The Early Beginnings


The Beauty And The Machine


NSK Zagreb


The Kings Of

Space Metal Opera


Warrior On

The Edge Of Time



Fire Walk With Us


With no Human Intervention



AUN 27



Chronicles Of An

Aging Mammal


Easy Listening Aggravation


In Waste


Psychosis Ex Machina


Panic Pandemic


Crush Depth




Virus S.T.N.


666 International


Ocean Dynamics


Star Tales




The Universe Expands

G.U.T. 44

My Only Drug Is Madness


H.IV+ (Hoarse Industrial Viremia)


Krell Demo


How The World Came

To An End


Mantras – Venkovsky



Mars On Earth


In The Streams Of Inferno



Gott Ist Tot


Carnivore Mothermouth


7” EP


Threshold Of Pain


Pure Therapy


Sick Transit Gloria Mundi




Vae Solis


Squibb Vs. Squibb




Symptoms That You Are Alive


Start The Process



New Era Viral Order






The Delphic Doctrine


Doloris Corpus


Overture Macabre Demo


Blessed Sins


The Yawn Of The New Age

Imprint 73


The Early Beginnings

The purpose of this article is to convey some sense of the electronic / industrial metal scene’s

more potent highlights with respect to the more avant garde or ground breaking bands out

there. It is not meant as a comprehensive picture essay on the various tentacles of this most

rewarding of genres but rather an overview, with examples to offer the newcomer some starting

points to venture further.


I could have started with some pre-metal industrial electronica genre-founders (KRAFTWERK,

CAN, the whole krautrock scene, post-punk/new wave etc) but that would be beyond

the scope of this article. So I am starting the overview with output for the 1980’s when

elements of metal are recognizable in the industrial/electronic din.

The roots of electro-metal, like most other genres, are not agreed upon and there is an ongoing

debate on what initiated the movement. There are two distinct types to this, with as

usual, a few exceptions:

Industrial bands who added distorted guitars and metal structures

Metal / punk bands who added industrial /

electronic elements to their sound

A good example is KILLING JOKE. Formed in

1979, by their self-titled debut in 1980, they were

a potent and unique force to be reckoned with.

Angry yet danceable rhythms (the bass and drum

lock is unmatched ) with simple but dark distorted

chord sequences, all beautifully topped off with

one of the first punk utilizations of synthesizers

and pseudo-samplers made them a success with

the multitudes sick of traditional punk and hard

rock. Add the ranting vehement style of Jaz Coleman

and the controversial subject matter and imagery,

it is evident that they made a proto-type

that has been copied ad-infinitum. They later incorporated

a number of tribal and metal elements

to their sound, while remaining true to their original

vision and still exist (off and on) today.

Another early contender was BIG BLACK (led by

the infamous Steve Albini) who used a drum machine

and punishing guitar work to achieve a noisy nirvana hitherto unheard of in rock music.

Thought their recorded output is meager, it includes such seminal classics as Songs

About Fucking. Every spastic noise-core outfit and discordant industrial metal blast owes

them a huge debt.

A famous name is MINISTRY who started out in 1981-82 as a traditional

synth-wave band and continued like so till the Twitch LP

(1986) when Al Jougersen started incorporating his other influences

into the music. It became darker, harsher, more aggressive

and increasingly guitar based.. He continued this trend onwards to

eventually arrive at the downright industrial thrash of Psalm 69:

The Way to Succeed and The Way to Suck Eggs (1992). The lyrical

content also drastically changed over the years, becoming an outright

political stand against the evils of both the Bushs’ administrations,

before quitting for good in 2007.

The BUTTHOLE SURFERS came out with their self-titled EP in 1983. They are definitely the

strangest of the prototypes. Way more avant garde than the rest, they continued this insane

amalgamation of industrial/ electronica, noise-rock and punk well into the 2000’s (receiving

eventual semi-mainstream-college crowd acceptance along the way). But their 80’s output is

definitely their most abrasive and lunatic. And yes, the imagery has always been as sick as

the music.

SKINNY PUPPY (formed 1982) are another seminal act that has changed its output over the

years but there is always an element of industrial metal present in the sound. Even when

the guitars were minimal the sound was

denser, heavier and more haunting than

most metal bands (Mind: The Perpetual

Intercourse, Cleanse Fold and Manipulate).

The later ones added more metal and gothic

elements and to date they have never

released a bad record. There is a wealth of

weird synths and strange samples on all

their albums.

From their first EP, THE SWANS established

themselves as masters of repetitive

ugly noise rock. It was one of the few early

cases of a traditionally instrumented rock

band sounding more ‘industrial’ than most

electronic outfits. The pounding drums,

fuzzy bass, sludgy yet strangely funky

rhythms and Gira’s monotone baritone all

birthed countless imitators in the years to come. Later they experimented with gothic folk

and more traditional rock formats.

The second half of the eighties saw the rise of


KULT, bringing the sleazy fun element (and occult

imagery!!) back to an increasingly dark and morose

scene. Not that their post-apocalyptic lyrical

content and satanic imagery was any less disturbing,

but it had wit and you could groove to the

beats and riffs of I See Good Spirits and I See Bad

Spirits (1988). They kept morphing, but keeping

their evil sense of humor and the layers of electronica


At this point it seems necessary to mention the

iconic Wax Trax records, who have been responsible

for the distribution and popularity of a number

of electronic/rock/goth /metal bands who

dared to be different. They dominated most of 80’s

and 90’s with their roster of cutting edge artists. Sadly their output ventured more and more

towards the club scene in the late 90’s. They are all forgotten now as an Industrial AGM


Other bands who I cannot extrapolate on due to lack of time and space, but can be considered

integral and influential to the early scene include Cabaret Voltaire, PiL, Controlled

Bleeding, Throbbing Gristle, KMFDM, Front Line Assembly, Nitzer Ebb or Einsturtzende


The second wave of industrial metal or as some pundits put it: Industrial Metal properly

started towards the end of the 1980’s and the beginning of the 1990’s. To study the phenomena

we should look at the purveyors of this sound, who developed in isolation from each

other or in parallel.

At this point it would be prudent to mention some genres, which, while being beyond the

scope of the article, have had an immense impact on Electro Metal: Darkwave (the product

of coldwave, synth pop and gothic rock) became popular in the early 90’s (especially in

mainland Europe), finding widespread acceptance amongst dance-clubs and the goth subculture.

It also provided a fertile framework for some of the more open-minded metal musicians

to experiment with (limited cold guitar utilization, eerie samples, electro drum machines

and the juxtapositioning of angelic female vocals with harsh or growled male ones).

EBM (Electronic Body Music, an amalgamation of Industrial Music with arty synth punk)

also subtly but surely found favor with bands looking to expand their repertoire with electronic

intelligent and aggressive rhythms.

Two names immediately crop up when we

start looking into the of 90’s electro metal

phenomena: Godflesh and Foetus. GODFLESH

was Justin Broadrick’s main musical

output after his short but classic stint

in Napalm Death (with fellow sonic architect

G.C. Green). It was the marriage of

sludge guitar tonalities with a sub-heavy

bass sound and a pounding yet plodding

drum machine and topped off by Justin’s

hoarse shouting vocals. It essentially took

the Swan’s early sound to the next level.

From the first recorded outputs it was a

force to be reckoned with (Street Cleaner 1989, Slavestate 1991).

The early live performances gave new meaning to the word ‘harsh’.

As evolution took its toll, more and more guitar layers were added,

and each subsequent release displayed better production values,

with a clear drum ‘n’ bass influence in the last two records, as

well as Justin’s attempts of singing (Selfless 1994, Songs of Love

and Hate 1996). The band blossomed in critical acclaim and limited

commercial success. Numerous remix albums and EP’s kept

the ball rolling. 2002 saw the official and final dissolution of this

seminal band with Justin moving onto more generic post-rock

pastures (and a more varied fanbase) with Jesu.

On the other hand FOETUS (or connotation thereof), the brainchild

of Jim Thirwell started as an experimental rock outfit, with a

distinct preference for programmed beats and guitar riffs. But

unlike Godflesh the sound changed drastically over the releases,

with Thirwell bringing in guest musicians and a broad array of

instruments on each release. Between 1981 and 1988 a huge sonic

palette was covered by Thirwell in many guises. In the 1990’s there was a distinct maturing

of sound and production (Gash 1995) while remaining experimental industrial metal.

The adventurous nature of the music and the controversial subject matter ensured that

Foetus remained very much an underground phenomena and is still highly underrated

(Flow 2001 or Love 2005 barely break into anybody’s top ten lists, or even have-heard lists).

But if you are looking for a real underground avant-garde warrior this is a great place to


MALHAVOC, a Canadian band way ahead of its time started producing Electro/Industrial

metal in the mid-80’s and can be truly called original. They stayed at the fore of the movement

’till the early 90’s, when they incorporated much stronger electronic elements into

their sound and comparatively eased up the aggressive tendencies. They have a number of

releases and it is recommended to the avant garde metal connoisseurs to check out their

late 80’s and early 90’s stuff for some amazingly dysfunctional music (and trendsetting

themes such as serial killers, woods, witches and zombies – as concept albums, seriously!!).

Also from Canada, OBLIVEON started out as progressive thrash outfit (From This Day Forward

1990, Nemesis 1993) that eventually discovered space (and electronica) as documented

in its early stages on Cybervoid (1995) and sculpted to dark cyber perfection on Technocarnivore

Mothermouth (1999). Another one to search out for.

One other notable who took the ball from Godflesh and ran with it, were DEAD WORLD, an

underrated American outfit who produced three original and abrasive records (Collusion

1992, The Machine 1993, Thanatos Rising 1996) before fading into obscurity. The sound was

a single-minded pursuit of distorted bass and pounding yet mid-paced drum machines with

awkward samples, topped by some classic

sludgy death metal riffing and dissonance.

FEAR FACTORY started out as a extremely

precise death/grind outfit with great production

and a distinct lack of guitar wankery (Soul

of a New Machine 1992). They single-handedly

inaugurated the new wave of metal, keeping

the music catchy and mosh-able with some

subtle melodic hooks and a tastefully limited

use of samples and background synths. Initially

it was the precision of the music as well as

the slight fling with synthesizers that garnered

them the ‘industrial metal’ tag. But it was the

release of the Fear is the Mindkiller EP (remixes

from the Soul of a New Machine) that cemented

their position. The slightly more progressive

one two punch of the Demanufacture 1995 (a

dark cyber concept album of gigantic grooves) and the Remanufacture remixes set (gabber

metal anyone?!) was the absolute pinnacle of the band. After inspiring tons of sub-par nucore

outfits, the band joined the hordes by refusing to progress an iota further an eventually

broke up.

At this point mention must be made of Psalm 69 by

MINISTRY (see part 1 of this article for details)

which can be attributed with introducing a new

generation to the joys of the mixing of thrash riffs,

political sampling and blitzkrieg drum machines.

MISERY LOVES CO. was a Swedish outfit that

enjoyed limited success during alternative metal’s

heydays although being much heavier and darker

than that lot. Their self titled debut (1994) and the

subsequent EPs are a great mix of aggressive riffing

and programmed beats molded into some seriously

infectious songwriting.

In a less impressive but still widely influential manner NINE INCH NAILS introduced the

MTV generation to angst that you could dance to. From the first release it was clear where

NIN’s output was destined for with the artistic culmination of all Reznor’s musical worth in

The Downward Spiral. Since then he has been regurgitating the same song structures with

different names.

RED HARVEST were already a pretty disturbing

outfit upon their inception, with a sound

best described as

doom metal played

by robots


1992, There is

Beauty in the Purity

of Sadness 1993).

The Crowbar covering Kraftwerk shtick gradually gave way to a full fledged embracing of

extreme metal and industrial soundscapes resulting in some of the best and most out there

albums the genre has offered to date (Cold Dark Matter 2001, Sick Transit Gloria Mundi

2002). Lately though signs of redundancy have begun to appear.

STRAPPING YOUNG LAD exploded on the scene with their furious debut (though featuring

metal wise man Devin Townshend and drum god Gene Hoglan) but it was the cyber thrash

masterpiece City (1997) that cemented their position as miles ahead of the scene in sheer

ferocity and songwriting. Devin has since released a large number of albums under this

monicker and other names that effortlessly bring together industrial, progressive rock, melodic

metal and even dream-rock.

There is even a band catering to the more fetish-oriented consumer for this genre. I mean

THE GENITORTURERS who have stuck to their cock-metal gone industrial as envisioned

by De Sade formula and eventually even got David Vincent (yes that Vincent!) in their folds,

mostly due to his wife(!!) fronting the outfit. It’s an impressive run of albums and ‘interesting’

live shows that shows a band finding a formula and adhering to it.

The tail end of the decade saw widespread embracing of the industrial/ electronica aesthetic

by a number of European bands, many of whom had originally broken new ground with

black metal, often to the horror of the ‘troo’ crowd. Each interpreted the influence in a

unique manner, often resulting in some of the

most twisted sounds to come out of the genre.

THE KOVENANT started out as a typical black metal band destined with 2 records straight

for the bargain bins had they not suddenly had a industrial avant-garde revelation on their

third release (Animatronic 1999). Elements of thrash and electronica found place alongside

the more extreme metal influences to give birth to a unique cyber sound. S.E.T.I (2003)

found them further exploring space and synthesizers while remaining quite catchy. Their

new album is eagerly awaited by those who enjoy experimental metal worldwide.

ABORYM have been terrorizing the extreme metal community since 1999 (Kali Yuga Bizarre),

but they really found their own sound with Fire walk With Us (2001), a nearly perfect

mix of black metal and industrial elements. The next album (With No Human Intervention

2003) continued on a similar sonic path, and Generator (2006) has found them delving further

into insanity while still retaining their industrial black metal roots.

A band with a rather strange progression,

SAMAEL went from a basic satanic cult

black metal phenomena (Worship Him

1991, Blood Ritual 1992) to extreme metal

songwriters extraordinaire (Ceremony of

Opposites 1994, Rebellion EP 1995) to one of the leading lights of space metal (Passage

1996, Exodus 1998, Eternal 1999, Reign of Light 2004). They have constantly challenged

their fans with new concepts in cosmic/cyber metal composition, though their classic period

is widely acknowledged to be 1994 – 1999.

Some other black metal elite who have incorporated industrial and electronic elements in

their sound (to good or bad effect) include the raging yet cold MAYHEM (Grand Declaration

of War 2000) and the mind expanding ULVER (Themes from William Blake’s The Marriage of

Heaven and Hell 1998, Perdition City 2000).

It is highly recommended that the interested reader further researches the various bands

mentioned above, as well as digging deeper underground for the more obscure outfits that I

have not touched. Electro metal has developed immensely as a genre in the last 20 years or

so, with many off-shoots. But to further strengthen this most futuristic and forward thinking

of genres, we need to support the original and innovative artists and root out the commercial

pop rock masquerading under Electro/Industrial Metal’s banner. So listen and analyze

before spending your hard earned cash! As a rule of thumb, major record label hype is

almost always wrong.

Check the reviews sections for many currently active bands that are continuously morphing

the mold and carrying forward the flag of Electro Metal.

NOTE: A third installment of this article covering post 2000 bands of this ilk may or may not

appear depending on the planetary alignments in this sub-sector of the space – time continuum.



The Beauty And The Machine

Quite unnoticed the German [D]ekaden[Z],

who are around the underground culture

since 1998, have released their debut album

“Elektronoid” last year. The longplayer

features electrifying extreme metal with

dozens of weird electronic/industrial decoration

and an interesting lyrical concept.

Over the last decades the work with ingredients

of extreme metal and electronica has

become a challenge for musicians, who

want to go a few steps further than the

typical drums+guitar+bass+disgusting vocals

concept. Symptomatic for most “industrial-

metal” releases (beside very few exemptions

like ABORYM’s “With No Human

Intervention”) was their half-hearted realisation

and artistic weakness.

I have to admit that I don’t see in

[D]ekaden[Z] the revolutionaries of any genre

nor is their debut a classic, but at least

with “Mechatronik” and “Vom Untergang”

they created two pounding and cold roboter-

symphonies that made me just want

to grab my digital pen to do an interview

and learn more about their weird cosmos.

Singer L.O.S. and machinist “@noize” were

so kind to answer my questions.

polygon: Hello guys, greetings

from Latvia. How is

good old Germany doing

these days?

@noiZe: Hi there! Can’t say

what’s going on here these

days as we are currently too

busy working on our next

longplayer to recognise it. But

things are going very well for

us. Thanks for asking.

polygon: When I was a teenager

I sometimes used to

work in some factories in my

city. I really hated it, but it

was good and fast money.

However, in these days I felt

what “human alienation” was

all about. Being part of the

machine, the merciless system of money

accumulation. According to your

biography, “Eletronoid” deals with the

consequences of the technical and digital

revolutions. What exactly are the

outcomes of the last two decades development

for the evolution of human


@noiZe: That’s a good question, as we just

installed our 750GB divX player, full of

porn in our studio, 5min before. L.O.S.:

…and two zombie movies

@noiZe: No doubt, the Internet is a huge

step in evolution. When we grew up, there

were only analogue wired telephones, and

now the I-phone in our pocket connects

us to a world-wide collective 24h a day.

We’ve all become small cyborgs. We take

what the wire gives us.

L.O.S.: ..and what if this wire will be cut

one day?

@noiZe: And of cause Laboga guitar amps

are also a great invention in our century.

polygon: Your overall concept, e.g. lyrics,

outfits and music, has an obvious

connection to the “Brave New World”.

The way how you create your music, by

using sound software, programmed

drums and synthesizers, wouldn’t be

able without the rapidly developing

technical skills of mankind. On one

hand you have a critical eye on our today’s

situation, on the other hand you

don’t miss to use present advantages to

create your own visions. How does that

fit? If there is an alienation of human

being that should be criticised,

wouldn’t it make more sense just to sit

in the woods and smash some acoustic

drums to the melodies of a flute?

L.O.S.: That’s easy to answer as the question

is wrong. We don’t criticise the technical

revolution at all. If it all leads to the

destruction of us, that’s the way it has to

be, and that’s fine with us. @noiZe: Art

shouldn’t be critical in my eyes. We are

just painting pictures. Yes of course, our

paintings are not the nice looking ones.

Expressionism 2.0 maybe.

polygon: As you may have noticed our

webpage deals with vanguard art exclusively.

Since the launch of avantgardemetal.

com there has been a lively discussion

about what this term really

means and how one should define this

style (not to speak about its musical

genesis). My dictionary tells me that

“avantgarde” is originally a military

expression, which stands for the soldiers

in a battle who fight in the very

first row and who are supposed to die

first. Do you feel sometimes like a warrior

of the first row and how do you

define “avantgarde metal” for yourself?

@noiZe: I simply don’t want to define it.

For the warrior in the first row the whole

terrain is undefined. We are not making

music to be industrial, avantgarde or

whatever metal. I hate bands who are hiding

behind a genre. Definition leads to

routine and routine means death to the


L.O.S.: Those who put us into these genres

are the listeners. That’s OK….you may

do that if you want to, but we are only

making music.

polygon: Would you consider

[D]edaken[Z] to be part of this movement?

@noiZe: No, I don’t think we are. Maybe a

lot of our fans are part of this movement

and we like a lot of bands that are put

into this genre (Ram-Zet or Dagoba for

example), but music does not have to be

in a special genre to be interesting for me

and the most of our fans. Music should

create impressions and play with our feelings.

L.O.S.: It just has to feel good. Some feel

comfortable when they receive pain, some

when they fuck with groups of teenage

students and some when they are listening

to our music.

polygon: As far as I know, you started

as more or less common melody Black

Metal act. What music had an influence

on “Elektronoid”? Do you have any idea

where this journey might end?

@noiZe: Puh…can’t remember anymore.

Of course we are influenced by other

bands, feelings, weather, guitar amps,

drugs, sex or whatever, but you don’t

think about a why….that’s why we make

music. If you say: “Hey maybe in this

song, you must have been influenced by

this or that?”, I would say:

”Yeahh…maybe, but it’s not important to

me. Important is: There is this song and it

sounds good to us, and it makes us feel

like we wanted to feel, when we wrote it.”

L.O.S.: exactly…

polygon: Lets go once

more back to the digital

revolution. The Internet

offers a lot of

possibilities for musicians

like you and me.

Platforms such as or myspace

provide a meta-level

between artist and fan,

where nobody really is

dependent on a record

deal to spread his or

her ideas and visions.

It’s possible to reach a

lot of people in different

countries all over

the world. This might be

seen as the total freedom of expression.

Anyhow, I have very negative feelings

about music as “User Generated Content”.

The value of art is decreasing as

it is available at the push of a button.

For me one should invest some effort in

order to get music. One should walk

out into the city, or at least call a mailorder

and wait for something someone

worked hard for with pure devotion. At

least something should rotate when I

listen to music and it shouldn’t just

exist of bits and bytes.

What are your feelings towards the invention

of mp3 and “innovations” like

myspace? As far as I know you published

your album before the regular

release on CD in the Internet. Why did

you do that and what was your experience?

Will you continue to first provide

the music of [D]ekaden[Z] online?

L.O.S.: Yes you are right. I also prefer having

music on a real CD with nice jewel

case and booklet, but we have just entered

the next generation. Most people of

our generation have never seen a gramophone,

those of the next generation will

maybe never own a tape. The kids, growing

up today are downloading their music

via itunes on their ipod (we are not sponsored

by apple!!!) or their mobile and nobody

knows what comes next. We won’t

change that. Everything old will die one

day and something new will be created.

