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top10 2019 postindustrialRecently, in Post-Industrial music there has been a kind of revival of already old genres. If 10-12 years ago old-school EBM was on that list, then in the last couple of years Electro-Industrial has entered this category. Maybe it’s time for the revival of the rhythmic Dark Electro. And the prerequisites are already being observed. However, there is some raise in Aggro-Industrial, but from the old echelon of musicians. But still, high places in the top for 2019 were taken by albums with a mixture of genres.

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

10. [:SITD:] - ‘Stunde X’ (EBM | Germany, Infacted Recordings)

In 1996, the project [:SITD:] was formed in different towns of the German Ruhr region. Talking about the project does not make much sense. Everyone already knows what is [:SITD:]. Their album in 2017 also made it into my top of Post-Industrial scene. The new work is not the kind of stylistic delights or any musical innovations and it turned out to be similar to the previous one. However, the Germans use their sound and ability to create high-quality music with hit songs and a powerful atmosphere. On the album you can find both EBM thrillers for the dancefloor and lyrical ballad-like compositions in English and in German. Sometimes clean vocals slip in a distorted area and along with EBM tracks Future-Pop sounds are also used. There are ordinary tracks on the album, but there are not much of them. If the album would consist of unique tracks only, then probably ‘Stunde X’ would not be in tenth place. As a result - a solid album of Germans.

09. Die Klute - ‘Planet Fear’ (Aggro-Industrial | Germany / Denmark / USA, Cleopatra Records)

Lately the genre of Aggro-Industrial is going through, let’s say, not the best period. Many projects that relate to this area, in fact, play Metal with electronics and Aggro-Industrial in the form in which it was played by KMFDM and DIE KRUPPS is slowly disappearing. It is still impossible to call 2019 the year of the revival of this genre, however, three albums of that classic Aggro-Industrial, although in a slightly new sound, were released and not just released, but two of them hit the top of Post-Industrial music. One of them is a new project of the old army. Jürgen from DIE KRUPPS, Dino from FEAR FACTORY and Klaus from LEÆTHER STRIP created DIE KLUTE project at the end of the 10s and their debut album ‘Planet Fear’ was released in 2019. The album has, of course, after-sound of Metal with electronics, but most of the tracks consists of a good, rhythmic and perky Aggro-Industrial similar to the known hit ‘To the Hilt’. The trio worked well together and released a powerful album, which in 20 years could become one of those that will be referenced speaking about the history of Aggro-Industrial. But not for sure.

08. Werksfront - ‘Electronic Body Rock’ (Anhalt-EBM, Electro-Metal | Germany, Doom Productions)

The German project WERKSFRONT was formed in the middle of the 10s and released its debut album in 2017 on its own. Then the Germans played the classic Anhalt-EBM with their own features and without any sophisticated material and outstanding vivid hits. In 2019 the second album comes out, in which the musicians decided to experiment a little with the guitar. It must be said, that the result turned out quite well. The album is called ‘Electronic Body Front’, which fully fits its content. I don’t know if this sound will stay in their future releases, but on the album the Germans mixed Anhalt-EBM with Metal and Rock. If you replace the beats with live drums and add a hard rock guitar to the synths and loops then what happens? Right. EBR. It’s not something new in fact. Few bands have already done this before, so such a sound is not completely innovative. Guitar sound in Anhalt-EBM was previously abundantly used at least by Russian project DBS. But such an interpretation on the Post-Industrial scene sounds is fresh and funny and at least worthy of the attention of fans of the EBM-ish guitar sound. The album also has catchy tracks and hit songs.

07. KMFDM - ‘Paradise’ (Aggro-Industrial | Germany / USA, Metropolis Records)

KMFDM released another Aggro-Industrial album, that blew up the Post-Industrial scene in 2019. It’s not that the project came out of hiatus because KMFDM consistently released albums every two-three years, but the new work turned out to be remarkable in sense of the good old Aggro-Industrial, where the guitar does not come to the fore eliminating other sounds, but it’s only a quality addition to the overall sound. The project has been based in the United States for a while, so the American sound of an alternative scene in their music is implemented also here. In this case it positively affected the perky, energetic and catchy material. Some compositions in genres other than Aggro-Industrial sound like an outright banter, but overall this is a pretty good holistic release from one of the Aggro-Industrial pioneers. Powerful nice KMFDM material.

06. Spark! - ‘Chaos’ (EBM, Synth Pop | Sweden, Progress Productions)

Project SPARK! was formed in the middle of 00s during the rise of the Old-School and Anhalt-EBM. From the first album the Swedes attracted the attention of EBM fans not only with Swedish-language lyrics, but also with their unique recognizable sound and huge energy. At the beginning SPARK! played EBM with a proclivity towards the Old-School, but over time their sound went into a more melodic and diverse area using such genres as Future-Pop, Synth-Pop and even Techno. The sixth album of the Swedish project continued the tradition and became an excellent example of the EBM scene with a more modern sound. There are not so many hits on ‘Chaos’ as on the previous album, but everything goes easily, is done simply and evoke a wish to listen again and again. Dance rhythms and catchy melodies make the legs dancing by themselves. With each album the Swedes are producing more professional sound, so the new work in terms of sound is almost the best in their discography. Great Swedish EBM, that doesn't exactly match the album title, but these are the details. ‘Chaos’ is excellent.

