Khonsu - The Xun Protectorate

Khonsu – A Dream Of The Earth

The melody starts with a sort of riffing that is so flawless during its repetition that it feels like synthesizers are at work. But the “techno-metal” part of the melody is soon a distant memory, as waves upon waves of other robotic creations join in the song. And then, the mechanical riffing only serves as a contrast for the layers of reverbed instruments and echoing singers (male and female).

Samael - Eternal

Samael – Together

Leave it to metal heretics Samael to create a song that straddles genres and defies categorization. It blasts off with rock-solid percussion and heavy riffing, but then turns into a melancholic story about love. The occasional voice distortion may sound awkward at first, but trust me, it’s there for a reason*.

* everything is everywhere for a reason 😀

The Kovenant - Animatronic

The Kovenant – Jihad

Perhaps not the happiest song out there but one that deserves a good play nevertheless, if only to open the history book and listen to how people found ways to express and experience anger at the end of the 20th century. This tune can be safely labeled “industrial dark symphonic metal”. Beside the staple metal instruments, we’re treated to a diverse side-dish of keyboarding while Sarah’s reverbed vocals contrast Nagash’s angry growls. And beware, the lyrics are even darker than the song.

Samael - Eternal

Samael – Ways

the way we take, the one we don’t
the one we left, the one we change
the one that burns, the one that freezes
the one we built, the one we are
along the way there’s some ways we take another way

A hymn of change, an ode for being. A song that says a lot behind those wild distorted guitars and out-of-control drum machines. Vorph’s raspy voice is a peculiar vehicle for delivering this message, but some messages stand out more when they come in exotic packaging. Samael’s blend of electronic industrial metal may be difficult to stomach for some, but that’s why I started this review with the lyrics, because that’s one thing that anybody can and should take from this piece of music history.

Mosh - Monarchy

Mosh – McQueen

What a delicious, murderous beat(ing) this song delivers. It plows right through from start to finish. There isn’t much that can resist the tenacity of the buzz-saw synths that leap at us from all sides.

Perhaps if I hadn’t seen the video for the song I wouldn’t have described it as “murderous”. The twisted creation is inspired by an urban legend about “The Cleaner”, a guy who is called to dispose of evidence. It’s a video I can’t really recommend watching.