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The commercial side of the industrial metal genre is in crisis. Whilst the harder more necro side is breaking boundaries and breaking blood vessels, the more “palatable” side of the genre is suffering from a mix of hero worship and laziness. Rather than explore pastures new, most industrial metal bands would rather rip off the holy trinity of Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein and Ministry, a situation made even worse by Gary Numans insistence on working with and thus bringing to wider attention the most cheesy and inept of these chancers.
That’s why I was very pleasantly surprised by Chthonian Earth by And Oceans (the tracks full name is Angelina:chtonian earth:her face forms worms, apparently long titles are what’s in the pretentious faux Goth sub culture). With its techno keyboard rhythm lines, its chugging but crushing guitars and its catchy verse and chorus, this was a song so danceable that you could even get Helloween fans busting moves to it.
Unfortunately, it is not representative of the album at all. True , the keyboards parts are inventive to a certain extent with the early 90s rave melody line halfway through lost between horizons being a personal favourite but everything else stank of black eyeliner clad cliché. The guitar riffs are either ripped off from Sehnucht by Rammstein or be watered down versions of commercial black metal riffs (and a watered down CoF riff is very watered down riff indeed)
An obscure golden rule of metal is “don’t sing like star wars characters”. This rule is ignored by vocalist K3nny (in pretentious faux goth culture , vowels are way uncool) who alternated between singing like a camp darth vader and a sexually excited Yoda.
Even worse are filler songs such as the morning I woke up dead, Why And oceans decided it was a good idea to include what sounds a jam session between Static X and Godhead whilst on ganja, on their cd, I don’t know. Nope actually I do know why, their derisive as fuck and going for a bigger audience. The kind of audience that think gravity kills were good.
Add in lyrics that good have been written by a 11 year old suffering from Ritalin withdrawal and what you have is a waste of £12.
And Oceans suffer from a problem that many bands suffer from.
The problem of being Goth but not being gothic, of being industrial with sounding like their from the bowels of industry.
Of being pretentious faux Goths really