Killing Joke
Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions


4.5
superb

Review

by metalhead2425 USER (10 Reviews)
July 29th, 2019 | 11 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An excellent return to form for a band running on fumes.

After the mixed reception of 1988’s Outside the Gate, it became apparent to Jaz and the rest of the Killing Joke crew that a change in style was needed to keep the band relevant and their sound fresh. Seeing the popularity that bands such as Ministry were receiving in the late 80’s, Killing Joke decided to combine their post-punk roots with hints of industrial music for their eighth studio album, Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions, resulting in a tightly played and extremely atmospheric post-punk album.

Like with most of Killing Joke’s albums, Extremities is strange and highly atmospheric. This unique atmosphere can immediately be heard on the album opener, “Money Is Not Our God” where the song begins with heavily distorted guitar riffs that pick away over mid tempo punk drumming and excellent bass-work. The song continues along as Jaz sings the verses with his distinct voice, eventually building until he shouts the name of the song. As the track continues, industrial noises play behind the music while sounds of laughing and pocket change can be heard before the vocals come back in and the song continues in a similar vein. This first song sets the tone for the rest of Extremities perfectly. The entire album utilizes the aforementioned industrial sound effects, punk drumming, and distorted riffing for most of its duration.

That’s not to say the album doesn’t change speed at times to add variety. The song “Inside the Termite Mound” is the slowest on the album and is heavily influenced by industrial music, while the title track to the album is the fastest on Extremities and even utilizes blast beats, which were becoming quite popular in metal music at the time. Aside from that, some of the songs also have atmospheric intros, like “Solitude”, which begins with a melodic keyboard section and the song “Intravenous” which begins with heavily distorted middle eastern sounding guitar playing akin to the style that Killing Joke would follow this album up with on Pandemonium.

Another interesting aspect of the album is the political and social commentary found in the album's lyrics. The album’s lyrics are highly critical of capitalist society on most, if not all of the songs. Tracks such as “The Age of Greed” also start with satirical samples of advertising to go along with the lyrics and atmosphere. The lyrics are very well written and, whether the listener agrees with the bands viewpoints or not, they are a strong point that adds even more depth to an already complex album.

Much like Pandemonium, Extremities is best listened to as a cohesive work rather than by just picking out random songs. The atmosphere stays consistent through the albums entire 65 minute run-time and never falters once. All of the tracks on the album are excellent and play an important part in the albums structure. As far as negative aspects go, the album can get tiring at times if the listener is not in the right head-space for it, but aside from that the album is superb. I would highly recommend Extremities for any curious fans of Killing Joke or industrial music.



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user ratings (96)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
metalhead2425
July 29th 2019


314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thought this needed a review, so here it is. Love this band.

blou52
July 29th 2019


183 Comments


I wasn't a huge fan of Pandemonium, but I'll give this a shot still

DoofDoof
July 29th 2019


4833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is their angriest



This is their best



You note the correlation there



dwightfryed
July 29th 2019


70 Comments


Jaz finally removes his head from his arse, and KJ unleashes new ugliness upon the world!

Digging: James Gang - Yer' Album

Stalusk
July 29th 2019


128 Comments


Nice summary, Martin Atkins really energised this period of KJ. There are two gems on this record that are often unrecognised, "Slipstream" & "Struggle". Both are fantastic.

hadeserbonfa
July 29th 2019


201 Comments


I was listening to this record when my glass table suddenly shattered for no apparent reason. I haven't listened to it since.

metalhead2425
July 29th 2019


314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Stalusk both of those are great songs for sure





theyrehere
August 1st 2019


46 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Review was much needed. The trifecta of this, Pandemonium, and Democracy is probably my favorite Killing Joke era

metalhead2425
August 1st 2019


314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Same. Pandemonium is my favorite by them but this comes pretty close.

theyrehere
August 1st 2019


46 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like them pretty much equally. Democracy was a slight drop off, but I did like the chiller vibe

metalhead2425
August 1st 2019


314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I haven't heard it in a pretty long time. I'll have to jam again, but I do remember it having a chiller vibe like you said.



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