Transmissions From The Chemical Land
Faith In Motion
Divide By Zero
WARNING: This is not a review. The following words are criticism based at what has become formula rock in the industrial music scene.
My mother always told me, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Obviously, she never had these CDs in front of her. I was given the duty of filtering through the “industrial” releases that flow into the office, and gladly accepted the albums in hopes of finding some sort of originality. My anticipation and joy slipped away as each passing album went in and out of my CD player. DHI and Sielwolf are both on Van Richter, known for a more guitar-oriented sound. “Machine Alter Transmission” (DHI) and “Freitag” (Sielwolf) are both noise tracks with vocal samples linked together by content. DHI and Sielwolf also share another pair of similar tracks, “No Place For The Cross” and “Brushed Steel.” The synth work is traditional in industrial and gothic music, but somewhere the formula fails to help add life on both tracks. DHI’s album seems quite stale and redundant from beginning to end, an attempt to create a Revolting Cocks-style gone horribly goth. It still maintains an industrial sound but is altogether lacking in creativity. The same can be said for Sielwolf, except they take a more German approach (being German helps) and increase the BPM’s of DHI… though Sielwolf’s “Vengessen” is quite hysterical with it’s euro-pop trashiness. Next was Index’s Faith In Motion, which contained two tracks worth mentioning, “Paradive” and “Ne Plus Ultra.” “Paradive” spends awhile in a slow build, and then falls into the standard industrial formula. The formula works, and it should become a dance hall favorite after a few weeks of play. “Ne Plus Ultra” is similar to “Paradive” but sounds more like :wumpscut:’s “War Combatry.” The rest of the songs spend most of their time recalling Skinny Puppy (Back and Forth, Series 2), Klute, and Leatherstrip, but never quite packing the punch of the originals.
I ended with Killing Floor’s Divide by Zero, best described as industrial or cyber core. I’ve never been much of a fan of heavy guitars and minimized electronics in industrial, but Killing Floor reminds me too much of fellow label mates 16 Volt. “About to Break,” “Wood,” and “Come Together” bellow forth in the same style as Monster Voodoo Machine. “The Way It Goes” is a mosher’s paradise. Best described as old Metallica gone slightly punk. Killing Floor includes their own style of a noise track with “Article One,” but its style seems best used as an intro tape at gigs. The last listed track, “Unity (Come Together Pt. 2),” is the albums best track, and takes “Come Together” to the level it needed. Much more eerie in nature, probably the dance single of the album. Together, these four albums toss up three tracks that do not tread the standard ground of the industrial formula. It’s a shame, as all the bands obviously have some talent, but are not utilizing it to their fullest ability.