The Sermon of Judgment

by Rev. Daryl Litts

Chain Border

Android Lust - The Dividing - Projekt
This is definitely not the searing, screaming Android Lust I have known. The Dividing finds Bangladesh-born Shikhee on a new label with a new vision and an evolved form of her earlier harsh electro-industrial ravings. Now with more focus, more musical talent and a more diverse vocal range, Android Lust is primed to become one of the slickest outfits in the electro-punk scene.

Bunnydrums - PKD Simulacra - Metropolis
Practically no one reading this will have ever heard of Bunnydrums. Suffice it to say they are one of the most incredible punk-industrial-rock-new-wave bands you never heard when they originally released all of this material between 1981–86. Catchy riffs and repetitious beats and bass lines reminiscent of Lead Into Gold and Revolting Cocks are blended with the early punk-style of Devo and the offbeat experimentalism of Cabaret Voltaire. Why not throw some Alien Sex Fiend and Chris Connelly in there for a generalized and very weird vocal description to cap off my cop-out name-dropping. All I can really say is that if you like punk, industrial, rock, or even goth music, you’ll love the unique conglomerate that Bunnydrums offers on PKD.

WordsFreax - Freax - Self released
A bunch of tools got together in their mom’s basement one day after getting drunk and listening to Alice In Chains and decided to make a shitty album. First they decided on the name “Freax” because it “sounded cool.” Then they decided to take the shit they wrote on the back of napkins at the ghetto diner down the street and sing them with all the skill of a bullfrog getting a highly unwanted enema. Then they downloaded some cool images of Goth chicks tied up and gagged for the album cover with Joey’s 1986 Compaq, which they also used to create the album art. All of the tools thought that “Freax” was a good idea until they released the album into the hands of critics who would listen to their CD and give it reviews like this. If anyone needs a good coaster to protect your favorite piece of bedside furniture, email me—I have the perfect CD for you.

In The Nursery - Praxis - ITN Corp
If you’ve been following Altercation for any length if time, you’ll notice I have always stayed on top of ITN — and with reason. Few bands embrace a DIY ethic while perpetuating such high standards, and fewer bands work as hard to make every album a complete work of art. Praxis sees the Humberstone brothers unleashing another neoclassical masterpiece, blending modern electronics with lush dramatic soundscapes overlaid by the wistful vocals of Dolores Marguerite C. Also contributing vox on this release are Klive & Nigel H. themselves, an excellent complement to the more aggressive tracks. Being as how In The Nursery have been around for decades and have not once let me down, I fully recommend this album as I have all the others.

KMFDM (feat. Pig) - Sturm & Drang Tour 2002 - Metropolis
As a huge KMFDM fan, I was quite pleased to see this video released, especially since Raymond Watts and the Pig crew were heavily involved (not to mention Lucia Cifarelli, Bill Rieflin, and Chris Connelly). Thankfully, of the 14 “heavy beat” industrial songs showcased on the Sturm and Drang 2002 tour, only Godlike was revived from the definitive old-school vault, a wise decision to fans already familiar with the earlier KMFDM anthems. Behind the scenes clips are inserted between videos providing some insight and comic relief, not to mention a break from the live footage. It doesn’t take much imagination to know this stuff was more exciting in person, although the shows are well filmed and capture as much of the live experience as possible. Other than such debauchery as a roadie tempting fate by lighting an object in his ear on fire, you will see Sascha-bashing, bum harassment and general rowdiness. You will also see band members bowling (rather terribly), getting tattoos, and gaily hugging stuffed animals. For me the DVD was worth it for these clips alone, and the 14 KMFDM live video clips were the icing on the cake.

WordsLaibach - WAT - Mute
It’s good to see Laibach keeping a solid mark on the map after more than 2 decades of music. Always operating on the controversial rims of acceptance, they tend to upset more people than they entertain and that is why I love them. Their 7-year hibernation has resulted in an album strikingly different from their last release, Jesus Christ Superstars. WAT is a dramatic hybrid of their orchestrated NATO-era material with an intense and ultra-modern technological edge. The vocals are the typical growl normally associated with Laibach, backed often by theatrical opera-like voices. Every ounce of this album screams Laibach despite any stylistic changes. This is quite possibly their greatest work to date.

Midnight Syndicate - Dungeons & Dragons - Entity
Remember my reviews of these guys in past issues? I’ve always said from the start that Midnight Syndicate was ideal for use as a soundtrack for D&D campaigns, and it seems they took it to heart with Dungeons & Dragons! This officially licensed, superbly orchestrated soundtrack is skillfully styled and specifically geared toward battling orcs, slaying dragons, finding treasure and rescuing ravaged lands from evil clutches, all in the realms of Dungeons & Dragons. With 23 intensely dramatic tracks, it doesn’t matter if you’re rolling for initiative or just chilling at your computer. Dungeons & Dragons is a great album any way you decide to listen to it.

Mlada Fronta - Oxydes & Remixes - Parametric
This French one-man band consists of Remy Pelleschi, a peddler of digital noise experimentalism with technoid beats and a cold inorganic angle. His guerilla industrial rhythms, sci-fi cinematic sweeps and caustic effects are definitely not for the timid or unadventurous, though sparse melodic passages squeeze themselves through some of the cracks to provide a cantilevered balance for this non-vocal album. Devoid of the typical bleeps and bloops one might normally associate with this type of “frontier” electronic music, Mlada Fronta is far from typical and is well worth a listen.

WordsMoron Parade - Heat Slap - ParadeCo Records
Wow. Sometimes I think people release garage albums just to get attention and respect from their fellow highschoolers. But there are better ways, and you don’t have to waste plastic or paper in the process. Just pretend you’re going to jump off of a bridge. Beat up homeless people. Vandalize a graveyard. It’s less socially harmful than releasing a piece of crap like this into the public’s CD players.

Novakill - Hard Tech for a Hard World - Metropolis
Hard Tech for a Hard World is a compilation encompassing the seven-year history of Novakill. What you can expect from this album is a sophomoric attempt at digital industrial music, neither good nor bad but hovering in a muddy purgatory with no hope of being seen as a great testament to either the genre or the band itself. The problem lies within the band’s attempt to cram too much into every second of sound without artistic regard, consistency, or any feeling beyond the superficial angst created simply by noise, stereotypical distorted vocals and discordant musical ramblings.

Pride and Fall - Nephesh - Metropolis
If a mad scientist somewhere were to successfully blend one part VNV Nation, one part Project Pitchfork, one part Icon of Coil, and 3 parts Fucking Sweet, this is the album that would blow up their laboratory. The speedy high-energy attitude of Nephesh spans a variety of emotions with relentless club-worthy industrial beats. Keep your eyes and ears on this band or you’ll be missing out.

Razed In Black - Damaged - Cleopatra
I’ll admit that I never gave Razed In Black a serious chance. They have never appealed to me as one of the better industrial bands and so I ignored them, but with Damaged I have been forced to re-evaluate my opinion of them. While the high-energy remix portion of this 2-disc set admittedly spanks the original tracks, the album is definitely worth picking up. Noteworthy contributors include Assemblage 23, Athan Maroulis (of Spahn Ranch), and Soil & Eclipse. Also included is a bonus live video, supposedly comprised of video submissions from fans across all 50 states. Razed In Black have definitely become serious contenders in the arena of dwindling bands worth listening to in the industrial-rock genre.

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