Damned Industrial’s 20 Essential Albums Coming In 2018
1. Actors – It Will Come To You
Poised to be become THE post-punk band of 2018, Actors have just signed a deal with Artoffact Records to release their debut album, It Will Come To You, on March 9th. The band have been brimming around the Vancouver underground for a number of years, having previously released several singles/EPs. With their synth heavy sound, the band are unafraid to experiment with sounds and this plays through with musical confidence rarely seen. The album will be available on limited edition green vinyl (be quick), CD and digital.
2. IAMX – Alive In New Light
Featuring guest vocals from the enigmatic Kat Von D, IAMX’s seventh studio album is set to be released on February 2nd. Despite being the spiritual successor to 2015 album Metanoia, Alive In New Light has actually been preceded by two albums, 2016’s Everything Is Burning, a so-called companion album to Metanoia featuring unused tracks and remixes, and also 2017’s Unfall, Chris Corner’s venture in modular synthesis; a largely instrumental album that Chris described as the most fun he ever had making an album. Alive In New Light serves as a fresh start for IAMX, with mainman Corner overcoming depression and seeking to move forward; this new album is set to document that change in typical, exuberant IAMX fashion, as only Chris Corner can.
3. Cardinal Noire – Deluge
Deluge is Cardinal Noire’s follow-up to 2015’s self titled debut. To be released via Audiotrauma Records early 2018, the album is currently in mastering. Their debut was an incredible display of modern yet old-school influenced industrial music, full of grit, darkness and tight programming. You can catch Cardinal Noire live when they play the Audiotrauma fest in Prague on February 10th. Definitely not an album to sleep on.
4. Eye Steal – From Worm To Ink
From Worm To Ink sees Eye Steal quickly follow-up their fantastic 2017 debut, Burning Out. Again released via Negative Gain productions, the band is aiming for a date in early 2018. Describing the recording process as “absolutely fucking manic”, Eye Steal mainman Remi Monroe drew inspiration for the album title from his grandfather, whom he describes as a highly influential figure in the path he chose, and came up with the title whilst routing through personal documents when sorting out his EU citizenship and coming across his grandfather’s death certificate; Monroe feels like this was almost as if his grandfather was putting him in check from beyond the grave some how. Describing Burning Out as the album he needed to make and From Worm To Ink as the album he wanted to make, this is certainly a release not be missed.
5. Spit Mask – (TBA)
The band is currently at ALL stages of production for the full length debut album – writing/recording/mixing/mastering. ETA is mid-2018, but that could change. The album is set to be released on Berlin based label, [Aufnahme + Weidergabe], mostly known for their techno-influenced-industrial roster. According to Spit mask half Rachel Jackson, recording is going well; the aim has been to maintain that lo-fi rawness that helped make their Swallow EP sound so brutal – this has proven relatively tricky since the band has upgraded a lot of their hardware, but again, according to Jackson, “you can expect that same grit we had in the EP, I don’t think we’ll ever be the band to write polished and clean sounding tracks”. Jeff Swearengin of Sleep Clinic fame is handling the mix and mastering processes. Personally, I’m dying to hear this album.
6. Caustic – American Carrion
Album number ten for industrial mainstay Matt Fanale and his Caustic project. The follow-up to 2015’s very well received Industrial Music album, American Carrion sees Caustic firing on all cylinders with “10 tracks of industrial mayhem about a nation gone mad”. Featuring song titles such as “Purgative”, “F**k That Fascist Beat” and “drugskill”, it looks like we’re set for some classic NSFW Caustic vitriol. Following a successfully completed Kickstarter campaign, American Carrion will be available on CD, vinyl and of course digitally via the lovely folks at Negative Gain Productions.
7. Life Cried – (TBA)
Life Cried’s 2015 album If I Don’t Wake Up saw Chris Reject move his band into new sonic territory. Whilst a lot of the classic dark-electro vigour from his first 2 albums remained intact, there was a significant inclusion of a more raw, organic, industrial rock sound. This added an abrasive edge to his sonic arsenal and certainly made the enticing prospect of Life Cried gigs being even more insanely energetic. Chris didn’t have much detail to share about album number four, but he was able to say that it’ll definitely be out in 2018 and will be preceded by single “Hope To Die” beforehand. More info to come!
8. ohGr – Tricks
Originally set be released on Halloween in 2017, ohGr’s fifth album Tricks has subsequently seen some technical difficulties delay that release to 2018. For the Skinny Puppy frontman, ohGr has acted as a slightly lighter affair than its parent project, embracing melody more and being less sonically harsh. What has always remained has been Ogre’s characteristic/trademark voice and charisma. As at November 30th, ohGr partner in crime, Mark Walk, had indicated that the album was set for another round of mastering and that they had decided to add more to the album, more analogue gear, tube compression. The band is without a label and funded the album by means of a successful PledgeMusic campaign during 2017. As the band wrap things up, we wait with bated breath for updates!
