The Best Industrial / Cyber / Electronic Metal Album - Metal Storm Awards 2018


Total votes:
442



With a whole century now between us and the end of World War I, it's easy for perceptions of the war to be lost in abstractions of politics and melodrama, but Anaal Nathrakh drag us back into the barbarism and filth that actually characterized that "War To End Nothing." The band has eased off the electronic elements just a smidge, but the Nathrakh sound has never been more mechanistic and militaristic. And the other half of the album reminds us that just because we experienced one apocalypse a hundred years ago doesn't mean that the world isn't still falling to pieces as we speak; sometimes, it's hard to tell what's more horrifying - the mad, shrieking nihilism of the duo's blackened industrial core-grind, or the concepts that that sound is used to convey.

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At times it appears as though there aren't many industrial metal outfits out there who go for a truly bleak, agonizing take on the sound like in the days of yore. Not so in the case of Author & Punisher. The one-man project of Tristan Shone, and notable for the use of several custom-made, built-from-scratch little doodads and whizzers, on Beastland Author & Punisher gets a little brighter than previously, employing higher-pitched synths than usual for a slightly airier, more uplifting vibe. But don't let that confuse you. On the whole, although it brings some finer nuances to the table, Beastland is still a colossal, unforgiving take on doomy industrial metal.

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Bad Witch is the third in a series of three EPs that started with 2016's Not The Actual Events and continued with 2017's Add Violence. In this last one, Trent Reznor manages to squeeze in industrial aggression, some David Bowie worship with saxophone-heavy, trippy, and dissonant parts, and a dark, noise-laden, and electronic conclusion, repeating the line "time is running out". Nine Inch Nails haven't been this good for a long time.

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What the hell is this thing, anyway? Well, if you're at all familiar with the Bong-Ra work of the Netherlands' Jason Köhnen, imagine some techno breakcore music-type thing... but in black metal fashion. Yes, these disciples of the Armageddon farm mammal dance party combine kvlty shenanigans with a synth-heavy, aggressive barrage of electronic music... something not too far off from Cloak Of Altering, actually, but a bit bouncier and more lighthearted. Varying in delivery between a violent, frenetic approach and one that's more midpaced and danceable, the Servants formula may sound absolutely deranged on paper, but in application it yields some pretty impressive, enjoyable results.

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By now, you're familiar with rap metal... but trap metal? Leave it to The SLoT to push everyone's buttons and their boundaries at the same time, now that 200 кВт is here to update the electronics-heavy nu metal style of the band's early albums to a more modern context. Like any of The SLoT's works, 200 кВт covers a multitude of styles, the only constant being the preoccupation with synthesized elements - alongside, of course, the high standard of songwriting and stellar performances that accompany each release.

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