Thursday 5 November 2015

Review: Killing Joke – 'Pylon'


Picking up from the band's previous two outing ('Absolute Dissent' and 'MMXII') Killing Joke's latest studio album 'Pylon' is another uncompromising blend of industrial electronics, post-punk venom and metal riffs that will not fail to satisfy long-time fans of the band. In the 35 years since the band's eponymous début, music trends have come and gone, politics has come round full circle, technology is choking humanity and a dystopian malaise has set in. It's no wonder then that the anarchic and apocalyptic fire of Killing Joke is just as relevant and needed as it has ever been.

The new album (number fifteen and counting!) recalls not only the band's most recent works 'Absolute Dissent', 'MMXII' and 'Hosannas From The Basement Of Hell' etc, but it also looks back to the likes of classics such as 'Pandemonium' and 'Democracy' for its musical and lyrical inspiration.

Songs such as the opening trio of 'Autonomous Zone', 'Dawn Of The Hive' and 'New Cold War' along with 'War On Freedom' and 'I Am The Virus' are incendiary blends of heavy industrial rock that see some of the best riffs, melodies and vocal performances in the band's history. 'Euphoria' and 'Big Buzz' provide a couple of slightly lighter moments within the track list and 'Into The Unknown' rounds things off with some great soaring melodies while keeping it's heaviness intact.

The production is brilliant keeping up the quality of the previous two releases (unsurprising with legendary production talents of Martin "Youth" Glover in the fold) and keeps that fine blend of heavy and melodic running throughout that makes this both a gritty yet completely accessible album to listen to.

'Pylon' shows that after 35 years Killing Joke still have a lot to say and they know how to grab our attention. The band sound stronger and slicker than ever – the song writing is punch, the musicianship is solid throughout, and Jaz Coleman's vocals are sounding powerful and full of conviction. This should be an easy album for both long-time and new fans to get into as it showcases both the band's melodic and heavy sides almost equally within each song. 'Pylon' continues the band's latest and perhaps greatest run of album and promises much more to come.  

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