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top10 2018 postindustrialThe Post-Industrial scene has undergone changes in the past couple of years. The feeling is that many Dark Electro projects are looking for their right sound. Someone went to the metal guitar area, which was heard more than once and in most cases was not successful at all, but the scene was losing another good band. Electro Industrial groups continue to create and they continue to succeed in that. Classic EBM sound also begins to return and not in the form of popular in the 00s Anhalt EBM or modern Old-school sound, but in the incarnation that contains modern EBM including dance melodies in between dry minimalistic sound and dense complex mechanical structures.

Of all the branches of the dark scene this part can be called the least holistic and the most problematic. If 10 years ago there was the dominance of cloned Dark Electro projects such as HOCICO and SUICIDE COMMANDO, now to find albums with a sound similar to that you should make an effort to find and high-quality releases in this style are already a rarity. So this year those genres returned to the Post-Industrial map. And not only. If last year’s landmark releases of Post-Industrial music were mostly Electro Industrial, so this year both the most popular Dark Electro danceable genre and modern EBM without Old-school or Anhalt influences are back.

Covered genres: EBM, Dark Electro, Anhalt EBM, Old-school EBM, Aggro Industrial, Electro Industrial, Old-school Dark Electro

10. Deutsche Berittene Spetsnaz - ‘Orthodox Imperialist’ (Anhalt EBM | Russia, Self-Released)

New album of the Russian electronic project DBS, which was active for the last 4 years mostly with live shows. The project was formed in 2006 by Nazar 54[R], who left the Electro Metal project [T.3.R.]. The music was relevant at that period because of the peak of the Anhalt EBM genre, but DEUTSCHE BERITTENE SPETSNAZ were not bad at all and even better, then their colleagues from Germany and Sweden. After the debut they were noticed by big labels, so their next albums were released on the German major Trisol and on the Russian famous label Shadowplay Release. Along with the row of releases on popular labels there was a change in the sound in the direction of a more guitar music combination with Old-school EBM. The musicians themselves called this sound “Bodybilly”. In 2018 a release of a full-length album after 4 years break happened. And these 4 years were worth waiting, because musically DBS went back to the roots. Classic Anhalt EBM with German lyrics, powerful, rhythmic and strong sound is back. The music became more elaborated and multi-layered compared to the debut album, the melodies became brighter and holistic. There are dance hits that can make an EBM dancefloor jumping and there are some viscid tracks for home listening. An excellent example of how to do Anhalt EBM, which recently has somehow fallen into antibiosis.

09. Schramm - ‘Nuklear Fetisch’ (EBM, Aggro Industrial, Electronic Rock | Germany, Cleopatra Records)

The German trio came to the Post-Industrial world at the end of 00s and from the first single attracted the attention of EBM lovers with a peppy sound and bizarre concept. The musicians combined modern EBM and used elements of Old-school sound. The new album was released 6 years after the debut, so many have already forgotten about the existence of this project. And the guys continued to make music and compose. New work has become half guitar, although the ardour of EBM remained at the same level. Some of the songs sound the same EBM-based, but most of the album has become a mixture of Aggro Industrial and Electronic Rock, sometimes even going into Neue Deutsche Härte. German lyrics, aggressive vocals and dance tunes make the album not only smooth and attractive on paper, but also intended for the dance floors. Once Aggro Industrial was called EBM with guitars, which many critics and music fans have denied and said that this is completely wrong. SCHRAMM found a sound that fits both the term Aggro Industrial and the term “EBM with guitars”. This album is a good example how to use guitars in electronic music right and without any damage to the electronic part.

08. Xentrifuge - ‘Desensitized Parallels’ (Dark Electro | USA, Cleopatra Records)

The American project XENTRIFUGE was born in 2005 by Chris X. Two years later the first album came out with a hard, rough and at the same time melodic Dark Electro. Such a sound can in fact be called typical for most American projects. Having released two albums the project went into the sleep mode because of the author’s medical issues. And now, having overcome all difficulties, Chris is back to work. Third album was released 9 years after the previous one and turned out to be a continuation of the old works with losing even small part of aggressiveness and melody in the complexity and atmosphere. The American remained coherent and continued with his peculiar sound and did not go to the mainstream popular electronic genres or ubiquitous guitar sound. So at the output we got an excellent work of high-quality example of American dark electro, which, strange as it may sound, has lately become a rarity.

07. Outpost 11 - ‘Resonate’ (Electro Industrial | Russia, Self-Released)

The debut album of the young Russian project OUTPOST 11 was first released by its own for free download on the internet and then reissued by the Hungarian label Advoxya Records with bonus remixes and new tracks. The author was inspired by the Electro Industrial icons FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, so the sound similarity is understandable. The Russian created an interesting melodic Electro Industrial of the Old-school electronic music with periodic diversions into an Electronic Rock. Melodious, because it sounds not as mechanical as other colleagues in the scene, but there are also aggressive tracks and more EBM sound compositions. The album turned out to be quite good not only for the debut, but also generally and it seems like this is not the first material created by the author. It seems that on the Russian Post-Industrial scene we have a new rising star of Electro Industrial, which is able to light up even the European dark corners.

