Horskh – Gate (2017)
In a surprising feat of industrial engineering, French rivetheads Horskh, have managed to surpass their Dawn EP from 2014 with debut album Gate, a blistering display of savagely energetic and brutal electronic music. You have to give kudos to bands who take risks unashamedly. You have to admire bands ignoring trends and just basking in their own artistic integrity – Horskh’s Gate is probably the freshest industrial dance record you’ll hear in 2017.
This is a full on, in your face album. The aforementioned risk element pertains to Horskh’s affinity in taking some influence from mainstream dance music, particularly dubstep and EDM. Thankfully you won’t hear pointless wub-wub-bloop fodder, but what the band has done is take some astute sounds you might have heard in those other genres and completely manipulate them and fuse them into their own brand of industrial music. It makes for a curious listen at first, but repeated plays are rewarded with catchy as hell and heavy as fuck industrial tunes.
The opening one-two combo of “Victim” and “Engaged and Confused” is vicious – the former track conveying some of those EDM synths daringly, while the latter track embraces more industrial brutality in its chorus with perfect finesse and is certainly a highlight. “Against” hits like a hammer to the head. Another highlight is “Morbid Positiv” with its lively synths and aggressive drum work making for a guaranteed live favourite. Horskh main man Bastien Hennaut really knows how to shred his vocal chords, just check out the slow, groove laden, and heavily distorted “Virus – The Truth Doesn’t Matter” featuring a chorus with Hennaut’s screaming vocals that just totally rage. Sonically, its pure destruction. Beautiful.
Another striking element of this album is how Bastien Hennaut’s influences all come together effortlessly – from his background in metal, to his discovery of NIN and more industrial music, through to his fondness of electro such as Black Tiger Sex Machine. All of these sounds are apparent on Gate. It’s a melting pot, but there’s a determined focus present that always keeps the music on point.
The violence of industrial has never been as much fun. Very highly recommended.
Available on vinyl, CD and digital from the lovely people at Audiotrauma records on Bandcamp here.