That’s evolution.

polygon: When I saw your live appearance

at the Nebelmond-Festival in

Germany (with avant-garde godfathers

ARCTURUS – lucky bastards!) after the

concert some of you guys were sitting

lazy on chairs to enjoy some of the

other bands. I remember thinking “These

guys take their concept very serious”.

Is there any esoteric idea behind

the name [D]ekaden[Z]? What does this

word mean to you and how does decadence

influence your lifestyle?

@noiZe: Decadence does not only influence

our live, but the live of everyone in

this time. It is the headline of our time

somehow. Just think how much money

you spent to stay alive and how much you

spent to live.

polygon: Do you get any inspiration

from philosophy and/or literature?

L.O.S.: You want me to say something like

Nietzsche, right? No I’m sorry. Reality is

the cruellest author. Of cause we like

philosophic literature but philosophy

teaches to make your own thoughts, not

to copy the ideas of other people. This is

called religion.

@noiZe: Would you ask a philosopher if he

is inspired by music?

polygon: What is the difference listening

to your songs being on angel dust

or in a sober condition?

@noiZe: Well, “elektronoid” was not written

to be used with angel dust. It was

written for LSD, but we realized that LSD

is no more up to date,

maybe we will produce

our next longplayer for

angel dust too. As limited

edition maybe.

L.O.S.: Just try it out, you

only need angel dust, sold

by your local dealer, and

“elektronoid”, sold by us.

polygon: What is the

reason for being before

death’s salvation?

L.O.S.: We are the once

who asked this question.

It is my job to ask it!!! 😉

@noiZe: Maybe the question,

maybe there is no

reason, but only the fact

that we are here.

polygon: What is there going on nowadays

in the [D]ekaden[Z]-camp? Are you

working on a new album? Please give

us a short overview about your future


@noiZe: After we just deinstalled some of

our band members, we are now working

hard on our second longplayer. I’ve mixed

down some previews of our preproduction

for you and the community, and you will

think that “elektronoid” sounds absurd

compared to it.

L.O.S.: [D]ekaden[Z] are currently only

@noiZe and me, and I really have to say

things are working much better now. No

compromises any more, no more discussions,

the music we make is just what

comes directly out of our minds. @noiZe is

now playing guitar, and that’s why we are

writing our songs with guitars, drums and

vocals first. The synths are added later.

That has the amazing effect, that we just

add parts to our songs, that are sounding

like the sense of my lyrics, even if they are

only played on guitar. We always tried to

achieve this by using synths, in the past.

When we now add the synthesizers, the

orchestra or the digital drums, everything

sounds so extreme, that you know what

the song is about, even without vocals.

@noiZe: After we have finished song writing

and preproduction, we will record the

album. This will be around spring 2008.

We are happy that we

got an endorsement

with Laboga for guitar

amps. Also we are looking

forward to have a

real drummer for the

recordings. We are currently

looking for musicians

(2nd guitars, bass,

drums) for live performance.

Last words to you!

@noiZe. If you can read

this you have reached

the end of this interview!

What comes next

in your life?



NSK Zagreb

LAIBACH LIVE at Tvornica Jedinstvo,

Zagreb (Croatia) on November 23rd


Yes, Laibach finally released a new album

last year, it was a real twist in the whole

story, just as some expected. Just as usually

they managed to raise some people’s

temper by incorporating the ex-

Yugoslavian anthem “Hej Slaveni” (“Hey

Slavs”) into their “Slovania” track. This

resulted in some minor accusations of

Laibach suffering from yugonostalgia and

being obsessed by communist ideas, the

ideology of the same system which accused

them of being Nazi some twenty

years ago. An interesting history was given

to us by this controversial and eccentrical

band…and they started touring this year,

you might still catch them if you haven’t.

Some half an hour before the beginning of

Laibach’s performance some old yugoslavian

(partisan) songs sung in Slovenian

were played, whereas the last song being

played was the Croatian anthem (they

usually play the anthem of the country

where they are performing on this tour).

Of course all the people were quite confused,

one half held their hand (occupied

by beer) on their hearts, the other half

were just standing still not knowing how

to react. After this weird gesture the “Volk”

crew came on stage and started performing.

This was my first Laibach concert (I

missed 3 opportunities up till now), this

time they were touring to promote their

great new album named “Volk”. Those

who are informed know that “Volk” deals

with the achievements and meanings of

some larger and smaller (but not less important)

nations of the world. Their performance

started off with “Germania”, the

first track on their new album. Just as

expected from a known band, they had

two video projectors on the stage, enhancing

their performance by various inserts

from their music videos or some rather

hypnotizing playing around with their new

“V” symbol and flags of various countries.

To cut the setlist part short: most of the

“Volk” songs were played with the exception

of “Italia”, “Nippon”, and “Vaticanae”.

Now you want a few words about the atmosphere?!

The feelings of the concert?![

Well it’s sometimes very hard to squeeze

such a wide range of emotions on a sheet

of paper, as they range from cynicism and

satirical notes on “Anglia” and “America”

to some kind of weird euphoria

on tracks like “Espana”,

“Yisra’el” and


Every song/anthem possesses

it’s own mood, it

holds a certain amount

energy which moves or

tranquilizes the masses.

My personal favorite is

“Anglia”, a very bass driven

and intense track great for

live performance; I was

enjoying so much I almost

had a self-inflicted trip 😉

like the ones people get on

various dub gigs. A great

surprise was how the

whole new album doesn’t

get stripped off while preformed live, like it

happens to some bands, bit it’s rather

added a new feeling, it somehow seems

more powerful and energic live. As I mentioned,

the first part of the concert was

enhanced by the screening of flags and

symbols of various countries they sang

about, always combined with the “Volk”


In the break between the performances

the NSK anthem was played and a message

encouraging people to become a part

of NSK were screened. The second part

brought a slight lineup change: the

drummer was missing, their guest on

“Volk” Boris Benko, was also gone, but the

well known and loved percussionists Eva

and Nataša were ready to handle their

snares and cymbals, as well as the majority

of the male audience As you might have

guessed they continued with “Tanz mit

laibach”, and other hits like “Alle gegen

Alle” or “Das Spiel ist aus”. From the very

beginning of “Tanz…” to the Laibach medley

aka. Turbo-Volk Mix (by iTurk) the

crowd was dancing, mostly each person

for himself within his half square meter. I

was only truly disappointed because the

setlist of the second part was mostly taken

from “WAT”, and all the older songs were

incorporated in the medley. It seems that

everyone who wants to see Laibach live,

also wants to hear their track “Opus Dei”,

in my case it wasn’t such a huge disaster

(eventhough I love the song), as I was

burning to hear “Geburt einer Nation”, but

life is life, and we don’t always get everything

we want.

Laibach is definitely one of those bands

who sounds even more powerful live than

in studio, even if you omitted the video

screen, the lightshow and the female percussionists,

you would be still left one of

the greatest shows, of one of the most

controversial bands to come out of Europe

and such a small country as Slovenia.

Laibach do not believe in individualism

and being original, as they are obviously

aware of how hard it is to be original these

days, but the way they interpret certain

themes and motives (anthems, songs)

shows a great skill of sending a message

of PEACE or protest wrapped in their

unique style and never failing to find the

right context.. Oh…and Laibach isn’t one

of those bands…Laibach….Laibach is Laibach….

tumtum tum tu-tuuuum

Photos by Shelley Jambresic –

thanks a lot for permission!




The Kings Of Space Metal Opera

Did you ever wonder how it would sound if

epic progressive metal unified with exquisite

synthesizers and electro sounds in the

vein of 1970ies pioneers like Jean Michel

Jarre or Vangelis? And instead of a lead

singer there was a whole classical choir

performing the lyrics? Then DOL AMMAD

definitely will become one of your greatest

favourites ever.

When I first listened to them one year ago I

was totally blown to another dimension

somewhere in the mighty depths of space.

DOL AMMAD create unique,

innovative music, epic

landscapes of crystallizing

sound. At the same time

they manage the legerdemain

of writing very

catchy songs with big hit

potential. The 21st century

of metal has begun now.

And DOL AMMAD show

how the future may look

like. So enter the intergalactic

spaceship and beam

to the planet of Thanasis

Lightbridge, creative head

and visionary of these

mighty towers reaching up

to the stars…

Thanasis, you‘ve just returned from

military service two months ago. Despite

being at the army you found your

own label Electronicartmetal Records

and released your second masterpiece

“Ocean Dynamics”. How did you manage

these musical activities during this

whole year as a soldier? Was it difficult

for you to promote “Ocean Dynamics”?

Has military been an important experience

for you personally or just a waste

of time? How short is your hair now?

The last year has been hard for me, both

with the problems with our previous record

label going bankrupt and with my

imminent army duties.

I am afraid the military service is still obligatory

here in Greece and

although now it lasts 12

months (it used to be 3 years

in my father’s days), it is still a

distracting factor in a man’s

career and life, an obstacle

that if you aren’t willing to

take your chances by wearing

a blonde wig and act gay, you

have to go through the hard


As an experience it makes you

test yourself under strange

situations, living without your

comforts, away from your music, sleeping

in a room with 60 unknown smelly guys,

etc. It basically forces you to respect and

appreciate all the tiny things in your everyday

life that you take for granted.

Thankfully throughout my service I met a

lot of new friends and this for me is the

only thing that made this time worthwhile.

I hope Greece will start investing more

money on education and social welfare

than the military.

I miss my hair, I was long-haired for

about 10 years and cutting it short after

all this time was a strange experience! I

scare myself every time I look in the mirror

;-P Thankfully my hair grows back

quickly, it is all over my eyes now already!

Through all this craziness of the last 12

months I had prepared our second album

with Dol Ammad and was very anxious

how and what to do to promote it. I suppose

forming a personal record label was

always in the back of my mind since this

music is so unique and “different”, it requires

total artistic freedom and an innovative

vision that very few labels display

today. So once again I chose the hard way,

formed “Electronicartmetal Records” and

never looked back! It may be TONS of

more work to do but it is really worth it. I

have direct contact with the fans, the distros

and the media and it is a very satisfying

experience. Due to the limited free

time I had in the army I couldn’t explore

my new label to its full potential, but now

I am back, I am psyched and

working as hard as possible

to expand its capabilities.

“Ocean Dynamics” is one of

the most visionary albums

I’ve ever been able to enjoy.

On one hand it’s very

innovative and independent.

On the other hand it’s

extremely catchy and has

got a big hit potential. Can

you imagine that Electronic

Art Metal could become

music for the masses one day in the

future? How have the reactions of the

media and fans been so far?

Thank you for your kind remarks, I am

honoured that you feel this way about my

music! It’s true that although I try to create

something really different and experimental,

at the same time I don’t want to

end up with music that is inaudible and

would only serve as an experimental salad

in a museum 😛 I don’t know however if

Electronica Art Metal will ever be music

for “the masses” but that doesn’t really

concern me as I rarely seem to agree or

act in conjunction with what “the masses”

think and do. I make music basically for

my own pleasure and for other adventurous

co-travellers that I discover along

the way! Only with these devoted friends

is this journey of music discovery worthwhile

and doesn’t end up being just some

shallow music with lifestyle-strings attached.

Can you tell us more about the lyrical

concept of “Ocean Dynamics”? In her

review Katja speculated that it could be

a Journey from outer space into our

solar system and finally descending

into the oceans of planet earth. In other

articles I’ve read that it’s a sciencefiction

concept about a water planet.

What’s really the story behind? Is it

somehow connected to the concept of

your debut “Star Tales”?

Yes, just as in “Star

Tales”, the lyrics of

“Ocean Dynamics” are

science fiction stories

but this time themebased

around the liquid

element, the power of

the seas. I live in a seadominated

country and

city so the liquid element

is vital for my life.

I really can’t imagine

myself living away from

the sea. The “Thalassa

Dominion” story that

mainly dominates the

album is about an

aquatic race living in a

water planet. They are

the spores of an ancient

space tribe whose actions resulted in the

devastation and corruption of the liquid

element through the eras. This time I

worked together with a good friend who

writes these kinds of short-stories and we

had a great time coming up with aquatic

space themes! I like to have a different

“theme” for each album although I must

confess that I am not such a fan of lyrics

in general. I rarely read the lyrics in

bands’ booklets; I always focus on the

music no matter if the band speaks about

cosmic epic battles or how to make a

cheesecake ;-P However, I am a sucker for

all things sci-fi related so I think that my

music will always have a space flavour.

DOL AMMAD is a huge collective consisting

of a 14 member classical choir,

2 session members on vocals and

drums, 2 band members on guitars and

bass and finally Thanasis Lightbridge,

yourself, as the mastermind. To what

extent would you call DOL AMMAD a

band? How much are the others involved

in the creative process? Are you

doing all the songwriting and arrangements

alone or do the others take part

in that?

Dol Ammad is not a band in the typical

form. I don’t distinguish members as “session”

or “band” members. It is true that I

compose all the music and control everything

in the creative process but this

doesn’t diminish the role of any of the

participants. I like to think of Dol

Ammad’s albums as movies where I am

the director and the rest of the guys and

girls are actors and technical crew! I have

a personal dream

and vision with my

music, but you need

people to make the

dream come true. I

am grateful that I

work with such talented


Is it difficult to

work with so many

musicians? You

have to do lots of

coordination and

motivation work. Is

this something

that goes easy for


It can be difficult to

coordinate all those people and arrange all

the parts but I like the challenge. Through

this process I have learned a lot and already

in “Ocean Dynamics” I used experience

I had gained in “Star Tales” to make

the job better and easier. However I do

plan to user a more compact group of

people for the third Dol Ammad album.

The choir consists of 7 women and 7

men. Do they sing exclusively for DOL

AMMAD? Or are they a professional

choir that also does other performances?

Most of them are professional choristers

and soloists in various choirs and solo

acts in Greece. Some are even teachers of

solo and choral singing and most have

participated in the biggest opera and

symphonic events in Greece. I am privileged

to be surrounded by

such great musicians.

Great musicians and also

very good looking, at

least when it comes to

the women. Did the optical

aspect play a certain

role in your choices? Or

did you spice up the

band picture with some

photo models ;-P? Or is it

just that Greek women

look very beautiful in

general for the eyes of

North Europeans?

Hehe, of course Greece has very beautiful

women and the band picture actually depicts

the singers and not some models!

LOL! But I understand your point of view

since when I visit Northern Europe I think

that all the women are amazingly beautiful

there! You see we are more used to

brunette – brown eyed beauties and feel

that blue eyes – blonde hair are more

“exotic” , so this must have

the vice-versa effect on you

;-P But to get back to the

music, beauty has and

should have nothing to do

with singing skills and

music nature of a person

and a band. I am totally

against the countless

bands seeking pretty faces

to front their band. I mean

why should I buy a musically

shallow CD just because

they have a great

looking girl on the covers,

videos etc? This is targeted

to brain-less listeners and

shares the same principles

as all those advertisements

that display babes and

sexual innuendos in everything

from yoghurt to car

tyres! I want nothing to do

with that and I wish the same for our listeners


You came into contact with drummer

Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody, Sieges Even)

through a common friend. What made

you choose him, especially since you

are a drummer yourself? Was it difficult

to convince him for DOL AMMAD? Will

he also play on your future releases?

Especially since I am also a

drummer and drums are my

second biggest passion after

synthesizers, I wanted the

best possible drums for my

music. Alex Holzwarth was

a hero to me for many years

and didn’t think twice when

I had the chance to get in

contact with him. It wasn’t

difficult to convince him; he

just requested to check the

music first. I was honoured

by his participation and I

hope to work again with him

in the future as he is a great

person and phenomenal drummer!

Some people see similarities between

DOL AMMAD and Rhapsody, because

the drumming of Alex is so characteristic.

What do you think about that?

It is true that in the power metal songs of

Dol Ammad there are similarities in the

playing style of the drums but this can be

said for any power metal band.

We are also often told that Dol

Ammad have similarities with

Therion due to the use of a

choir. I am a fan and respect

both of these bands but I think

that Dol Ammad are doing

something totally different. What

will always distinguish us are

the use of electronics and the

adventurous compositions,

things that I don’t ever plan to


For “Star Tales” the drums of

Alex Holzwarth have been produced

in Germany’s Gate Studio.

In the photo album on

your webpage you are drinking

a Kakao in Porschestrasse 1 in

Wolfsburg and also have some

fun with the bears of Berlin.

How did you like Germany?

Haha! Oh yes, I had a great time in Germany!

I stayed there for 2 weeks and it

was awesome! I visited Wolfsburg,

Gifhorn, Berlin, Hamburg and Hanover. I

have lots of friends there, I cooperate with

German musicians and German companies,

and I feel very close to this country!

If only I had the time to learn the language…!

As for the Kakao, people who

know me are aware that I drink more milk

than water ;-P

So the next DOL AMMAD album probably

will become a concept album about

a milk planet ;-)?

LOL! Great idea! In fact I always look for

something to honour the great existence of

milk. Maybe I should write a song like

“Calcium” or “Dominion of the Holy Cows”

(In 14 parts) ;-P

Can you tell us how you manage the

whole recording process? For “Star Tales”

you’ve recorded some parts in

Germany. For “Ocean Dynamics” did

you do everything in your own studio –

recording, mixing and mastering? Has

the choir been recorded as a whole with

some stereo microphones or each singer


Yes, in “Ocean Dynamics” all the production

took place in my studio in Thessaloniki,

Greece. I used various techniques for

the choir and for this album I think it is

easy to notice that the recording quality is

better than the debut. I like to record both

the whole and each voice separately (3 to

4 people at a time). For the third album I

plan to use some new techniques I have

come up with.

The sound of “Ocean Dynamics” is

marvellous. Do you have lots of highend

technique in your studio? Or are

you one of those clever producers who

manage to create excellent sound with

small and cost-effective technical

means? How does your studio look


Thanx! I have some high-end equipment

but they are nothing compared to huge

commercial studios. In my studio I work

together with my good friend Argy Stream

with whom we share a common passion

for detail and fidelity. We take care of

every little detail and use various techniques

that in the end give you a great

result without having to sell your house

just to buy that special esoteric pre-amp!

Having said that, the studio is always

expanding and upgrading and we are

now open to creative bands or musicians

who’d like to use our experience and

equipment for their work. I get this request

a lot so I will soon also post photos

of the studio in our website.

You are influenced by the great synthesizer

pioneers of the 1970ies like Jean

Michel Jarre or Vangelis. Do you use

some original analog gear from those

times like Arp or Moog? Or do you

mostly work with software plugins?

What do you think about all the new

software emulations of analog gear?

I have analog and virtual-analog synthesizers

which I love! I am not a big fan of

plugins and soft-synths although I do use

them a lot also. I think in the recent years

the quality of soft synths has been greatly

improved but I believe more in the power

of software libraries than just software for

analog emulations. If you’ve grown up

with MIDI and hands on control of a synthesizer

I don’t think you’ll ever be fully

satisfied by a plugin and a mouse or even

with a controller having to map everything

and create scenes etc. Although I do use

all the latest technologies and stay up to

date with the music tech progress, I witness

that I tend to go back to simpler and

older techniques the last years. I think

that it is easy to lose control with technology

and to miss the whole point of music


Yes, that’s absolutely true. Many musicians

are loosing themselves in gearslutting

and drown in the new possibilities

that modern technology offers

them. But even if you are using your

gear wisely it can rob you much time.

You told me that you

had a computer crash

in your studio that

blocked your work

for weeks. Do you

sometimes wish to

make music purely

without having to dig

between countless

cables, plugs, knobs

and electronic labyrinths?

Maybe like in

the past when composers

had a piano,

some sheets of paper

and then gave the

scores to an orchestra?

Or like in the

future when the


(a vision of

TT/Abigor) makes

the music stream

directly from your

head out of the loudspeakers?

LOL! Head-to-midi?! I

would prefer Head-to-CD-Factory but we’ll

have to start from somewhere ;-P Seriously

though we as mankind are really in our

very early baby-steps in technology and

have a lot way to go. Yes, I had an unfortunate

and simultaneous crash in 2 of the

3 computers in the studio and I had some

difficult 3 weeks trying to save the work

and bring back order into chaos. Thankfully

nothing was lost except for the time

delay and some thousands nerve-cells in

my brain. It is true that I push these machines

to their extremes but you should

never count and rely 100% on them. I

think back-up and restoration plans

should be top priorities in computer environments.

I am not sure if the composers

of the past were always fully satisfied by

the way their “tools” performed their music,

a “crash” in an orchestra would be

maybe a drunken violinist ;-P

I do sometimes wish I could make music

more easily and every time I play on a

classical piano I am amazed by its purity

and natural form. However I am afraid I

am trapped forever in my electronic labyrinths

and there is no turning back now…

You also like Mike Oldfield. I think you

both share this peaceful, positive mood

in your songs and also the catchy melodies.

Did you ever think about experimenting

with folk or classical instruments

like him? Maybe not for DOL

AMMAD, but for other projects?

Oh yes, in Dol Theeta! There is a lot of

experimentation with ethnic instruments,

mainly bagpipes, violins, flutes. I love the

sound of bagpipes it is the most captivating

folk instrument in the world. I also

plan to make a sample library of a great

Greek folk instrument when I have the

time. It is an instrument that few people

know in the world and of course there are

no libraries for it. I have found a great

player of this instrument and when I have

time we will meet in the studio to construct

a virtual instrument for it!

Can you tell us more about DOL THEETA?

You will also play drums for it. And

your homepage says that it will concentrate

on your meditative and atmospheric

sides. When can we expect

the debut album? And what can we expect?