06. Bornless Fire - ‘Arcanum’ (Old-school Dark Electro, Dark Electro | USA, Metropolis Records)

In the middle of the 2000s in the United States the Dawn of Ashes project was formed, which made a breakthrough on the dark electric scene becoming one of the leading American musicians in this genre. After releasing a number of albums the project went to metal leaving dark electro lovers to savour previous works. And after without a doubt a successful change of style, Christophe decided to return to Post-Industrial music making, but already with his new solo project BORNLESS FIRE. In fact, his new project can be considered a next stage of the dark electro creativity of DAWN OF ASHES, but not everything is so simple. The basic genre of the debut album is, of course, Dark Electro, however, elements of atmospheric Old-school Dark Electro sound and a certain amount of Electro Industrial component are implemented into the music, so the album in general is more for home listening than for dancing on the dancefloor, but it is also possible. That’s good. I am glad that the American does not try to release what people want, but creates the music he likes. Well, at least I hope so. In any case, the album turned out great. In the addition to the nine original compositions and intro several remixes from colleagues of Post-Industrial music were included as bonus tracks. I would not say that the remixes diversified the album a lot, because all of them are made in the same genre and almost in the same sound as the original versions. Only SUICIDE COMMANDO managed to make a remix with its own recognizable sound.

05. Reality’s Despair - ‘Societal Collapse’ (Electro Industrial | Belgium, Self-Released)

There was a peak in the rebirth of an old Electro Industrial sound last year, when half of the top 10 of Post-Industrial scene consisted of the albums in this genre. This year only two and a half of such albums hit the top. And if the Russian formation OUTPOST 11 made more melodic sound of Electro Industrial, so the Belgians of REALITY’S DESPAIR, who returned after 16 years of silence, created the classic mechanical sound, not forgetting also atmospheric dimensional parts. The album consists of rhythmic tracks that take listeners away in the 90s, when EVIL’S TOY and the early works of the SOLITARY EXPERIMENTS clanked the scene. Elements of Old-school EBM add rhythm, so some tracks may fit Post-Industrial dancefloor. Good smooth album, which can be called a great return of the 90s. Again.

04. Death Signals - ‘No More Heroes’ (Dark Electro | Mexico, Self-Released)

If you miss the perky, hit and melodic dance material of Latin American Dark Electro, if you are not indifferent to the best works of HOCICO, AMDUSCIA, CENOBITA and ALIEN PRODUKT, then this album of Mexicans is just for you. The project from Mexico City was created in the middle of the 10s and has already managed to release two full-length albums till 2018. All albums were released on their own in digital format, which is actually a bit surprising. Apparently, the Latin American Dark Electro is no longer in trend. And by the way this album became the incarnation of the best from AMDUSCIA and HOCICO. An evil high quality danceable Dark Electro at its best, which did not came over for the last several years on the Post-Industrial scene. And yes, there is nothing new in this release, but all the good old things are done very good and right according to all well-known patterns, which made Latin Dark Electro popular.

03. Full Contact 69 - ‘Selfdestruction’ (Electro Industrial, EBM | Germany, Self-Released)

This is already the fourth album of German Electro Industrial project, which is constantly compared with the icons of the genre FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY. Apparently, the Germans decided to take a step away from this kind of sound to avoid this comparison and added rare Electronic Rock and modern EBM elements to the music. It is surly the advantage for the artists. There is a variety of different sounds, band’s own recognizable touch, hit compositions, and the old mechanicalness also did not disappear. Along with the Electronic Rock elements, elements of modern EBM also were used, which also led the sound away from FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY comparison. It is clear that FULL CONTACT 69 will still be compared with iconic Canadians as all Electro Industrial projects, but now the Germans sound relatively fresh and original without losing the previous positive qualities. The main thing now is to avoid comparisons with the works of NINE INCH NAILS and the early works of IN STRICT CONFIDENCE, which, by the way, also released an album in their old style.

02. Leæther Strip - ‘World Molæster’ (EBM | Denmark, Læbel)

30 years ago Danish guy Claus Larsen created a project called LEÆTHER STRIP. In the 90s this project became remarkable phenomenon on the EBM scene and the letter “æ” became familiar to all lovers of Post-Industrial music all over the world. In the second half of the 90s Claus produced many hits enough for a couple of decades ahead, so the releases of the second half of the 00s reminded one long monotonous song cut into thousands of small pieces, which were released in parts. The same as other listeners I did not expect anything from the new album, but has got a powerful tough material in the spirit of the old LEÆTHER STRIP. The album is full of hits and Claus has been able to create high-quality sound for a long time. Moreover, the album is not made in the genre of Old-school EBM, but in modern sounding only with the atmosphere and several features of the Old-school. New album is an excellent work of the 90s icon, who lacked originality, freshness and hits for the last 20 years. All this happened in the new work, which, according to rumours, will be the last of LEÆTHER STRIP. If these rumours are true, then ‘World Molæster’ will be a good end to the career, and the project of Claus will be remembered for this particular album. If not, so the next album will be awaited.

01. Funker Vogt - ‘Wastelands’ (EBM | Germany, RepoRecords)

In 1995, Gerrit Thomas created a project called FUNKER VOGT, which was one of the first to play Post-Industrial music in the modern sound of the EBM genre. FUNKER VOGT had a unique recognizable sound throughout its whole history even on weak albums, which were essentially clones of themselves, and the military concept that became their main feature, which also found the epitome in their music. In 2017 vocalist Sacha Korn left the project and was replaced by Chris from AGONOIZE. This caused at least bewilderment of many FUNKER VOGT fans, which only strengthened after the release of last year’s album. It sounded like AGONOIZE remixes of old FUNKER VOGT material. Therefore, the release of the new album of the Germans did not cause any emotions. Before listening.

But after it the opinion has changed dramatically. FUNKER VOGT has returned to its iconic recognizable sound, adding spatiality and to the sound. The new work turned out to be a kind of the best integration of the old material and the album of 2017. There were plenty of hits on last year’s album, but it felt like the material Chris brought with him. New album is already written together with other members and proved to be a new turn in artists’ career. Juicy melodies, powerful beats and hit dance compositions made this album the best Post-Industrial creation in 2018. There are strong dance thrillers and slow complex melodic tracks. FUNKER VOGT is back and it’s good.


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