"The Global Elite"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Industrial metal seems obsessed with giant conspiracies and the loss of human rights. The template was established by Ministry back in the 90's and the Chicago band is obviously the biggest influence on the one-man project Skrog, the creation of one Jay Reiter. There's plenty of the usual talk of New World Order, Bilderbergers and of course our old buddies the Military-Industrial Complex. In fact, that's the name of a song here, which samples the entire President Eisenhower speech which already appeared on Ministry's "The Last Sucker" record. So now we've established that Skrog is not exactly introducing breath-taking innovation into the metal world.

However, thrashing industrial metal remains a favorite sub-genre and there are definitely points of great interest here. Opening track "The Revelation" is a total smack in the mouth and the best cut by far on the record...a super doomy downtuned catchy riff is hammered into your brain as Reiter roars a mantra of deceit and oppression. This is one tune where the repetition is critical to its success. The song approaches death metal in intensity and is unforgettable. From there, the bag is decidedly more mixed. The metal is emphasized more than the industrial/electronic aspects, which I kind of regret. Lots of thrashing inspired by Ministry and Slayer, on tunes such as "MK-Ultra" and "Submit", but not to the level of those giants. There's also more measured chuggers such as "End of the World" and the aforementioned "Military Industrial Complex". The sound is murky and powerful but an echo of those who have gone before.

I liked the last one-two punch of "The Hunter"/"The Hunted". The first part builds up slowly with great tension, using more of the electronic influences I wish had popped up elsewhere, and when it finally slams into the very catchy chug-riffs of "The Hunted", the effect is devastating.

A variable album with a real core of promise that I hope Skrog can build on...if the Trilateral Commission doesn't make them disappear first.