Yes I also play the drums in Dol Theeta

and it is turning out a HUGE album! I

thought it would be an easier pro duction

compared to Dol Ammad and everyone

was like “ok, now you are 3 people only,

this production will be shorter” but the

songs are very lengthy, deep in emotions

and feelings and have tricky orchestrations.

I am not even sure what to expect of

the debut album… Just like with “Star

Tales” we will start from somewhere to try

to find ourselves through it. The plan for

Dol Theeta was conceived when I started

infusing lots of meditative and softer/

ambient parts in Dol Ammad and

didn’t feel satisfied with it… I mean I want

Dol Ammad to be in one word “EPIC”! So I

decided that electronica-art-metal must be

portrayed by more than one band and

thus Dol Theeta was born. I am really

happy with the result and also very anxious

to see what the final outcome will be.

The music is so narcotic, you dive into the

songs and sometimes you dive too deep it

gets scary…It is an electrifying inner journey

that defies limits and structures.

You are going to do a video clip for it.

Can you reveal anything about it?

Yes I think I can now reveal the first steps

of the Dol Theeta world. I have decided to

release a single before the full album. The

single will be for a song called “Goddess”

and it will also include our first ever video

clip! We are currently working on the

Graphics for the video with the help of my

greatest friend who is an expert in Computer

Programming. I am really excited to

see the final result!

And did you ever think about creating a

“negative twin” of DOL AMMAD with a

dark and dissonant basic mood? I mean

you already had some dramatic, furious

and dissonant parts on “Ocean Dynamics”.

But in general the mood is very

positive and makes you feel good and

optimistic even in dark hours.

Of course! It is the third “Dol” in the world

of Electronica – art- metal, a third project

that will appear in the near future! There

was an innuendo about it in my message

on our website when I announce Dol

Theeta but few people noticed it ;-P Anyway,

yes I have a VERY darker side which

I can’t wait to express and share with our

friends. It is when this third “Dol” project

comes out that our listeners will finally

have the total picture of my music and

understand my vision. All I can say now is

that it will be something really extreme,

an audio-violence experience that will

amaze and shock you!

Will this probably go a bit into the direction

of “Thalassa Dominion IV”?

There are several very dramatic and

dissonant parts in this song and also

some hyperspeed blastbeats?

Yes there will be inhuman blastbeats in

this darker project but it will be nothing

like Thalassa Dominion IV, you really haven’t

heard anything like this before… If

Dol Ammad sound unique, then this is

ages more alien to the ears. It is an audio

violence that scares the hell out of all my

friends when they visit me while I work on

this stuff ;-P Imagine the cruellest grindgore

death metal band but with an electronica

speedcore instrumentation! But

that’s for the future to come… 😉

You seem to be a very spiritual man. I

read somewhere that you are practising

Yoga and also have a certain interest in

topics like astrology. What do you

think about so called esotericism? Of

course you can also choose another

word for it, since “esotericism” has

been misused a lot within the past decades.

I am a man that thinks a lot, in every second

of my life my brain is in constant

thoughts and ideas and in day-dreamimaginations.

I often suffer from insomnia,

megalomania and lack of concentration

into what is known as “real life”. I

always compare everything that happens

to mega-cosmic and micro-cosmic scales

and this can be very tiring sometimes especially

when you try to relax. I am very

interested in Yoga but not so much in

astrology. Maybe you confused it with

astronomy which is a fascinating science.

Regarding esotericism, as in knowledge

that few can grasp and remember, I think

we are heading towards ages of esotericism

since the huge clueless masses are

undereducated in a world where

knowledge is so freely and easily available.

You can see it in all aspects of life, music

– art – politics – society. An elite-few in a

world of zombies…

With mega-cosmic and micro-cosmic

scales to you mean thinking in fateful

analogies? Like e.g. bears escape from

the zoo in several American cities and

at the same time a bear market arises

at the New York Stock Exchange? And

you think there may be a secret relationship

between those coincidences,

an analogical relationship between microsphere

and macrosphere?

Yes and no at the same time. Even the

words “Yes” and “No” which often carry

the result of a decision can be a microsphere

and macrosphere respectively. My

mind drifts helplessly through thoughts

like when I make a cup of coffee at the

same time a supernova blasts a star into

shock waves of energy. This fusion was

the result of years of the star’s aging under

which star a centipede on earth is

devouring a rat or a mother scorpion is

carrying its first scorplings on her back.

It’s this constant zoom-ins and outs

that go on inside me…I can’t know

if they mean anything or if there

is a secret relationship between

them… It would be scary if there


Can insomnia be an inspiring

state of mind for you? Do you

often create music while being

sleepless and overtired? Or is it

more a state of mind where you

cannot concentrate on proper

musical work anymore?

Yes I am creative when I am tired

and stressed. But it starts to have

an impact on my health, I can’t

remember the last time I was relaxed


You said you aren’t a big fan of

song lyrics. What about books?

Do you have any favourite authors?

Or do you prefer sound

over word in general?

Oh no, I love books! My favourite

authors are Douglas Adams and

Phillip Pullman. I just don’t pay

that much attention to words

when I listen to music. It is a

whole different experience. I do prefer to

listen to music in my free time but I often

try to steal some time for a good book also.

The South Park version of the famous

DOL AMMAD band picture is great. Are

you a South Park fan or did you just

like the idea of having a funny caricature

of DOL AMMAD? Which musician’s

cartoon do you like most? I think DC

Cooper is portrayed very well.

Yes I love South Park! Our good friend

Ntennis Papakostas had this idea to do a

South Park version of Dol Ammad using

online software that someone has created.

Ntennis sent me an email asking for my

permission and for some details of the

members! Like who have blue eyes etc! I

think he did an amazing work and reproduction

of the entire band but I can’t stop

laughing with Alex Holzwarth and his

bongos! I also like my lightsaber ;-P

Okay, Thanasis, thank you a lot for the

very pleasurable conversation. I am

sure we’ll talk again soon on your

forthcoming works in 2008. The last

words belong to you.

Thank you Chrystof and the rest of the

AGM crew for the amazing support and

pure friendship! It was an honour and one

of the best interviews I’ve experienced. I

would also like to thank all our fellow music

travellers and to ask their patience for

the upcoming Dol Theeta releases. Various

reasons beyond my powers made it

impossible for me to make a 2007 release.

What I can promise is that in the first

months of 2008 you will be presented with

a massive album. A huge music adventure

of space melodies and inner emotions that

I am sure you’ll love. To my ears it feels

like the best music I’ve written so far in

my life. I wish you all the best for the New

Year, may you live free and happy and

may you never stop dreaming! Space on!





Warrior On The Edge Of Time

There are many bands and artists currently

proclaiming to be the advance guard of

metal, and many more being heralded as

such by the critics and the fans. But once

past the hype and upon listening to the

music, few seem deserving of such praise.

Everything has been done and done better

before it seems. Once in a while a light of

pure artistic vision permeates this quagmire,

bringing forth a truly orginal sound

and taking metal places it has’nt been before.

One such visionary is Jeff aka Carrier Flux,

a studio project that embraces diversity,

heaviness and darkness in its multifaceted

sound. It refuses to be pigeonholed,

instead bounding forward into the unknown

with each release. Jeff has unleashed

2 killer albums to date and is

presently hard at work on the third one. I

am especially excited beacuase he gives

very few interviews and this a sort of exclusive.

First of all, kudos on releasing an

amazingly original and diverse extreme

metal album in In Waste (2002).

Though more than 5 years old now, it

still sounds fresh and cutting edge today,

the true mark of all great music.

How long have you been playing music?

What band(s) were you playing in before

Carrier Flux ? Did you align yourself

with any particular scene?

I’ve been writing and recording music for

about 16 years. I started by recording

songs on a four track with a drum machine,

and when I was about 16 I joined a

thrash band who I played with for about a

year. A couple years later I also started

playing in a band called cold colors, a melodic

metal band from Minneapolis. Some

time after that, I performed with and recorded

a few albums in a dark ambient

group called Vedisni. Throughout all of

this I was slowly working out the ideas

that became Carrier Flux. I never aligned

myself with any particular scene, but

when Carrier Flux first started evolving, I

was definitely most influenced by black


What inspired you to form Carrier Flux

? Did the freedom and focus of having a

100% solo project have something to

do with it?

The project first started out as a means to

get ideas down on tape, but I found myself

finishing songs and eventually albums;

and began to really enjoy the act of concentrating

all my energy on making music

with no distractions. There’s always a

trade-off when doing everything yourself of

gaining freedom but losing input from

other artists, but I’ve found that working

on my own is the best way for me to be


What were your thoughts (as best you

can recall) during the recording of the

band’s debut , Introspective Nighmare

(2000) ? Did you acheive the goals you

set out to acheive? One can hear the

beginnings of a very original sound,

part Death/Black Metal, part gothic /

death folk, and part industrial metal.

When I was fleshing out the ideas for that

album I was listening to a lot of industrial

and blackmetal. I really wanted to mix the

two without compromising the emotional

content of either style. I didn’t have any

specific goals, other than to make interesting

music that conveyed a certain feeling.

I’d like to think I achieved those goals.

The transition of sound between the first

and second album in terms of production

and composition is astounding. Was

2000-2002 a period of major musical progression

for you?

In between the first and second albums, I

just had a lot more focus on what I wanted

to accomplish. I made a few gear purchases,


made improvements at using what I had.

How has your recording set-up changed

over the years ? What is your basic rig,

in terms of hardware and software?

I’ve very gradually improved my setup by

purchasing equipment when I can afford

it. I try to keep things pretty basic as far

as gear goes. A couple of decent mics, a

couple synths, a good mic preamp, a

hardware compressor and EQ, and a good

guitar rig are pretty much all I rely on

besides software. One major improvement

I made since the recording of the first two

albums, was purchasing a Mesa guitar

amplifier. I was using a solid-state amp

previously, and I believe the new recordings

I’m working on have a much fuller

sound, partially as a result of this.

When Black Lotus folded up, was it a

tough period for you?

Things had gone sour with Black Lotus

before they started having problems, so

this really wasn’t an issue for me.

Seeing that you have offered both your

albums for free download, despite being

available on CD, what are your

thoughts on the internet’s impact on

music and the music industry?

Well first off the major labels have to get

their shit together and work with the Internet

instead of against it. Charging a

dollar per song on iTunes is ridiculous,

and the RIAA suing its consumer base

absolutely has its head up its ass. People

will pay for music if there is a reasonable

distribution method, and a reasonable

price being charged for the product.

As far as the impact that the Internet has

had on music, it’s a really tough question.

Many lesser-known groups have had an

easier time getting their music out to the

fans who want to hear it, and at the same

time many groups have lost money due to

music piracy. From my perspective music

is art, and shouldn’t be made with the

promise of financial reward in the first

place. The minute the integrity of the

group is compromised for the sake of selling

more records, is the moment where

artistic vision and creativity are strangled

and destroyed. So in that frame of mind I

almost see sucking money out of the system

as a good thing. Obviously it would be

fantastic to make a living off music, but

that’s difficult to do without ignoring the

artistic aspect of the music. So I have

hope that the Internet may inadvertently

restore some sense of integrity to modern


Can you give us some details about

your distribution deal with CDBaby ?

I do recommend CDBaby to independent

artists. They’ve been easy to deal with and

help a great deal with online distribution.

Basically they sell the CDs you’ve pressed,

and distribute your album to online subscription

services, and grant you a very

reasonable Cut of the profits. Ultimately I

definitely prefer working with a label,

however CDBaby is definitely a good option.

Will Carrier Flux ever expand into the

band format, and is there a possibility

of this metal madness ever being taken

to stage?

I don’t like to speak in absolutes, but for

now the plans for the project are only to

record as much music as possible. I may

incorporate other musicians but it will be

a while before any sort of live act comes to


Given the excellent variety of vocals on

all your songs, who are your biggest

influences in terms of vocals? Also,

which bands inspired you start making

your own music?

My biggest influences on vocals were

probably early Arcturus and Ved Buens

Ende. At the very beginning of my creative

ventures back in the early 90s, my influences

were probably Sepultura, Megadeth,

Slayer, and Primus.

Having heard the new demo, Carrier

Flux again seems to be expanding its

sonic palette. Where do you expect to

see your project in 5 -10 years?

I really have no plans other than to keep

making music. I want to keep the project

unique, but not try and force originality at

the cost of writing cohesive music.

Are you involved in any other projects

at the moment ?

Right now I’m working with a thrash

band, and an industrial group. I’ve also

been dabbling with a few different styles

other than those, but carrier flux remains

my primary focus.

Any other cutting edge metal outfits

you would recommend to our readers ?

There are far too many to list, but lately

I’ve been listening to Skeletonwitch,

Defleshed, Genghis Tron, Windir, Evoken,

Skepticism, Esoteric, Sonata Arctica, and

Strapping Young Ladd. I’ve been really

getting into thrash and funeral doom lately.

Doom metal seems to be where it’s at

these days to avoid commercialism. Bands

like Tyranny, Skepticism, Evoken, and

Esoteric have a really legitimate feel to

them; and obviously put their music before

their image.




Fire Walk With Us

Release: 2001

Label: Scarlet / SPV

Avantgenre: A Gross Mélange Of Satanic Industrialsoundscapes

And Disruptive Black Metal

Duration: 51:33

Origin: Italy

Official site:


Rome: Center of the Catholic Church and

domicile of the pope. This devotional ambience

is not supposed to be the right

place to deliver a satanic and misanthropic

Black Metal-Band. But maybe it is exactly

the Holy Ghost who surrounds the

Italian metropolis, which gave birth to the

blasphemous, and in every sense insurgent

character of Aborym. “Fire Walk With

Us” is the second opus of this druginfluenced

cartel. In my eyes it represents

the bible of industrialised, modern and (to

satisfy this website) vanguard Black Metal.

From the very beginning this album attracts

the attention of the victim. The

comparatively transparent production

creates a futuristic and clinical atmosphere.

A dominant element of the sound is

the drum machine, which is well programmed

and demonstrates the musical

talent of these Romans. Driven by the

digital drums, the guitars celebrate an

ecstatic orgy of modern Black Metal in

every track (beside the techno-like “Here

Is No God S.T.A.”). Most tracks are quite

complex, but the guitar-magicians Nysrok

and Sethlands manage to keep the flow in

every second on “Fire Walk With Us”.

Songs like “Our Sentence” and “Total

Black” are charged with fast tremolopicking

as well as meditative staccato riffs

and dramatic, monumental and opera-like

guitar eruptions. You will find no single

arrangement on this record which appears

artificial: The compositions seem to have

been written millennia ago by a metaphysical

entity and Aborym, in the year 2000,

only represents the earthly tool to create

what ever existed.

The prophet of these transcendent visions

is Attila Csihar, notorious for his work

with “the true” Mayhem and legendary

Tormentor from Hungary. The collaboration

with Aborym shows his urge to experiment

with different styles of extreme music

and to break through boundaries. His

performance can best be described with

two words: Sick and alien. Csihar alters

his voice quite often and accommodates

his style to the emotional development of

each song. The listener gets terrorised by

high-pitched, aggressive Black Metal vokills

as well as with the shamanic and adjuratory

expression we all know from “De

Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”.

“Fire Walk With Us” represents the perfect

mélange of unsettled industrial sounds,

dark ambient and Scandinavian influenced

Black Metal. The latter aspect is

also underlined by their felicitous interpretation

of “Det Som En Gang Var” by


Sure the Italians can not be counted as

the inventors of Industrial Black Metal.

But compared with their Norwegian colleagues

(and role models) Mysticum they

travel farther into the abyss of the human

psyche. A success which is achieved by a

highly professional attitude and admirable

mental power.



With No Human Intervention

Release: 20. January 2003

Label: Code666

Avantgenre: Alienated Black Metal Fiction

Duration: 64:49

Origin: Italy

Official site:


With their third album “With No Human

Intervention” the Italian Avantgarde Black

Metal freaks of Aborym rose again from

the deepest abyss of human psychological

nightmare to show the world once more

what misanthropic metal art is all about.

After the quite interesting, but heavily

underestimated “Kali-Yuga Bizarre” and

the follower “Fire Walk With Us”, this album

represents their peak.

After a short introduction the chaos of

alien musical dimensions hits the clueless

listener. From the beginning the title track

shows what the art of Aborym is all about:

Fast, disruptive (digital) drums, epic guitar

chords, lightspeed solos and ecstatically

dancing synthesisers, which are

drawing never heard collages of sound.

The general atmosphere created by the

dominating electronic ingredients is very

unfriendly, cold and confusing, but coeval

the music has an appealing effect. One

reason might be Attila Csihar, who once

again proved on this longplayer, that he

can be considered as one of the most

unique and extreme vocalist in the metal

scene. Unlike on “De Mysteriis Dom

Sathanas” or “Fire Walk With Us”, the

Hungarian drug addict abandoned his

trademarks and, in a sense, sounds less

shamanic. Instead we can experience high

pitched Black Metal screams, which can

only be described as matchless and supernatural.

It is very refreshing to hear

Csihar experimenting with his pervert


The songwriting first appears quite progressive,

abstruse and cryptic. But after

some time, when the Homo Sapiens got

used to the celestial way of communicating,

the tracks develop a logic structure,

with which Aborym manage to

switch masterly between the uttermost

different human emotions and states of

mind. Regardless if we get attacked by

modern, industrial-rock influenced stakkato

riffing, if we are terrorised by digital

warfare of the strangest Techno/EBM and

Industrial sounds or if Nysrok demonstrates

his musical skills with his breathtaking

guitar-solos: The sound cosmos of

these Italian guys is always in a crossfire

of different influences. Even Black`n Roll

is cited (“The Alienation of a Blackened

Soul”). The music is mostly connected to

the old spirit of Black Metal, which was

invented on Norwegian classics like the

mentioned “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”

and “Antichrist”.

Talking about the production, which took

place in Temple of Noise Studio in Rome, I

must say that I first had problems getting

used to it. Especially the drumcomputer

might discourage the blimpish Black Metal

fan. But in the end the sound fits in

very well the overall inhuman feeling of

the music. I must add, that “With No Human

Intervention” although features some

nice and emotional moving parts. But every

time these excursions to the brighter

side of life appear, they get undermined by

one of Csihar’s choleric scream attacks.

The lyrics are also quite opaque. It is

nearly impossible to find a clear structure,

an overall message. Of course you will find

the typical antichristian propaganda. With

“Faustian Spirit Of The Earth” (which was

written by Bård “Faust” Eithun) the band

tries to offer a more religious and philosophical

approach towards life and humanity.

“Me(n)tal Striken Terror Action 2”

deals with the 9.11 terror attacks, which

is quite unusual for this type of music.

After all praise I have to state that “With

No Human Intervention” has also two defects:

First, the booklet doesn’t fit the high

standard of the music. The obligatory

number of the beast in the logo as well as

the pictures of naked nuns going nude

with the crucifix between their legs really

doesn’t impress anyone anymore. It seems

like Aborym, by now grown-up men, still

have a hard time to get rid of the oldfashioned

and boring clichés.

The second defect for me is the obvious

need of Aborym to adorn with “big

names”. Several times we can read in the

booklet about the co-operation with Faust,

Nattefrost (Capathian Forest) and Irrumator

(Anaal Nathrakh). Sure this underlines

the integrity and credibility of this band

within the extreme metal scene, but Aborym

really don’t need this type of selfadulation.

To come to a conclusion: Aborym have

found their own interpretation to celebrate

a style of music which was important and

inspiring for a whole generation of angry

musicians. Most of them failed to offer

something new, refreshing. However, for

me Aborym is the only band which successfully

managed to combine styles like

Techno, Electronic Body Music and Industrial

with Extreme Black Metal. A vanguard

approach which can’t be honoured

enough. At least I tried it.




Release: 2007

Label: Self-released

Avantgenre: Cerebral Death Experiments

Duration: 32:25

Origin: Greece

Official site:


Transgression is the first release from this

ambitious Greek duo, formed back in

2002. Veiled and Substant, sharing the

vocal, visual and musical duties, states a

pretty bold mission objective – to fuse extreme

metal’s eerie darkness, the strange

tonal systems of modern art music (serialism,

atonal and tone scales et c) and psychedelic

visual art, in order to walk down

a new musical path. Indeed, pretty ambitious

for a band’s first release, and before

listening it mostly seemed pretentious and

rather silly. But… I was very, very wrong.

The music of Abstruse (a synonym of “obscure”,

it seems) is extremely experimental,

though it rarely leaves a metallic

context. Their claiming of using the disharmonic

scales of 20th century

avantgardist composers is definitely no

ostentatious bullshit, among the dark

metal riffs (a fair reference should be early

progressive death metal) I can hear not

only traces of Schönberg’s Twelve-tone

technique, but a distinct use of it; programmed

melodies intertwine with guitar

sweeps, melodies are turned inside out,

played in reverse, everything those Germans

did back in the angst ridden 1920’s.

The dreamy whole tone scales of Debussy

add a misty surreal veil to the chaotic dodecaphony…

But still, they never leave the

metallic course. Bloody awesome? Indeed!

The opener hints both to the crazy electrojazz

of Last-Minute Lies-era Fleurety and

to the playfulness of the Atrox guitarists.

The slightly slower “Ceremonial Torches”

brings to mind a dark mix of Karl Sanders

mythological solo works and The Residents

(!!!). The guitar lines at points resemble

the works of Carl-August Tidemann

before joining Winds (i.e. Arcturus)…

but enough references. Is it

strange? Yes. Great? YES. Few can

achieve music as technically stunning as

this, without simultaneously losing my

interest. Very cerebral. I like that.

