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top10 2018 industrialThe Industrial scene is the most numerous stylistically, so the close intertwining of genres in Industrial is a normal practice for many years. 2018 is not an exception. As always, in the sea of monotonous homemade Noise projects, which released their albums for free on the net, there were interesting, unusual, diverse and vibrant multi-genre releases from both old respected projects and young musicians, who started successfully their career in industrial music.

And if the most progressive part of the dark scene is a synthetic music, as I wrote earlier, then Industrial is the most stable and numerous, although with its own nuances. All Industrial genres are difficult to consider and rank objectively, because there are no hit songs, no virtuoso playing musical instruments, no unified evaluation criteria, but there is a collection of sounds and every sound is perceived by each person differently. Industrial is an associative genre, so I will try to describe my personal associations in short reviews of each album in addition to the usual description of the sound and a couple of words about musicians themselves and you will decide whether our thoughts and pictures in our heads are the same or not after listening to the albums.

Covered genres: Industrial, Noise, Power Electronics, Dark Ambient, Martial Industrial, Death Industrial, Harsh Noise Wall, Ritual Ambient, Drone Ambient, Black Ambient, Industrial Darkwave, Harsh Noise, Percussion Industrial, Experimental Industrial, Improve Industrial, Musique Concrète, Dungeon Synth, Industrial Free Jazz

10. Dahlia’s Tear – ‘Through the Nightfall Grandeur’ (Dark Ambient | Sweden, Cryo Chamber)

Swedish musician Anile. D. created DAHLIA’S TEAR project in the first half of 00s. The first three albums the Swede were published on not known European labels and the fourth came out already on the popular Industrial record company Cold Meat Industry in 2012. After that, for 6 years nothing was heard from the musician and now in 2018 the sixth album, ‘Through the Nightfall Grandeur’, is released on the respected and known label Cryo Chamber belonging to Simon Heath of the ATRIUM CARCERI. New work of DAHLIA’S TEAR is made in a classic enswathed gloomy Dark Ambient. Grim sombre music using squeaks, rustles, rare piano notes fully reflect the essence of the album’s name ‘Through the Nightfall Grandeur’. The sun is almost set below the horizon. Trees sway and rustle in the soft cold wind. Somewhere a thin water stream flows down from the cliff. Somewhere a squirrel settles its lair on a tree. Somewhere a hungry wolf runs in search of a new victim. Somewhere the hunters made a fire. Somewhere in the forest a little lost girl is trembling with fear. And over all of them hung the shadow of the Forest Demon preparing his night bloody ritual...

09. Kontinent – ‘Pornography of Power’ (Power Electronics | UK, Unrest Productions)

British Power Electronics project KONTINENT was created by a Polish guy living in the UK at the moment in the first half of the 10s. By 2018 the musician released three full-length albums, the first of which came out as self-release, and the following were published on the British Noise label Unrest Productions. The fourth work of the British was also published there. Mechanical noisy power electronics with pulsating sounds, industrial noises and declamating distorted vocals in English and Polish. The genre of power electronics is the most propagandistic of all industrial and on this release the propaganda component is done very brightly. The declamation does not drown out the Noise component, the Noise does not kill the voice and the distortion of the voice is not so strong that everything merges into chaos. Through the concrete slabs entering the iron rusty doors of a half-destroyed building, where the crowd listens to slogans, a call is heard and a manifest is created. Manifest of power. Manifest of purification. The manifest of perversions. Manifest of pornography. Great album.

