Fresh from the Douglas fir-scented zephyrs of the Pacific Northwest, Dark Industrial EBM outfit Black Agent has unleashed a ferocious debut album, Industrial Ruination.
The LP, recorded during the height of the pandemic lockdown, ripped its lyrical inspiration from the violent protests following the murder of George Floyd. Combining 1980s sampling and analogue synthesizer technology with modern modular synthesizers and production techniques, the result is a sonic combination of Alien Sex Fiend, Skinny Puppy, Cabaret Voltaire, and Wax Trax EBM.
Opening with the bombastic cinematics of sampled laced “Concrete Sky”, the album gets off to an ominous start. This is followed by the tenebrous industrial EBM groove of “Dying Time”.
“ACAB” is a dark rhythmic maelstrom of metallic beats and vocals, with intermittent samples from those decrying the kind of horrific injustices that necessitates Black Lives Matter.
“Beautiful Lies” continues the record strong with its pulsing cyberpunk litany, and “Fallen” is a slow but deliberate post-industrial banger that straddles the margins of old-school EBM and darkwave.
“Feedback” is a churning collage of layers and samples and percussion, and “Strange Like Me” is the most WaxTrax! post-punk track on the album, with a funky EBM darkwave laced with guitar hooks and one-word sample accents that result in a sound reminiscent of Cabaret Voltaire and Clock DVA.
“Money” is buoyant and dance-driven, and “Murdering Truth” is a caustic groove with acid lyrics listing the perverse corruptions of those in power.
“Everything’s Wrong” is purposeful with its discordant synth delirium which resonates in stereo to the effect of making your head spin, and leads the way into the mesmerizing sci-fi industrial shimmer of “Final Curtain”.
The album closed strong with “We Can’t Believe” a track that weaves a chimeric sound akin to SPK and Twitch era Ministry, and the cosmic finale “Hindsight” looks back at all the album’s influences in a melange of aural atmosphere.
This is an LP that looks towards the past and the future and is a well-crafted gem for those who appreciate dark post-industrial beats.
Listen Black Agent’s “Industrial Ruination” below:
Black Agent began in 2016 as the solo project of Lawrence Kleinke (Computer Controlled: Urban Kickz Recordings, Subsonic, Acid Jack Recordings). In 2019, multi-instrumentalist Neil Parker (MiDi, Optimus Prime, Space Kitty Studio, KBRR) and vocalist J Pit (polygraaf discoteq:RBR, Black Laser Kult:RBR, Lateral Tension:Doppler Effect Records, Bloop:Trax Records) joined Kleinke and rounded out Black Agent’s sonic palette to mirror the EBM and Post-Industrial beats of the late 1980s.
Industrial Ruination is out now. Order it here.
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