The vocals are pretty strange, deep halfroared

whispers most of the time. The

programmed drums might annoy some,

but they merge naturally with the overall

technological sound; only the blastbeats

sounds plastic. What I also like is the visuals

accompanying some of the songs on

a DVD. Psychedelic as hell, blurry shots of

nature flowing into each other in many

pretty colours (a lot of colour inversion

and that kind of stuff). I‘m an ignorant

when it comes to video art, but I know

what I enjoy. This, for example. If you are

in any way interested in experimental,

groundbreaking or just highly technical

music, you want to hear this. This will

definitely not be the last you’ll hear from





Release: 2008

Label: Crucial Blast

Avantgenre: Blight Metal

Duration: 57:35

Origin: Montreal (CA)




From Montreal – Canada – I recently discovered

an artist whom I thought everyone

interested in extreme/experimental and

noise/ambient music should get acquainted

with. Martin Dumais, aka AUN,

before turning into the twisted sound wizard

he has become, was also secretly active

in Montreal’s underground techno,

tech house and downtempo scenes, for

example with his band Les Jardiniers (The

Gardeners). But back to our business, his

last album Multigone has just been released

by Crucial Blast, and it definitely

has something strongly atmospheric going

on, as Dumais is handling guitars, bass,

violin and electronics altogether, to create

a borderline ambient/metal majestuous

piece of work. The first two tracks Multigone

and Consumed by Flies are massive,

heavy, drone-dirge, epic fire brails of alienated

textures. Both songs might as well

burn your brain and leaves you breathless

and self-consumed. If you ask me, this

doesn’t only bears the mark of an extreme

noise take on volcano drone metal, but it

also, like on the magickal Steel Skull Plain,

investigates through surrealistic and psychedelic

dark industrial ambient figures.

It’s limitless music so to speak or as to

breeze out unclear – whatever linguistics

you prefer.

Surprisingly, next song Stables sounds

like backward Stoner rock on ecstasy. Its

very fluid like, and yet the badass rocking

feeling is all over the place and growing

more and more weirded out. And as the

song is dissolving, Halfmoon Halfchoke

takes the next lead and shines through its

shimmering, blazing, fuzzy, slumbering,

drony, hypnotizing, blissed-out, foggy and

celestial ambient ascension. Palejoy then

exposes a more beatlord side of AUN, and

I must say I’m quite impressed: at some

point, I was even thinking to myself that

this was like some kind of Psyche Doomic

Trip Hop or something. The guitars sound

saturated, eerily industrial, reminding me

of a rusty, bubbling, phosphorescent mire,

while the deep bass line groove underneath

is perfectly assembled in a way you

can’t resist to head nod along the strong

atmosphere. Last song Kwelbo Krong goes

back to more noise territory covering,

which includes many other extraterrestrial

influences. Add to that a very oppressive

quality within the guitar noise riffing and

it easily gets both overloaded and meditative

at the same time. Contradictio? None

at all. Extreme music the way AUN does it

basically crosses, sometimes many, sometimes

quite a few dense and highly compacted

emotions against each other, to the

point where it just feels naturally encompassing.

From zero to infinity, I might easily say

that Multigone, as an album, conveys and

maximizes the darker spirits of Extreme

metal, while actually keeping up with psychedelism

in sculpture and avant ambient/

noise in texture and genre. With this

album, Dumais really captured an organised,

organic and otherworldly vision, only

to let us experience its spectral liveliness.

By the way, Multigone is limited to 300

copies so in case you would want to experience

it at home, act fast! And for those

who would enjoy discovering the specifically

drone/ambient side-brother of AUN,

way more minimal than what I described

in this review, I suggest you click on the

record’s name, if you want to download

the free four songs mp3-album FIELD,

which was released by Clinical Archives in

2007. This hasn’t made as much an impact

on me as Multigone did, but it’s another

facet to AUN’s unpredictable art.

Oliver Side


Chronicles Of An Aging Mammal

Release: July 7th, 2007

Label: Epidemie Records

Avantgenre: Experimental Electro Death

Duration: 47:08

Origin: USA

Official site:


Again and again, a shocking reminder.

Face to face, we’ve never been blinder.

An eight-armed primate, poised as a Hindu

deity. Dressed in suit, with a crown of

thorns, an anthropomorphic brute wielding

a skull, a knife, an inverted cross, a

gun, and justice. The world is slowly being

flooded by a second deluge; fish and birds

roam freely about the ruins and carcass of

mankind. Religious zeal and shallow faith

in technology, our end. It is quite clear

what AZURE EMOTE’s feelings toward

their fellow humanity are. Chronicles Of

An Aging Mammal is the first and so far

only release from this obscure brain child

of one Mike Hrubovcak, vocalist of death

metal monsters like VILE and MONSTROSITY

among others, now completed

as a trio.

A cinematic explosion of apocalyptic metal,

brutal grindcore, symphonic death and

black metal, industrial noise and ambience,

trip-hop, weird samples; you are as

easily dragged into this chaotic flurry of

noises and genres as you are thrown out

of it, and you will never know what hit you

or understand what actually happened.

The chaos of an Abigor drenched in trippy

electronica; the sedative melancholy of

oceanic trip-hop metal akin to KorovaKill,

or perhaps a coastal Lux Occulta. The


GRINDER adds a persuasive layer of, well,

brutalized deathgrind. Vocals ranging

from pig-styled squeals and morbid deathgrunts

to the wonderfully soothing yet

dissonant jazz and operatic goth of TO

DESBONDEN’s Laurie Ann Haus to reversed

chants and samples. Mostly grunts

and growls though. A wooden flute haunting

“Cosmic Tear”, beautiful as nothing

else. Disturbing synths reminiscent of

early id Software/Raven FPS. No track

sounds the same. Too many elements to

mention, quite often too many to handle

in one listening session; rarely have I begun

listening to the opening tubular bells

and actually reached the sampled screams

of Laura Palmer in the harrowing sadness

and mystery of the aptly titled “Dementia”

within an hour.

On one side, a misanthropic hatred and

aloof contempt for a mankind killing itself

and its world – “Clarity Thru Apathy”,

“Complex 25”, “Justified End”, “Submerged”,

“Misanthropic Disgust”. On the

other, a saddened melancholy mourning

what the other side loathes – “Cosmic

Tear”, “Procreation Abnegation”, “March

Of Chemical Pessimism”, “Dementia”. A

tornado of scintillating effects and multifaceted

emotions. The results of one deranged

and overly ambitious bastard,

clearly extremely talented and seriously

creative, with an army of guest musicians

– seven heads for seven instruments* –

and way too much time in the studio –

three years in the making. A masterpiece

to some, scrambled ape-shit to others.

Take your stance – I sure haven’t taken

mine. Into strange metal? Then this is for


(*Schematics on guest musicians: two vocalists,

three drummers, two guitarists, two bassists, one

keyboardist, one flautist, counting members from

twelve bands. And again, seven musicians. Plus Mike

Hrubovcak who is responsible for everything, from

composition and arrangement to layout and theme to

electronics, instruments and vocals.)



Easy Listening Aggravation

Release: 1998-2002

Label: Self Released

Avantgenre: Experimental Techno Metal

Duration: 32:14

Origin: France

Official site:


This is some rocking stuff!! Fast techno

beats, aggro-metal, and a distinct mood

that is as influenced by Orbital as it is by

Screw. This avoids most clichés native to

the industrial metal genre, by incorporating

elements of world beat as well as jungle

to alternately ambient and violent mix

of Sonics. I am not kidding when I say this

is some of the most original and invigorating

stuff have heard under the avant

garde metal banner.

There is also a pseudo-black metal feel to

the more frantic sections, but again without

the clichéd riffing, chord sequences or

patented grim mood. A single song features

up to six to seven different vocal

style, and twice as many sample sources,

besides the backbone of thrash riffing and

techno drum n bass. I love the carefree

attitude the band projects in their compositions,

unrestricted by imagery or concerns

of uniformity. This is all over the

map. You could be sweating in a club to

this, and the next moment stabbing

someone to the same rhythm (without

once coming close to eyeliner or latexwear

even once in the proceedings). I was

going to use different songs as examples

to dissect, but as the album progressed I

gave up on this endeavour as a lost cause.

Sometimes you just have to listen and

learn. The only reason I can think its obscurity

is the lack of distribution by the

concerned parties and the sheer honesty

of the music. As well as sudden bursts of

hyper techno speed. Think hardcore techno

as envisioned by a Ministry/Aborym

cover band, with a schizophrenic sampler.


Anyone remotely claiming to be into any

kind of AGM needs this NOW! Really, I

haven’t used these many exclamations in

a review ever. My only gripe would be the

128 kbs sampling rate of the mp3 which

simply does not do justice to the dense




In Waste

Release: 2002

Label: Black Lotus

Avantgenre: Melodic Dark Cyber Metal Madness

Duration: 41:54

Origin: USA

Official site:


Absolutely awesome!!! This is some of the

best new extreme melodic metal I have

heard so far. What raises the bar here is

that along with the more melodic death /

black metal there is distinct industrial

and gothic influence throughout the record.

The opener “Rebirth” sums up nicely

the more immediate (and traditional) aspects

of the band and is strangely catchy

amidst all its twists. “Ghost in the Machine”

continues this trend of moving forward

with all guns blazing. Soundwise it

is close to a mix of Red Harvest (for need

of a better comparison) and melodic

death/black (in a few places, quite brutal)

metal with a sprinkling of mid-era Tiamat.

I know it looks strange in writing, but wait

’till you hear this. When the blasts, layers,

melodic guitars and samples come together

with the varied vocal attack you will

know too. The bizarre interlude “Transition”

shows that the band also has complete

mastery of other-worldly ambience.

The synth-based atmospherics continue in

“Lustmord” which morphs into goth-folk

(ala Death in June / Bauhaus) which has

a real dark/sad feeling, and it intensifies

as the song builds and builds, leading to

hyper blast and back.

To be honest, this caught me unaware, as

I was expecting industrial black metal, not

a complete tour of everything great about

extreme cyber metal. “Martyrs” has more

of a Myrksog vibe, but mixes it up with

some awesome doom. This distincts the

trademark style of Carrier Flux (I cannot

believe I have mentioned a trademark

style when listening to an album for the

first time, but damn if this isn’t original

and good). The clean vocals are some of

the better ones heard in such an extreme

band (and believe me this is extreme – it’s

harsh and brutal as it is atmospheric and


I was listening to this at work with headphones

and could barely keep myself from

head banging along to this madness. A

barely contained grin danced on my face

as the colossal instrumental “Serpent”

rolled over me. And the follow-up punch of

the muscular and angry “Above the Crippled

Earth” had my jaw on the floor. This

song needs immediate hearing. Some of

the most vicious riffing here (“The Enemy

within”) is coupled with a vocoder. The

synths on this song are nuts! By the last

song they had firmly bored a second asshole

on extreme metal’s bloated corpse

(hear the harmonized melodic vocals over

the dissonant riffing and the hyperblasts,

with the great breaks, growls, shrieks,

electronica et al). As the beautiful folky

outro fades out, you just have to press

play again.

And you know what, the damn thing is

available as a free download (high-quality

mp3) at:




In 1998, Samoth’s Nocturnal Art Records

released something of a milestone record

that went by without being noticed at all

in the underground circles. Choronzon’s

Magog Agog, a mostly industrial-fed postblack-

thrash-heavy psychedelic and

nightmarish beast, however, probably

surprised the few groups of people that

actually had the chance to hear its bizarre

malice, to the point where they did like me

and followed with great care each of its

subsequent musical steps. Well, six years

later, P. Emerson Williams launched what

I would call one of the most psychoadvanced

and noise-demented metal album

of the 21st century. I really had to

write about this album in relation to our

great electro metal celebration, because if

you ask me, this is the real thing!

First of all, Choronzon isn’t simply adding

a couple of electronica elements now and

then on top of a galloping rock metal

band, nor does he recharge in expensive

studios his compositions with a typically

over-produced industrial, polished and

clinical sound, as most actual so-called

electro metal bands are doing. On Psychosis

Ex Machina, Mr. Williams has found

an ensemble sonore which doesn’t allow

you anymore to distinguish the noisy,

EVP-fuelled and feedback noise overall

dirt from the sometimes out-there majestic,

sometimes spooky black angular guitar

riffs. Despite all these abstract definitions

that I’m making up here, Choronzon

kicks major ass and is always on the edge

of catchiness, but in an extraterrestrial

fashion I should add.

That’s why I love how Mr. Williams hasn’t

sacrified any of the aural rawness aesthetics

which are usually linked with oldschool

metal. His music, as psychedelic

and coloured as it is, has real bite, which

means that it’s got an authentic aggressive

attitude and a futuro-retro punk-head

archaism. I would say that it is right out

of these subtle tensions that his musical

boldness is expressing itself with a rarely

witnessed power. It can bring out the

caveman inside you as much as it can

open up your mind to unknown forms of

music. One has to mention the multilayered

shamanic vocal techniques that at

every turn can easily overwhelm your attention

spots. The man is screaming,

whispering, singing, crooning, deepthroating,

gagging, scratching, breathing,

feedbacking, morphing, reciting – often all

at the same time! Pretty engulfing, to say

the least.

Among the album, there are three shorter

segments of pure dark ambient music,

where it is made clear that this man has

been working hard with his alien machines

before getting to a musical language

as fluent as this one is. I won’t settle

down for a track-by-track description,

since Psychosis Ex Machina is Mr. Williams

clearly most diverse and genrebending

effort to me. For example, listening

to The Enchanting Dead, with its earcandy

mystical far west cowboy metal

groove, is quite a surreal experience I

must confess, and it always makes me feel

like I’m surrounded by miles and miles of

desertic sand dunes, smoking mirages

and dead-hot snakes. Asymmetrical Red

Chamber, however, sounds like it has

been generated by a furious, out of control

machine factory whose irresistible penchant

for dirge rythms and horror metallic


Psychosis Ex Machina

Release: 2004

Label: Foamin’ Sodomy Records

Avantgenre: Noise Orchestration Of Chaos Thrash

Duration: 60:10

Origin: USoA

Official site:

sensory assaults will knock you down.

And yet, when you get to Ornamental

Crypto-Anarchy, the fifteen minutes vastly

epic finale, you are first welcomed, at least

for a few minutes, with some of the most

felt-through melodic black metal guitar

lines you’ll ever have the pleasure to hear,

only to lay down in the middle part of the

song and let yourself be submerged by a

much-needed evanescent lull, out of

which, one by one, millions of massive

ambient drone waves slowly build up to a

godspeed climax of sheer, enthralling and

grandiloquent post-metal beauty.

So if you haven’t already, go and get yourself

a copy of this high-quality album,

turn up the volume and test the limits of

metal. I mean, I’ve been for quite a long

time a fan of electronic music of all kinds,

but I’ve never ever heard something like

that. Also, both the beautiful and very

artistic cover and inside layout have been

completely painted and organised by P.

Emerson Williams himself, only raising

Psychosis Ex Machina to a well-deserved

classic status. Will you ever dare enter his

world? It’s all up to you by now.

Oliver Side


Panic Pandemic

Release: 2005

Label: Foamin’ Bone Productions

Avantgenre: Freeform Noise Metal

Duration: 02:16:38

Origin: USoA

Official site:


Welcome to this Noise And Metal United in

Mutual Deconstruction today lesson. Please

have a seat – there you go, good boys and

girls. In case you should feel a panic attack,

there are only two emergency exit

doors: one down your ass, the other one

through an explosion of your brain cells.

So one could easily argue that Choronzon’s

third full-lenght, Psychosis Ex

Machina, with all its avant-genre procreations

and intriguing manners of being,

fully contained, by and in itself, many socalled

experimental bands complete discographies.

And as if this wasn’t enough,

P. Emerson Williams came back two years

later to release his most punishing and

disturbing record to date. As a matter of

fact, Panic Pandemic is so much violating

your senses and turning so hard your

musical consciousness into a tiny drop of

fear, that I should prevent most people

from a) absorbing hallucinogenic substances

while this album is in the stereo

and b) listening to this music at all! But at

the same time, this album is so much

waving out and just like floating as pure

acoustic equations that I should invite

everyone to a) take hallucinogenic substances

while this is playing in the stereo

and b) listen very carefully to its subtle,

epiphenomenal harmonies.

Am I exagerating? Am I only taking the

piss at you? Well I’m not so sure myself

what the answer might be. The first few

times I gave this record a spin, I seriously

thought that P. Emerson Williams had lost

his mind, and that after having spent his

golden years deconstructing every metal

genre known to mankind, he was now

venturing into pure metal abstractions

that didn’t retain any substantial link with

common sense and reality. In that sense, I

somehow conceived this new album as an

ultimate way for him to wave a final goodbye

to his worldwide fanbase. But let’s

stick to the music and not to my fragile

imagination. This is in-your-face, explicitly

damaged, disturbed, maniacal, frightening,

psycho-schizo twisted and viciously

tortured music, over-expanding itself to a

point where it can get barely bearable.

Often I would take my headphones off and

say to myself: this is too much! Forget

about your usual satanic, bloody misanthropia-

induced black industrial metal

band, because Choronzon makes Aborym

look cheesier than Hammerfall doing a

ballad with Elton John, to quote Metal

Coven. Be prepared – you have been advised.

Actually, don’t let yourself be fooled by the

first track on here, Ontological Anarchism,

which is kind of a laid-back, weirdly

mixed entrancing post-metal and pre-jazz

tribal introduction. One should consider

it, most probably, as a sleeping lull before

the upcoming natural disasters. Yes, this

albums sounds like the purest chaos of all

times. Even more so when Mr. Williams,

for example on Human Rites Schizoanalysis,

decides to carpet bomb his listeners

with faster-than-light drum programming

methods, which include multi snares,

multi bass drums and multi toms all

blast-beating together but on different

time-signatures, of course supporting

some sort of hard to decipher, immense,

monstruous tornado-riff machineries that

no one happens to know how to turn off.

And please never forget that when I use

the word “riff” within a choronzonic context,

I’m always referring myself to thousands

and thousands of crypto-voices, all

kinds of peripherical shimmering noises,

industrial landscapes, mesmerising wave

frequencies and ritualistic formulas recited

over and over again in otherwordly

raspy trance states. While on The Process

Of Conditioning, there even are traces of a

voivodian punk approach underneath it

all, which was by the way so cool to hear,

the song just before it is all about a deconstructed

post-rock monster groove.

You never know what’s going to be in the

next corner with Mr. Williams.

Using less and less colours and blurring

everything unto an oppressive, dark menacing

ambience, I would go as far as to

say that with Panic Pandemic, Choronzon

has expanded the notion of what metal

riffing is supposed to be, and actually did

bring it up to an atmo-sphere of abstraction

where melodies and rythms are either

practically non-existent or have been inherently

noisified to a grandeur unknown.

Even compared to his own previous material,

this album is more aggressive and

along the lines of a retro punk black

speedy jazz-thrash on the edges of contemporary

noise music. In other words,

once you discover every single instrumental

details that were subsumed by the

overall production, it is highly tempting to

compare his compositions to a thick fog or

to a group of heavy clouds. Whereas Choronzon

is using, as I said, so many elemental

fragments of sounds as a starting

point, he’s transforming these into one

pulsing, undetermined plasma of energy.

Now isn’t that what the science of magic is

all about?

The second part to Panic Pandemic is a

well-done and multi-layered hour long

ambient, noise track, slowly emerging

from a relatively calm drone to an evergrowing

intensity, as once again, tribal

percussions take the lead and sound martial

as the Apocalypse itself. You ought to

hear this one in order to realise how artistically

talented and varied is Choronzon,

even more so now that ambient experimentation

and electronic music in general

have become the trend of the day in the

metal circles; well, here comes a man

who’s more than obviously been doing it

for a very long time. As a bonus to the

first 333 buyers, Mr. Williams offered a

100 or more pages book version of the

album, thus delighting us all with many

exemples of his magnificent paintings and

poetry, which are all linked in some way

or another to the music recorded on Panic

Pandemic. Get in touch with the man and

perhaps there are still some of these gems

left in his well-hidden cryptic caves. Here

comes a one of a kind album, that’s for

sure. One can only hope that Choronzon

will soon enough come back even stronger

because I truly believe that the scene is

more ready today for a comeback than it’s

ever been. Or is Choronzon forever condemned

to stay out of the scenographic

script? Once again, it’s all up to you by


Oliver Side


Crush Depth

Release: 2010

Label: Southern Records

Avantgenre: Astrodelick Funk Metal

Duration: 59:08

Origin: USoA

Official site:


For this never seen before review, I was

joined by the grand, grand, little grandchild

of the late Aleister Crowley, an underground

magus and post-mentalist who

goes by the name of Sir Julius Henry Crowley.

He told me he had been given at birth

the power to, quote, “see through Musick” –

whatever this means. To tell you the truth,

I’ve known Chrome Hoof since the Pre-

Emptive period, but was never fully able to

find the right words to describe this Outcast

Outfit. They’re playing by standards

they have invented out of the blue. So

when Sir Julius Henry Crowley offered me

such an unprecedented opportunity to get

my AGM reviewer’s work done with the

help of Crowleyan magick, don’t ask me

why, I said yes right away. I couldn’t resist,

so to speak. Therefore while the album

was playing, Sir Julius Henry Crowley

visited some other plane or some outer

channel of perception of consciousness,

and he came back with these written

words, which he claims to have heard from

worlds beyond. I haven’t changed anything

to the originals – the way I got it is the way

you will read it. So like it or not, that’s up to

you, but the value of this review lies elsewhere.