08. Ionophore – ‘Whetter’ (Dark Ambient, Drone Ambient, Ethereal | USA, Malignant Records)

The third album of the American project IONOPHORE creating various genres of Ambient with the female atmospheric vocals of Leila Abdul-Rauf. The album as a whole reminds various collaborations of ethereal vocalists with ambient projects: Lisa Gerrard and Klaus Schulze, Louisa John-Krol and Oöphoi and others. But here everything sounds tougher and rather experimental, than sleek and airy. Along the classic Dark Ambient, Drone Ambient and Industrial Darkwave are added. Soft electronic collages periodically take the listener to IDM and glitch and occasionally the slipping sounds of trumpet and violin fascinate and surprise. Recently quite a few projects have appeared on the Ambient scene, which have moved away from the classic Dark Ambient towards brave experiments with Ethereal and other genres of Industrial and Electronic music. The new album of IONOPHORE has become a kind of quintessence of all these experiments from other projects, incorporating all the best and successful ideas and things from there and adding its own features. Unlike other albums in the Industrial top 10 there were no specific and clear associations during the listening of this album, however, despite all these experiments ‘Whetter’ looks complete and very easy to listen to.

07. Paleowolf – ‘Archetypal’ (Dark Ambient, Ritual Ambient | Serbia, Self-Released)

The Ritual project from Serbia, PALEOWOLF, was born in the middle of the 10s. First two albums the musician released on labels, among which was the famous Cryo Chamber. But then the Serbian decided to publish his material by himself. In 2017 there were two albums released. So in 2018 the guy decided not to back down the tradition and also released two albums. One of them turned out to be more diverse than its predecessor. This work is already the sixth in its discography. PALEOWOLF initially made an interesting Ritual Ambient on all albums, which on this album is mixed with Dark Ambient and Industrial Darkwave sometimes flowing into marching rhythms. Ritual lights are ignited. The sacred symbol of the ancestors is ready for a miracle. Through animal instinct and heroic performance, through thunder and moonlight the shaman invokes ancestors. And humanity is born.

06. NDE – ‘United (Through Iron and Blood)’ (Power Electronics, Industrial | Belgium, Cold Spring)

The Belgian project NDE was created at the end of the 2000s and immediately got on the well-known industrial label Cold Spring. After releasing two albums the duo ceased to exist in 2012. 6 years later musicians decided to return NDE back to Industrial and recorded a new powerful and aggressive album. If mentioned above KONTINENT focused on the propaganda component, so the Belgians made a louder release full of aggression and hatred. There are no pulsations, but there is blood from the ears of Noise elements. There are no mechanical sounds here, but there are sharp noises with rare rhythm that cut the brain. But the manifest remained. This time it is rather a call. Call to destroy. And there will not be a group of people listening to the voice. There are no more people. There is pain, hate, aggression and destruction. Calls to act were heard.

05. Apoptose – ‘Die Zukunft’ (Industrial Darkwave, Ambient | Germany, Tesco Organisation)

Somewhere in Germany in the late 90s the Dark Ambient project APOPTOSE was born. Having released his debut album in 2000 the project added more and more new sounds to its work incorporating more and more new genres into its music. The fifth album of APOPTOSE is called ‘Die Zukunft’ and was released, like all previous ones, on the well-known industrial major label Tesco Organisation. The new work went already quite far from the classic Dark Ambient, in which the project began its activities. Now it is a mixture of different genres of Ambient with Electronic music, Industrial Darkwave, elements of Ethereal and classic Industrial. Declamation by a calm male voice under soft atmospheric electronics, ethereal female vocals, calming light compositions with singing psalms in Latin and a completely not gloomy atmosphere make this album not only one of the best Industrial albums of the year and one of the best in the project’s discography, but also good opposition in contrast with all rough, harsh and aggressive Power Electronics and Noise acts of Industrial. The album would fit quite well with the top10 of Beats ’n’ Noises, but the basis here is still Industrial and Ambient.

04. Lana Del Rabies – ‘Shadow World’ (Industrial | USA, Deathbomb Arc)

‘Shadow World’ is the second album of the American performer of the experimental Industrial mixture LANA DEL RABIES’. Recently it has become popular for females to create experimental projects, which combine sound collages and experiments with sounds with female vocals both from the Ethereal music and the field of Power Electronics. Lana produced an explosive mixture of sound sketches consisting of Experimental Industrial, Industrial Darkwave, elements of Power Electronics and even Indie Pop. The basis is Industrial, so this release can rightfully be considered Industrial. The album reminds a soundtrack to some surrealistic art-house movie. And this movie is good.

