IndustrialNation Industrial Demo Reviews – Issue #21


Industrial/Coldwave New Music Reviews

Yet again we start out on this journey through the current landscape of unsigned bands. There are far too many CD’s and too little space, so let’s get to those that made the cut…

I had hoped that I’d receive Firewerk’s Circuits And Curses after hearing their first self-produced album Amplified Fragments. And this issue I got lucky. Though Circuits isn’t as catchy or finely-honed as Fragments, it is nevertheless a work of excellence and one of the best CD’s of the past year. Firewerk brings back the 90’s coldwave sound in a way that no other band has managed. Their perfect blending of catchy and danceable electronics and artificial drum programming with just the correct amount of guitar and powerful vocals should be impressive to anyone. It is without a doubt in my mind that Firewerk is simply the best up-and-coming band today, hands down. All coldwave fans take note. [contact:;]

Chronotrigger is Japanese. This is obvious from the incredibly bad pidgin English that they use in their lyrics. If you remove the importance of lines like “I am so all impostor/you are so all dreaming realist” from the mix, which is simpler given the fact that you can’t really understand any of the shrilly-screamed vocals anyway, then what you’re left with is an entirely decent hard electronic industrial band that knows how to use guitar, sequencing, and fast-paced drum programming to its advantage. It’s not brilliant, but for something very small out of Japan, its effort is to be applauded and appreciated. [contact: Chronotrigger, 101 2-841-2 Shimizu Higashiyamato-shi, Tokyo 207-0004, Japan;]

Lust Murder Box is made up of the remainder of the band Terminal 46. And, despite the silly band name, Lust Murder Box has improved on whatever merits Terminal 46 possessed. Excellent programming and sequencing combine nicely with guitar and female vocals to create a beautiful, seething atmosphere of very professional songwriting. And I’m not usually fond of female vocals, but these manage to ride the middle between the ethereal Collide wailing and the hard-edged Voodou scowling to create an excellent mix. This is what Evanescence would sound like if they were industrial and didn’t suck. [contact:]

There’s a talent here in Gristle Cradle’s album. I’m not sure what the talent is or what it’s for, but I think it’s buried underneath some of the static crap passing for music. It’s minimalist programming with layers of guitar and loud, boring, overdriven vocals. And, of course, the lyrics are the usual type of crap that will make anyone short of a Bile fan wince in discomfort. I have to credit these Oklahoma lads for trying, all the way out in that wasteland, but for the rest of us it just comes off like your typical bad local metal-industrial band with nothing interesting to say. [contact:;]

Jailbird is a French industrial-rock band. And I’m not sure if the French-ness is the only reason, but they sound like a more traditional rock version of The Young Gods to me. That may speak to my relative inexperience with The Young Gods or just the tone and mild unintelligibility of the vocalist. But it’s a pretty damned good band, given that it’s a very late-80’s style of industrial-rock, along the lines of Ministry/Jourgensen side-projects and other darker, more bland guitar-industrial from the Wax Trax! era, only with vast improvements in the use of electronics. Their album, …inside nonsense, is yet another exceptionally well-done effort from the ever-growing French industrial scene. [contact:;]

Masterlast provides very conventional mainstream metal-industrial with a hoarse female vocal and radio-friendly guitar riffs on their Think Of The Day EP. In fact, the singer seems to want to either be Rob Zombie or that chick from Otep. Combined with the exceptionally minimal backing noodling of sequences and loops, it doesn’t leave much for those looking for more than your typical radio nu-metal band. [contact: Masterlast, c/o Media Extreme, 117 W. 25th St. 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10001;;]

Circus Of Dead Squirrels is far too talented for the idiotic songs that they’re writing. Combining excellent production and programming work with catchy metal riffs and growling vocals, Indoor Recess proves their abilities, while at the same time making you wonder what the hell exactly you’re listening to. The lyrical content of the tracks may be intentionally braindead, but you have to wonder about songs revolving vulgarly around the Mario Bros. and Sea Monkeys. [contact:]

Psionic is the metal-industrial equivilant of Faith No More mixed with Front Line Assembly. The vocalist seems to emulate Mike Patton’s voice, or at least the timbre of it, and the keys often have a certain similarity, as does much of the other instrumentation, to FNM. On the other hand, the lyrics have an embarrassing technological obsession that would make Bill Leeb cut his own tongue out in apology. Their album Nu-Tech Cyber Sorcery is filled with wretched clichés regarding semi-sci-fi ideas, magic, demons, and other things wholly retarded. The music isn’t badly made, but given the other elements of the band, it makes what is good about the music that much more suspect. [contact: Psionic, P.O. Box 892125, Temecula, CA 92589;;]

Dope Stars Inc. has been building quite a fanbase with their 10,000 Watts Of Artificial Pleasures EP. They definitely have the makings of being a large-label band. Despite coming from a genuine underground background (and being European, for that matter), they offer the sensibility that will make them palatable to the Orgy and Manson fans out there in teen nu-metal land. Given a better shine of production on their music, they are surely destined for large things, unless they intentionally stick to their underground roots. Offering something between the atmosphere of Zeromancer and (decent) Hanzel und Gretyl and tuning up the pure electro-punk, they will undoubtedly find fans all over the globe with their tight and proficient style of electronic rock. [contact:;]

Well, that closes out another one. Thanks for one more go and keep the CD’s coming.


from IndustrialnatioN Magazine #21