Thanks for reading.

Leo Smee (from Cathedral and Miasma &

the Carousel of Headless Horses) formed

Chrome Hoof with his drummer bro Leo

Smee – and the duo expanded to more or

less a dozen performers.

The musick proceeds from bass, guitar,

synthesizer, percussion, bassoon, saxophone,

cello, drum, piano, rhodes, organ,

trumpet, violin, viola and much female

vocals and sprightliness.

Chrome Hoof takes the Post-rock, Elecktro

distorted-RIO phat b-ass complex riffing

and organically heart-crosses it with dark

alien-sympho space Metal.

Crush Depth is perhaps, we say, less

Discko-oriented and more psi-Operatick in

lenght than Pre-Emptive False Rapture, its

wondrous predecessor.

What does that mean? Well, it’s catchier,

dancier, with more layers of biospheric

lasers inside the molecular sounds – and

more uproarious dreams to revel in.

More like a stupendous, monsterlike

struckture – we would say – and yet, so

delicately assembled – kick ass and sensuous.

The Funk Groove has subjectively and

objectively not been left anywhere behind.

En effet, Funk Groove is what contradistinguishes

this Rock/Metal Orchestra

from most other Rock/Metal bands alive

and dead.

They’re Funk-y-Cool-y à la Disckothèque

though altered into an Occult Thrash

dancing slushpit.

Now and then, seventies Psyche-Prog and

Kosmisch escapades are also introduced

among the album’s Astrodelick concoctions.

Of great importance, this experiMetal Ensemble

stands not so far away from the

teachings of Sun Ra’s intergalactic traveling

through sound.

We’re reminded of Luke Vibert’s MOVE



By all means, it’s broader in scope than

Voodoo Rock/Metal and looking further

over Elecktro Space Funk – visibly concealed


Our last words shall be:

Vote against Chrome Division.

Vote for Chrome Hoof!



« Sous mon aisselle droite il y a un caméléon!



Oliver Side



Release: 1994

Label: Osmose Productions

Avantgenre: Ritualistic Industrially-Satanized Metal

Duration: 34:42

Origin: Greece / Finland

Official site: http://none


Released back when Osmose Productions

was a purveyor of eclectic and well respected

quality underground music, including

such bands as Pan-Thy-Monium,

Rotting Christ, Masters Hammer, Dark

Tranquility and many more, this release is

no exception. It is a cooperation between

artists of differing locals but of a similar

musical and undoubtedly theological mind

set. This CD possesses a clinically dark

quality having the straight forward simplicity

and production of an industrial

album with the aesthetics of, what was at

the time, the Satanic black metal underground.

The musical backbone that makes up Diabolos

Rising comes from the mind of Magus

Wampyr Daoloth of Necromantia (and

other Greek bands, too numerous to mention

here). By taking the framework of

drum and guitar composition from the

likes of Ministry and KMFDM, and then

mixing it with keyboards reminiscent of

some 80’s horror movie, he managed to

create an album that coalesces the personae

of Black Metal with the precision of

Industrial quite well. The production is

clean and polished with atmosphere provided

by the ever-present sound of droning

keyboards which gives it an almost

palpable evil ambiance. There is a somewhat

subtle Mediterranean, or even middle

eastern, flavor through many songs

and when juxtaposed with the technological

aspects make it easily adaptable for

use as either a soundtrack to “Bladerunner”

or “The Last Temptation of Christ”.

The vocal delivery is provided by the second

half of this electronic project, Finland’s

Impaled Nazarene spokesman, Mika

Luttinen. Taking into consideration the

practice he had on the industrialized track

“Gott ist Tot” off of Impaled Nazarene’s

release “Ugra Karma” it seems only appropriate

to have Mika as the voice of this

incarnation. As one might expect the majority

of vocals have that Imp. Naz. tone

and forcefulness, with many of them having

added effects heightening the industrial

feel. Added to that are a handful of

spoken parts which help accentuate the

ritualistic elements of the music.

As for the lyrical content (also written by

Daoloth), with a title like “666” one can

make obvious assumptions. Of course not

without it’s sense of Satanic irony, track 6

being literally 6min and 6sec of silence for


Along with a few disparate projects, such

as the Cold Meat Industry releases, this is

one of the earliest examples of individuals

from the Black metal underground delving

into electronically based music, pre-dating

the exploration of many of their contemporaries

by a number of years. Which

makes this a must for anyone interested

in such Black metal/Industrial amalgamations

and deviations.



Virus S.T.N.

Release: 2005

Label: Necrocosm

Avantgenre: French Crackwhore Electro

Black Metal

Origin: France


Have you ever wondered how 666 International

would sound, played through a

French crackpot freaking out on acid?

Well, the closest I have ever heard would

be Diapsiquir, the perverted brainchild of

Arkhon Infaustus guitarist Toxik Harmst

(voice/guitar/bass/computers). This is

probably one of the most wicked, malignant

and satanic recordings I have ever

come across, seeping in the depravity and

anguish of urban decay. At the core of it

all, you find black metal, throbbing with

the powers of SATAN (according to Diapsiquir,

short for Seringe – Absorption – Torture

– Alienation – Nihilisme). Yet it is not

Satan in the biblical sense, but the Devil

in its truest form – in the empty eyes of

the homeless prostitute and the abused

child, or flowing through the veins and

reeking in the vomit of the heroinist. Diapsiquir

thrives on human filth.

Musically, Virus STN is extremely diverse.

Very well executed progressive BM at the

core, riddled in samples and programming.

The vocals – all in French – are easily

decipherable (if you know the language)

yelling and screaming. No traditional

growling, but rather a pissed-off shouting,

giving the music an air of depraved humanity,

unparallelled to my experience.

The samples are made up of philosophical

monologues (also in French – “Dieu? C’est

moi!”), classical music (Russian opera and

Beethovens 7th symphony), children

screaming (highly unsettling!), gunshots et

c. Even the music sounds very French,

from the clear piano melodies and the

accordion (!!!) down to the excellent riffing,

and the percussion moves from ordinary

blastbeats to programmed triphop and

drum&bass beats. All very strange, in a

positively negative way, owing a lot to

DHG, yet taking the electro-BM legacy

much further. Unfortunately, Diapsiquir

was discontinued after Virus STN (their

second full-length), but the dark madness

is still closer than you think. This is maybe

not for everyone, since it does require a

certain mind set. But I am addicted to this

timeless venom.



666 International

Release: 1999

Label: Moonfog Productions

Avantgenre: Kosmische Techno Black

Duration: 66:06

Origin: Norway




With 666 International, we see Dødheimsgard

creating, of course out of the

famous black metal hole where they came

from, a whole new way of playing with

sounds. Already on their previous EP Satanic

Art, we could hear more and more

traces of the upcoming chaos, but nothing

was so certain yet. Whatever happened to

guitarist and prime composer Vicotnik,

singer and lyricist Aldrahn and their now

partners-in-crime between 1997 and

1999, there’s an obvious dive into psychedelic

adventures within the music they

then put into form, just as there are clear

evidences of schizophrenia in the way

many absurd musical details happen to

create, once placed together, kind of an

attractively strange meaning. The music

here is as groovier as it is disordered.

Out of all the nine songs, there is for instance

“Shiva-Interfere”, an almost ten

minute’s sick industrial floating opera,

where Aldrahn sings some unpleasant

tales of mythology and outer space, with a

uniquely bizarre and angular beauty in

his tragic-comic vocal tones. As he’s just

about to cry, being all sweetly delicate and

nostalgic, he then explodes into a perverse,

sadistic and out-there laughter. I

would even go as far as to say that there’s

a certain “alien” quality to his voice – it is

simply out of this world. All of his vocals,

in this song, are performed over a mysterious

desert-riffing style which follows

some sort of a deep, pulsing electronic

drum groove. Quite special, to say the

least! Well the majority of 666 International

is performed on the thin borders

normally placed between sanity and common

sense, in such a way that at first,

you always feel a sort of uncertainty, an

odd unpleasantness, a real feeling of discord

and paranoiac terror. You’re not really

sure if what you hear is supposed to be

kick-ass black metal or a horrible mindfuck.

Then again, that’s what avant-garde

music is all about: to first question what

has always been conceived as normal and

natural, and then create a whole new universe.

Be very attentive when it comes to all the

textures and the wrappings of the musical

content displayed here, because that is

where Dødheimsgard do shine through

the most on this album. Ginge from Norwegian

electronic band Subgud had his

hands on the final product and its easy to

hear why, as there’s a serious attention to

a certain atmosphere of sounds, clearly

reminiscent of techno music. I’m not saying

that form wins over content; quite the

contrary actually, because if it weren’t for

Vicotnik’s singular guitar twists and how

he builds these up and down in the most

unusual way, along crushing groovy techno

drums and all kinds of synthesizers

and grand piano, I couldn’t be writing

these words.

Every black metal possible experimentations

has been given a try on 666 International,

for the better or for the worst, all

depending on how far you can actually

take it, and it’s as much death, thrash,

black and rock metal music here as it is

noise and ambient related there – usually

at the same time! From pure mayhem

blast beat chaos to slick, techno avantgarde

rock, Vicotnik and his super-hero

mates cover it all up around here. Come

and discover how sick and perverted excessively

aggressive attitudes in music can

become in the right (or wrong) hands. Only

for those who can find real pleasure

deep in pure psychosomatic madness and

drug-infused cosmic fantasies.

Oliver Side


Ocean Dynamics

Release: 30th of August 2006

Label: Electronicartmetal Records

Avantgenre: Electronic Art Metal Aquatic

Space Opera

Duration: 59:17

Origin: Greece

Official site:


When I looked at the album cover I first

felt like a beaten dog, which then was

slowly and carefully nosing the CD until

realising it was a friend and not a foe.

“Ocean Dynamics” is a continuous concept

starting in outer space, represented

by the powerful first four tracks of “Thalassa

Dominion I-IV”. The journey moves

on into the solar system and “Solarwinds”

is tied on with fast and fantastic drums

which really sound like solar winds. This

is musically so amazingly well done, that

you could distinguish between a storm

and a wind. The wind here even carries

the cries of dolphins into the atmosphere

very softly. Further, continuing from “Descend”,

descending to earth into “Lava”

where the fire from the sun liquefies slowly,

to then finally ending in the ocean (last

three tracks). Here you can listen to more

water sounds when you were missing

them in the first parts.

One has to listen to the entire album to

develop an understanding of the whole

idea musically as well as lyrically, because

after several minutes of each song completely

new parts appear in a sudden and

make the album very fluctuating; with

plenty of tempi and arrangements, sounds

and partly different styles of music, from

Funk-Jazz to extreme Black Metal- like

drums and percussions, mostly somewhere

in between all these genres in the


What makes this band unique is the combination

of Metal and 70’s electronic music

with distinctive synthesizer sounds

similar to Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis.

It seems like the marriage of Berlin Love

Parade with some Rock Festival. The Metal

music to some extend reminds me of

Luca Turilli and Rhapsody, certainly because

of Alex Holzwarth (Drummer of

Rhapsody of fire), who seemed to find asylum

in this project with his characteristic

way of drumming.

The second cherry on the top constitutes

the choir of 14 people (seven women and

seven men). They represent the operatic

bombast throughout the album and also

“flow” with DC Cooper (Ex-Royal Hunt) in

“Aquatic Majesty”. Therefore, “Ocean Dynamics”

is the perfect symbiosis of electronic

music, operatic music and Metal. It

can be seen as a complete art work with

its wonderful orchestration, lyrics and

also with its amazing cover art work that

was designed totally coherent.

You have to decide whether this is your

cup of ocean dynamics or not. I find it to

be a fantastical album, where ocean meets

universe with a lot of atmosphere in between.

All my thumbs, including big toes


Katja Honeywine


Star Tales

Release: November 2004

Label: Electronic Art Metal

Avantgenre: The Hyperspacial Electronic Metal Opera

Duration: 01:01:59

Origin: Greece

Official site:


Star Tales… and now I have no idea what

to say. On one hand I would love to give

you a full oversight of what this album is

potentially going to do to you once you hit

the play button but on the other hand, the

possible range of psychedelic journeys it

will take you on by listening to this might

get restrained if I tell you about the places

that this album took me to.

The first track “Dreamport” is the station

where you embark for the journey and

where a commanding yet gentle voice tells

you to synchronize your dreams which

should be taken seriously so that the music

can develop a maximum of efficiency.

Star Tales is my personal soundtrack to

the places I always wanted to go to and

imaginary alien civilizations I wanted to

visit. Of course that is because my fascination

and interest in the origins and

depths of space knows no boundaries and

everything about this album blends in

perfectly with what I believe there is beyond

the frontiers of our solar system and

the Milky Way.

How does Thanasis Lightbridge, the mastermind

of Dol Ammad, achieve this

though? Thanasis is a fan of music in the

vein of Vangelis. To refresh your memory:

Vangelis wrote the soundtrack to 1492

with Gérard Depardieu, a movie about

Christopher Columbus’ journey to the new

world and its discovery. Whoever remembers

the main theme song, the choir and

epic scale of it will find it easier to get an

idea of what Dol Ammad is about although

the choir is pretty much the only

common ground shared by these two.

Thanasis doesn’t use too many classical

music elements to create his trademark

spacial atmosphere. Actually almost none

let apart the choir and the horns. Try to

picture it like this (metaphorically). The

members of the choir are standing as the

brightest stars in the nightsky and fill the

instrumental explosion (big bang…) with

life and soul and brings vitality into the

supposedly empty infinitiy of the universe.

That is to give you a picture of the musical

consistency we are dealing here with.

Amazingly dense keyboards get their

punch through distorted guitars, the choir

is lifted to a divine level by doubling their

lines with horns and synthesizal frenzy.

Whoever expects an orgy in terms of epic

music is guaranteed to get it. However,

Thanasis doesn’t always go full scale.

Rhapsody’s Alex Holzwarth isn’t always

there to doublebassdrum the songs to new

highs of grandeur. Thanasis understands

when it is time for a little break to primarly

let the listener recover but secondly

and most importantly to get more diversity

into the course of the album.

The probably biggest strength of this album

is its sheer amazing amount of quality

composition and how long it takes to

really learn this album by heart. I listened

to it so many times now and trust me: it

takes forever to really grasp this album.

Not really because of its compository complexity

but when you listen to the album

you are so absorbed by the atmosphere it

creates that in first instance you will listen

to this over and over again because it’s

like a free ticket to your own interstellar

paradise, and for me personally, it is a

place I really like to be at as much as possible.

And then, someday maybe, you will

want to work your way through this cosmic

storm of musical elements you didn’t

really care about before because all that

mattered was the effect. The keyboards,

the drums, the guitar, how the choir and

the synths throw the main parts back and

forth to each other and how it all explodes

in a big acoustic orgasm that gives its

listener an amount of enjoyment that

hardly fits into the unpresent frontiers of

our universe…

Star Tales comes in a beautiful digipack

that perfectly underlines how colorful and

diverse and way ahead of our time this

music is. I recommend that you go to right now

and order your copy right away… and also

get Ocean Dynamics while you are at it!

That should give you enough Electronic

Metal to chew on for a couple of months.

Space on!




Release: 2008, August

Label: Electronic Art Metal Records

Avantgenre: Electronic Art Metal

Duration: 17:17

Origin: Greece

Official site:


More than a year ago DOL AMMAD mastermind

Thanasis Lightbridge proclaimed

the coming of a new galaxy in the universe

of electronic art metal. And now finally the

long wait is over! The mysterious “Goddess”

DOL THEETA strides down from the

heavens in majestic beauty and spreads

her bewitching, narcotic whispers.

Thanasis is a masterful composer who

manages in perfection to combine the

mightiness of metal with the crystalline

soundscapes of electronic music. DOL

AMMAD shows the bombastic, epic sides

of this unique mixture, the extroverted

and aloft spheres, the onwards riding

spaceships and shining light-cities in the

skies. DOL THEETA instead is the mysterious,

phantasmagoric sister of Dol

Ammad. It’s a mesmerizing maelstrom

that draws you down to the grounds, a

smile full of riddles and questions. It’s a

door to meditative, intimate and peaceful

dreams that can easily turn into unfathomable


The first thing you see when holding the

MCD in your hands is the marvellous design.

The releases of Thanasis always

stand out with splendid surreal-futuristic

artwork. And the digi-pack of “Goddess”

even brings this one step further.

The first song “Goddess” opens with

spherical dripping synthie-lines and sparkling

arpeggios, the dreamlike, yearning,

monalisaic angelvoice of Kortessa and the

furious guitar soli of Dim (both also play

in DOL AMMAD), all grounded by heavy

drums and guitars. The vocal lines are

extremely catchy and bewitching, at the

same time strange and worldless. To even

dive deeper into the atmosphere of this

song the psychedelic video-clip of “Goddess”

is included to the MCD.

The second song “Dream of Doors” is an

electronic deconstruction of “Goddess”,

stripping it from any metal elements and

making a great ambient song out of it.

Finally the futuristic marching epos

“Deathstars” draws a stronger bridge to

the bombastic worlds of Dol Ammad. Behind

the catchiness of this song hides a

great complexity. The arrangement is full

of subtle details, concerning melodies as

well as sounds. And this song has an incredibly

liquid structure, where one part

flows into the other so organically hardly

heard anywhere else before. It’s not just a

song, it’s a living being!

This masterpiece raises high expectations

for the forthcoming first full-length album



to listen to the whole, full, complete MCD

without any limits! And make shure to

support this great band and buy this CD!

It’s a masterpiece that will bewitch you for

hours, days and years!



The Universe Expands

Release: 2008, December

Label: Electronic Art Metal Records

Avantgenre: Electronic Metal Psychedelia

Duration: 57:50

Origin: Greece




Some months ago the newborn realms of

DOL THEETA spelled its first bewitching

chants: The marvellous debut MCD “Goddess”

(read review here) granted a first

gaze into the new musical universe of DOL

AMMAD mastermind Thanasis Lightbridge.

While DOL AMMAD is explosions

and explorement, lightspeed and sunstorms,

DOL THEETA unfolds the mysterious,

phantasmagoric dreamsides of the

“Electronic Art Metal” collective.

“Goddess” already promised a lot, but still

left one question open: Which of all those

multi-coloured facets of the MCD unveil

the path of the first full-length album? Is

it the catchiness of the titlesong refrain or

the morphic complexity of “Deathstars”?

How will all the Trance-Ethno-Electro-

Pop-Metal-Psychedelic-Ambient elements

unite in the first 58 minutes epos of DOL


“…A Psychedelic Experience…” The voice

that led through the enigmatic whispers of

the intro speaks its last words. Ultra-fat

electro-bass pumps out of my speakers.

But instead of a Techno beat soft, crystalline

keyboards set in to enwind them

peacefully. Finally drums and heavy guitars

join in apace mid-tempo. Still the

keyboards spread a narcotic, unreal atmosphere.

This is the start into another

world. The voyage begins. The opener “Silver

Air” is the dream of doors, the entrance

to the intraversal multitudes of

DOL THEETA. The spherical angel voices

of Kortessa rise – mysterious, spaced-off,

sometimes soft and fragile, sometimes

bombastic and overwhelming, always bewitching

and enthralling.

The journey leads to very peaceful, tranquil

shores like “Nighttime”, furious rides

through lunacy (end of “Mud”), smooth,

chilly lounge-sounds (“Every Goodbye”)

and dramatic bombast like the culmination

of “Afterlife Crescendo”. On the popmetal

hymn “Something called Tomorrow”

Thanasis himself contributes the male

vocals, which gives a very harmonic duet

together with Kortessa. His voice sounds a

bit like the young Ozzy Osborne if he had

ever cared a bit about his health. Definitely

something that I’d be pleased to hear

again on forthcoming releases.

While DOL AMMAD shows the metal side

of “Electronic Art Metal”, DOL THEETA

strongly emphasizes its electronic sides.

There are a lot of double bass drums and

heavy, distorted guitar riffs. But they are

mixed discreetly into the background. The

sound is dominated by synthesizers, FX

and the spherical vocals of Kortessa. So

this is a completely new approach to Electro-

Metal and creates an unreal, hypnotic

atmosphere in which you easily can drown

and loose yourself.

While DOL AMMAD captures the listener

immediately with it’s epic hymns, DOL

THEETA has to be explored. The deeper

you dive, the more it reveals its rich

treasures. It’s an album that offers you

new experiences each time you’re listening.

Even after the 65th listening you still

can discover new facets and details, new

meanings and atmospheres, new riddles

and truths. It’s not just an album – it’s an


DOL THEETA is indeed a real Psychedelic

Experience. It can bring you to any place

in the universe. Don’t miss this magnificent




My Only Drug Is Madness

Release: 2007

Label: Von Jackhelln Inhuman

Avantgenre: Avant E-Hardcore Party

Duration: 35:42

Origin: Cosmopolite

Official site:


Lately, I’ve been known to look into the

marriage of chemical drugs with musical

avant-gardism. Although I will not paint

myself in that corner for too long, I can

only be interested by an artist whose only

drug, at least according to his own words,

is madness. This seems to be the strange

case of Cornelius Von Jackhelln from

Solefald and Sturmgeist fame, whenever

he is turning upside down metal’s basic

rules in G.U.T., his less known solo project.