9. C R O W N – The End Of All Things
Moving deep into industrial-metal territory with French act C R O W N. Adding a sludgy dose of doom to their sound, these guys are not here to cheer you up. With a significant Godflesh influence, C R O W N exude heaviness in their dark atmospherics. Oppressive and harsh too, the band equally know how to crush your skull as they do scare the crap out of you. The news of a new album is not something to take lightly.
10. HAEX – The Ether, The Abyss, and The Void
Self branded as esoteric-industrial, this LA trio channels a heavy, grinding mechanical sound with a dark, danceable groove. Once signed to Cleopatra Records and originally set to release their album back in January 2017, that contract has since been annulled and the band are currently seeking alternatives at the moment, with the aim of getting the album out into public domain by mid-2018. HAEX member Sarah Elizabeth Graves told Damned Industrial: ‘Besides playing International and domestic festivals this year and a short West Coast tour, we’ve been working with producer Michael Patterson (Nine Inch Nails, She Wants Revenge, Puff Daddy) and are tying up ” The Ether, the Abyss and the Void”.’ One of those gigs was a high-profile appearance at Cloak & Dagger’s Dusk Til Dawn festival back in October, with HAEX playing alongside The Jesus & Mary Chain, Health, TR/ST, Ho99o9 and Com Truise.
11. Agent Side Grinder – (TBA)
Although the brand new ASG album is still currently untitled, Damned Industrial can reveal that the first single from the album will be called Doppelgänger”, and is due early 2018. Set to be released digitally and as a limited 7” single on Progress Productions, the brand new full length album will follow later in the year. According to one of the founding members of the band, Johan Lange, most of the tracks are done, just not recorded. Along with aforementioned “Doppelgänger”, some new songs to be included are “In from the cold”, “Stripdown”, “The great collapse” and “Allisin Sane”, which was premiered live with old Agent Side Grinder line-up. ‘Old line-up? What are you talking about?!’, you might say! During 2017, vocalist Kristoffer Grip quit the band and following his departure, Thobias Eidevald and Henrik Sunbring also decided to leave. Quite the turmoil, yet at the time, Johan and Peter decied to continue the band and release a record in 2017. That album didn’t happen, but what did happen in 2017 was the arrival of new frontman Emanuel Åström. Described by the band as having an exceptional voice reminiscent of a 90’s Blixa Bargeld, Åström has achieved some sort of ultimate fandom; becoming a member of one of his favourite bands.
12. V▲LH▲LL – Grimoire
Grimoire will be released on February 9 via Artoffact Records and features violin contributions by Jessica Pimentel (Maria Ruiz in Orange is the New Black). She’s also the lead singer of Brooklyn-based metal band Alekhine’s Gun. Pimentel also recently contributed vocals to Origin’s 2017 release Unparalleled Universe and apparently is massive V▲LH▲LL fan, listing their Stendhall EP as her second favourite release of 2017. When describing their brand new opus to Damned Industrial, the band stated; “With Grimoire our sound has evolved from our previous releases. We see it as a natural progression. More focus and effort was put into the actual song writing and structure. The album has come together over the last 2 years. During that time we explored many paths and learned a lot. We let the ideas and concepts of Grimoire slowly grow to finally become what we wanted it to be.”
13. Qual – The Ultimate Climax
With what William Maybelline describes as “some kind of septic injected poisoned industrial hard techno script“, The Ultimate Climax looks set to tickle more than just auditory canals. According to Maybelline, the recording of the new album “was epic to say the least” and “the biggest electronic adventure I’ve been on as the tracks went through all sorts of machinery I’d been coming in contact with”. Set for release some time in February on Avant! Records, The Ultimate Climax already has Qual fans immoderately excited, especially considering the quality of 2017’s Cupio Dissolvi EP.
14. Ritual Howls – TBA
Ritual Howls are set to follow-up their incredible Their Body EP from 2017 with a fourth studio album, still untitled, later in 2018 (autumn). Electronics maestro Chris Samuels told Damned Industrial that ‘the new record will be different than our last couple releases in that we are recording everything ourselves and plan to spend a little more time on it to create something more immersive and complex.’ The band are also planning a special limited run for the first time plus, they are working on a book of lyrics with accompanying visuals. The album is set to be released by the Felte label, who released Ritual Howls’ Into The Water and Turkish Leather albums, as well as the Their Body EP.
