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Industrial Complex (Tour Edition)

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Album Review

Although their last new material as Nitzer Ebb was 15 years earlier, Douglas McCarthy and Bon Harris were relatively busy leading up to the release of Industrial Complex (definitely call it a comeback). Throughout the 2000s, McCarthy collaborated with producer Terence Fixmer on two LPs, while Harris became an L.A. studio head, working with everyone from Bush to OK Go (and helping out on more than his fair share of soundtracks). Meanwhile, Nitzer Ebb's brand of EBM — which neatly balanced Depeche Mode's pop structures and emotional intensity with harder industrial's production expertise — was increasingly being hailed as an influence on techno artists, most prominently Richie Hawtin. Industrial Complex returns the duo to where they were just before 1995's sonic detour, Big Hit (which overplayed guitar work and criminally overlooked the group's rhythmic skills). Yes, it's slightly dirtier than their classic '80s material, but it still employs the hardest, harshest percussion to drive these productions, while McCarthy's overloaded vocals touch the same raw nerves as before. Still, while McCarthy is just as aggressive as ever, he seems to have lost the fire he displayed on earlier classics like "Getting Closer" and "Come Alive." And while the production is as fiery and hard-hitting as ever — thanks in part to additional help from veterans Flood and Jagz Kooner — Industrial Complex doesn't have the hooks or the innovation that Showtime or Belief evinced. Fans will be thrilled, and even those who don't know the classic recordings will be led on by this competent display, but too often, Industrial Complex is an album referencing past triumphs rather than creating new ones.

Customer Reviews

Industrial Complex

While some of my all time favorite songs come from Belief and Showtime, I'd say this one ranks right up there with Belief as a very "complete" album track for track, a good listen all the way through. It has all the elements from calssic favorites and a sound that is in the "now". I love it, buy this one and catch them on tour as well.

Nitzer Epic

Epic, absolutely EPIC!!! Truly masterful and iconic musicians of their genre.

Back with a vengance

This is the first studio material we have heard from NE since 1995's "Big Hit". It has been well worth the wait. Every track is good. Bon Harris has done a great job re-capturing the sounds of "Belief" and "That Total Age" but with a lot more complexity and depth. On vocals, Douglas McCarthy hasn't lost anything, in fact, I think he's gotten better. They are true inovators and pioneers of their genre and it's great to hear them again.


Formed: 1982 in Chelmsford, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Before the majority of industrial acts added guitars and became the heavy metal of the 1990s, Nitzer Ebb produced hard-hitting electronic music with the Teutonic bent and abrasive edge of early industrial music, plus the vocal chanting and beat-heavy flavor of the late-'80s alternative and Balearic dance scene. Formed in Chelmsford, Essex, in 1982 by vocalist Douglas McCarthy, drummer Bon Harris, and keyboard player David Gooday, the group began experimenting with synthesizers and drum pads, fusing...
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