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Genres mixing have caused some of the most important stylistic innovations. Throughout the ages, visionary artists have had the foresight to cross sounds that might initially appear incompatible. Of course, black metal also had its share of crossbreading, most notably with hard rock, folk, and even classical music. However, some amalgams are rather confusing. This is exactly what French band Blacklodge is offering us with its fourth album called MachinatioN. Founded in 1998 and led since then by Saint Vincent, who also screams for Vorkreist, the group brutalizes its audience with an ultra-fast cold and mechanical industrial black metal. Surprising results are obtained when Satan meets the machine.
Indeed, black metal is usually an organic music, bathed in dark feelings, far from artificial or electronic sounds. However, Blacklodge reverse this perspective with a style closer to those practiced by bands like KMFDM or Atari Teenage Riot. Battery / drum programming is based on an infernal rhythmic that starts right from TridenT and slows only on rare occasions. Result is dense, with very catchy techno loops. On several occasions, I even had the impression to listen some songs written by Rhys Fulber (Front Line Assembly) and Michael Balch (Ministry). Even if it is rhythm that is in control, guitar also adds his two cents with great riffs, effectively scattered throughout the album, especially on Neo.Black.Magic, that makes you want to furiously break your neck. However, and this is a complaint that I address the entire industrial style; album’s second half is much weaker. The inspiration seems to be missing and a title like All Seeing Eye seems like filler, while The Other Side seems to pump from some Skinny Puppy experiments.
However, hybridized music lovers, do not spoil your fun. Black metal and industrial share many common features which add and complement each plot. Quick and nihilistic, this record offers no respite. And for the skeptics and other scum, just admit that such a crossing is probably preferable to a terrifying Black n ‘Hop! 7/10
Originally written for Métal Obscur.