Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Can Feel The Machines...

It began in my earlier, less musically-smothered years, but my ears and mind always found an interest in the crossing of Industrial music with the Hard Rock genre. Like most individuals, this started with exposure to genre-leaders like Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails and Stabbing Westward. Over the years, I would try out many different bands recommended to me, but to my dismay I found a lot of really weak musical entities that just made a handful of half-assed albums. However, like any genre that I enjoy, searching and digging did bring out some bands which have climbed up my favorite band charts (Regardless of genre) over the years, especially in recent times.

The first one to discuss is a band out of Tuscon who actually started at about the same time that Nine Inch Nails did (They were also friends with Trent Reznor, who would remix two of their tracks for single releases) called Machines Of Loving Grace. Upon first exposure to this band I admittedly didn't really like them, but that's partially due to the fact that I actually grabbed their debut album first, which is still my least favorite of the band's three releases. Some time later, although still recalling my dislike for the band's material, I checked out the song "Butterfly Wings" from their second album, Concentration and try as I may, I couldn't dismiss the fact that the song was quite infectious. So, in turn, I let down my barrier in regards to the band, grabbed the Concentration album and slowly began turning into a fan of the band. What really connected with me was a little while later when I dove into their third release, Gilt, which is much more of a guitar-driven effort and absolutely fell in love with the album. From start to finish, every song has something that I like, something that pulls me back and something that makes me scratch my head in terms of trying to figure out why this band didn't break through into the mainstream and become popular (And keep going!), especially seeing as the albums were released in 1991, 1993 and 1995, which is when this sort of music was at it's popular peaking thanks to bands like Nine Inch Nails. I don't get it, I never will and it isn't a constructive use of time to dwell on it.

But anyways, we'll discuss their music a little further. After getting into the two later albums, I did go back and find appreciation for their first (Self-titled) release. The opening track, "Burn Like Brilliant Trash (At Jackie's Funeral)" (I think the name is stupid too, don't worry), "X-Insurrection", "Rite Of Shiva" and "Terminal City" are definately the best songs on the album and really stand out (It also makes sense, seeing as 3 of those songs were released to radio as singles) from the rest, although the album as a whole is an enjoyable listen all the way through.

Their second album, Concentration, is definately a stronger effort in many ways. The band sounds tighter overall, the production is much better (Although it's not really the bands fault for the production level on their first album, as the label just released their already recorded demo without any revising, which is stupid) and songs just sound both catchier and more interesting. This is the album that should've put them high up on the Industrial Rock charts but, as i've already mentioned, it never happened. The lead singles "Butterfly Wings" and "Perfect Tan (Bikini Atoll)" were perfect for the genre at the time (And although they did okay, it's merely not giving the songs enough justice) and the final single "If I Should Explode" (Which is, actually, my favorite song on the album and possibly my favorite overall song from the band) should be loved by all fans of the genre. I demand it! But the singles weren't all the album had to offer, as songs like "Lilith/Eve", "Albert Speer", "Limiter" and "Shake" were also fantastic songs that would've fit right in with anyone's love for early Nine Inch Nails work like Pretty Hate Machine.

Their final album (And my personal favorite), Gilt, is a terrifically done, guitar-heavy Industrial Rock album that has absolutely nothing bad going on at all. Songs like "Richest Junkie Still Alive", "Kiss Destroyer", "Suicide King", "Tryst" & "Solar Temple" have fairly quickly become some of my absolute favorite Industrial-tinged songs amongst my collection. Everything has loads of guitars, loads of effects, lots of high-end electronics and loops and hard hitting drumwork. What more could you really ask for ? Nothing! Now shut up and listen!

'X-Insurrection' (From their 1991 release "Machines Of Loving Grace")

'Burn Like Brilliant Trash (At Jackie's Funeral)' (From their 1991 release "Machines Of Loving Grace")

'Butterfly Wings' (From their 1993 release "Concentration")

'If I Should Explode' (From their 1993 release "Concentration")

'Golgotha Tenement Blues' (From The Crow Soundtrack, released in 1994)

'Richest Junkie Still Alive' (From their 1995 release "Gilt")

'Suicide King' (From their 1995 release "Gilt")

'Tryst' (From their 1995 release "Gilt")

'Solar Temple' (From their 1995 release "Gilt")


  1. The genre leaders since the early days are Ministry, KMFDM, Die Krupps, etc
    Nine Inch Nails came afterwards and Trent Reznor discovered Marilyn Manson. Even Fear Factory is industrial metal. Sorry to see that these are not mentioned at all.

  2. It's probably because i'm talking about the genre from a personal point of view and how I was exposed to it. As well, the entry is mainly about the 90's group Machines Of Loving Grace. The beginning, where i'm mentioning other bands, is just a segway into the main discussion. Plus I hate KMFDM and Ministry, as they're horrid excuses for Industrial Crossover material. No problem with Fear Factory though, even though I would mention Godflesh first.