Industrial music has been on life support since about 1995, particularly in Canada, whence some of the most innovative stuff emerged once upon a time. Back in the ’80s Vancouver birthed Skinny Puppy who led the genre until it imploded (or, more accurately, vivisected to generate several equally uninteresting offspring); Frontline Assembly, also out of BC, were fairly cutting edge at one point, until they decided to start releasing what was basically the same album over and over again. What’s passed for industrial since then has either been silly synthpop crap or black metal with keyboards.
Zodiac, from Toronto, is a refreshing return to what made industrial music interesting in the first place. Pulsating, glitchy, by turns melodic and dissonant, the songs evoke the brutality and cynicism that inspired industrial and, most remarkable of all, it never becomes boring. Murderworld is utterly artificial in the best way possible. It sounds like a bunch of really pissed off robots unwinding at a dance club after another tough week of slaughtering humans. As industrial should be. (Richard Rosenbaum)