Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Roadkill Sodomizer - Killing Machine

When I saw Roadkill Sodomizer listed as 'industrial black metal' I thought it would be black metal with industrial elements, but once I listened to their debut demo, 'Killing' Machine', I realised that this is not industrial BM like The Axis of Perdition, which was my initial pre-listen comparison, but black industrial - obscure black metal elements fused with industrial cacophony.

This isn't the beat heavy industrial that the genre label implies; the music has a really chaotic industrious sound to it. Songs like 'Empty' and 'Warfare' are industrial in the sense that they convey an atmosphere filled with images of harsh, drab landscapes completely covered in factories and smog. All songs have an uneasy, heartless feeling to them; it's like an audio equivalent of wandering aimlessly through grey, drab cities with strange noises and unfamiliar sights assaulting your senses.

The music initially sounds pretty flat and low-fi; MIDI keyboards and drums, occasional guitars, harsh noises and low growls, black metal screams thrown together in an apparently thoughtless manner. But upon further listening it's apparent that everything was done that way intentionally to create that harsh, industrial vibe; the flat, dry sounding MIDI instruments are much more representative of the monotony of an inustrial society than warm, rich analog tones. The music has very little to do with black metal. Flitty keyboard tinkling that sounds comic at first combined with solid, pounding synthesized noise form the base of the music, with industrial infused black metal blast beats buried under the cacophony making appearances in songs like 'Sybian Torture', a murky, bassy, obscure track with only the constant programmed cymbal ticking to cling onto and keep you from being completely immersed in the sickness of it. Vocals, used as another instrument to add to the industrial madness of the music, are usually distorted screams, or like on 'Technophobic Dillusions', are tortured, alien growls and moans blurting out disturbing nonsense. There's an eight-and-a-half minute harsh noise track at the end of the demo, and listening to it seems like a melodic respite after the mess of fast-shifting noise and obscurity of the previous five tracks.

This isn't going to please many people; it's anti-music and amelodic in nature, and a lot of people aren't going to 'get' this demo. If your tired of bands claiming to be industrial and want something that conveys that feeling of bleak hopelessness and looking for something to grab onto, or are looking for something 'sick' or unusual, then Roadkill Sodomizer is for you.

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