On his first full-length record, the

results are admittedly easy-going and far

out, sensitive and barbaric, humoristic

and dead serious, as the man fuses electronica

beat, hip hop attitude, a strings

quartet, hardcore catchiness and weird

pop melodies with some unusual metal

references, sometimes in the vocals, sometimes

in the riffing itself, sometimes in the

songs’ “bite” and “kick”, sometimes in a

cover of Darkthrone. This is helped by a

bombastic production, the quality of the

sound making it easier to get into the

songs’ elements. So what we have here, in

a way, is a non-metal album which is

nonetheless resolutely metal. Sounds familiar

enough? I don’t think so. To my

knowledge, no one does it exactly the way

G.U.T. somehow managed to make this

musical mess pleasing for the third ear.

Too pop for the diehard weirdos, too edgy

for the pop community – what in the hell

is this?

As to proceed, let me start by noting that

the album is as old as two years old and

so varied that I will retrospectively go for a

song-by-song crime investigation. A sort of

“behind the scenes” inquiry. Grace under

torture. File examined. Anomalies have

been detected.

Balkanized in Belgrade – Electro hardcore

anthem spitting at the face of imperialistic

war through the anger of innocent

people asking the “why did you bomb us”

question to those who did it. The screaming

vocals are flesh-ripping, the sounds

bubbling and beaming, the guitars blazing

with fury, this fucking kicks ass. A social

catharsis to play loud.

Home of the Hardcore – Did you ever

wonder if your living town either is no

place for a party or the home of the hardcore?

Come find out with this hilarious

retro techno baby ballad classic. Yeah it

smells alcohol abuse, has arty rock going

on, as well as being an invitation to “bring

the party to the people”. Obviously, Cornelius

has a good sense of humour and

the talent to pull it through.

Transylvanian Hunger – G.U.T. reinvents

and revalorizes an old Darkthrone

top 5 hit from the good ol’ nights of 1993,

making it suitable for 2009’s underground

dancing clubs and other soirées costumées

d’opera alike. Symphonic, elegant,

orchestral, hips-waving electro pop with

spicy hints of black metal spirits and multi

toms rhythms. Had Fenriz, Nocturno

Culto and Zephyrous gone Norwegian discotheques’

icons, this would have been

one of their earliest floor-ripper.

Représailles à Versailles – Solefaldesque

neonism of hip hop with much vocal experi-“

mentation” from Cornelius, upon hearing

whom I often found myself laughing

out loud and feeling playful. Located in a

backstreet area, phat bass and oozing

dirty grooves meet with orchestral choruses

and broken rapping. Simple and wellcrafted.

Why is there a reference to Versailles?

I have no idea.

First Song Last Chance – Electro interlude,

chanting females in awe, emphasis

on light, beautiful, uplifting. A bit cheesy,

not my favourite to be honest.

Mastur Bator – A mystical and satirical

ode to the God of love, the great commander

Mastur Bator. It is difficult to explain

why but this song feels very realistic

when you follow the lyrics. I think it is a

very representative picture of the younger

generations we are and will see coming

more and more often. As Cornelius writes

it in the lyrics, “look at the sea, at those

waves of red heat; one million hearts

pounding lust at every beat; we like it

wicked, making love beyond measure;

excess in every way, overdose on naughty

pleasure”. Obviously in good spirits and

love worshipping, von Jackhelln once

again surprises the listener with his sharp

sense of humour and observation.

The Beauty & the Bitch – Every next

door’s guy who’s had a few serious relationships

with women will find in this

song something from their past or present

experience. Cornelius is a writer and even

from the most personal point of views – in

this case, a guy helplessly rambling over

women – he makes it a universal theme

using catchy pop as a springboard to enhance

his ideas so to speak. The most

accomplished pop song I’ve heard from

G.U.T., and a very effective one at that.

The sudden guitars at two minutes into

the song are priceless. Come on, sing with

me, “I’ve loved and been loved by the

beauty and the bitch; I could never tell the

woman from the witch”.

Unconquered Sun – A more cinematic

approach to music, this song is epic and

contemplative right from the start. The

drum programming is as usual basic

though just enough alive to drive the

song’s dynamics into some interesting

galloping. Think brooding, melancholic,

sleazy, lurking electro rock accompanied

by an Italian operatic drama edge and not

devoid of something oddly “out there”.

Solefald fans should enjoy this one, or is it

just me? Classic Cornelius vocals. Hardcore

opera pop.

My Only Drug is Madness – Much darker

and meaner, let me quote parts of this

tam tam electro orchestra’s lyrics to bring

you into the mood:

“Music is the way I share what I have seen

My only drug is madness, my bloodstream

is clean

Why do you need powder to behave like a


I say like Kurt Cobain, come as you are

We want to be loved, to be worshipped as


We sell our asses to be ridiculed as sods

An artist should live forgotten abroad

Away from TV and the celebrity fraud”

Nein Nein Zeppelin – Ending the album

with industrial beats à la Future Sound of

London, dry and aggressive guitar tones,

German lyrics and truckloads of buzzing

electronics is a cool and perfect way to say

goodbye to such a circus-like record. An

album for the freaks, an album for the

blinds, an album for the wise. Old-school

as much as it is new-school. One would

assume that from his experience with this

album, Cornelius will have new and perhaps

weirder impulses for the upcoming


Oliver Side


H.IV+ (Hoarse Industrial Viremia)

Release: 2008

Label: Vendlus Records

Avantgenre: Machine Butcher Metal

Duration: 53:37

Origin: Finland

Official site:


…AND OCEANS are dead. Yet, its members

continue under the name of HAVOC

UNIT. And a change of name is appropriate,

for what these creative people deliver

on “h.IV+” has nothing to do with …AND

OCEANS at all. Who thought that HAVOC

UNIT would continue the kind of discoindustrial

metal they celebrated under the

old name on “Cypher” is terribly wrong.

Gone are the pleasant, danceable melodies

and beats. The first track “Vermicide”

jumps right in your face with really ugly

industrial metal – raw, menacing and evil.

A cyber-demonized version of MESHUGGAH

or a slower, but heavier version

of THE AMENTA – that’s what comes

to my mind when listening to HAVOC

UNIT these days, with a sound directly

from the factories of 21st -century-hell. As

the tracklist implies, HAVOC UNIT’s lyrics

deal with the perversions of the last decades

to batter them relentless back in the

face of mankind. And battering is the

word that describes their music best – The

screamed vocals, the machine-gun riffing

and the stomping of the machine-beats

hurt and is definitely not for the fainthearted

who seek beautiful melodies. For

that matter, even people who seek ANY

melody will be disappointed. “h.IV+” is one

big rhythm-monster with samples, menacing

synths and some slower intermezzi; it

is a spirit of wrath; the embodiment of the

pits of the human psyche.

And for that, I love it. It is cold, aggressive

and inhuman; much like DHG’s “Supervillain

Outcast”. There is only one downside:

it is a little bit unvaried. If you’d play me a

track, I could not say which one it is, only

that it is on “h.IV+”. And I wouldn’t listen

to it the whole day, for I am one of these

people who like a good melody once in a

while. But then there is “Ignoratio Elenchi

[Reversed Genesis]” to make up for it,

which is, simply put, brilliant. That is

mostly due to the voice of SOLEFALD’s

Cornelius, but not only that, the track has

a dreamy and dark atmosphere which

gives you goosebumps. It might be a bit

unfair to say that this (and only this) track

sounds like a SOLEFALD-song (and not

only due to Cornelius’ voice), but that’s

the way it is… And there also is “Kristallnacht

[From Revolution to Reconstruction]”,

a soothing piano piece.

All in all, I am positively surprised. No,

not really surprised, because I didn’t know

what to excpect from HAVOC UNIT now in

the first place, only that the name change

must have had SOME impact on the music.

It is surely interesting to hear HAVOC

UNIT explore regions of acoustic brutality

other than speed, for brutal it is. A perfect

soundtrack for the devil’s abbatoir, a mix

of rust and blood.

Tentakel P.


Krell Demo

Release: 2006

Label: Self Released

Avantgenre: Goth Rock And ElectRoll

Duration: 37:56

Origin: Spain

Official site:


Starting with a clichéd yet still disturbing

sample this quickly evolves into the very

darkwave/goth influenced opening salvo

of “Soul Eater” that quickly morphs into

the band’s unique goth rock. It has a

groovy and strangely organic sound despite

the abundance of samples, synths

and the electro drumkit. Maybe it’s the

somewhat loose guitar (with a strange

muffled tone, no less), or the early new

wave goth vocals. There are even some

classic sounding lead squeals towards the

end of the song. This leads us to the gothic

trance marriage on the rocks of “Too

Real”. These songs have warmth, and a

real sleazy feel to them yet still maintaining

the noir tones important to this type of


The hooks are there, but the cult-ness of

instrumentation and the elements of real

rock n roll so prevalent in the music will

keep this off the charts. I have to get a

reference out there before I (god forbid)

admit it’s original so here it is, Lazy Music

Reviewer ref # 535: a darkwave Rolling

Stones covering 80’s underground new

wave. “III” almost got me dancing, seriously

(while a tortured metal part of me wanted

to turn this off and check out the latest

grind download). But damn if the sloppy

sounding traditional leads and the 80’s

synths aren’t enjoyable. “Inoculation of

Sound” has the heaviest guitar

tone of the lot but once again in a Thrill

Kill Cult covering Depeche Mode for the

Doberman soundtrack context. Lovely and

thoroughly gothic synths and samples all

the way though. Hell, this could have been

on one of those Euro Vampire Rock compilations,

except when the singer smiles

and reveals the grade a grills instead of

the pre-requisite fangs. “Out of Your Play”

has a more heartfelt sound, mostly due to

the Cure-ish guitar and synth work. Go

ahead; cry while you dance in your black

latex. “Say Hello Say Goodbye” is the

darkest sounding of the lot, not unlike

prime Christian Death doing electro-disco.

Move, corpses, move! Some of the guitar

manipulations are beautifully ugly and

discordant, but never loose sight of the

song. This damn CD might as well have

been titled ‘Gothic Electo Rock Hooks

101′. “Tale of a Common Day” has some

authentic sounding bluesy opening licks,

but quickly moves onto what Danzig’s

Blackacidevil should have sounded like,

had he some compositional skills and artistic

vitality left.

This begs the question why more of the

darkwave/electro/EBM crowd cannot (or

will not) allow more human elements into

their sound. There is really is a lot of exploration

left in the club oriented gothic

scene, and as Krell amply demonstrates,

some emotional rock ‘n’ roll will only enhance

the beat. So please lay of the Horacio

and Blutenegel CD’s and give this a

shot. Definitely a grower and keeper.



How The World Came To An End

Release: 2007

Label: Candlelight Records

Avantgenre: Dark Triphiphop

Duration: 44:37

Origin: Norway

Official site:


Nobody wants the truth. Imagine a dark

cave where water runs down the walls and

the neon light reflects some people doing

weird things on weird electric machinery

including a Commodore 64 (or 128)

equiped with a Final Cartridge, digital

Super 8 projectors and gadgetery like

that. Image there’s no people but Manes

in their cave. Imagine there were no wars.

Imagine John Lennon posing for Nike and

doing photoshoots in the central park,

posing with his exclusive John-Lennon-

Ipod (see figure 1) and talking about yoda,

yo-yos, generals, generals in wars and

wars in general.

Imagine a world full of sounds that were

produced by Manes exclusivly. Nobody

wants the truth. Imagine crossing the

street, where the street lights inform the

pedestrian with spanish children tunes

and when a car breaks it sounds like a

hammer that is dropped onto a pillow.

Imagine a world full of images that were

produced by Manes exclusivly. Imagine

crossing the street where there are no

zebra crossings but real zebras fixed to

the traffic light post, cars that don’t look

like cars but srac and drive backwards.

Imagine there was no song called


The beeps in #5 at ~3:00 are the greatest

beeps I heard in a long time. One of the

dreams of a reviewer is that one of his

sentences is used by the record company

in an ad for the album, similarly to those

weird slogans at the

end of movie previews,

you know the “Remarkable.


great. The New York

Times.” So I will try

my best to find some

slogans for this album

that can be used by

their label for advertising:

“This is the ‘Srgt. Pepper’

of the 21st century.”, “Good. Better.

Manes.”, “This is sex for the ear.”, “Iresistible.

Without the spelling mistakes.”, “Beyond

beyondness.”, “If we had 2005 one

would think we had 2007.”, “Imagine nobody

wants the truth.

Jonny Lignano


Mantras – Venkovsky Operetta

Release: December 2009

Label: Self-released Via Stormtype

Avantgenre: Black Metal Enjoying Life,

Exploring Sounds

Duration: 54:17 (cd)

Origin: Czech Republic




MASTER’S HAMMER, the seminal proto-

2nd wave Black Metal (=before Norwegian

influence overrun the genre), is one of

those bands that everybody’s heard of, but

not that many have listened to. Even fewer

are those who seriously enjoy their

works. And I mean all their works, not

only the hefty, violent Black Metal of their

demos and their first album, 1990’s Ritual.

MH are what you would call a cult

band, which is why their sudden and unsuspecting

reunion in October last year

didn’t send any shock waves throughout

the Extreme Metal scene (compared to, for

example, the Swiss drama queens with

make-up who, like MH, really enjoyed

their timpani), though it certainly raised a

few enthusiastic eye-brows among the

more heavily patched denim jackets

across the globe.

What makes MASTER’S HAMMER so special,

historically, was their complete irreverence

to trends and Black Metal conformity.

Already in 1989 they were using more

or less symphonic keyboards and the

trademark timpani (they even had a timpanist

in the band, incorporating that

percussive element to the music, live and

in studio, not just for the exotic flavour).

The seminal “The Jilemnice Occultist”

album from 1992 is not as much an album,

but as a thoroughly composed Black

Metal operetta, with narrative, recurring

themes. A masterpiece in its own terms.

Eat your heart out, Dimmu Borgir. The

subsequent 1995 album “Slagrý” was as

much a farewell to as a raised middlefinger

against anything called metal; it

sounds more like Nobuo Uematsu directing

Laibach in a Bohemian beer hall. Or

something. Then nothing happened for 14

years, and save a cult following (wearing a

lot of old-school patches, probably), MASTER’S

HAMMER were forgotten – perhaps

not forgiven their transgressions against

the Holiest of Holy, Black Metal.

As is detailed in my interview with vocalist,

guitarist and main composer Franta

Storm, MH is a very laidback band. And

you hear that. The thirteen tracks of Mantras

were composed and recorded in about

6 months (except the classic “Jáma Pekel”,

which dates back to the late 80’s, here

enhanced by a choir of chirping frogs) –

it’s clear when you listen to the album

that it’s a spontaneous work; some parts

sound a bit glued together, perhaps not

every riff adds to the whole in a positive

sense, some tracks are easily forgotten.

But whatever that slight critique may

weigh in an overall examination of the

album, it doesn’t matter, really. The vinyl

version of the album has fewer tracks, and

on the CD you can skip a track if you get

bored. That’s really not Franta&Co’s problem,

and you hear that. They make music

for themselves (no labels, everything is

self-produced, but honourably professional),

they are not trying to make you listen.

It’s you choice. And I choose to. So what

do I hear?

First of all, the production is heavy and

clear. Monster’s bass is very chunky, and

the guitars lay like a snowy blanket over a

field. To continue that simile, the electronic

elements (symphonic and electro), the

vocals and the timpani stand out as trees

and bushes from the snow on that field.

The drums are played on pads, making

the sound a bit more synthetic, but that’s

no biggie. Franta’s sore screams have

dropped in pitch and force (he’s got to be

in his forties by now), but are as rancorous

as ever. The songs, all similar in

shape and sound, independent and lined

up (unlike Jilemnice Occultist’s narrative

shape or Slagrý’s unsettling dynamics),

retain the core of the immediately distinguishable


Most songs are based on clear, enchanting

melodies and themes, played on guitars

and organs (Hammond and church); I

think of them as small roads winding

through verdant central European valleys

and hills – you can see where they are

going, without many unforeseen surprises,

but it is still a great pleasure to follow

their twists and turns. Harsh and beautiful,

but without the forcedly histrionic

drama and shallow romanticism you normally

find in symphonic metal. As MASTER’S

HAMMER have always been.

For a Black Metal band (as they still claim

they are), there is not much traditional

Black Metallery here to be found; MH

somehow manage to negate the past 18

years of Norwegian influence upon the

genre. The riffs are heavy and bludgeoning,

but relate more to ordinary rock music

than Death Metal (but do for the Devil’s

sake not think of any recent BM/rock

crossover). Mantras is not modern, nor is

it old school. Again, I think of central European

forests and fields – like them,

MASTER’S HAMMER are timeless.

A couple of tracks stand out from the

crowd, like big rocks raised centuries ago

in a beech forest (can’t seem to leave those

similes behind!). “Bodhi” and “Ganesha

Mantra” are more electronic than metal;

the former swathed in sequenced guitar

and synthesizer melodies on a looped

drum rhythm – the synthesizers sound

more like Welle:Erdball than anything

metallic. The latter of the two is even farther

out, it’s basically a seriously cool

techno song with metal guitars, heavy on

the Indian influences in percussion and

vocalisation. “Propesko” on the other hand

is a bluesy ballad, complete with organs,

hoarse almost-out-of-tune singing, and

echoing guitar licks. But it still sounds

like MASTER’S HAMMER – like the mentioned

rocks, they form natural parts of

the whole landscape.

With Mantras, MASTER’S HAMMER efficiently

show that you don’t have to try to

prove anything, be it how dark and evil,

weird and experimental or profound and

poetic you are. They have gone many

miles beyond having to prove anything.

For MASTER’S HAMMER, it is about doing

what you want, what you feel like. Enjoy

life, or whatever. It’s your problem, ultimately.

A very liberating attitude nowadays

when Extreme Metal has become

more pretentious than ever. MASTER’S

HAMMER is about something else. About

going fishing perhaps, or spending quality

time with your friends. And you hear that.

Note: If you want to buy this album, I

suggest you try the label link above to buy

it directly from the band.



Mars On Earth

Release: 2001

Label: Red Stream Records

Avantgenre: Industrial Darkwave Black Metal

Duration: 22:37

Origin: Mars




The marching snare and the dramatic

synths are a good start, and the explosion

of samples is a fitting culmination to the


The first song “Planets” starts off with

more samples, all very sci-fi, but then the

big guitars and double-bass kick in with

the heady synths, and you know its going

to be a heavy ride. The vox are of the

death/black croaky rasp variety. Just

when you think you have a handle on

this, in comes another mid-song industrial

piece, and then back to the atonal extreme

metal. Then another hyper industro-

synth bit and so on. This is strange, to

say the least.

“Die Stadt Ist Im Krieg” starts off with

more dark strings, bells and timpani

building to atonal extreme metal. There is

an unearthly anthrophobic quality to it

(though the lyrics are beyond me), and

elements of Mayhem circa Grand Declaration

of War (minus the hyper blasting) and

Alastis can be felt in places. The rhythms

are all suitably varied, and the militaristic

feel is present throughout, but coupled

with the strange synths it just sounds

plain bizarre.

“Bleeding Underwater” is again introduced

by a now typical Mars on Earth intro but

explodes with a faster more traditional

cyber black metal sound (though still not

blast paced). This is predictably broken by

a gothic keyboard break to go back to the

full-pedal industrial black metal motif.

The song progresses to include some

beautifully juxtaposed instrumentations

and vocals. My only complaint with this

release is that it is over too quickly.

This MCD is a promising release. Fans of

AGBM are advised to direct their attention



This album is available for a SPECIAL




In The Streams Of Inferno

Release: 1996

Label: Full Moon Records

Avantgenre: Digital Extreme Inferno Metal

Duration: 36:35

Origin: Norway

Official site:


If someone would start a competition to

point out the most evil and grim

avantgarde Black Metal band of all time,

Mysticum would be one of the top favourites

to win the price. I mean, these guys

were signed by the mighty father of all

Norwegian vampires, Mr. Euronymous,

himself, on Deathlike Silence Records.

Who of those wanna-be-evil-worshippers

of today is able to claim something just

close to this? Secondly, the sound on their

debut “In the Streams of Inferno” is even

more high-pitched and invidious than the

guitar-razorblades on “Nattens Madrigal”.

Thirdly, these guys support the “Never

stop the madness”-campaign which supports

the use (or abuse, as you like) of

hard drugs. Shall I go on? No, I think we

can all agree, regardless how much of this

might be slapstick, “In the Streams of Inferno”

is a damn cult release.

Back in 1995 the psychos around vocalist

and guitarist Prime Evil were the first to

combine ingredients of harsh, cold and

merciless Industrial (mainly digital drums

and various samples) with the sharp and

ugly sound of True Norwegian Black Metal.

If you take in consideration that this is

the one and only official album till today,

you get an idea of how intense the material

must be, as the band was able to influence

a whole generation of angry

avantgarde-metal musicians just with one

output. Soon after, the fruits of this unholy

motherhood could be tasted on masterpieces

like “666 International” or “With no

Human Intervention”.

Today, more than one decade after the

release, it is hard to analyse this album.

With an unemotional and sober approach

one has to come to the conclusion, that

this is crap and not worth one penny. The

sound is rather dilettantish, the electronic

drums are blustering without any kind of

creativity and the keyboards annoy with

their common tone and melody themes.

