The Grim Lord’s Reviews: Scream Machine – Beyond The Pale (2015)

SinDelle De Morte is back with a brand new effort that sounds a little bit like the more stripped down industrial efforts of yesteryear. That’s not a problem though, as she’s kind of using the record to get back at smaller industrial artists who feel that they’re gods of some sort. This is far removed from her last record, which sounds like the artist was kicking back a little and having a bit more fun. Beyond The Pale is quite fierce from an industrial standpoint as well, which seems to fit the rather opaque cover art that adorns it. With the odd, yet catchy opener “Stomp 4:02” she points a finger at several individuals, which is only the beginning of her frustration. Again, Beyond The Pale seems to come off as the closest thing I’ve heard to that classic industrial era, which almost makes me think she did it to spite them in their own beloved style. At any rate, such a record like this is testament to her evolution as an artist and as an experimenter. “Dance 234 3:50” really seems like an odd drug-trip in itself and I’ll admit that I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. What exactly is the message here? As we get into “Gone 4:15” I’m almost reminded of Hantarash’s first two records in lieu of the huge electronic explosions. The track additionally has a rock inspired flair which continues to exercise its catchiness. “Ghost 3:39” uses several background echoes as well as acidic beats, which she seems to be quite fond of (in all honesty though, these add quite a bit of groove to her music). “Dirty Pig 2:06” comes next, which seems to be a bit disheartening in terms of mood, but the bass and uncomforting choral nature of the piece create a rather depressing soundscape that works for the expression laden within. Quite simply, it’s a bit dark and may (gasp) trigger you. “Zipper (Hit Me) 5:02” feels a bit club happy, possibly even a bit influenced by American dance-pop music. Sin’s vocals are filtered in such a way that it feels as if she’s a living machine, which you’ll notice in several of the songs here. This song feels a little bit like it’s coming from a malfunctioning sex robot, which sounds incredibly interesting. Honestly, an artist with this much talent would’ve been signed years ago in the old days of the industry. “Rock Motherfucker (Disease II) 5:14” picks up more rock influence, getting stronger toward its latter half. Maybe there’s a bit of Manson here, maybe a little bit of Reznor. I’m not sure, but I can feel a little bit of one of those guys in the track. “Fight Back 5:24” is yet another call to arms that the American people will ignore unfortunately, even though it has an odd happy/angry vocal node to the performance, which makes it quite intriguing. “What You Wanna Be 4:16” comes off as catchy, but it leaves me with the same odd feeling as “Dance 234” which almost makes it sound like a sister to that track. Both use a lot of catchy choral repetition which almost feels hypnotic. “Big Time 5:23” feels like another sister to “What You Want To Be” which feels like another slightly hypnotic track, but it also seems to be another call out to the smaller industrial artists that make up the base concept of the album. “I3R14N 4:43” is not the name of a computer system, yet instead seems to make up an atmosphere piece that envelops into a sort of electro-pop. Sin actually bellows out some rather beautiful clean notes in the latter half of the track as well, which definitely showcases her skill as a stand-alone singer. “So Hardcore 6:14” is the ultimate diss on the record, which seems to be a finger to many artists who think they’re better than everyone else, yet really have no fans. Of course, there’s an interesting story laden in this piece that I think is well worth hearing and it describes (artist name strangely omitted, so use your Google-Fu!) who seems to be a false “devil worshipping” artist of some sort (perhaps industrial?) and a crowd-fund abuser as well. I’m not sure of the story, as it appears an inside joke but I guess it could be used to describe a lot of people. The last track here is an eighties throwback meets rock that probably could’ve been expanded upon, but it’s a good send-off note for the album. Beyond The Pale definitely seems to show SinDelle De Morte at her most vile, yet with an added hint of frustration due to world events. I can only imagine what she’s writing now. Of course, there’s a much softer side to her work in GodMONSTER which is like the Yin to the Yang expressed here. Unlike some of the records she’s made in the past, Beyond The Pale has a focus and that’s where it succeeds. It also feels more mature in a sense, with her rough-edged poetry in full swing. She’s always been one of those that could turn a nursery rhyme into a suicide note or a horrible bludgeoning, which is exactly what we get here. There are also the hypnotic tracks, which have me a little perplexed, I might add. Say what you want about Scream Machine, but there’s no one on the planet that does it the same. They’re a one of a kind industrial act that always manages to surprise the listener with each release.

(13 Tracks, 55:00)

8/10

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