Thursday, October 11, 2012

Killing Joke : MMXII

One of the most influential bands still making albums today,Killing Joke has has a profound influence on metal and industrial music alike. Most casual metal heads know the, from the cover of "The Wait" Metallica recorded for their garage days e.p.? But bands like Tool, Ministry and Fear Factory ,Iggy as well ,ail the, a percentage of their royalties every month.

With their new album "MmxIi" the band looks forward while retaining the charm of their 80s hey day. This blend makes this one of their smoother listens since "brighter than a thousand suns". While I'm a big fan of their 1994 album " pandemonium" it doesn't pander as much for acceptance by the industrial crowd. Sure this would this still provide the perfect background music to read any Phillip K Dick novel to there isn't the same post apocalyptic feel and to be honest despite its dark gray edges is a pretty up lifting listen.

There are still some very heavy handed Ministry like moments, which reminds me of those late Tony Martin albums that have Alice in Chains production that feels weird to have your influences influencing you,while the chicken of the egg question is clear it's a mirror within a mirror. This however is not a distraction. In fact more often than not its the opposite and almost like "luke i am you father moments" when you here where guys like Justin Broadrick and Helmet barrowed from these guys.

At 52 Jaz Coleman's voice sounds great from the moody croon to the more forceful shouts. Often heavily effected, the delay and chorus are well suited to his style and I think a dry vocal would sound odd on this sort of thing. They are no where near as wet as Al Jourgeson or Orge's and Jaz has a superior set of pipes to either of those singers.

The opener "Pole shift" starts with a spacious and smoothly sung verse that builds into a very 90s industrial feeling chorus, reminds me a little of drummer Paul Ferguson's mid eighties band Warrior Soul. The guitar takes on more of a jangle than a chug thoughit does have more of a metal drive to it on the refrain.

"Fema Camp" takes a darker industrial feel with a "when the levee breaks " like throb.the angry chant leading into the guitar hook is very "filth pig" in delivery, the pulse of the song has an ominous flow to it which makes it a head bobber.

The vocal melody in the verse of "Rapture" instantly takes hold, the chorus is an almost Mortal Combat shout, but the bass propels it along and doesn't give you to contemplate if they took they easy way out on this one so I guess it means it works.

The oddly timed swing to "Colony Collapse" makes it one of my favorite songs on the album. It's followed by the very straight forward drive of "Corporate elect" which barrels into a chorus that reminds me of Motörhead. This simplistic approach this song takes is not one of the albums stronger moments even though I appreciate the vocal line in the verse.

The drum beat of " In Cythera" reminds me of Police imitators Mutemath, the melody on this one is as cheesy as the term is "heart felt" as its empassioned yet introspective. The chorus goes to show where Justin Broadrick got the inspiration for the Jesu melodies.

"Primobile" gets darker and synth heavy, slight Gary Numan feel.the guitar leading I to the chorus does some interesting things to set up a very smoothly sung and cerebral pre chorus building into a more throaty bellow.

The industrial smack of "glitch" is blunt and forceful , though not the albums most original moments, forso e reason the keyboards in the chorus remind me of "no more tears". The album closes another harder driving song " trance" which gives a little more breathing room on the verse and also benefits from a more interesting bass line. The albums pristine production is really highlighted here as the instrumentation is busy but sits well along side one anorexic in the mix.

Similar my qualms with Converge the albums two more straight forward tracks dont do the work as a whole any favor but overall the bulk of the songs are great ,in fact this album feels a lot better to me as far as production and songwriting go that that Convnerge , but the two bands are so different there little comparison.This one will sit in my iPod and with its predecessors. While they are off the Cult , mission u.k tour I'd like to catch them this go around and think a 9 is fair for this one.

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