Friday, June 7, 2019

The Electric Hellfire Club - "Electronomicon" [2002]

Artist: The Electric Hellfire Club
Title: Electronomicon
Genre: Industrial Metal
Country: USA
Year: 2002

Track List:
  1. Into Thee Abyss
  2. Wired in Blood
  3. Sons of the Serpent
  4. Hypochristian
  5. Stockholm Syndrome
  6. Whores of Babylon
  7. Broken Goetia
  8. I Dream of Demons
  9. Nordland
  10. Tannhäuser Gate
  11. This is the Zodiac…
  12. Hymn to the Fallen
  13. Keys to the Kingdom
I found out about EHC long time ago after reading the infamous "Lords of Chaos" book, and they quickly became one of my all-time favourites on the industrial rock scene. While their early albums (including their best one "Calling Dr. Luv") aren't metal, this album definitely is, and it's much better than the previous one ("Witness the Millenium"). Just like all EHC albums, it's full of cultural references (Blade Runner, the Zodiac Killer etc.) and occult imagery that's too over the top to be taken seriously. According to the release notes, it was recorded at the Abyss Studios in Sweden (the first American band ever to do so) with producer/engineer Tommy Tägtgren and guest appearances by the members of well-known Scandinavian metal bands such as Hypocrisy, Dark Funeral and In Aeternum. Too bad it was the last album they've recorded, although the band still seems to be active.

There's a very good review of "Electronomicon" on which deserves to be quoted extensively on here:
"Industrial metal is essentially divided into two categories: stupid bands that inadequately use samples for the sake of doing so, and intelligent groups that know what they’re doing with programming systems. The number of acts that mindlessly poop out electronic noises is measureless in number, yet only a few factions could be considered good at what they do...

...I’m actually a fan of The Electric Hellfire Club’s bizarre discography, and it’s quite interesting to experience the identity transformation they underwent during their decade of activity. The Electric Hellfire Club started out as an industrial gig during the early 1990’s before acquiring a metallic edge with the critically-acclaimed “Witness The Millennium” in 2000. The group’s anomalous theorem of industrial-laced heavy metal was certainly an absorbing metamorphosis, but The Electric Hellfire Club had no sign of stopping their special blend of electronic heaviness. In 2002, the futuristic faction had opened the metal aqueducts, and the unearthly liquid once again flowed into industrial streams on their final record entitled “Electronomicon.” Now this album might seem like an ordinary pseudo-Ministry plunder at first gaze, but it’s actually one of the best industrial metal albums ever made on several levels. It has everything that makes industrial metal fantastic: heavy riffs, crushing drums, strange vocals, amazing samples, trippy keyboards, and a unique atmosphere that only computerized effects could make.
Anyone looking for insight about “Electronomicon” can obtain a decent understanding of its ingredients by viewing the image on the record’s cover. The art is simply a demon with a normal half and a robotic half, but each hemisphere gives key indications about this CD’s sound. On the right side, we have the beast’s normal skin that clearly represents the metallic nature of The Electric Hellfire Club. Fantastic riffs and solos that are intact with traditional heavy metal are commonly used with a clear emphasis on crushing guitar distortion while great double bass hits and steady snare beats echo underneath the guitars...
...This disc isn’t just The Electric Hellfire Club’s finest hour, but a landmark release in industrial metal and how such diverse ideas can turn heavy music into something universally exclusive. A must have for fans of Ministry, Godflesh, or other industrial metal acts"

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