On the other hand, and now we leave the

spheres of rational reception, the atmosphere

on “In the Streams of Inferno” is

simply magic. The artistic coolness of

Mysticum combined with the rather evil

and possessed vocals, spreads a poisoned

spirit, which is in these times, where extreme

metal has become nothing more

than cheap mental fast food, a welcome

revelation of the sick and poisoned genesis

of Norwegian Black Metal. Myticum’s music

should be hence labelled and evaluated

as a relict of music history. A metal

record which is old fashioned, musically

unspectacular and trashy, but in the

same time represents a bridge between

two important evolutionary stages of extreme





Gott Ist Tot

Release: 2007

Label: Epiphora Productions

Avantgenre: Industrial Black Thrash

Duration: 49:51

Origin: France

Official site:


Here be goodness ! Though a bit late in

reviewing this masterpiece of French metal

insanity, this surely deserves a lot more

hype and reviews then it actually got on

its release. Though most references to this

outfit describe it as some form of black

metal, I found it to be more of industrial

thrash release (albeit moody and blackened).

It starts out (after a short but apt sample)

fast and furious with the relentless and

thrashy “Smells like Divine Composition”.

There are nice interludes with a nice fat

bass, and vocals that recall early 90’s

thrash. The riffing is a throwback to some

classic Euro-thrash along with more black

metal oriented styles. There are some nice

samples along the way. “I.N.R.I” continues

the catchy assault, with a great (and hum

able) opening riff. The industrial elements

in all tracks are reinforced by the stop

start nature of composition and guitar

playing as well as the various samples

interspersed through out the album. The

final element that firmly places NOP in the

industrial extreme metal genre is the programmed

drumming, that actually adds to

the album’s relentless assaulting vibe (instead

of detracting like so many contemporaries).

The vocals vary through out,

going from the aforementioned thrash to

hardcore shouting to black metal-ish

screams often in the same song, making

for some great variety. The riffing also

alternates between the industrial black

thrash guitar work of the majority of the

tunes and some more death metal influenced

tremolo picking and structures

(“The Problem of Evil”, also standing out

for the robo-vocals and the rather melodic

emotive outro).

“No Religion Know Peace” is short sample

laden atmospheric piece that will hook

you right in and begs repeated listens due

to its brevity. Though at first the song

titles seem typical of the genres, as you

delve into the lyrics they appear well

thought out and rather poignant in places

(not to say that the album lacks some

bona fide black metal clichés in places,

but it all adds to the effect).

“Under the Hellspell” is a mid-paced romp

through Celtic Frost in Ministry’s dunebuggy.

“The Absurd Song” is another midtempo

tune that shows NOP mutating

hard rock rhythms to their own twisted

vision and topping it with black metal and

gothic vocals. “DCLXVI” has some great

guitar textures juxtaposed to create an

epic sounding haunting piece. “Still Waiting”

again ventures into new ground with

some nice fast and melodic guitar and

vocal work. Over the course of the record,

I realized these guys are over the metal

map in terms of sound, yet have a sense

of song writing that makes it all cohesive.

I was rather surprised at the high level of

quality of the recording as well as composition,

in a scene that is too saturated

with half-assed attempts at such sounds.

This band is definitely sincere, and extremely

talented. They are recommended

to everyone looking for a new vitamin in

their extreme metal diet. Here’s to many

more slices of experimenting metal madness

from this outfit. The band’s mastermind

Ben is also organizing a Pink Floyd

tribute album (??!!) which will surely be a

trip in itself.



One of the most underrated extreme metal

outfits of all time, this band’s swan-song

was a genre defining work that put most

other bands of this ilk to shame.

This, along with Ministry’s Psalm 69,

SYL’s City and Red Harvest’s Cold Dark

Matter, pretty much is the standard for

cyber metal, though being very different

from them. Imagine the perfect cyber

thrash outfit, forgoing the generic chugga

chugga, cheap synth tweaks and basic

nu-metallish tendencies of most ‘industrial’

metal outfits for a maturity born

from a more musically proficient background,

with layers of intricacy providing

a cohesive and dark listening experience.

The sound is a mix of cutting-edge heavy

thrash with plenty of stop-start riffing and

dissonant chords (ala Killing Joke)

splashed here and there, eerie sounding

electronica (without resorting to clich és)

and a mix of extremely powerful gothic

vocals and more typical thrash

growls/rasps. The end result is a unique

sonic signature that deserves to be heard


Carnivore Mothermouth

Release: 1999

Label: Hypnotic Records

Avantgenre: Industrial Cyber Dark Thrash Metal

Duration: 39:26

Origin: Canada

Official site:

by any and all fans of 21st century extreme

metal. The best thing about the

album is that all the songs here show

prowess to pen addictive and catchy tunes

without comprising or simplifying the

sound one iota.

Highlights include “Devil In My Eyes”,

which will raise your hair ends, the hornworthy

“Technicarnivore Motormouth” and

as well as the jittering “Such a Quite River”,

all featuring a cohesive mix of apocalyptic

doomy sounding riffery (imagine

Neurosis riffs in Cyber Thrash context!!!)

and industrial power and grooving metal.

By the time “D ésert Incorporel” rolls over

your stunned corpse, it is all over too

quickly you cannot help but move one

undead cybernautic finger to the replay


This basically takes everything from their

last release “Cybervoid” to perfection. The

magic permeating the entire record’s proceedings

is just unbelievable. Honestly, to

this day I still look for a band capable of

coming close to this sound. I sometimes

wonder where they could have taken this

band’s concept if they hadn’t disbanded at

their prime.



7” EP

Release: August 2009

Label: Duplicate Records

Avantgenre: Trippy/Glitch Black’n’Roll

Duration: 12:57

Origin: Norway

Official site:


What have we here… 3 tracks -two songs

and an interlude- comprising an EP which

takes 3 seconds less than 13 minutes to

introduce the listener in uncharted spaces

and back to the real world… or not? Do I

stay there yet? This glitched sonic rainbow

may have made me look at things in another

way, sometimes more colored, sometimes

just glitchy. Anyway the shapes are

more twisted, the colors more vibrant and

the sounds chippier and intermixed after

you listen to these tracks.

As for the metal side of it, Organ: play a

light-distortion psychedelic black’n’roll

with double kicks and blastbeats, noises,

sampled voices, droney ambiences in a

mixture never tasted before. The riffs are

colorful and smell like mist and rain on a

sunny day, seen through the metalframed

window of a skyscraper factory.

There are no vocals, the music is driven

by the riff progression and accompanied

by ambience sounds and voice samples, or

by the glitches that happen to the same

riff almost all over the track #3. The production

is kind of strange yet clear and

beautiful, sometimes full of things you

didn’t even know existed. These tracks

just make you hear them.

Now I will further dissect the 7” vinyl,

making a script track by track:

1) Wok Wok

Frequency modulated riff to confusing

happy start with ambience and talking

voices and screams Rainbowlike psychedelic

chromatic progression Noised abyssic

underwater life riff Chromatic double

bass drums to blastbeat in hallucinogenic

rapture Rainbowy painless happy hangover

to confusion and enjoyable disorientationWeird

biomechanical dancing to frequency

modulation end

2) Mandolin Floating in between of the

outskirts of nowhere interlude

3) Bossanova Glitch drone start to

glitched gloomy atmosphere to same with

various electro beats and glitchy warping

fills, full of giltches, to ambience to glitchy

satisfactory end

Organ: have made an unxpected move for

the avant-garde metal scene with this EP,

I think so even after having listened previously

to their demo ‘Apoplexy in six parts’,

which was already quite surprising; I hope

they develop their personal mark further

into a full length album soon. Then we

can have legal and cheaper hallucinosonic

drugs instead of everyday drugs for more

than just 13 minutes.



Threshold Of Pain

Release: 1997

Label: Self Released

Avantgenre: Industrial Death Metal

Duration: 35:35

Origin: France

Official site: http://na


The debut release from this French four

piece is a forgotten gem of a record. I only

got my hands on this via an mp3 CD sent

to me containing all various projects of a

certain Monseuir Boris Doussy.

From the first note this is hook laden brutality

all the way. The band claimed Ministry

and Godflesh as influences, but

sounds more like a mix of The Swans and

Grave. The opening title track floored me

with the classic DM riffing, and aptly savage

arrangement interspersed with the

gothic emotional mid-part. Some dissonant

riffing here and there greatly lifts the

final product above the hordes of 90’s DM.

“Sweet Virtual Picture” has a more cyber

thrash feel (Voivod maybe), and the

chunky groove makes way for the more

brutal death metal segues. This band

could have gone places, had they been on

the right label at the right time, as the

swirling dissonance/blasts juxtaposition

in the song attests. Monseiur Boris could

have coded this at a higher bit-rate than

the basic 128 kbps, as it does the already

muddy 90’s DM demo production no favors

(though strangely nostalgic of what

was easily the golden era of extreme metal).”

Perpetual Change – my Desire” continues

the cyber onslaught. Stop start

riffing and those haunting open string

chords make for some great metal. They

again battles it out with death metal to

devastating effect. All six songs on this

release follow the same building blocks:

death metal, some Meshugga-ish thrash,

Voivod/Killing Joke atmospherics and a

maturity in composition. Give this is a

modern production and instrument tones

and thus could take any modern contender

to the cyber-death Thrash throne head


Thankfully it completely manages to avoid

the yawn inducing Fear Factory theatrics

so prevalent then and now. “The Unknown

Sensation” another great and dark riff and

that old Swans groove, as well as chanting

vocals, all of which is shot to hell with the

(now expected) barrage of thrashy death.

This song features another great section

riff and best exemplifies all that the band

offered. All songs here are 6 minutes or

more, but the band keeps things varied

and spliced up with enough interesting

twists and turns to warrant repeated listens.

The charged closer “The Last Dream”

nicely ends this underground classic, a

monument to a time when bands knew

how to make vibrant interesting death


Alas this is also the only thing the band

released before members moved on to other

projects, including the totally insane

Bristol Meyers Squibb (reviewed elsewhere).



Pure Therapy

Release: 2000

Label: Spikefarm Records

Avantgenre: Black Industrial Gothic Nu Metal

Duration: 50:24

Origin: Norway

Official site:


Fat rhythmic guitar riffs in the typical Nu

Metal style, powerful mid-tempo drums,

guttural vocals, spiced with keyboards

and elektro sounds – Is this Ram-Mstein?

No, it’s the debut-album of Ram-Zet. At

the first listening I got very annoyed.

Around the year 2000 there have been so

many bands trying to create a very modern

millenium-sound, mixing the popular

Rammstein-guitars with futuristic elements.

Ram-Zet seemed to be another of

those bands with big, modernistic production

and little new ideas. So I immediately

fell asleep.

But when I woke up I found myself in a

sparkling world. Trivial riffs and fat production

are just the commercial foreground

of “Pure Therapy”. As soon as their

winsome rhythms and melodies have

catched your ears they start to mutate.

The rhythms get complex and winded. The

melodies get exotic, sometimes dissonant,

sometimes oriental. One of the biggest

strengths of Ram-Zet are the elaborate

arrangements. Driving headbanger riffs

are joined by slow violins and sweet angel

voices. Peculiar weird themes melt into

catchy tunes. Dramatic and bombastic

parts flow into peaceful ambient-scapes.

Everything is very varied and colorful. And

it fits perfectly together. Ram-Zet have

their unique style somewhere between

Industrial, Gothic-Wave, Alternative and

tons of all kinds of Metal. They are one of

the very few bands, that are catchy and

commercial, but also avantgardistic and

innovative at the same time.



Sick Transit Gloria Mundi

Release: 2002

Label: Relapse

Avantgenre: Overseas Manufacturing Metal

Duration: 63:32

Origin: Norway

Official site:


Red Harvest’s sixth release, “Sick Transit

Gloria Mundi,” is a punishing piece of

work that would just as soon pummel the

listener as rock their socks off- it does a

little of both. Crushingly heavy, insistently

bleak, surprisingly fast on its feet, with a

strong undercurrent of dystopian futurism,

the album plays like the angry version

of a 1970s JG Ballard story. Fast,

razor sharp electro beats pound away under

a wall of grinding guitars and snarled

vocals. A few songs, especially the machine

age anthem “Godtech,” slow things

down for a bit of epic grandeur. The opening

line “In a world controlled by machines,

humans identify with machines”

conveys the tone, a picture of a world

mired in industrial waste and concrete

ruins, lorded over by blind faith in technology.

The band also covers GGFH’s

“Dead Men Don’t Rape,” a pulverizing,

head smashing take on an old feminist

slogan. The album is like being crushed

under the weight of the state and capital,

under a deluge of discarded plastic and

old tires. The result is a morass of pleasant

ugliness. Recommended reading: Herbert

Marcuse’s “One Dimensional Man”

James Slone



Release: 1999

Label: Century Media

Avantgenre: Industrial Metal Future Pop

Duration: 47:19

Origin: Switzerland

Official site: None


Samael’s “Eternal” is remarkably catchy

for an industrial metal album, sounding

like disco music from a parallel dimension

where state socialism worked and the Soviet

Union won the Cold War, a kind of

worker state rock n’ roll. I’m sure Samael

don’t quite see it that way, but with the

utopian lyrics, the synthesizer drenched

choruses, and hammer clanging industrial

beats (“Together” sounds like a totalitarian

anthem), the music is like something

you’d hear over the PA at the end of history.

Someone might read this and say “hey,

but Laibach already did that!” but not like

this. Where Laibach revel in a certain

pomposity and schmaltzy aloofness- Samael

is smooth and catchy, like monolithic

dance music. Their actual lyrics offer

romantic yearning for an authentically

better world instead of Stalinism or nationalism,

and the band writes love songsthey

sound tough and militaristic but reveal

a band who are basically nice Swiss

guys. The album takes the excessiveness

of metal and industrial and runs it

through a dance filter, polishing it off with

a big production. Scarily powerful, blissfully

intense, infectiously groovy, and

sometimes quite beautiful, “Eternal” is like

an collection of love songs from a posthuman


James Slone


Vae Solis

Release: 1992

Label: Earache

Avantgenre: Grind House (get It?)

Duration: 1:15

Origin: United Kingdom

Official site:


Napalm Death, aside from creating the

grind genre, are also noteworthy for having

spawned several important solo projects.

The original members fanned out on

their own, creating unique aural spaces to

ply their extreme trade. Mick Harris’ contribution

to this abundant output was

Scorn, a project that retained a harsh

grind ambiance before jettisoning the violence

in favor of haunting dub soundscapes.

“Vae Solis” kicked things off, a brutal

hammering attack out of the Killing Joke

playbook with Harris’s pounding industrial

grade beats, buzzsaw guitars sharp

enough to cut steel (courtesy Justin

Broadrick), and Nick Bullen’s pulsating

bass and nauseatingly lethargic vocals.

The only thing that could make this album

any sicker would be blastbeats and

squawking free range saxophone- for that,

see Painkiller, Mick Harris’s delightfully

painful collaboration with John Zorn and

Bill Laswell.

“Vae Solis” is noisy and repetitious in a

classic industrial mode, but retains a pop

catchiness, a certain punk groove that

makes it almost seem musical. There are

moments of near silence scattered like

detritus across the album’s total war

wasteland, dark ambient moments of near

horror garnished with creepy samples. As

the album progresses, the beats become

more danceable. “On Ice” is as catchy as

anything composed by Ministry, warmed

over with a programmed synth line

straight out of New Wave.

The album hints at a Napalm Death that

might have been if the band had abandoned

political anger for aggressive introspection

and sordid atmospherics. It’s

ugly, like a bloated corpse in a filthy public

restroom, but it’s absolutely hypnotic,

deliriously sick and twisted, and in its

own grimy way, a gem.

James Slone


Squibb Vs. Squibb

Release: 2002

Label: Self Released

Avantgenre: Post Dance Industrial For The People Of

The Future

Duration: 35:42

Origin: France

Official site:


Oh boy, how does one describe Squibb vs.

Squibb, Boris Doussy and Mathieu

Megamont’s surreal and oddly cosmopolitan

trip into the stellar regions of extreme

music, without name dropping?

The music reminds me of 1970s Heavy

Metal magazine covers; it sounds like music

you’d hear emanating from a club in

the dank alleys of the shambling super

cities of the future, a little like Foetus or

later-period Ulver, only louder, with droning

tribal rhythms overlaid with the beeps

and whistles of factory equipment, marinated

in primitive chanting calling out

from an ancient, long forgotten civilization.

Bluesy melody lines appear out of

nowhere, sounding hauntingly rustic in

this hyper-technological context, like a

cowboy sauntering into a Martian colony.

Occasionally, the noise will abate, revealing

a dubbed out rhythm gluing it all together

with ganja scented soulfulness. Am

I making any sense so far?

Boris’ voice winds through the music like

an alien presence, invading every nook

and cranny with stoned chants, low tobacco

stained singing and bizarre quasiblack

metal growls you might find in a

mid-1990s Summoning song. Sometimes,

he’ll employ jazz and blues vocals to go

with the jazz guitar that occasionally pops

up, breaking up the industrial machine

sounds with something considerably more


The music’s guiding principle seems to be

taking disparate music and noises from all

over the musical spectrum and layering

them in a complex web of sounds and

then making it danceable with heavy, syncopated

electro beats designed to move

booties. And yet, despite the beats, the

music is so heavy, so utterly uncommercial,

like dance pop for an alien


If you want something genuinely strange,

monumentally large and yet somehow

intensely catchy, something that makes

you feel as though you’ve stumbled out of

a time machine and into a dance club

circa 2089, I have an album for you.

James Slone



Release: 1997

Label: Century Media Records

Avantgenre: Industrial Thrash Power Metal

Duration: 40 Minutes

Origin: Canada / USA

Official site:


With this one it’s hard to know where to

begin. How about “the heaviest finest angriest

slab of cyber metal ever”? This record

came, conquered and remained on the

throne. It pretty much defines what can

be accomplished with the proper amalgamation

of extreme metal and industrial

music (along with Ministry and Red Harvest,

of course).

Opening with a flooring but short intro in

“Velvet Kevorkian” which segues into the

face-ripping “All Hail the New Flesh”, the

record quickly and explosively establishes

its sound and identity. The song that follows

up the intensity another notch is the

headbanging anthem “Oh My Fucking

God”. Thrash (and some Death/Grind)

riffage layered with all manners of samples

and synths, backed by the rhythm

section from hell (how can you go wrong

with Gene Hoglan on drums?) races along,

all topped off with some of the most original

vocals in metal (Devin Townshend is a

phenomena unto himself, going from

tough guy vocals to screeches and

screams to heart wrenching wails and

singing, all in the same song and all suitably


It is a winning mix, especially when the

brutality is contrasted by slower, more

atmospheric and intensely emotional sections,

where the synths, guitars and vocals

make a strangely ambient melodic

mix creating a wall-of-sound that became

Devin’s trademark. Another ace of the

band is the lyrical contact, which is angry

and direct (to the point of almost being

punk/hardcore) and clearly understandable,

thanks to the amazing production job

(courtesy of Devin himself, with engineering

by Daniel of Meshuggah fame).

All the songs here are killer, catchy and

epic at the same time (something which is

very hard to achieve). They flow seamlessly

and the sequence makes perfect sense.

As Devin has repeatedly stated in interviews,

it is his catharsis and it shows.

Many of the themes here are developed

further on subsequent SYL and DTB releases,

but none comes close to the sheer

insanity of this record. The Cop Shoot Cop

cover is a great choice and brings variety

to the record, while still sounding like a

SYL tune.

All in all, this is one of the top metal releases

of all time, and still sounds as refreshing

and vibrant today as the day it

was released. If you haven’t had the

pleasure, pick it up today for a truly cerebral

yet vicious metal experience.



Symptoms That You Are Alive

Release: 2007

Label: Self Released

Avantgenre: Death-Industrial Dream Metal

Duration: 41:43

Origin: Italy

Official site:


It begins beautifully with a strange wisp of

a synth that explodes in a full-bloodied

metal harmony, and then the groove locks

in. The vocals and riffing place this firmly

in the extreme metal camp, but it is the

drum machine (which may have benefited

from a better kit sound), strange feedback

noises and those bizarre synths that truly

propel this beyond into something else.

This is way ahead of the Obituary meets

Ministry via Killing Joke styling of the

debut. It has a strange atmosphere: obviously

apocalyptic yet somehow enchanting,

kind of like post-black death metal

without resorting to any of the clichés of

that much flogged dead horse. Do not get

me wrong – the sound is too wholesome to

be black metal. Just the mood is wistful,

anthemic and magical in places. And

when it’s coupled with the more typical

disjointed death metal riffing and vocals it

just gets unstoppable. Instead of going for

the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-trick

of most modern bands of this ilk, Symptoms

stay true to a strong songwriting

tradition, while utilizing the avant garde

tendencies as hooks to great effect.

The interludes are plain bizarre, going

much further than the standard few samples

and beeps, to actually be complete

entities in themselves, with totally involving

atmospherics and intricate rhythms at

play. There is even a strange gap in the

opener “Dead for 30 Seconds” that I’m still

not sure is intentional.

But the way the dreamy soundscapes are

ripped apart by brutal death metal guitars

is strange juxtaposition and may even be

too much for some. When it all comes together

(the afore mentioned ‘hooks’ of the

songs) there’s just plain jaw-dropping: the

choir-synth-guitar /double bass culmination

in “City Lights” or the way the outro

of said song leads right into the harmonic

intro of the manic, driving “Mental Disorder”.

You really will drift of to strange

places as the album progresses. There is

this truly unique sounding lead (synth or

guitar?) that is overlaid over the more traditional

aggro-riffing in a lot of songs that

puts the entire thing into a new perspective.

