Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Top 10 Goth / Industrial Albums of 2018

It is that time again. For the sake of this list . Darker and more elegant than the bands on my post-punk list, this is the music the children of the night make. The score from my reviews to help determine the ranking , but also how many times Last FM told me I listened to each album.An album can have all the critical acclaim in the world but if it does not inspire multiple listens then how good can it actually be ? While the top ten lists for other genres leaned more heavily on the side of new blood , this lists leans in the direction of more well established acts with some surprises. Rather than posting media of a track from each band I am leaving a link to the review, which will contain Bandcamp or Full Album Streams. Ok enough talking about it, the time has come to dig into the top 10 Goth/ Industrial albums of 2018.

 10-the Rain Within -"Atomic Eyes"

While Andy from Bella Morte retains his distinct voice, it now has new sounds behind it than have more shade of neon mixed in them. Having emerged at the tail end of the Cleopatra years, this is not really retro goth. He stuck to his guns and is delivering something that has come full circle. Last year I heard a few acts like Death of Lovers who were beginning to sound like Gary Numan , while Gary Numan was not sounding like himself. Andy avoids this and instead rides some Tron like grooves, that would not sound out of place playing in a club from the last Blade Runner movie.

9- SRSQ-"Unreality"

Former Them or Us  Too vocalist Kennedy Ashlyn continues on after the other half of that duo died. There is a very elegant almost classical vocal intro going into something more movement than what her old band did. As a result it sounds less like the Cocteau Twins until it gets to the quirky skip of the more fey vocal melodies. We can never go back to Them or Us Too as that band is done, we can however hear where they might have gone as Ashlyn does uphold their legacy in her solo work.

8- Author & Punisher - "Beastland"

 There is a more metallic nastiness to the rasp of shore’s voice, He does alternate into a more Skinny Puppy like sing song cadence. His machines create a dense throb that is rough around it’s over blown edges. Intense and abrasive are two words that best fit the album. “Nihil Strength” was the first song I heard going into the album and it is also more metallic in it’s intent though, Shore is sticking to his self made devices of torture to temper his sonic sadism. The beat to this one relaxes a little more than the first song with other layers of melody winding around it.

7-Pysclon 9- "Icon of the Adversary" 

 They are almost a blackened industrial, though really the vocals are the most black metal part of their equation. The guitars mainly stay at a weighty chug. I like how dark they are . This album feels like it picks up where they left off six years ago.. If you are looking for industrial with a groove that you can dance to then you are going to need to look elsewhere. This is more industrial music to kill yourself to after a heroin binge during a zombie apocalypse.

6-US Graves - "Voice of an Idiot Ghost"

 Take Over and Destroy have always had a dark side. This time they have given over it as the singer formed a new project. Sometimes it might lean in more of a post -punk direction. So these guys are more goth in their intent than their execution, but more goth than the bands that were my post-punk list and leave me satisfied with who they are an like hearing a more emotional take on post-punk.


 Al slows down and gives into his anger in a way that digs back into the darkness of "Darkside of the Spoon" rather than a struggle with addiction this album finds him struggling with the world around him.If we want to revisit your golden years this is the way to do. There is enough new to make this feel like it's not a retro flirtation with their past. A well balanced album that works off mood more than just being in your face. Sure it has more of a smack out feel than a speed ball blitz, so perhaps that is why I am more partial to this side of the band.

4-Anna Von Hauswolf- "Dead Magic" 

 She is pretty ambitious and is not content like some of her peers leading you into a dark drone, as her songs have a more adventurous feel to their arrangement that has more in common with Dead Can Dance than it does Chelsea Wolfe. It's more like if Lisa Gerrard covered all of Brendan Perry's songs. Though in a much more experimental fashion as she is prone to go off into Swans like atmosphere. So there is a fucking lot going on here, but it's dark and I like it. It falls into the weird exotic brand of goth that is some where between world music and neo-folk.

3-Street Sects - "the Kicking Mule"

The Texas duo returns with a more aggressive effort, even when the vocals are not harshly screamed the sneering death rock like tenor spits out dirty pictures of humanity in his lyrics. More manically frantic the songs effectively merge chaos and songwriting. So creepy in it's intent the results are what I imagine to be the soundtrack to a serial killer's internal dialogue.

 2-Dead Can Dance-"Dionysus" 

 It works more of the hypnotic atmosphere. It is not unusual for their songs to have this more sound track like quality. It is a wild juxtaposition to their previous album which was more accessible in it's song structure. "Liberator of Minds" does have a more serpentine groove that you could dance to if you were into touch with your more sensual primal side. In other words when it begins to move I immediately thought, my girl friend could dance to this.

1-Strvngers- "Amor Noir"

 Beating out well known goth icons, this new act out of Canada claimed the throne this year due to the hooky nature of their songs. The dynamic range of this albums goes from future pop to bouncy anthems coated grandiose and cinematic swathes if apocalyptic majesty. A pornographic kink them drips from the bump and grind of the more often darker industrial strength shadow stomp that rocks the dance floor.

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