I know I post a lot about diamonds in the rough while going through the digital promos that come my way on the daily but it is genuinely exciting to discover a new favorite by sheer luck sometimes. Black Magnet is the latest gem and as a lifelong Industrial fan, I can say that this monstrous debut really owns.
With Hallucination Scene, James Hammontree crafts a syllabus for a true masterclass in what makes Industrial great. Handling vocals, guitars, drum programming, synthesizers, and samples (Like all the greats used to do) with recording done by Sanford Parker (Minsk, Corrections House) at Decade Studio in Chicago (Practically the birthplace of the genre), the feel is undeniably old school while equally ever expanding.
“Divination Equipment” is the perfect beginning and a great introduction to Black Magnet. Right from the start, the visceral intensity of early Pitchshifter (Industrial, Desensitized) or Godflesh (Streetcleaner) seeps through as Hammontree seethes and froths with meticulously manufactured mechanical noise emitting an apocalyptical atmosphere.
“Anubis” adds more depths and groove, combining the modernity of Youth Code with the OG feel of Skinny Puppy while “Punishment Map” can be summed up in one word: Vicious. With grinding guitars, barked vocal lines, and pointed percussive programming, the track is a determined new Industrial anthem.
“Neuroprophet” eases up on the throttle but not on the intent with echoes of Chris Connelly’s maniacal vocal performance across The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste permeating throughout and later, “Trustfucker” goes to the flip side of that Ministry circa mid-’90’s coin with a steady beat reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails’ biggest hit of that decade but with a way better earworm of a chorus.
“Crush Me” is instantly iconic and distinguished with a certain wickedness due to the manipulated sounds that provide a macabre atmosphere. “Hegemon” is like a generator coming to life and goes in this retro Electro direction with creepy cool sounds at the halfway mark before a concussive blast of noise leads the way to a solemn conclusion. Speaking of concluding, “Walking in the Dark” wraps this stunning debut up with a little ditty that immediately sounds like some classic Industrial banger which drones, screams, and enthralls towards a fitting end.
Hallucination Scene is out on September 4th via 20 Buck Spin. Pre-orders are up now and can be checked out by clicking here. For more on Black Magnet, follow them on the internets by clicking here or here.