03. Ain Soph – ‘Finis Gloriæ Mundi’ (Experimental Industrial, Chanson, Neofolk | Italy, Old Europa Café)

The Rome-based project AIN SOPH was formed in the early 80s, when Industrial music was not yet spread though the world, and there were not so many subgenres. Initially the Italians played the usual Industrial, leaning toward daring experiments even for the Industrial of those early years. Over time the musicians found their feature and their sound. This feature was a combination of Industrial experiments with a Chanson and Neofolk music. This is the sound of the project, which made them famous on the Industrial scene. In 2004 the last AIN SOPH album was released before the formation went into a sleep mode for 14 years. They returned in 2018. And if their work of 2004 was made more Folk with Rock and various Avant-Garde feature, the new album turned out to be more experimental with the classic Industrial and Electronic experiments, Neoclassic tunes, Chanson Avant-Garde and Italian language. The album impresses with a variety of genres and a general atmosphere that only Italians can create (this is the second time I write this in reviews of the tops for 2018, but this is true). If the previous album of LANA DEL RABIES reminds the soundtrack to the Art House, the album of AIN SOPH reminds an old Italian vintage noir movie. Excellent comeback of the famous Italians after a long break.

02. Control / Genevieve Pasquier / Kommando – ‘Cold War, Hot Love’ (Industrial, Power Electronics, Rhythmic Noise | Germany/USA, Ant Zen)

The American Power Electronics project CONTROL from the late 90s, the German Experimental Electronics with Rhythmic Noise GENEVIÉVE PASQUIER and the German Power Electronics KOMMANDO from the same 90s united to work together. This is not a split, as many might think, but 8 collective compositions of well-known Industrial projects. The music on this album consists of a core of noisy rough Power Electronics, in which periodic beats of Rhythmic Noise are implemented with a classic distorted declamation of a male a female voices. Collaboration has absorbed the features and sounds of all three projects. Powerful tough tracks with peculiar classical Industrial sound, elements of Death Industrial and Drone Ambient made this album very versatile and easy to listen even despite the fact that such music is in fact is difficult to perceive. Well, easy for Industrial music fans, of course. The compositions covered the war and love topics. The contrast is not only in the stylistic sense, but also in the conceptual one. Great collaboration.

01. To End It All – ‘Scourge of Woman’ (Death Industrial, Power Electronics | USA, Scry Recordings)

The debut album of collaboration of two American musicians of experimental genres Joy Von Spain and Masaaki Masao happened on their new project called TO END IT ALL. These two musicians have previously worked together in another project EYE OF NIX, but with the other musicians. TO END IT ALL became a duo of the percussionist-vocalist and a composer. As I wrote earlier, the use of pure female singing in combination with tough Industrial genres has recently become popular. This album is not an exception. Joy plays with squeaky aggressive screaming from Power Electronics and beautiful singing from Ethereal to the accompaniment of a mysterious and dense Death Industrial and rough noisy Power Electronics. Fight for survival. Fight for freedom. Fight for life. Struggle of women against violence. Sharply aggressive and carefully elaborated. Noisy opened and covertly veiled. So may the guilty be burned!

Other honourable mentions: Danheim, Reutoff & Deutsch Nepal, Inade, Offerbeest, Corazzata Valdemone, Forbidden Territory, Hibernis, Ausströmen, Contortus, Moral Order, mulpHia, Thought Gang, Government Alpha, Sutcliffe Jügend, Darja Kazimira & Dagmar Gertot


0 #1 Vastvm666 2019-01-23 01:39
Please correct IONOSPHERE to IONOPHORE in first sentence of #8: "The third album of the American project IONOSPHERE creating various genres of Ambient..." thank you!

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