Album Review: Killing Joke - 'Pylon'

6 November 2015 | 4:16 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Champions of the industrial genre return with their latest offering.

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Killing Joke are one of the forefathers of industrial rock, cited as an influence on bands such as Metallica, Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails, therefore it's hardly a surprise the English veterans are now on their sixteenth studio album. Simply, new full-length ‘Pylon’ is an intense follow-up to their predecessor, 2012's ‘MMXII’.

'Pylon' begins on a riff heavy note, with the introduction track, ‘Autonomous Zone’, kicking things straight into action with droning, melodic vocals, thumping bass and heavy guitar lines, which show that the band, now approaching their 38th year, has no signs of slowing down. It's a similar blueprint adopted from the assertive beginnings. The record has its significant share of heavy moments from the industrial ‘Dawn of the Hive’ to the dramatic ‘New Jerusalem’. However, the album also showcases moments that stray from the constant heavier tone of the record with tracks such as ‘Euphoria’, which acts as somewhat of an industrial ballad, cleaner and slower, proving additional highlights.

The second half of proceedings is the balancing point - greatly melodic. ‘War On Freedom’, one of the more polished songs found within the collection, is also one of the most interesting. ‘Big Buzz’ follows in much of the same manner before 'Pylon' reminds the listener this is still an industrial affair with ‘Delete’. Ending just as it started, on a heavy note, with ‘I Am The Virus’ and the final track ‘Into The Unknown’, Killing Joke use experience to their advantage and continue to hit the right marks.

Featuring the bulk of the band’s original line-up, it is no surprise Killing Joke are able to work so well together. Instrumentally, 'Pylon' takes the band to new heights featuring an assortment of vicious riffs, a remarkable rhythm section and haunting, droning melodies coupled with Jaz Coleman’s signature vocals. Lyrically, it is obvious that the album flirts with ideas based around politics, war and control, tracks such as the intense 'New Cold War' and the melodic 'War On Freedom' indicative of the purpose. 'Pylon' is a super consistent album.

1 Autonomous Zone

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2 Dawn Of The Hive

3 New Cold War

4 Euphoria

5 New Jerusalem

6 War On Freedom

7 Big Buzz

8 Delete

9 I Am The Virus

10 Into The Unknown