All in all, this is a welcome addition to a

growing army of new cyber-avant bands

that are pushing the boundaries of metal

into inner and outer space. Do yourself a

favour and get it now directly from the




Start The Process

Release: 2007

Label: Self Released

Avantgenre: Dark Dance Metal

Duration: 16:21

Origin: France

Official site:


Cruising out of France on the wings of

technology and a cold rage, this is a solid

effort from the beginning to the end. By

the second song the style of the band is

immediately recognizable. It is a dark,

aggressive and danceable sound, full of

atmosphere and groove. The quality of the

material holds up to repeated listens. The

songs have a definite club friendly feel

without catering to the base denominator.

That means it reminds you less of goth

club scene in a Hollywood flick and more

of an actual dance floor full of antagonistic

cyborgs. Thankfully the riff styling and

synth sequences place them firmly in the

Euro scene as opposed to the post-NIN

abominations of America. And the vocals

do that dark, slightlty distorted almostgrowl,

filled out with a gothic baritone.

Imagine a mix of darkwave and Exodus

era Samael with a hint of Red Harvest.

Electro Metal fans should definitely give

this a try.

It is too short even for an EP, and you just

wish there were more songs here. There

are very occasional traces of the cheesiness

of Deathstars and Pain. But they are

so sparse that it adds to the vibe. The EP

achieves the (desired) effect in that the

listener wants more. What wonders will

the full length bring? Surely it cannot be

an entire CD full of mid-paced dark dance

metal. But if there is someone capable of

pulling it off, it is these guys.

And that is about all I can write based on

3 songs (and 1 intro).




New Era Viral Order

Release: 2002

Label: Code 666

Avantgenre: Robotic Alien Metal

Duration: 48:52

Origin: Italy

Official site:


These guys have been active more or less

since 1991. Starting with Black Metal under

the name FUNERAL FOG, they recorded

three demos until they changed

their name to MALDOROR. They recorded

several demos and two full-length albums

under that name, until changing their


The first album that sprung

forth with their new name was “New Era

Viral Order”; which is what I have got

here, but let us take a quick look into the

future before coming back to 2001.

Only one band can compare with their

career, at least with the development in

their musical style, and that is- ULVER.

From Black Metal, which gets more and

more wrapped up in electronic elements,

to Jazz and Trip Hop- and from what I

interpret from their MySpace-Site, they

are doing some kind of atmospheric

soundtrack right now. Parallels obvious?

Oh by the way, they seem to have their

name changed again into T/M/K.

Back to the album N.E.V.O.- (it is shorter

that way, maybe that is why they changed

their name to T/M/K- goes more smoothly


right?) Not much unlike their fellow countrymen

of ENSOPH, what you will listen to

is heavily synthed Black/ Dark Metal with

shredding guitars and cold, mechanic

effects. Maybe a reminiscence to their earlier

days, the second Track “Haemorrhage

Transmission” features even blastbeats;

but the rest of the album is midtempo –

massive, stomping beats with the guitars

providing the aggression. Above all spheric,

laser-like synths and the aggressive

shouts of vocalist Kundahli. Think of

T/M/K (there- it IS much easier) as a

slower, more dense version of ABORYMalthough

T/M/K are even more into the

mechanical approach of their music. This

manifests in occasional beeps, sweeps,

robotic speech and almost dance-like

synth melodies as well as samples. Somehow

they manage to avoid the point where

this would get on my nerves; I have to

admit the omnipresent synth is not exactly

my cup of tea. But, it fits this album

well, and the interspersed ambient passages

do their part to make it interesting

and diversified.

If you are into one of the above mentioned

bands, check out T/M/K. I for once have

to be in the right mood to listen to this,

but when I am, it rocks. Should you

stumble upon another album of T/M/K

wondering what the heck I am writing

here about and why nothing I mention

applies to what YOU were listening- go

ahead, go show ULVER’s “Nattens Madrigal”

to someone, followed by let us say

“Blood Inside” and then tell him/her this

is the same band. None of T/M/K’s albums

is representative or repetitive, and

N.E.V.O. is but a step in their evolution.

Tentakel P.



Release: 2004

Label: Listenable Records

Avantgenre: Screeching Industrified Death Metal

Duration: 41:52

Origin: Australia

Official site:


The first glimpse I got from THE AMENTA

was a promotional photo. Back then I

thought: “fife guys posing for the Dimmu-

Borgir-lookalike-contest, so what…” I was

expecting some kind of this new, trendyevil

gothic-industrial bands like Deathstars

and the like. Boy, was I wrong.

Luckily, THE AMENTA are lightyears away

from this genre, celebrating a mix of highly

skilled technical Death/ Black/ Industrial

Metal. Band members recruit from

several Death Metal and Grindcore bands;

the most renowned of them propably

ABORTED from which Diazanon (Dave

Haley) on Drums hails.

It is difficult to describe THE AMENTA’s

sound to anyone not knowing them- because

what you will hear here is something

which to my best knowledge has not

been heard anywhere else before. Search

in vain for catchy melodies, simple songstructures

and the like- what you will find

here is hyperspeed doublebass and extreme

fast blastbeats as well as Cesium

137’s growls and screams accompanied by

guitars which not so much play melodies,

but create eerie, spherical noises.

All of this is interrupted by industrial

soundscapes which remind me a bit of the

atmosphere in the early Alien-Films. THE

AMENTA are sterile, alien, hostile and cold

– two bands come to my mind when listening

to them, namely THORNS and

ZYKLON; combine the cold machine

sound of the first with the sreeching, banshee-

like guitarwork from the latter; multiply

that and you reach the soundscapes


Only one song could possibly be described

to be in the style of traditional songwriting,

which is “Nihil”- a great, double-bassbased

mosh-monster with so much as a

catchy melody. The rest of the songs are

best labeled as lightning- fast hymns to

destruction. This was not made for humans,

or any other organic life. It makes

most of the wannabe-evil-cold Black Metal

bands look as if they perform happy

dance-hymns for birthday parties in comparison.

It is brutal, aggressive, dissonant

and industrial. If you want easy listening,

stay away like hell- this album will disintegrate

your ears. But anyway, as you

read this on Avantgarde-Metal you will

probably not expect easy listening… You

have been warned. I for once await their

second album “n0n” which will hopefully

be released this year.

I will conclude this with THE AMENTA’s

own words:

“Extreme music for an age rotting to rags.

Do you want traditional? Do you want

safe? Do you want the sound of a million

brainless hacks slaving away on thrash

solos learned by rote from guitar magazines?

The Amenta is NOT FOR YOU.”

Tentakel P.



Release: 2003

Label: Nuclear Blast

Avantgenre: Aperitif Rock Digestif

Duration: 01:07:29

Origin: Norway

Official site:


Today I had a sandwich for lunch. No big

thing actually, I did not listen to music

while eating my creation. In case you want

to listen to this album I suggest the following

food for each song. Please note that

some meals need prior preperation before

being served. Mahlzeit!

#01: Some asian noodel snack that is

cooked within 3 minutes.

#02: Some vanilla ice cream, schocolate

cream, a banana and some rasped nuts.

#03: Fruit salad. Add cans of your favourite

fruit into a big bowl, add some sugar

and off you go.

#04: Meat. Put into a a pan with heated

oil. As side dish I suggest some well

cocked rice.

#05: Pudding with gumy bears or jelly

beans. I recomend some icing sugar on


#06: This song is 4:11 which is pretty

much the time Barilla noodles (No. 3) take

to be serveable.

#07: Salad. Add vinegar/oil, salt, pepper,

some onions/garlic and some dried tomatos.

Serve with fresh white bread.

#08: Cut meat into small pieces, add sea

salt oil and vinegar, let the meat soak in

that soup for 1-2 hours and then cook it

shortly on a light flame; serve with small

potatoes that have been in silverfoil in the

stove for at least 30′.

#09: Take a big potatoe and fill it with

sour cream, garlic, pepper and all kind of

spices (oregano, thyme,…). Use the oven

to heat that mofo up.

#10: Pre-fabricated ravioli should go well

with this song.

#11: Order a pizza from your local pizza

delivery. Suggestion: a simple Margharita

with Onions.

#12: Cook water, add one or two corncobs

and let them cook for 4-6 minutes. Serve

with butter and salt.

Jonny Lignano


The Delphic Doctrine

Release: 2006

Label: Sound Riot Records

Avantgenre: Industrial Death Black Metal

Duration: 42:18

Origin: Austria

Official site:


Aaaaah !! Finally!! After reviewing all

manners of insane sound forms that are

often at the very edge of metal, here is one

assigned to me that is as metal as beer,

sacrificed virgins and spiked studs. This

here is some seriously brutal atmospheric

death metal. And atmospheric I don’t

mean doomy or slow; I mean reeking of

evil darkness. I don’t have a lyric sheet or

a CD sleeve even but somehow I wouldn’t

be surprised if the themes were cosmic,

satanic, hermetic or plain murderous

(even a combination of some/all of the


It starts with a very short intro and then

its blasts all the way, with a few more similarly

short synthy intros scattered

through out.. The riffing and song-writing

is straight forward and lightning fast. The

growls are done in the classic demonic

death metal vein (think Massacre, Septic

Flesh and mid-period Behemoth)with an

occasional dashing of a more mid-ranged

rasp (no ultra high pitched shrieking,

than you very much). There is a dark almost

cyber sheen to the material, courtesy

of the background but ever present synths

(which occasionally come forth as per requirement),

and the too precise drumming

(is it or is it not a drum machine?), as well

the perfect production.

I know it sounds like a million other

bands, but there is something about the

songs that just stick. The riffing knows

where to stand out, without going into

wankery, and the stuff is catchy. There

wasn’t a single part where I thought ‘I

wish they hadn’t done that’ and that

means its damn near perfect as a slice of

metal brutality. For those into the heavier

end of the spectrum check this shit out.

Hail !!!

(Though for the sake of criticism, this isn’t

very Avant Garde at all).



Doloris Corpus

Release: 2007

Label: Selfreleased

Avantgenre: Synthetic Industrial Mayhem

Duration: 20 Min

Origin: France

Official site:


Wow!…, not “World of warcraft”, but a

real “wow!”. Before I write anything about

the “Body of pain” (Latin. doloris corpus)

one has to be aware that France started

giving us quite a lot of great and weird

bands (the invisible giants- Deathspell

Omega, Smohalla, the growing audible

chaos, and some that yet have to be discovered

like Dreams of the Drowned). Unhealthy

Dreams is one of the most brutal

deities of the fast rising scene. The band

creates the pain of modern humanity

through their chaotic music. When you

take a look at the cover of “Doloris Corpus”

you can expect somekind of a chaotic

industrial mania, but when you put it into

the stereo, it will just hit you in the face,

you won’t see it coming! Why?!

The production is very clear, but nevertheless

the audible mayhem is colossal, ranging

from the bass lines up to every electronic

squeak. The tracks tend to be very

fast, but they are often broken apart by

some pure electronical passages, the second

track even features a charming flute.

The contrast is interesting as the electronical

parts are sometimes quite calming,

while the rest of the music is very fast and

nervous, one could compare this with a

behavior of a person suddenly struck with

waves of dementia. Just like the instrumental

parts the vocals vary very much,

from an ofu-khanish style in the beginning

to a more high pitched black screaming

style. I am not sure if this is my impression

but somehow the album tends to

get more and more electronical as it is

closer to it’s end. The vicious and nervous

guitars become more steady, but not softer,

don’t worry. Electronica and the samples

used on “Wolves torment” is purely

great, the track being filled with distorted

beats and raw industrial samples.

The atmosphere of the whole album is

very cold, razor-sharp and solid. This is

an example of a great industrial production

(or destruction) and mastering, not

being too loud so one can absorb all of the

elements, and not being to noisy as Red

Harvest sometimes manages to be. Nevertheless

this is one of the best surprises in

the industrialized sphere of our weird music

this year. I hope Unhealthy Dreams

shall get all the attention a promising

band like that disserves. Now I recommend

that you get lost in this swirl of pain

you can hear on “Corpus Doloris”…..get

lost……. Ulv


Overture Macabre Demo

Release: 2007

Label: Self-Released

Avantgenre: Evil Rock

Duration: 21:52

Origin: Australia

Official site:


A nice short demo that amply demonstrates

this up and coming band’s arsenal.

This is an interesting exercise in rocking

gloomy metal. There is a cloak of

darkness over the entire thing, and rather

than coming across like the whining and

sad caterwauling of typical gothic metal,

this sounds threatening. You know, like

those bands from the mid-80’s that had

an undercurrent of violence in their taut

guitar bass drum (and synth) setup. This

also benefits from a sense of history as the

band appears to have heard the 90’s dark

and black metal boom (Moonspell, Samael,

Enslaved), besides the obvious bows

at the altars of Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus

and Fields of Nephilim.

“Eyes Sewn Shut” begins the assault with

driving backbone and rewards with calmer

yet blacker mid-section before returning to

the beat/ riff barrage. “Walk with Me” continues

the gothic mosh, with a vintage

dark chord progression. “Journey Below”

shows another side to the band’s sound. A

bit slower, a bit moodier with an esoteric

anthemic chorus you may find yourself

humming at the next black mass.

The guitars are simple and straightforward

but perfect for the rather catchy and

dark songwriting. When the crunchy noirriffs

are complemented with the spooky

synths and the vintage drumkit, it is indeed

an enjoyable spin, with the singer

painting tales of horror, the occult and

morbidity in his rather grim yet melodic

baritone, we have a little gem of modern


It is only four songs (plus one short horror

movie mood piece at the end) but it gets

the job done. I have heard that the debut

album proper will have a much better

production. If so, Vision Bleak et al should

get ready for the competition.



Blessed Sins

Release: 2008

Label: Modern Invasion Music

Avantgenre: Syngoth Metal

Duration: 49:22

Origin: Australia

Official site:


First of all, first things first. I am not going

to be comparing this “proper” album with

its self-released predecessor, Overture

Macabre (which was a pretty decent release

in its own right), as though they

share songs, this album’s longer length

and much clearer production puts it in

another ball park entirely.

Imagine, if you will, a more metal version

of classic Bauhaus. Bypass the Moonspells

and Type O’s while you are it. In

essence, this outfit channels the spirit of

80’s goth rock (with a hint of cold wave)

into 90’s metal (no sub-genres such as

black or death need apply).

The opener “Eyes Sewn Shut” is one of the

band’s strongest tunes to date, combining

nice thick riffage with great (and nostalgia

inducing) songwriting that makes you

want to bang your head in a rather morbid

fashion. The vocalist ( and the production)

has improved, providing a throatier

baritone to go with the industrial gothic

metal instrumentation. The title track

wastes no time in showing the band’s other

more 80’s influenced allegiance, keeping

it interesting and highly addictive all

the way.

Most of the songs keep the pace good, and

the sound testosterone based. “Interlude

in Hell” breaks the flow with a short and

suitably dark piece leading to more Sisters

of Mercy playing metal via “White Heaven”.

“The Burning” is my favorite track on the

album,being highly catchy without relying

on the tried formula, having no crunchy

guitars yet still managing to be a chraged

song with nice lyrics. Its dark and and

mid paced with clear synths but sounds

nothing like typical darkwave fare. And it

segues niceley into “Obsessed”. Awesome !

The band’s sense of dynamics is strong,

and takes only the enjoyable bits of stalwarts

like Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus,

leaving behind the doodling. The muscularity

of the band’s sound changes it from

moping sounding to positively threatening

in places. The synths never take top priority

and neither do the samples, only enhancing

the claustrophobic dark atmosphere

created by these morose Australians.

This is steadily developing into one my

favorite new gothic metal bands (and one

of the few who justify the tag). Let us observe

and see where their dark path leads

to from here.



The Yawn Of The New Age

Release: 2007

Label: Vendlus Records

Avantgenre: Noise Fragmentation Weirdness

Duration: Less Than An Hour

Origin: Norway

Official site:

(a fragment)

and so it was, about a year or two ago, that the aVoid and the Lignano heard this crazy-ass

electronoise album from this guy who was in that cool band and in that other almost cooler

but in another way band for a shorter while, and now has a lot of bands everywhere that I

don’t think anyone can keep track of not even his mother, and thought “hey, let’s co-write a

review as crazy-ass as this album!”, and some work began. and yeah, it was pretty weird.

but as things go, it poured out in the sand as Swedes say. too bad, could’ve become something.

maybe. anyway, we forgot about it, until recently, so I thought I’d go resuscitate the

few shards of a review that are still to be found on my hard-drive. can’t tell what is mine and

what is his. but ahh…

again, this is not a review. it could have been. consider it a sketch, a few short impressions.

then you ask, why publish it if it’s not finished? well, then I ask, why release ‘the Frostland

Tapes’? one for the completionists, as we revel in self-augmentation. the cat mentioned is

now 20 months old and prefers Peter Gabriel and Sting as every grown-up feline does,

though she still kinda fancies tuna. the dog is, as far as you are concerned, still not owned

by anyone.

disclaimer: aVoid has not listened to this album for a year and can’t even remember if it’s

any good or not.

disclaimer 2: the images found on aVoid’s harddrive have been mashed into the text in a

hyper-arbitrary fashion, adding some extra un-provoked “strangeness”, which is “fun”, for

the sake of your “entertainment”.

enjoy. or don’t. ———












(“Anyway, I used to hate Iggy Pop but now that he’s so commercial I like him a lot better


The ax hits him mid-sentence, straight in the face, its thick blade chopping sideways into

his open mouth, shutting him up.)

Svein-Egil Hatlevik. Hologram

Magic Logic. Mr.

Dingy Sweet Talker Woman



Flöretÿ and Afrodisiack.

Glitchin’ & cuttin’ it up.

My kitten dig this. And…

and she’s named after a

Tormentor song. She

claws and attacks the

right speaker during track

VIII et XI. Normally she

prefers old-school

black/thrash metal and

tuna, but I guess this has

the same aesthetic value

in the eyes of a 4 month

young feline. She says:

54 76ioooooooooo,” and

what else can you say?

My dog does not dig this. A

soon as track I starts I realise that I don’t have a dog.

Trippety-hop in epileptic seizures!

More than a hobby.

The only difference between ‘noise’ and ‘sound’ is the amount of letters used. See, no difference.

See no difference.

de nifference Zoo

(“That’s a very fine Chardonnay you’re drinking. /…/ I want to clean you vagina.” -I’m wearing

a tuxedo for no apparent reason- “It’s a beautiful animal”)

If my foobar2000 were a needle, it would be called foobar2001.

“Raevskjört” means either 1a.) “Humped in the butt” or 3ce.) “Driven by a fox”. I’m… not

sure. (I… am… the… devil… and I am… just… like… you)

“Tusch”, Substantiv, masskulinum, Standardwortschatz (18. Jhd.): Entlehnung. Ãoebernommen

aus Österreich, wo dieses Wort “Schlag, Lärm, Trompeten- und Paukenschall”

bedeutet. Letztlich liegt französisch. touch, altfranzösisch. toche “geblasenes Signal,

Trompetenzeichen” zugrunde, zu altfranzösisch. tochier “berühren”, auch “ein Tonwerkzeug

spielen, blasen”.

(“Shar-pei?” akthent on thee latht thyllable)


the + yawn + of + the + new + age = theyawnofthenewage = anegateheftyhenwow = album

song 1 + song 2 + song x = album y

Zweizz² = Zweizz x Zweizz = Zweixzz

suddenly, horns start growing from your head. or maybe not horns, tentacles perhaps?

things. nasty things. that. should. not. be. there. in the first place. suggestive blood and a

flurry of… butterflies. from TIBETANSKA PLATÃ…ER UTAN NAMN.


and an old videogame. 256 colours, at least.


unfold the layers of the new age Yawn, press it 2″ thick, and throw it into space… now you

can easily reach Jupiter and get stuck in the Lagrangepoint on your way back, without

turning around. they are that many. and deep.

666ANTI-MUSICK for A DIFFERENT AGE no-one has SEEN or is capable of BELIEVING



(After finishing a second glass of champagne I move to martinis and

after I’ve calmed down sufficiently I take a closer look around the

room, but the midgets are still there. “Too much red,” I mutter to myself.

“Why doesn’t she put on some Talking Heads for Christ sakes”, I

complain bitterly.)

appendix #1.

Blacker Than Darkness

music & lyrics originally by Demonaz Doom Occulta,

Abbath Doom Occulta & Armagedda

Out in the black night

In the cold Northern breeze

Under the red skies

Surrounded by blasphemous winds

Midnight passing and the moon is fulfilled

Slowly blackening the sky

I summon up where the ravens fly high

Towards the moons of Blashyrkh

Death rides on black winds

Evil enter the sky

Angels falls from the heavens

While the darkness shines through

Chariots of the darkest masters arrives on devil wings

Heavens angels surrounded by frost

Forced into the holocaust frozen clouds

A twisted wind rapes the clouds

Memories of cold days and lightning returns

A foggy fullmoon night

Into darkness ride

Under the horned goatmoon

As dark as black rivers at wintertime

Horned Decembermoon come to me

I ride the wings of Torment

Blacker than darkness

appendix #2

two slightly more realistic, though perhaps not more nor less fair, reviews:

somewhat written by




Special Print Edition of

Avantgarde Metal Magazine:


15th of September 2010


Chief Editor:

Chrystof Niederwieser

PDF design and layout & cover artwork:

Katja Honeywine van de Barrel


Bernd Grünwald

Articles written by:

aVoid, Oliver Side, David

Jonny Lignano, James Slone, Polygon,

Tentakel P., Suleiman Ali,

Ulv, MvH, Katja Honeywine and Chrystof


get in contact with the crew members

visit the “about” section on