Jan 2014 05

The arrival of every New Year brings with it a sense of reflection and reminiscence on the past 12 months, usually leading many to form some sort of list to exhibit the year’s best moments. ReGen Magazine is certainly not exempt from this, and so we are proud to offer our readers this publication’s Top 20 Albums of 2013. As voted on by the members of the magazine staff, this list presents ReGen‘s assessment of those albums that made a profound and significant impact on music. This is the crème de la crème, showcasing the best examples of creativity and artistic expression in the fields of industrial/goth/electro music.
We at ReGen Magazine sincerely hope that you enjoy our list of the Top 20 Albums of 2013.

 

  1. GoFight: Music for Military Torture
    Pulseblack
    Released 2013-04-05
    Picking up where Die Warzau left off, Jim Marcus along with Daniel Evans and Vince McAley kick things up more than a few notches with the pro-sex/anti-war powerhouse that is GoFight. Chockfull of beats as powerfully addictive as they are sexy, bass lines so full of funky, groovy energy to cause more than a few erections and wet panties, and melodies that are in equal measure catchy, erotic, aggressive, and thought provoking, GoFight’s debut album is sure to stand the test of time as one of modern music’s finest releases.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon MP3
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  3. Gary Numan: Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind)
    Cooking Vinyl / Mortal Records
    Released 2013-10-15
    One of electronic music’s darkest and most pioneering minds, Gary Numan with this album unleashes an industrialized assault of raw emotion that stands as one of his finest outings ever. Reaching deep into his most depressing thoughts on everything from reaching middle age, parenthood, suicide, and relationships, his music is the light at the end of the tunnel, presenting an energy and drive that younger acts continually strive for.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
  4.  
     

  5. Hate Dept.: New Ghost
    Awful Noise Records
    Released 2013-08-27
    Returning from a decade-long absence, Hate Dept. remains as relevant as ever with Seibold and company offering up some of the tightest and most potent material the band has ever released. From abrasive lyrics to virile synthesizers, topped off with crunchy guitars aplenty, Hate Dept. is back and at the top of its game.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    CDBaby
    Bandcamp
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  7. Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks
    Columbia Records
    Released 2013-09-13
    Perhaps the most controversial and polarizing album Trent Reznor has ever produced, Nine Inch Nails’ comeback album continues to challenge audience preconceptions with an album that offers up a range of rather positive emotions unfamiliar to most NIN fans. The work of a man reflecting on his past and making no apologies for his present, this album is a keen and enthusiastic step forward.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD (Standard Edition)
    Amazon CD (Deluxe Edition)
    Amazon MP3 (Standard Edition)
    Amazon MP3 (Deluxe Edition)
    Amazon Vinyl
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  9. Skinny Puppy: Weapon
    Metropolis Records
    Released 2013-05-28
    Three decades and still going strong, Skinny Puppy reaches back to its sonic past for a straightforward and retro sounding album that remains fresh and inspired. As confrontational as ever, the lyrics grapple with the current state of mankind’s penchant for self destruction, forcing ourselves to ask the tough questions on what we plan to do about our future.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon Vinyl
    Bandcamp
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  11. BILE: Built to Fuck, Born to Kill
    BILE Style Records
    Released 2013-01-02
    After a handful of ill received albums, the New York industrial/metal juggernaut of BILE returned to form with an album of pure vitriol and musical venom. Filled with crunchy riffs, guttural vocals, and all the acerbic flippancy and disgust of the band’s past output, BILE is once again forging an enticingly wretched musical path that simply must be heard.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon MP3
    CDBaby
    Bandcamp
  12.  
     

  13. Architect: Mine
    Hymen Records
    Released 2013-08-29
    Continually proving to be one of modern electronic music’s most innovative minds, Daniel Myer puts forth an expansive and immersive experience with his latest outing as Architect, living up to the project’s moniker. Highly rhythmic and thoughtfully engaging, this album further blurs the lines between experimental industrial, ambient, and IDM textures as only Myer is capable of.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Bandcamp
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  15. CZAR: No One is Alone If No One is Alive
    Cracknation
    Released 2013-11-05
    Now taking its place as the flagship act of Chicago’s Cracknation imprint, CZAR presents a furious barrage of intricate and intense progressive metal. Vicious vocals, guttural guitars, pummeling percussion, seething samples, and acerbic ambience all encompass this relentless onslaught that surpasses in both uncompromising brutality and intelligent musicianship.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon MP3
    Bandcamp
    Cracknation
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  17. Comaduster: Hollow Worlds
    Tympanik Audio
    Released 2013-06-18
    With a firm foundation in video game soundtracks and modern electronica, Comaduster steps up its game with a fresh new take on dubstep, incorporating various styles to infuse a more accessible, varied, yet above all coherent style.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    CDBaby
    Bandcamp
  18.  
     

