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Never has there been a stronger inner urge to see the pinnacles of our society crumble and fall in their own decadence. Technology is spiralling out of control, and increasingly we are a sedated hive of drones under an elite, untouchable class. A glance to the future only reveals a dystopic post-apocalypse: a mechanized existence void of meaning and human sufficiency. Few understand or elucidate this feeling more than France’s industrial black metal machine Blacklodge. A force that slowly evolved out of the touch-and-go early days of drum machine based black metal into the fully actualized genre leaders that they are. Rooted in high-technology themselves, the band presents a foresight through the medium of their message – what is they use to present the word of Satan will one day bring evil incarnate into our world. Appropriate. In their uncompromising view, even once the throws of human scum are subjugated the spark of Luciferian ambition can still exist. Never has this guiding sentiment been as clear or as proficiently executed then as on “MachinatioN”, Blacklodge’s latest chapter in psychoactive-induced, spiritual warfare against the unseen, crippling enslaver.
It is so easy for metal elitists to instantly slag off a band for utilizing a drum machine or including experimental, electronic elements. Black metal with break beats or dance rhythms is completely unheard of, and should be dismissed without a second thought, right? Beyond such simple-minded reactions, however, does exist a vast expanse of material in great need of culling and sifting, for most of these projects are admittedly utter garbage. There are a select few that can preserve the truest and essential spirit of the genre while expanding into electronic territory. Thankfully we have a shining example in Blacklodge: uncompromising adherents to Satan but very capable of offering a completely unique take on the stagnant black metal genre. A song title such as “Neo.Black.Magic” brings to mind the exact metaphor that fully reveals the nature of a band so ahead of their time. How will sinister occult worship exist in a cold, mechanical wasteland? The paradigms are in great need of a shift, but the essence will remain the same. Blacklodge is that shift, as they hold fast to traditional spiritual tools with unique ends in mind.
“MachinatioN” is a furious and endless mind-warp in service to the Devil, proliferated in an unimaginable future. The riffing preserves the tradition of the black metal sound and never strays too far from the simplistic, buzz-saw assault, aside from the occasional few twists and turns. This is exactly where traditions and expectations are thoroughly muted! Drums are unapologetically programmed without any attempt to hide it, as several projects tend to do – almost embarrassed to be doing so. The percussive approach is not just typical programmed black metal drumming. The electronic aspect is exploited to its fullest: utilizing the expected beats, double kicks and blasts, but never letting a heavy industrial rhythm escape or relent. The possibilities are endless. Everything from a full-speed bombardment of blast beats to glitchy break beats to simple 2/4 dance beats, and every possible variation in between are on display. A multitude of subtle electronic effects are tastefully injected to enhance the dark synthetic atmosphere. Limitless, the aura slips into otherworldly, psychedelic realms without ambush. Only through these metaphorical, shamanic moments can we reach the other side of wisdom. Blacklodge extends beyond the confines of rock-based music structures and achieve a certain nebulousness that few are exploring. The balance is struck perfectly as all dissimilar elements and styles work together to transmit the pointed sonic attack. Exaltation of the spirit with total machine-like efficiency. Objective achieved.
In this bleak forthcoming future, so envisioned on “MachinatioN”, only in the final moments of humanity’s swan-song will we actually awaken! Doomsday is a slowly creeping and evolving process, not an explosive moment. Only when the last strands of life are starting to sever will our Luciferian/Promethian spirits arise. Despite the level of fantasy at work on this record, it is a relief to explore these unimaginable scenarios in a controlled environment. It is our current climate pushed to the extremes, but shreds of contemporary truth are still perceptible. Frighteningly close to the truth! Extreme topics translate best into extreme genres, especially when the music itself functions as another level of symbolic meaning. It is only natural that technological apocalypse and dystopian Luciferianism finds a voice in Blacklodge’s fine-tuned and executed industrial black metal. Fear not! For Satan still has a place in our future, and it may be our only source of salvation when the towers crumble and system self-destructs!