour that followed, Ministry mainman Al Jourgensen claimed he would put the band to rest indefinitely. Retiring on top of a successful career renaissance, Ministry released a trio of albums during the years of the George W. Bush presidency, heavily criticizing the administration. And Ministry and Bush were to live happily ever after in history. However, that plan didn’t exactly follow through.

By 2011, Jorgensen had reunited with long-time Ministry guitarist and collaborator, Mike Scaccia, to work on their country side-project, Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters. Scaccia had left Ministry during The Last Sucker sessions to reunite with Death Metal pioneers Rigor Mortis, his pre-Ministry band. It wasn’t long after getting a taste of the brutal break-neck riffs Scaccia was so well known for that Jourgensen decided to resurrect Ministry, and 2012’s lackluster effort, Relapse, was produced.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck the Ministry camp in December of last year. Scaccia collapsed on stage and died of congestive heart failure while performing in his home state of Texas. His death deeply affected Jourgensen, who had a long close friendship with him. Nevertheless, triumph overcame tragedy as Jourgensen decided to use Scaccia’s leftover tracks and churn out one last final piece of uncompromising, politically-fueled industrial-metal.

From Beer to Eternity, Ministry’s thirteenth and supposedly final studio album, was release on Sept. 10 via Jourgensen’s 13th Planet Records. After the flop that was Relapse, From Beer to Eternity is a crushingly concise piece of music that will leave Ministry fans of all era pleased.

The album kicks off the lengthy intro track, “Hail to His Majesty (Peasants), a mid-tempo slugger that utilizes Ministry’s trademark quip and ranting. From there, “Punch in the Face” slams with the industrial-metal the band has spent a career pioneering. Classic Ministry through and through, the track sees heavy use of (often comical) samples with machine gun-like programmed drums colliding into a wall of thrash guitars.

From there, more trademark Ministry takes hold. A trio of tracks, including the first single, “PermaWar,” “Perfect Storm,” and “Fairly Unbalanced” all use (and abuse) political themes, giving the far right a repeated kick in the balls. “PermaWar,” a track that’s very in tune which today’s political climate involving the issues with Syria, talks of America’s ever-thriving lust for violence and war, and politicians getting their rocks off in the process. “Perfect Storm” continues along similar lines, with Jourgensen screaming, “These politicians stick their heads in the sand, that’s their solution to the problem at hand. A perfect storm is coming our way, but I think this one is gonna stay.” If you can get past the tired growling vocals, these are really good songs, among the best the album has to offer. Finally, “Fairly Unbalanced” takes a jab at the overtly biased Fox News Channel with a riff that sounds like it could have been heard on Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All.

Sample heavy tracks “The Horror” and “Side FX Include Mikey’s Middle Finger (TV 4)” hark back to Ministry’s early and more primitive industrial days, while “Lesson Unlearned” incorporates an infectious groove amidst the chaos. The Album then begins to drag, with the unnecessarily overdrawn tracks “Thanx but No Thanx” and “Change of Luck.” These tracks get their point across well before their respective eight and seven-minute marks. Finally, the album concludes in true Ministry fashion, with a clash of unintelligible noise on “Enjoy the Quiet.”

From Beer to Eternity is a mostly solid album, their most solid in over a decade. Any riff of Scaccia’s is certainly a highlight. Long gone are the days of The Land of Rape and Honey and The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, Ministry’s groundbreaking classics. But the band has naturally evolved into a more thrash metal direction, with the emphasis of classic industrial elements dwindling. The album does have it’s share of moments where it touches back to those days, more than any Ministry album since 1996’s Filth Pig. And, thanks to Scaccia, there are no shortage of well constructed, brutal heavy riffs.

All in all, From Beer to Eternity is a good send off for Ministry, as well as an accurate portrait of Mike Scaccia’s intricate style. Pleasing to fans old and new, an album certainly worth picking up for fans of industrial and extreme metal.

Scar the Martyr. Photo courtesy of roadrunnerrecords.com.

Scar the Martyr. Photo courtesy of roadrunnerrecords.com.

By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)

Slipknot drum virtuoso Joey Jordison is no stranger to exploring unfamiliar territory. Aside from the multi-platinum nine-piece unit, Jordison serves as the guitarists and co-songwriter for horror-glam outfit Murderdolls, and has filled in behind the kit for the likes of KoRn, Satyricon, Ministry, and Rob Zombie to name a few. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that during his down time from the Knot he’s getting his hands dirty again.

Earlier this year, Joridson decided to test the waters of the industrial-metal that influenced his formative years, thus forming his new band, Scar the Martyr. Handling the duties of drums, bass and rhythm guitar for the project, Jordison recruited ex-Stapping Young Lad guitarist Jed Simon, ex-Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna for programming and relatively unknown vocalist, Henry Derek Bonner for the studio sessions. The result is Scar the Martyr’s self-titled debut, due Oct. 1 via Roadrunner Records, which fuses metalcore and death metal with elements of industrial metal.

2013 has been a good year for industrial, seeing releases from genre pioneers like Skinny Puppy, Ministry and Nine Inch Nails as well as a successful side-project of Disturbed’s David Dramain called Device. With that being said, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for Jordison to capitalize on. Although Scar the Martyr has it’s share of bleeps and bloops and ambient textures, it certainly has more of a modern metal sound than that of straightforward industrial.

Scar the Martyr begins with an instrumental album opener consisting of frightening samples, setting the tone for the album and project, leading into the track “Dark Ages.” “Dark Ages” is a slamming good time, with grinding guitars and Jordison’s signature machine gun drumming. A good introduction to the band, seeing all of its key elements at full throttle on one track.

From there, the combination of industrial-influenced riffing and slamming percussion continues over the next couple tracks, leading into the lead single, “Blood Host.” “Blood Host,” most likely alluding to some sort of parasitic nature, serves as the perfect single, with a crushing yet dissonant drone similar to Fear Factory. “Anatomy of Erinyes”  and “Prayer for Prey” give off a darker aura, with more descending riffs and tribal drumming. The album closes with the droning and brutal opus, “Last Night on Earth.”

Fans of Slipknot and/or run-of-the-mill industrial metal may be slightly put off by Scar the Martyr, typically because of the abundance of soaring vocals found in more modern styles like metalcore. However, they work in good contrast to the hints of Stapping Young Lad, Fear Factory and Ministry that also ooze throughout the album.

Overall, the album, and band, can see as yet another victory for Jordison. Not only has he futher reached into unknown territory, but he has succeed with an original take on a highly influential genre of extreme and underground metal.

Audiences have agreed, as proven on Scar the Matyr’s initial tour opening for Danzig and strong hype surrounding the album’s release. Die-hard fans of the failing industrial metal can also revel in the fact that new and interesting bands are waving the flag for the genre and taking it to new and interesting places. Without a doubt, it is with great hope that Jordison continues this project between jaunts with Slipknot and that it doesn’t fall into the vast abyss of one-off projects.