A Short Intro
KillingJoke are a hugely inventive and influential act. Having been cited as influences on Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvarna and to a certain extent Metallica, their hugely clever music and lyrics still has power today. This is their latest effort and it is still as furious and powerful as ever. Though I have listed this as a post-punk record it should probably be mentioned that KJ are clearly also affiliated with industrial music. And also they are not your usual melancholy miserable post-punks either.
Jaz Coleman-Vocals and Keyboards
1.This Tribal Antidote:
Beginning with the initial barked command "lift up your spirits!" this song leads into a very powerful and driving song. The riff is suitably screeching and the drums thunder in the back ground, whilst the bass gives a surpassingly mellow feel. The barked commanding voice of Jaz is very aggressive and strong. This song is very good, but for such an inventive band this song is relatively run of the mill and less furiously interesting then what KJ are capable of. Though it is true if you hear music that is less original in KJ's repertoire it probably only seems unoriginal because they did it first and everyone else copied them.
2. Hosannas From the Basements of Hell:
This song is charged with anger and has clever synth placed over it. The riff is, as usual, a definite classic made by Geordie. The music stops repeatedly to allow Jaz's bark to take the forefront of the song. The psychotic lyrics become very easily heard. The thunderous rhythm is well played out by the rhythm section and makes the whole song seem hugely sinister. The occasional melody breakdowns see Jaz taking a more subtle approach vocally. The guitar here is effects laden and ambient but the thunderous rhythm is allowed to keep going. This song is a well deserving title track.
Opened with a mix of another classic Geordie riff and synth playing sting sounds, his song is another hugely intelligent piece. The song begins in an instrumental fashion. Jaz's powerful vocals this time take on a doom like direction. The song leads up to many emotionally passionate vocal climaxes switch Jaz Coleman living up to the ringleader of destruction role he has outlined for himself. Later into the song some interesting percussion is used to add to the echoing industrial doom. The lyrics appear to be proclaiming a doomy philosophy and are hugely critical of the world as we know it. Jaz vocals hold a very high level of chaos. The song is brought to an angry ending within the last minute. Both beautiful and destructive.
The effects at the beginning of this song give a certain level of urgency. The whole song is thundering and powerful. The song breaks into ambient post-rock interlude which are again highlighted by the ferocity of Jaz's vocals. In all honesty the heavy urgency of this song make it one of the most uplifting KJ songs in existence. The vocals still have a feel of doom to them but are delivered in an inspiring way. In case you didn't guess the song excites me. Synths in the outro add to this songs weirdly interesting feel.
This song is an explosion of literally heavy noise. The intro has a thundering messy riff and then the suspense of the song is built up by struck cords over the furiously suspense filled bassline. Jaz indulges in some more of his singing for this song but still roars his lines, al his vocals are delivered with passion as well. The less extreme vocals are chanted with the air of a powerful prophet. The repeated Breakdowns into the sound of the intro add to this songs suspense. This song is ideal for some kind of horro soundtrack. Ending on a suitably chaotic note, this song is quite terrifying.
6. Walking with Gods:
This song is built on an industrial beat. The nature of this beat is very impulsive; it almost attacks your sense of hearing. The guitar is sidelined slightly hear as the synth is given prioity. That said, the emotional climax of this song is led by guitar which has a very ambient feel and creates a contrast to the underlying beat. The balance of sounds in this song is incredibly interesting. You are probably thinking of the usual quiet loud dynamic we hear from lots of bands. But KJ are different, its not soo much a quiet loud dynamic as infinite layers of different sounds.
7. The Lightbringer:
The opening start-stop riffage of this song is a perfect intro. Once again it leads to another furious piece of post-apocalyptic music. The bassline here has some kind of clever electronic effect on it. The vocals are once again the commanding roared statements we have so far come to expect. This song has clever double tracked vocal interplay. Jaz sounds particularly inspiring on the phrase "Come the rebellious spirit in you and me the lightbringer!". This song is once again a work of genius.
8. Judas Goat:
Weird synth sounds open hi track with the kind of music you usually hear in the background of a murder scene of a movie. The guitar and bass form a repeated powerful riff that has he effect of putting the listener on edge again and again. This track really shines for its brutality and clever use of guitar, each musical breakdown is led by a different hugely well written riff. The vocals at the beginning are a sung drone and then later build up to become angrier; the song is led through many different crazy musical moods by the twin bass and guitar effect. The stand out moment is when a heavily effect laden guitar leads an incredible up and down kind of riff. After which it becomes an angry stop start riff. Then it returns to its original form, with Jaz sounding as commanding as ever as he barks the lyrics over the top.
This song is akin to certain sludge elements, perhaps even reminiscent of the Melvins. The vocals at the beginning come in a especially droney style. The feeing of this song I similar to the somber depression of Jesu tracks, almost certainly another band that KillingJoke have influenced. The song falls between sludge metal, post-rock, your usual barbaric KJ post-punk and an average industrial band. Jaz"s dual vocal stylings help reflect on the multiple emotions conveyed by this song. As it all fades you know you have hard one of the greatest albums of this year.
[EDIT]: Just thought i should pay repsects somewhere to the recently deceased Paul Raven.