  19. The Knife: Shaking the Habitual
    Rabid Records / Mute Records
    Released 2013-04-09
    Living up to its title and shedding all trace of formula and convention, this Swedish sibling act forges a densely challenging and experimental path that reaches into the bounds of inaccessibility. Those willing to partake in this experimental journey will be greatly rewarded with one of the most original albums this year.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon (Standard Edition)
    Amazon (Deluxe Edition)
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
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  21. KMFDM: KUNST
    Metropolis Records / KMFDM Records
    Released 2013-02-26
    The Ultra-Heavy Beat is going strong after nearly three decades, remaining as lively and as current as ever with topics ranging from the imprisonment of Russian punk act Pussy Riot to the lack of emotional content and communication in today’s technology driven world. KMFDM serves up its ever rambunctious and raucous brand of industrial rock and makes good on its promise to never stop.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
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  23. MINISTRY: From Beer to Eternity
    AFM Records / 13th Planet Records
    Released 2013-09-10
    With the passing of longtime guitarist Mike Scaccia in late 2012, this thirteenth and final album from the godfathers of industrial/metal serves up not only a fitting tribute to the late musician but also to the band’s legacy with a veritable “greatest riffs” package that raises the proverbial middle finger to today’s sociopolitical villains and exemplifies every sound and style ever explored by Al Jourgensen and company. R.I.P. Mike Scaccia; long live MINISTRY!
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
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  25. Attrition: The Unraveller of Angels
    Two Gods / E-Klageto
    Released 2013-04-03
    Surreally engaging and as nightmarishly alluring as any album in the band’s discography, Attrition’s latest outing maintains a unique musical identity that even after more than 30 years continues to inspire and intrigue.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Bandcamp
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  27. Psyclon Nine: Order of the Shadow: Act I
    Metropolis Records
    Released 2013-11-12
    Purportedly the last official release from the eminent industrial/metal act, Nero Bellum takes Psyclon Nine into the pits of hell with atmospheres sure to appeal to the bleakest and blackest of metalheads, while still topping the sound off with mechanized rhythms and atmospheres to keep the industrial fans stomping and thrashing well into the apocalypse.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Bandcamp (Psyclon Nine)
    Bandcamp (Metropolis Records)
  28.  
     

  29. Front Line Assembly: Echogenetic
    Metropolis Records / Dependent Records
    Released 2013-07-09
    With new blood comes new sounds and a new energy, as is best exemplified by the latest album from one of industrial music’s most prolific acts. Front Line Assembly successfully brings its sound into the modern age with the varied sounds of dubstep and EDM merging seamlessly with the dystopian ambience and cyberpunk rhythms the band has been most known for.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD (Metropolis Records)
    Amazon CD (Dependent Records)
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
    Bandcamp
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  31. Atiq & EnK: Fear of the Unknown
    Tympanik Audio
    Released 2013-04-23
    Cosmic ambience and percussive vigor come together in this up-and-coming act’s aptly titled debut treads into territory not common to the status quo of electronic music, making for an expressive and experimental outing that shows great musical strength and surely indicates even better things to come from Atiq & EnK.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    CDBaby
    Bandcamp
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  33. The Causticles: Eric Gottesman
    Undustrial Records
    Released 2013-07-30
    Having worked together numerous times in the past, it was only a matter of time before Caustic’s Matt Fanale and The Gothsicles’ Brian Graupner would join forces on a project that combines both of their respective strengths, showcasing a flair for irreverent humor, nerdy glorification, and above all an in-your-face attitude for its own sake, making for one hell of an industrial party album.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Bandcamp
  34.  
     

  35. Covenant: Leaving Babylon
    Metropolis Records / Dependent Records
    Released 2013-09-11
    A simultaneous progression and regression of Covenant’s stirring brand of dark synthpop and bouncy electro, exhibiting a refined sense of songwriting and production that simply feels good even as it treads familiar territory with just a few subtle but potent surprises along the way.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD (Standard Edition)
    Amazon CD (Limited Edition)
    Amazon MP3
    Amazon Vinyl
  36.  
     

