on Easter -- can you get any more appropriate? It's not every day you are graced with the presence of living legends. Godflesh, the industrial metal pioneers that walked away from greatness in the early 2000s, have reunited much to the delight of black clad aging rivet goths and a whole new set of fans. Their debut album, Streetcleaner, is still much beloved, intelligent, and immediately listenable even after 25 years. Slow, heavy, dark, machine-like intensity with a side of genre-hopping experimental goodness, Godflesh was the king of industrial metal, long before lesser loved (read: kind of hated) bands like Korn, Slipknot, and Papa Roach made millions off of a dark, semi-electro sound. And Godflesh took an opposite route of those aforementioned bands -- grim, lo-fi production mixed with drum machines, experimentation, and groundbreaking sounds, instead of the formulaic ones we became used to in the early 2000s. These guys could brutally growl-sing "we all die" without it being cheesy, it was relatable despite the heaviness of it all; something lesser bands just can't pull off. The band's messy break-up occurred in 2002, more of a collapse than actual break up after a founding member left. The group was silent for nearly a decade. But now Godflesh, like the flesh of holy things is known for doing, has risen again with both original members, Justin Broadrick and GC Green -- a primal, grinding live show with two humans, a guitar, a bass, and the third member: drum machine.
, aka William Bennett, is creating a new type of soundscape after decades in the industrial music game and embracing the potential of a warmer, livelier, tangible brand of music using his curated collection of obscure percussion instruments. His new path is a stark difference from his Steve Albini approved, industrial noise band Whitehouse -- which has been hailed as the founding father of the whole industrial genre. If you don't know the background, the move from industrial king pin to African world music seems like quite the departure. But Bennett has long been studying African culture, voodoo, and traditional instruments simply because he was interested -- but he is putting that stockpile of knowledge to good use with his new project. Cut Hands uses his same keen sense of artistic music making to build sounds, just in a completely different way. Composed with traditional Haitian vaudou instruments, Cut Hands' works are musings on industrial percussion with nary a drum machine in sight. Instead, each composition relies on steady beats mixed with marching polyrhythms and experimentation and sounds that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but you can hear the industrial influence despite the completely different instruments he's building his sounds with --call it techno voodoo, or just a talented guy using a new medium to get the noise inside his head to an audience. Live, Bennett will be using his recorded sounds (via laptop and mixer) to make the audience get in touch with some primal dancing.
House of Low Culture
: When you're the guitarist for one of prog-metal's favorite sons, you better have a way to let your own demons fly free. For Isis guitarist Aaron Turner, his ambient sound side project, House of Low Culture, is just what he needs -- and what we all need, too. Inspiring, intricate, ambient sounds build to a dark moan of instruments. House of Low Culture has been Turner's release for more than a decade. You could absolutely listen to a HOLC record while working, napping, or doing some satanic ritual on a boat at midnight: a surreal and abstract adventure for the mind. The band is Aaron Turner's baby, with a revolving line up of live players usually involving his adorable wife Faith (of Mammifer). Turner mixes sounds, puts his guitar to use, violates effects pedals, and stuns the audience with a wall of noise, a growl here and there, and high and low frequencies. Turner is making music that he wants to hear, and luckily for all those watching and listening, he's got a pretty good ear.