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Industrial Rock: Celldweller, History of Guns, Kittie, Luxt, Mortiis

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CELLDWELLER: Celldweller (CD on Esion/Position Music)

This CD from 2003 features 70 minutes of severe industrial rock.

Celldweller is Klayton, with sonic assistance by: Fluffy Starr, Victoria Faiell , and Jennifer Neal on voice, Kennedy James, Jarrod Montague and Ken Capton on drums, and Grant Mohrman on acoustic guitar.

Brutal electronics gather like a swarm of locusts the size of Texas. Emphatic riffs cascade with alarming stamina, exhausting the very air that conveys their vibrations. Chords coalesce with high velocity, producing compound melodies that batter the audience from every angle. Mountain-shattering percussion fractures that swarm, dividing the growling diodes to one side and the shrill tonalities to the other. These momentous rhythms resound with a startling clarity that gives each beat a poisonous consequence. Teeth-grinding guitar explodes into play, thrashing amidst the agitated mix like a tormented beast seeking blind vengeance.

Rapid-fire vocals cut through this dense morass of assault-sound, wailing and screeching with passionate denouncement. Harshly articulated, the lyrics examine the need that precedes emotional despair and the anger that follows betrayal. Each word is treated like a sharpened thorn plunged into an infected wound. Everyone can empathize with angst like this, although the average person rarely achieves such vitreous intensity while expressing that sentiment.

Initially, this music warrants comparison to several notable bands, but these influences are swiftly drowned by Klayton's peculiar touch which forces a unique and entrancing flavor on the demonstrative tuneage.

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HISTORY OF GUNS: Flashes of Light (CD on Liquid Len Records)

This CD from 2003 offers 54 minutes of socially outraged goth rock.

History of Guns is: Del Alien and Max Rael.

Growling keyboards and scuttling electronics conspire to achieve an ominous soundscape of aggressive portent. Agile E-perc pitter and thunder throughout, punctuating the dark flow with catchy rhythms. Traditional drums and acoustic bongos contribute to these tempos, delineating a blurring nest of beats that is as relentless as it is angry. The electronics are angry too, hissing with breathy sighs and crackling with dangerous textures.

This music excellently conveys a brittle discontent, but where most goth rock concerns itself with emotional ennui, these songs address social oppression. Where's the victory in eternal love if you can't pay the rent, or the bus is always late, or you starve on a diet of nutritionally-deficient burgers? Life is far too short to waste it struggling to maintain an unacceptable status quo.

The vocals are gruff with masculinity, lamenting the downfall of cultural freedom and condemning the rise of corporate greed. These sentiments are timeless, but so are the inequities forced upon the public by the mortal powers-that-be. The difference is that History of Guns seeks to reassure you that your plight does not go unnoticed, that your dissatisfaction is universal, that there is a cure that lies within each person.

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KITTIE: Safe (CD EP on Artemis Records)

This CD EP from 2002 offers 26 minute of harshly crafted metal. Also included are 11 minutes of video footage of Kittie live at the Whiskey A Go Go in California from August 2002.

Kittie is: Morgan Lander on guitar and vocals, Mercedes Lander on drums, Jennifer Arroyo on bass and backing vocals, and Jeff Phillips on guitar.

There are two versions of the title track: a slippery remix by Sascha Konietzko (from KMFDM) and Bill Rieflin, and a radio edit. The rest of the audio tracks are live at the House of Blues in California from August 2002.

Intricate drumming of a monumental proportion establishes a canyon-wall of rhythms for the girl-band. The guitars crash and blaze like a pair of dark angels ushering in Judgment Day. The bass rumbles with subterranean demeanor, fracturing the ground underneath the stunned audience. Female vocals croon on the title track, while the live material features coarse vocal growlings that evoke deep ravines filled with molten rivers.

The tunes are curt and direct, go-for-the-throat kind of compositions that capture anger and explosive wrath with excellent crispness. Kittie has a way with industrial metal rock that harkens to primal roots while luxuriating in modern moonlight. These haunting melodies are brutalized by sinewy delivery. Pain is the topic, but ecstasy is the consummation.

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LUXT: American Beast (CD on Blackliner Records)

This release from 2003 features 57 minutes of savage rock.

Luxt is: Anna Christine on vocals, Ernie Loch on vocals, guitar and keyboards, David H on guitars, Crash on bass, and Frost on drums.

Guttural guitar crashes out of a metallic box, sending lethal shards of sound flying everywhere. The riffs blaze with an angry fire, searing the paint from walls blocks away. Maniac percussion hammers at the listener like a frantic atmosphere of punishing rhythms. Basslines rumble with a subterranean disposition intent on shattering the ground underfoot. Deadly keyboards ooze through the crowded mix, generating an eerie foundation of ominous outrage.

The vocals start with a sultry lilt that becomes a furious squeal by the time the syllables exit the singer's mouth. The lyrics achieve a pitched frenzy that delivers fury and hostility with undiminished reprieve, relentless and seemingly growing in rage with each passing second. There is little concern for survivors here, only a dedication to make the sonic punishment as ecstatic as inhumanly possible.

This music creates the impression of a pale-skinned girl wandering through a maze of malevolent machinery tinged blue with a razored gleam and dripping with savory fluids.

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MORTIIS: The Smell of Rain (CD on Earache Records)

This release from 2003 offers 51 minutes of searing industrial rock.

Dense keyboards resound with subterranean timbre, and dire percussion becomes emphatic. The electronics are thick with crimson syrup, oozing like sepulcher shadows through the mix. Eerie effects abound, from scraping diodes to squealing ghosts. Intent on aural punishment, the drums exude an intense desperation, pounding with artificial velocity and maddened force. The rhythms fracture into separate tempo that grow increasingly complex until their union produces a dizzying intricacy of frantic beats.

Growling guitars shriek from the nucleus of a maelstrom of electronics. Their haunted outcries singe the air, describing riffs that blaze like damned souls in torment. These chords are so intense that they often blind the audience with their vivid sting.

Crisp male vocals emerge from this dark wave abyss, crooning funereal sentiments amidst angelic choirs of blasphemous predilection. When not evoking a demon lord deigning to advise mortals as to a state of celestial turmoil, the lead voice is lustrous and passionate, darkly romantic like forbidden lips.

The sentiments found in these songs concern dark deities and monuments dedicated to reviving dead flesh, witches and bestial urges and the heart-wrenching angst of emotional isolation.

While tersely frenetic is the predominant pace for most of the songs, some tracks exhibit moody tempos that conjure the gradual advance of dramatic menace.

Enthrallingly spooky and earnestly danceable.

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