INDUSTRY OF NIGHTMARES — Project Atopia (review)

INDUSTRY OF NIGHTMARES — Project Atopia album cover Album · 2016 · Avant-garde Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
Greece hasn’t exactly been a hotbed for metal artists on the world’s stage but the artists that have come from this island rich nation on the Mediterranean have been of extremely high quality. Some of the most popular have been Dead Congregation, Septicflesh, Rotting Christ, Spectral Lore and Hail Spirit Noir so when i hear about an experimental metal band from Greece my interest is immediately peaked. Looking for more avant-garde metal bands has led me to another Greek artist with the name of INDUSTRY OF NIGHTMARES which was formed in 2008 in Iraklion which sits on the island of Crete.

This band consists of Zahir (vocals), Shade (vocals), Doomlord (guitar), Omegha (guitar) and Goatlord (bass) and so far has only released this one album PROJECT ATOPIA which came out in 2016. Despite taking so long to release an album, the band has played live with many of the Greek bands mentioned above and continues to rock the casbah so to speak. While the word experimental is used often too liberally these days, in the case of INDUSTRY OF NIGHTMARES it certainly applies as this band certainly doesn’t fit nearly into any particular category within the metal universe.

Starting off with an epic soundtrack score theme with “At World’s End” which sounds more like a John Williams symphonic theme for a sci-fi movie, the metal kicks in on the second track “Atopia” but immediately establishes itself as true outsider metal with a somewhat blackened guitar riff that turns into a thrash metal gallop. Alongside are weird vocals and then some angry shouting much like some of Dødheimsgard’s most spastic craziness. The track is bouncy like groove metal but then breaks into jazz-rock with female vocals. In all honesty the music proceeds more like a Sigh album than anything in the black metal world although it seems to get lumped into that word due to the spidery jangled guitar bombast and a bit of raspy vocal shrieks but nothing stays the same for too long here.

“6 Names Of Faith” starts with an atmospheric eeriness but then a galloping thrash laden riffing frenzy with those Deathspell Omega dissonant chord strums accentuates the offbeat. There is a classical piano run in the back and the palm-muted guitar stomps are very much out of the thrash metal playbook but then groove metal jumps in and growly vocals tradeoff with rapped clean ones. Only a melodic drive keeps the continuity. “Licking The Mirror” is as weird as the title. With a mix of thrashing guitar stomps and a frenzy of vocals it sounds more like Unexpect at this point with the female vocals singing operatically along with death metal screams. Although i await circus music it never arrives however it does jump into some kind of cabaret segment that starts off without metal and then is joined with a furious guitar rampage. Definitely out of the Unexpect playbook.

“A Ballad For Fools” continues the beauty and beast aspect of clean female vocals singing diva style operas along with frenetic death metal screams with rampaging fast tempo guitar bombast but then it changes into a more psychedelic menagerie of crazed dude vocals and happy girl singing with trippy psychedelic rock but of course the metal joins in again and the rampaging continues! “Chamber XXIV” begins with clean guitars and desperate spoken pleas and then becomes some sort of depressive black metal track that takes on old school Rotting Christ style guitar playing. The female vocals add a sense of melancholy while the male vocals remain in insane asylum mode. The track picks up the metal heft but sort of drifts along in alternative metal mode with black metal guitar tones.

“Naked Project” starts off as a melodic keyboard run but then becomes a mid-tempo riff monster, once again like old school Rotting Christ only the vocals are also melodic more like a traditional metal singer of the 80s rather than black metal. There is also a melodic keyboard that lingers in the background. It becomes more melodic and then starts to remind me of another Greek band i like a lot, The Elysian Fields. The closing “Children Of Atom” takes the short album out with another rampaging guitar frenzy with declarative male vocals alongside divine feminine charm. The track maintains a melodic procession with lots of guitar squeals and thundering bombast.

This is a grower for sure. First time i hated it but after a couple more trials it became more palatable. I would describe INDUSTRY OF NIGHTMARES as the amalgamation of various band sounds including elements form Greece’s Rotting Christ and The Elysian Fields as well as black metal from Deathspell Omega and Dødheimsgard. The genre skipping often is right out of the Unexpect and Sigh playbooks however INDUSTRY OF NIGHTMARES is more cautious in how often it throws curve balls. There are many moments of thrash metal as well as death and groove metal styles. Add to that some electronica and other bizarre unorthodoxies and you have a bona fide Greek avant-garde album on your hands! This is much more interesting after a couple listens but it isn’t top notch avant-garde metal either. It’s more like a tapestry of influences rather than something OMG new and exciting. Well done but it seems a little haphazard at times and could’ve used a bit more refinement but nevertheless this is an interesting enough experimental album even if not at the top of its game.
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