Now I know that my music tastes may be considered unappealing or even uncouth to a considerable chunk of my demographic, especially on the jewelry making side, but you guys read these posts to learn more about me as a person, right?
Regardless, I have a platform, and I’m damn well going to use it. Music is a very big part of who I am, and it has influenced me through out the majority of my life. It makes me feel…feelings. Things that I cannot express in words, which if you are familiar with my work, is a considerable feat. So this week I am going to ramble and rant about one of my strongest passions.
And if you find yourself intrigued, or even enjoying the experience, then good on you for opening up to trying new things. And if you don’t like it, that is awesome too! You still get props for trying something different.
So to start my ramblings:
I grew up listening to Depeche Mode, Joy Division, and Sisters of Mercy without realizing this was considered alternative/goth. (yes, Depeche Mode is not necessarily goth but they are often attributed to be an influence). I just lumped it all under “80’s” music. Because, and I’m putting my neck on the block when I say this, it all sounded the same back then…at least to me.
Needless to say, I wasn’t really a big fan of those groups, it was just something that was accessible to me to listen to since I hated all the mainstream crap constantly telling me I am beautiful and I need to find a lover because life is empty and meaningless without one.
Techno was the closest thing that I could tolerate, but any radio station I had unearthed was replaced weeks later with country music….slowly killing off pieces of my sanity.
And then I heard Assemblage 23 “I Am the Rain” and “Anthem” for the first time. Wide-eyed, I said to myself “What is this magicalness caressing my earholes??” And it kinda exploded from there. My obsession for this music, not my earholes.
I have witnessed the Industrial scene since late 90s/early 00’s, and I got to see it evolve and grow through a good portion of its life. I don’t know if I can consider myself a participant, since I was in this isolated bubble in my area and I was literally the only person in my diverse circle of friends that actually listened to this shit. (except one religion teacher in my high school, WTF…Needless to say, I did enjoy the common ground in that regard.) And concert going wasn’t exactly an option.
Then more recently, I started delving more into the YouTube realm of goth since I was looking for more makeup tutorials. Hearing them reference these bands was a bit of an eye-opening WTF moment for me: Wait this is goth?
**I’m also not getting into goth warfare – “This is not goth omfg how can you say that is goth??” etc. etc. Nope. Not having it. So tape your face hole and sit on your hands before you violate your keyboards with a response that will either be ignored, deleted, or replied to with obnoxious trivia that has no context to anything relevant whatsoever.
ANYWAYS….what the actual fuck was I saying?
I think my actual point that I was trying to express was that I wanted to feature lesser known artists to make people aware of what’s out there. To keep the scene alive so to speak as exposure is constantly changing with technology.
But that is what I love about the music industry nowadays: it’s transpiring through the digital age, especially in the indie EBM/Industrial genre. A lot of people are mourning the loss of the subculture as a whole, but I think technology allows the music to be more accessible, and more voices to be heard. I think it’s very fitting in a genre focused highly on “sticking it to the man.” It’s just about adapting, change is going to happen no matter what you do.
I still enjoy collecting CDs, and I have quite a few hard to get albums that I am very proud of, but I also understand that with the production of physical materials, it makes it incredibly difficult for smaller bands to get an edge in a competitive field, even super talented individuals.
A lot of the marketing is now handled by the artists themselves. And I love learning about these close-knit networks that are developing, either on a regional or international level. More often than not, bands know each other on a personal level. I also prefer going to concerts at this scale, since they tend to be on a much more intimate, and you get to know the artist as a person.
Okay….I should get to a point soon….That rant aside, my personal adventures unearthing bands I haven’t heard before goes as follows: You look at one artist you are familiar with, usually on a streaming site like Spotify, Last.fm, or Pandora, then you are fed suggested artists, or remixes by other artists and you dig deeper and deeper. And the side projects! Side projects as far as the eye can see! Goddamn I knew those vocals sounded familiar…
A few Google searches later, you connect the dots, and before you know it you have divulged into an audio porn cycle as addicting as cat memes. You can’t remember where you started from, or when was the last time you had eaten, but goddamn your wishlists have grown exponentially. And you have to pee. Really bad.