05. Intent:Outtake - ‘Days of Doom’ (EBM, Dark Electro | Germany, Scanner)

The German project from Leipzig already has three full-length albums and all three can be called successful. Two participants known for their work on the 6CT HUMOUR and SEPTRON projects created INTENT:OUTTAKE in the middle of the 10s. The project skilfully combines Dark Electro with Gothic Electro using both distorted evil vocals and darkly pure Gothic voice. The previous work of the Germans was released in 2017 and took first place in the Post-Industrial top of that year and not only for me and not only in the top of the Post-Industrial. On the new album the duo has become more Post-Industrial and is not using elements of the Gothic Electro frequently, as it was on previous albums. The clean gothic vocals have moved towards a more Synth-Pop vocals and the overall sound is a bit like [:SITD:]. Only all of these details remained details, because the new work of INTENT:OUTTAKE is still super-quality, catchy, with recognizable atmosphere and professionalism. For few years musicians have kept the level high for themselves and do not fall below, but only rise. Traditionally good INTENT:OUTTAKE album is in post-industrial top again. The album contains songs in English and German and Chris L. from AGONOIZE and FUNKER VOGT featured in two tracks.

04. Unidad Obscura - ‘No Mas Oscuridad’ (Dark Electro | Peru, DSBP Records)

UNIDAD OBSCURA was formed in 2010, but the debut professional work of the Peruvian musician currently based in Chicago was released only in 2019. There is not much information about the project in general, oddly enough. UNIDAD OBSCURA was noticed in remixing colleagues on the Latin American scene, but there was no more activity, except performing in Peru warming up known musicians and several video from USA shows. Musically UNIDAD OBSCURA plays a mid-tempo melodic Dark Electro with Latin American sound influences mostly, although the influence of the American sound is also noticeable. The main feature and recognizable element are, of course, Spanish lyrics. At the moment, when the wave of the classic Dark Electro has subsided and old projects are experimenting with sound and flirting with trendy modern genres the release of an album as ‘No Mas Oscuridad’ becomes rare. But such an album reminding HOCICO’s best years would be well accepted in any period of the Dark Electro history. UNIDAD OBSCURA, ladies and gentlemen. Nice to meet.

03. Ice Ages - ‘Nullify’ (Electro-Industrial, Old-School Dark Electro | Austria, Self-Released)

11 years. The Post-Industrial audience had to wait 11 years for a new album from the Austrian musician Richard Lederer. The musician is known for the black metal project SUMMONING and dark ambient act DIE VERBANNTEN KINDER EVAS, but for fans of Post-Industrial electronic music Richard is known by ICE AGES, whose gloomy atmosphere combined mechanics, occultism, depression and deep melodies. The new album is a continuation of ICE AGES’ sound from the previous works. The same heavy Electro-Industrial with a slight touch of Old-School Dark Electro and elements of Industrial Darkwave. Everything is from the past as everyone remembers ICE AGES. The rhythms became a little clearer, but the general atmosphere and gloom remained. Great work that can be considered unique on the Post-Industrial scene.

02. PreEmptive Strike 0.1 - ‘Progeny of the Technovore’ (Dark Electro | Greece, DWA)

In the 10s the Greek scene of Dark Electro was experiencing an incredible rise. Projects appeared almost every month. New ones replaced old ones, old ones returned again trying to create something unique. At that time every lover of post-industrial had at least one track of the Greek Dark Electro in the player. But the wave in Greece came to naught, some Greek musicians moved to Germany, so only the most persistent remained afloat. PREEMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 are among them. The project is signed on DWA label and knowing this label and its tendency to guitarize and metalize its projects it became scary for the Greek dark electro scene. But PREEMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 did not add guitars, but slipped into a more electronic sound adding trance elements to their music. Dark Electro projects have already flirted with Trance, but not everyone succeeded. The Greeks did great. The Trance rhythm did not lead and the Dark Electro did not howl down out the trance rhythms. The kind of experiment became a very harmonious combination and the lyrics in Greek (or English with heavy Greek accent) in some tracks added their own feature to such a sound. Very fresh and interesting. There are hits for the dancefloor too. Great album of an amazing project. Bravo.

01. Kult of Red Pyramid - ‘The Phantom Pain’ (Electro-Industrial, EBM, Synth Pop, Electronic Rock, Electro Goth | Pyramid Human, Croatia)

‘The Phantom Pain’ can probably be called the most diverse album of all released this year in all genres of dark scene. The Croatian project KULT OF RED PYRAMID is known for its sound to lovers of the dark scene and their previous album in 2017 was struck by harmonious intersections of different genres. According to musicians the new work is a kind of continuation of the previous one. Here EBM, Electronic Rock, synthetic motifs, Electro-Industrial mechanics, and gothic romanticism are combined and mixed. Among all these genres it is even difficult to detect, what the basic component is. But it is not necessary. The album is perfect. The sound is thought out to the smallest details, the tracks sound holistically and harmoniously, the guitar does not overlap the other sounds and the clean, distorted and evil vocals perfectly cross each other and elegantly complete the atmosphere created by Croatians. I was stuck for a long time deciding, in which section to place this album, but in the end it was defined as Post-Industrial. Mostly. However, this album can be safely put in first place in the Synth scene, in Gothic Electronics and even in the dark guitar scene. Unique work.


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