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Fantastic Industrial Metal - 91%

GuntherTheUndying, June 23rd, 2007

Industrial metal is essentially divided into two categories: stupid bands that inadequately use samples for the sake of doing so, and intelligent groups that know what they’re doing with programming systems. The number of acts that mindlessly poop out electronic noises is measureless in number, yet only a few factions could be considered good at what they do. Industrial metal is quite a weak genre with a scarce amount of enjoyable albums after realizing this systematic concept, but the bands that fly above the pack are rightfully hailed as leaders and a sign of hope in a fading scene. Many folks would nominate Godflesh, Ministry, or Zyklon as industrial metal’s prime elites, but my attention has always been directed toward a squad most people have forgotten about: The Electric Hellfire Club.

Now The Electric Hellfire Club was actually an industrial metal act for only two years before going on hiatus in 2002. I’m actually a fan of The Electric Hellfire Club’s bizarre discography, and it’s quite interesting to experience the identity transformation they underwent during their decade of activity. The Electric Hellfire Club started out as an industrial gig during the early 1990’s before acquiring a metallic edge with the critically-acclaimed “Witness The Millennium” in 2000. The group’s anomalous theorem of industrial-laced heavy metal was certainly an absorbing metamorphosis, but The Electric Hellfire Club had no sign of stopping their special blend of electronic heaviness. In 2002, the futuristic faction had opened the metal aqueducts, and the unearthly liquid once again flowed into industrial streams on their final record entitled “Electronomicon.” Now this album might seem like an ordinary pseudo-Ministry plunder at first gaze, but it’s actually one of the best industrial metal albums ever made on several levels. It has everything that makes industrial metal fantastic: heavy riffs, crushing drums, strange vocals, amazing samples, trippy keyboards, and a unique atmosphere that only computerized effects could make.

Anyone looking for insight about “Electronomicon” can obtain a decent understanding of its ingredients by viewing the image on the record’s cover. The art is simply a demon with a normal half and a robotic half, but each hemisphere gives key indications about this CD’s sound. On the right side, we have the beast’s normal skin that clearly represents the metallic nature of The Electric Hellfire Club. Fantastic riffs and solos that are intact with traditional heavy metal are commonly used with a clear emphasis on crushing guitar distortion while great double bass hits and steady snare beats echo underneath the guitars. Everything sounds heavy, and powerful, which is good, but it’s also the most formulated recording this band has ever done, and that shows a huge evolution from their earlier works in which no stability was found at all.

Our illustrated demonic friend also seems to have some mechanical attachments adjacent to his diabolical flesh. Such hybrid qualities unquestionably represent The Electric Hellfire Club’s method of covering electronic properties over their interesting version of heavy metal, and how each entity is still connected at its core. Psychedelic keyboard compositions and creepy samples of rituals, demons, cartoons, movie clips, and evil chants are eternally spewed at the metallic front of “Electronomicon” in many entertaining ways. These effects are placed in atmospheric situations to add haunting elements, and areas in which the electronic efforts match instrumental paces for an extension on musical variation. This here may sound like a typical industrial structure, but The Electric Hellfire Club applies these ideas in ways you’d never imagine. The number of superb periods in which dark allegories and conversation recordings are used is simply infinite, yet other instances of abnormal specimens, like vocal alterations and folk sections, appear quite frequently too. It’s certainly strange, but very entertaining nonetheless.

“Electronomicon” is one of those records that exceeds the limits and expectations of how a musical design can be improved. This disc isn’t just The Electric Hellfire Club’s finest hour, but a landmark release in industrial metal and how such diverse ideas can turn heavy music into something universally exclusive. A must have for fans of Ministry, Godflesh, or other industrial metal acts.