With that being said, I thought I would give you my recent picks that I encounter on my most recent adventure. I just have one artist this time because I think I have ranted enough. I may do another one of these posts later, when I am more focused, with bands that I am already a big fan of, that aren’t as big as the “mainstream” industrial bands many people think of.
A note about Lyrics – As a general rule, I don’t analyze lyrics on non-native English speaking bands. because that’s just not fair. In addition, with distorted vocals being such a common practice in this genre, unless I can find a transcription of the lyrics, it will be near impossible to determine the meaning unless I’ve been listening to something on loop for a few months…ain’t nobody got time for that.
So today I would like to feature Obsidian FX/Pheromone, hailing from Russia.
Last.fm played me Where the Bloody Rivers Flow and being the curious sort, I hunted down their Bandcamp. I nabbed a couple of their singles (Phlegm and The Serpent Eyes) to get a better idea of their sound. Then they contacted me and sent over the album New Decay, as well as information regarding their upcoming projects! So I thought that was awesome of them to reach out.
I thoroughly enjoyed New Decay. It had a lot of variation in sounds, and was more of an ambient/atmospheric project. The track Serpentine (listed above) really stood out to me, as well as Neon of Her Eyes. It has a way of hurling you into a futuristic/cyberpunk world. You can almost picture a cityscape akin to Bladerunner, but much more of the dark shadowy bits have been unburied for some poor sap to encounter. It’s definitely going in my writing playlists.
I also like the balance of vocals and voiceless tracks. I get the sense that the artist was doing a lot more experimentation in this work, and the efforts have certainly paid off. They do utilize distorted vocals, and I know the opinions of many regarding that are on extreme polar opposites, but I do enjoy them if they are done in an interesting way.
If I were to describe the vocals, it would probably be a soft, but throaty whisper-growl that got shoved into static. But they also play around a lot with vocals through out the album.
…I’m pulling descriptor words from my ass to try and paint a picture….to your ears….
On some tracks it also sounds like what I had just described, but strained in a way that makes it sound like an angry shout. Then, taking Inferiors of Me as an example, sounds a bit more space-y, much more machine-like talking. There are also two versions of the track Harpies, where a lot more vocal
work has been played with and synthesized.
Other tracks to note is All Hallows Eve, which kind of reminded me of Comaduster’s style, which I love as well so that’s a good thing.
Overall, I really enjoyed this album and I look forward to seeing what else they come up with. It was an incredibly dynamic album that touched on a variety of sounds.
Turns out, they are also working on another album to be released sometime next year. If you want to get updates about that, be sure to check them out on Facebook. And they’re super friendly, so you should show them some love!
You can get to their BandCamp page through the track above, but here’s another link. Because. Reasons.
Suggested Artists on their Bandcamp page led me to their related project, Pheromone, which has slightly more rock and traditional industrial elements to it.
The album has a more uniform style to it, and it reminds me a lot of Imperative Reaction’s earlier days, or even Celldweller. It has an instrumental background with heavy digitized noise that accentuates the melodies.
There are a few environmental tracks that add a tonal pause in between the rest of the more upbeat tracks in the album, namely The Core, and Collision course. Overall, I enjoyed the pacing on this album.
More distorted vocals on this one as well, kind of has this monster like quality, like a creature talking through water. Though some tracks are not as heavy as others, and a more natural voice can be found on some verses.
Be sure to check them out on their Bandcamp as well:
Of the two, I like Obsidian FX’s sound better, just because that is more my personal style preference, but I thoroughly enjoyed both projects. I look forward to seeing more from them, and I think they are both certainly worth checking out.
And I think I should stop this post now before I reach an arbitrary character limit that was not invented until I started typing…
Until next time! Take Care!