Salvation through Deterioration / Mtuk

mcd 2010 - (review: January 2011)

Styxian Industries are a Dutch trio and 'Salvation Through Deterioration' is their first and self released e.p. Now I know that self-release can be of wildly variable quality but I always think it's good to see bands getting up and getting on with things so this was greeted with a little genuine hope and enthusiasm.

First signs good: Visuals are nicely sorted and the stark white cover with church merged into factory give a firm pointer to their self proclaimed Industrial Black Metal goals.

All of which makes the opener 'Remnants of the Former Self' a bit of a surprise as, apart from some distorted bass and some harsh percussion sounds, this is pretty much standard BM fare. Mid-paced 'melody through buzzsaw riff' stuff with echo heavy vocals buried way down in the dark until it all comes across a bit early Darkthrone but with an actual production and someone hitting a sheet of metal in the background. Honestly it is much better than it sounds on paper but still a little disappointing.

The titular interlude up next is much more like it: the kind of black industrial that the Axis of Perdition scrape from the wrecked factory floor with some ugly distorted electronic throbbing going on too. A minute or so later and 'Finites Perturbing The True Vacuum' is, despite the mouth mangling title, pushing us back into more standard fare once more and a riff I wish I could place but for the life of me can't.

You see to these ears, there's something about Styxian Industries that hasn't quite meshed yet. The parts are all here and some look like they could be of quality steel but there is a fair bit of assembly line work to go if this is going to be one entity pulling in one direction, or at least not shaking apart.

As it is too much seems bolted on rather than welded in at present: For example 'Revise Your Existence' drops a few moments of Opeth-esque acoustic playing from nowhere before as suddenly switching back to the riff and is a real wtf? Moment. Then the final track 'Escaping Reality' begins with some nice deep space rumbling that promises a darker descent, a plunge into those wonderful, cold and wrong places but takes it nowhere in the end apart from back to a fairly safe riff. There is not really enough variation between those riffs as yet, but you can't help feeling the inspiration is there just struggling to get out just at this moment.

I'm not meaning to be too harsh: This is tight and well constructed and despite the execution there are real ideas here and good prospects but at the moment the two or three identities contained within this industrial complex perhaps still need to bond more tightly.

Well worth watching though.




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