TROCAR – Four Forfeit Digits EP

Advertised as “a love letter to Relapse Records” and inspired by bands like Mortician, this debut release from Arizona’s Trocar really doesn’t mess about. Its four tracks serve up lightning fast sheets of noise where industrial noise collides with the insanity of grindcore, aiming to hammer the listener into submission in record time. Valuing a relentless intensity over indulgence, it creates pure noise without sacrificing tightness or complexity.

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MARTYR ART – Through Soundwaves, Vol. 2

Under the name Martyr Art, multi-instrumentalist Joe Gagliardi III has been making industrial and gothic tinged music since 2004. Recording prolifically since then, his work has mixed original compositions and cover tunes, often in a style that leans heavily towards a darker sound. In 2019, he released ‘Through Soundwaves, Vol. 1’, the first in a planned series of four EPs bringing together most aspects of the Martyr Art universe. A mini treat for goth and darkwave fans, a moody stomping piece ‘Halloween (The Desire of Michael Myers’ showed off Martyr’s darkest side, while a brilliant cover of the Cure classic ‘A Forest’ teased with cinematic gothic moodiness before breaking into a brilliant industrial metal crossover sound that gave the source material a severe kick up the arse. With a little bit of a dark ambient sound creeping in during ‘In The Shadows of Philadelphia’ and a particularly mechanical re-imagining of an old Type O Negative classic thrown into the bargain, the EP had plenty to entertainment value for fans of the style.

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GABRIEL AND THE APOCALYPSE – Alpha Transcendence EP

To look at Gabriel and The Apocalypse, you could be forgiven for thinking they’d be a band who valued style over content, especially when taking into consideration the fact that their videos have been heralded as hugely stylish, visual feasts. An image means nothing if the material isn’t good enough to back it up; there are a lot of gothy and industrial bands out there guilty of spending far too long cultivating an image and then forgetting to invest the same kind of importance into their song writing. Luckily, that doesn’t apply here: Gabriel and The Apocalypse’s 2019 LP ‘Alpha Bionic’ was a fine work. Its ten songs fused goth, metal and industrial grooves with massive choruses and served up something almost guaranteed to please old fans of Orgy and early Disturbed, as well as offering lovers of Lacuna Coil an interesting alternative. A heavy-ish cover of Midnight Oil’s ‘Beds Are Burning’ peppered with vaguely industrial beats and retro synths added something instantly familiar to a selection of already great material.

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JOEYDIABOLIC – Through Soundwaves Vol. 4 EP

JoeyDiabolic is a self-described “alternative musician”. At the beginning of 2021, he released an EP entitled ‘Through Soundwaves Vol 3’ where he offered covers of tracks by Anthrax, White Zombie and others, mixing heavy riffs with darkwave synth sounds and occasional gothic vocals. On the negative side, there wasn’t much about any of it you could actually call “alternative” at the time of release. However, for listeners that happened to be in their mid forties, the recordings still offered a welcome nostalgic bent. It also introduced listeners to JoeyDiabolic’s horror fixations. Aside from a tip of the hat to the mighty Rob Zombie, the EP’s self penned intro ‘Son of A Hundred Maniacs’ referenced Freddy Kruger, and it’s that Wes Craven creation that provides the heart of this follow up, released just a short while later.

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