15. Weird Candle – Modern Alchemist
Album number four from Vancouver based industrial/electro-punks Robert Katerwol & Kaleb Blagdon. As of right now, the band currently have 8 songs recorded and plan on finishing by 1st January 2018. The band plan on self releasing it as a vinyl/cassette package, with the cassette being an instrumental version of the album. Weird Candle said to Damned Industrial: ‘The previous 3 albums were all recorded in a small basement home studio. Modern Alchemist is being recorded at an audio engineering school by a Russian graduate by the name of Valeria Kovochkova, and she is amazing!’ The aim is to have the album released by September 2018.
16. Ionnalee – Everyone Afraid To Be Forgotten
Ionnalee, the creator and front person of audiovisual project iamamiwhoami, also known as Swedish singer, songwriter, producer and filmmaker, Jonna Lee. Everyone Afraid To Be Forgotten is Lee’s debut solo venture, displaying luscious electro/dream-pop in a way only gifted Scandinavians can. Out on 16 February on To whom it may concern Records, the album is mixed by Barbelle (iamamiwhoami cosongwriter), who also guests, along with TR/ST and Jamie Irrepressible. Aside from being a piece of music art, Everyone Afraid To Be Forgotten is set to become a stand-alone filmic counterpart (co-created with cinematographer, John Strandh, in alliance with fashion and art trail-blazers, COMME des GARÇONS).
17. Kangarot – A Candle In The Dark
For the fourth Kangarot LP, Josh Reed has hinted that, alongside his project’s strong Skinny puppy influence, the new material has a bit of Mentallo & The Fixer vibe going on. An intriguing prospect considering the strength of 2016’s Wholly Hex. Reed adds: ‘a lot of the track titles are inspired by books by Carl Sagan. Particularly “Demon Haunted World” which was kind of Sagan’s warning about the dangers of the growing popularity of a lot of pseudosciences.’ Additionally, ‘Recording is going well, I have all of the tracks complete and maybe half of the vocals done so that’s where I’m dragging my feet a little.’ Kangarot put a lot of energy and focus into playing live shows during 2017, some notable appearances alongside Xander Harris and also with the DKA label crew. With a working title of A Candle In The Dark, Reed is aiming for an early to mid 2018 release, although on what label the album will released on, Reed is currently not yet sure.
18. The Soft Moon – Criminal
Luis Vasquez’s industrialized post punk act The Soft Moon returns in 2018 on Sacred Bones Records with their fourth album, Criminal. A confessional work, according to Vasquez, dealing with deep, inner-turmoil. Vasquez aims to find solace through confession, to address his demons, confront them and defeat them. Continuing the musical journey from Deeper where vocals became more prominent throughout The Soft Moon’s exploration of dark sonics, Luis Vasquez has once again worked with Maurizio Baggio, who co-produced Deeper, on Criminal. Expect a significant industrial/EBM throb to the record, alongside some more experimental sound design and progressive programming.
19. Tribulation – Down Below
Down Below, album number four from Swedish goth/death-metal quartet Tribulation, is set to be released on January 26th via Century Media Records. There’s a brand new video already out for a track called “The Lament”, which you can catch below. Preceding the album is a highly limited edition 7′ single for “Lady Death”, available on clear vinyl and black too. Down Below is the result of a very intense, one year creative process for Tribulation. The band have noted that whilst the new album may contain elements and influences from previous albums, it also finds the band entering uncharted waters. Those eager to hear the new material live will be pleased to know the band have plans to tour extensively during the first quarter of 2018.
20. Die Sektor – Death My Darling I
Album number 5 from the Atlanta, Georgia based dark electro act Die Sektor, Death My Darling I is well and truly on the way to completion. 2013’s (-)existence(+) marked the end of The Void Trilogy, a series of albums consisting of that album plus 2011’s Applied Structure In A Void and 2012’s The Final Electro Solution, and now the band are set travel down a new path and hopefully bring us on their new journey of dark industrial, complex and experimental, yet full of emotion and still retaining that certain level of accessibility Die Sektor are known for. Band frontman Edwin Alter told Damned Industrial that there are 12 tracks set to be included on Death My Darling I, with four of those already featuring in the band’s current live sets, and one of those songs, “This Broken Shield”, was released in 2017 on CD and vinyl only. And with regards to the band line-up, Alter adds: ‘Those that have been out to our last several shows have noticed we added a fantastic guitarist to the fold in 2017, Daimion Champe from Little Black Rain Clouds and The Gothsicles.’ 2018 looks set to be a busy year for the band.