  37. Die Sektor: (-)Existence
    WTII Records / Death Watch Asia
    Released 2013-11-12
    Continuing to push the boundaries of aggrotech with a greater dose of glitchy programming and EDM textures to augment the heavy industrial atmosphere, Die Sektor’s latest effort lands the band firmly at the head of the pack and hints at even weightier challenges and explorations to come.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon CD
    Amazon MP3
    Bandcamp (Standard Edition)
    Bandcamp (Deluxe Edition)
  38.  
     

  39. Acucrack: The Mawn Reproduction
    Cracknation
    Released 2013-10-01
    Taking a dark turn back to his roots, Jason Novak’s first outing in seven years as Acucrack explores a more haunting industrial vibe that eschews the drum & bass and DJ/electro standards of the past. Abundant in horrific ambience and menacing percussive assaults, Acucrack dare you to dance alone in the dark with whatever unseen monsters it conjures.
    Purchase at:
    Amazon MP3
    Cracknation
  40.  
     

 
 

As is common in organizing such a list, there were a number of nominations that did not make the Top 20 that still nevertheless deserve mention. Naturally, in order to ensure these albums receive just attention, ReGen is happy to include these honorable mentions.
Among the more notable was the latest album from EBM/industrial rockers Die Krupps, The Machinists of Joy, standing as a testament to the band’s longevity by combining hard beats and hard riffs in a manner that brings the mosh pit to the dance floor and vice versa. Similarly, Army of the Universe unveiled a sophomore release, The Hipster Sacrifice, that continued the band’s flirtation with grinding rock grooves and entrancing electronic schisms that lands the band in a niche all its own, while SMP’s Death of the Format reinstates Jason Bazinet’s aggressive sense of melody, complete with hip-hop rhythmic bravado and punk-like grit and rage.
Also on the rocking end of the spectrum was Filter taking on a much more pronounced electronic vibe that hearkened back to the band’s industrial roots with The Sun Comes Out Tonight, heavy on the drum programming and synth backdrops without sacrificing the anthemic screams and chunky guitars that brought the band acclaim in both the mainstream and the underground.
Ayria’s delicious juxtaposition of bubbly electro-pop with a gritty and gothic edge made waves with Plastic Makes Perfect, while VNV Nation’s Transnational further solidified Ronan Harris’ lyrical thoughtfulness and straightforward electro classicism, leaving Funker Vogt to do what it has always done best with militaristic EBM on Companion in Crime, which may prove to be the band’s final outing given the departure of three of its four members in the last year-and-a-half.
In contrast to the abysmal performance of Orgy’s IndieGoGo campaign to fund a comeback album, electro/industrial punk outfit Mindless Self Indulgence also made a splash with a successfully crowd-funded album, How I Learned to Stop Giving a Shit and Love Mindless Self Indulgence, which along with the polished and pleasant synthpop of The Unified Field by IAMX offered some of the year’s most enjoyable if hardly groundbreaking moments.
Scaling back the beats to delve further into the realms of the occult and dark ambience was Worms of the Earth’s Azal’ucel, taking the act’s incorporations of dark mysticism to the next musical level with a sound as chilling and as haunting as an ancient demonic ritual. In a similar darkly experimental vein, The Legendary Pink Dots’ The Gethsemane Option gave us more of the avant-garde act’s explorations in rhythm, atmosphere, and musical diversity, but
2013 also proved to be a year full of comebacks with darkwave darlings Lycia and noise/pop act Medicine returning after long absences with Quiet Moments and To the Happy Few, respectively, and coldwave collective Iron Lung Corp. unleashed a cover album to end all cover albums with Body Snatchers, paying homage to everyone from Killing Joke and Nirvana to Shriekback to Tangerine Dream and Thomas Dolby.
From outings by Hopeful Machines and Cryogen Second side project Becoming the Devourer to more experimental and classically industrial fare from Foetus and Gnome & Spybey, 2013 proved an exuberantly active year for music in the industrial/electro/goth realms. May we all raise our glasses and celebrate what grand surprises 2014 will have in store for us all!

 
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
ReGen Magazine Staff
Happy 2014!

 

4 Comments

  1. […] The arrival of every New Year brings with it a sense of reflection and reminiscence on the past 12 months, usually leading many to form some sort of list to exhibit the year’s best moments.  […]

  2. […] & EnK and Comaduster make ReGen Magazine’s Top 20 Albums of 2013 […]

  3. […] to Eternity was released on September 10, 2013 and made the #12 spot on ReGen Magazine’s Top 20 Albums of 2013. […]

  4. […] album, released in 2013 to critical and commercial acclaim, making the #2 spot on ReGen‘s Top 20 Albums of 2013. Subsequently in 2014, Numan produced with his longtime collaborator Ade Fenton a soundtrack album […]

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