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4.34 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2015


Disc 1:
1. Autonomous Zone (6:44)
2. Dawn of the Hive (6:29)
3. New Cold War (6:51)
4. Euphoria (4:17)
5. New Jerusalem (6:11)
6. War on Freedom (4:40)
7. Big Buzz (5:03)
8. Delete (5:00)
9. I Am the Virus (5:39)
10. Into the Unknown (6:15)

Total time 57:09

Disc 2:
1. Apotheosis (6:25)
2. Plague (5:51)
3. Star Spangled (5:31)
4. Panopticon (8:45)
5. Snakedance (Youth ‘Rattlesnake Dub’ Remix) (7:55)

Total time 34:27

Both discs:
Total time 91:36


- Jaz Coleman / lead vocals, keyboards
- Kevin "Geordie" Walker / guitars
- Martin "Youth" Glover / bass guitar
- Paul Ferguson / drums, vocals
- Reza Uhdin / keyboards

About this release

Spinefarm Records October 23rd, 2015.

Thanks to Unitron for the addition


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"Pylon" is the 15th full-length studio album by UK industrial rock/metal act Killing Joke. The album was released through Spinefarm Records in October 2015. It´s the successor to "MMXII" from 2012. Killing Joke formed in 1978 and has been through some lineup changes throughout the years, but after the death of long time bassist Paul Raven in 2007, the original lineup of Jaz Coleman (lead vocals, keyboards), Kevin "Geordie" Walker (guitars), Martin "Youth" Glover (bass), and Paul Ferguson (drums, vocals) reunited, with the addition of keyboard player Reza Uhdin. And as "Pylon" is now the third studio release featuring this lineup, it has turned out a long lived reunion.

Stylistically the music featured on the album is unmistakably the sound of Killing Joke. They´ve made adjustments to their sound over the last 20 years, but the more riff oriented and metal oriented sound they introduced on "Pandemonium (1994)" is still the blueprint on "Pylon". The band´s style has always been hard to describe, but hard pounding repeated beats, atmospheric guitars/keyboards (sometimes harder edged and raw riffing), a rumbling bass, and Jaz Coleman´s strangely monotone clean vocals and occasional more raw shouting ditto, is a valid description. At times it´s quite powerful music, but Killing Joke also masters a more atmospheric sound.

The material on the 10 track, 57:09 minutes long album is well written, and although slightly same sounding (which is not unusual for Killing Joke), quite catchy and for the most part memorable. Tracks like "Dawn of the Hive" and "New Jerusalem" set the high standard, but the remaining tracks are equal in quality. The deluxe version of the album features a second disc with more material recording during the same sessions, and those tracks are of a high quality too, and could easily have been included on the regular version of the album.

The album is relatively well produced although I could have wished for a slightly more sharp and edgy sound. Overall "Pylon" is a very well sounding release though. The musicianship is as always strong and upon conclusion "Pylon" is yet another high quality release by Killing Joke and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
Killing Joke - Pylon

"Pylon" is the fifteenth studio album by industrial metal/rock band Killing Joke. Starting out as an industrial/post-punk hybrid in the late 70's, Killing Joke are known for being a huge influence on the industrial metal style that would form in the later 80's with such bands like Ministry and Godflesh. Killing Joke later went industrial metal themselves, with hardcore punk-twinged "Extremities, Dirt, and Various Repressed Emotions" and the pure industrial metal of "Pandemonium", the latter I consider to be a classic of industrial metal. So with over 30 years of music on their hands, how does their newest release fair?

Immediately you get assaulted with heavy crunching guitar and pulsing electronics with 'Autonomous Zone', and there's even some string arrangements that harken back to "Pandemonium". The second track, 'Dawn of the Hive', is a full-on dark and apocalyptic metal assault. The mix of pulsing and chattering electronics with an orchestral atmosphere really fit right at home with the menacing riffing and the steady beat of the drums. During the bridge, it almost wanders into thrash territory with it picking up speed and it also throws in some cool electronic effects. "Euphoria" changes the pace a bit, being a softer melancholy song, but Jaz Coleman gives an amazing vocal performance especially during the chorus. 'New Jerusalem' is one of my favorites from the album, which begins with an instantly toe-tapping drum beat with background crunching guitar. It soon gets heavier and very grandiose with string arrangements flowing right with the pulsing riffs and Coleman's brooding vocals. Speaking of the drums, the drum work is especially great beyond the catchy rhythm. 'Delete' is another one of my favorites, with a really addicting guitar riff and some excellent vocals.

The single released, 'I am the Virus', was definitely a worthy pick. It's a really addicting driving track with rolling drums and chaotic guitar, sounding like it would fit right at home with 2003's self-titled album. If you get the deluxe edition, you get a second disc with five bonus tracks. These bonus tracks are amazing, being right up there with the best songs of the regular album. 'Star Spangled', which is one of my favorite of these, has even more use of orchestra sounds, so much that I would call it symphonic industrial metal. 'Panopticon' is a dark nearly nine-minute long crushing dirge of a track, with the riffing reminding me of recent Alice in Chains at times. During the middles of both songs, there are some really dark guitar sounds, that I wish went on longer.

Killing Joke has always had a lot of political/social commentary in their lyrics, but the lyrics really shine in this album. 'New Jerusalem' has some great lyrics like: "Another knob got the top job, Selling out to corporations. Culture adult entertainment, Calibrated to dumb down.". Most of the lyrics are heavy on political commentary, and on the deluxe edition, the song 'Panopticon' has some great lyrics about the effects of social media and modern technology. Jaz Coleman has a very easily-recognizable and powerful voice, and he gives some really strong vocal performances on this album, especially in the song 'New Cold War'. He really roars in this track, especially when singing the title of the song.

Overall, I feel this is definitely up there with their best albums. I love and really like most of the songs, 'Big Buzz' being the only track I don't like much. Most of the songs stick in my head, and I highly recommenced this album to any fans of industrial rock and metal. Hope you found this review helpful.

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