Sterilizer – II (2017)

For decades, musicians have sought the holy grail of combining metal with industrial, but the problem is one of space. Industrial uses space more like rock or jazz, to separate notes, where metal focuses on the continuity of power chord riffs. If the hybrid goes too far to one extreme, it sounds like industrial with fragmented metal riffs; on the other extreme, it loses the machine-like sound of industrial.

Sterilizer enters the fray with something that sounds as if Ministry and later Godflesh decided to be a metal band playing along with an industrial drum track and samples, keeping the constant wall of guitar sound going even when using two-chord punk-style riffs to fill between more complete riff voicings. On top of this go samples and distorted vocals for a vision of the disturbed and loud.

II, the latest offering from Sterilizer, turns up the intensity and alienation from previous works. This release could easily be what they blare over the loudspeakers in a dystopian mega-city or a simulated human living space in the cargo hull of a giant ship bound for inhospitable outer planets. Fast rolling beats rush into battering fills which transition into choruses, conserving momentum and adding metallic noise under the searing guitar.

The strength brought by this release comes from its unrelenting assault which avoids slipping into the more relaxed, personal feel of much of industrial that shows its synthpop and rock origins emerging. If Sterilizer can find a way to incorporate less of pure forward driving battery and more internal contrast, it will grow even more powerful. But for now, it is great to find an industrial-metal hybrid that has not wimped out or turned into band practice with a drum machine in the background.

For those who want a muscular metal band with industrial roots, Sterilizer calls to mind the earlier days of Godflesh or Pitch Shifter with its unwavering forward assault and high-intensity power chord riffing. Samples and gauzy textures of found sounds and vocals only enhance its otherworldly feel. This is a great step forward, and it will be intriguing to see what these guys do next.

Recommended tracks: “Division,” “Cop,” “Vendetta”

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7 thoughts on “Sterilizer – II (2017)”

  1. Seth says:

    I think they’ve found one of the rare little niches where death metal and industrial can integrate into something more than the sum of those parts. The definitely death metal-esque technique among the percussive interstices reminds me a lot of the contrasting micro-riffs used by early At The Gates and Morbid Angel (particularly the song Leading the Rats) which fits surprisingly well into the abrupt start-stop industrial framework. Certainly makes up for Aborym’s godawful Shifting.Negative that came out this year.

  2. national geographic nipples says:

    OG/’real’ industrial (Throbbing Gristle, Coil, Nurse With Wound, etc) is basically just “out there” psychedelic babyboomer slop made during the punk era.

    For a site that can be pedantic about the distinction between speed metal and thrash, this might be worth knowing

  3. KingdomGone says:

    This has to be inspired by the Mad Max: Fury Road soundtrack and movie.

  4. Robert says:

    Interview Sterilizer! The kid is only like 23 and has a lot of knowledge. I want to hear his perspective on life since he makes such great music.

  5. Rainer Weikusat says:

    This sucks.

    With all the energy and passion of a 97 year old whore at the end of a non-stop 15 hour blowjob shift.

  6. Psychic Psych Toad says:

    Songs of Love and Hate was ahead of it’s time, incorporating many of the same distinguished drum sounds as St Anger.

  7. Gorgowocoa says:

    Yeah not a bad a effort this album. Of course Legionz ov Hell shit all over it. I can’t tell you how many trannies I’ve wrecked or brawls I’ve started after spinning “Born in 666 B.C.”

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