Black Cross Hotel – Hex (Review)

Black Cross Hotel - HexThis is the debut album from Black Cross Hotel, an industrial band from the US.

Hex initially caught my eye due to Black Cross Hotel containing a member of Stabbing Westward. On closer inspection it seems there are also members of The Atlas Moth, Corrections House, Minsk, and Broken Hope in the band, all of which attracted me further. All very intriguing. However, Continue reading “Black Cross Hotel – Hex (Review)”

Return to Earth – Oblivion (Review)

Return to Earth - OblivionThis is the third album from US industrial metal band Return to Earth.

Industrial metal is a rather nebulous and potentially misleading genre tag when applied to Return to Earth. Oblivion is a very diverse and idiosyncratic record, with elements of metal, post-hardcore, industrial, progressive rock, and electronica all present in the music. This Continue reading “Return to Earth – Oblivion (Review)”

Hellblind – A Plague on All Your Houses (Review)

Hellblind - A Plague on All Your HousesHellblind are a UK metal band and this is their debut EP.

This new band is made up of current/ex-members of Pitchshifter, Stampin’ Ground, Romeo Must Die, Outside the Coma, and This Is Menace. The band play heavy music and do so with enthusiasm. Combining Continue reading “Hellblind – A Plague on All Your Houses (Review)”

Uniform – Shame (Review)

Uniform - ShameUniform are and industrial rock/metal band from the US and this is their fourth album.

After enjoying 2018’s The Long Walk and the following year’s collaboration with The Body, I was eager to find out what Shame brought to the table. Continue reading “Uniform – Shame (Review)”

Gloom Warfare – Post Apocalyptical Downfall (Review)

Gloom WarfareGerman band Gloom Warfare play a form of Industrial Doom/Death that takes the blueprint laid down by old Godflesh and Pitchshifter and uses it to build their own world.

This is a slow-burning, gradual-destruction kind of album, where the tracks move inexorably towards their ultimate conclusion. The nihilistic atmosphere builds as the songs do.

The mood radiated by each track is the kind where you just need to fall into a bit of a semi-trance-like state and soak up the vibes of the album. Long distance journeys or getting a large tattoo; something you can almost zone-out to.

The onwards martial march of the songs is an almost-unbearable constant. Initially when listening to this I wasn’t too impressed, but slowly the relentless driving force that powers this 61 minute album gets under the skin and worms its way into your brain. If you give it the time to saturate your senses then Post Apocalyptical Downfall has lots to offer; this is not an instant album and not one for light listening.

I would prefer a slightly more even sound, with a bit more emphasis given to the clarity of the guitars, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

If you’re in a particular kind of mood then this is a really good album. With a few tweaks to the sound the next one could be great.

The Down Troddence – How Are You? We Are Fine, Thank You (Review)

The Down TroddenceThe Down Troddence are from India and play an interesting blend of Thrash Metal and other influences.

The Indian scene seems to be endlessly fresh, exciting and innovative; you’re never quite sure what to expect from the multitude of different bands that are based there. The Down Troddence are a perfect example of this; based on the name and album cover I wasn’t given much clue, even the brief description that I did have didn’t really tell me much.

What we get here is groove-heavy Thrash with interesting melodies and influences from a multitude of other genres interspersed within the heaviness.

The vocals remind me of the ones that Pitchshifter used on their early releases, only raspier; they share that same strange, rhythmic, mechanistic and unusual quality that Pitchshifter used so well in the beginning. They sound robotic, inhuman and characterful all at the same time. Odd but effective.

Musically it’s well-played modern Thrash with melody, leads, solos and added effects and keyboards. As well as the odd Folk influence they also incorporate aspects of psychedelia and Industrial sounds into the songs. Taken all together this adds up to an interesting and quite varied listen that has a modern Metal core but has enough elements of older Thrash and other influences to keep things really interesting.

So, take old Pitchshifter, add a dollop of Devildriver, throw in some classic Thrash, and then mix in a pinch of Folk/Psychedelia/Industrial sounds and you have a recipe for How Are You? We Are Fine, Thank You.

Unexpected and gratefully received; this is an album full of joys and with a lot to offer. Another victory from India.