Like so many of the artists associated with the audiotrauma label, the music made by Italian experimentalist Enrico Cerrato as Petrolio is defined more by emotion than strict genre tags. On his latest EP L=ES Cerrato paints with broad strokes using drones, washes of synths, pianos, and percussion to build up varying moods and feelings. Mid-record track “FISH FET” is harsh, with shredding metallic drums as its focus, but it suggests resilience more than anger, as melody struggles up to be hear and recognized amid the destruction. “L’ETERNO NON E PER SEMPRE” starts with a stack of foreboding tones and pads but slowly parts at its direst moment to reveal a strident snare beat, marching upwards from the depths even as shrieking peels of noise go off above it. “LA MALADIE CONNUE” plumbs some uncomfortable places sonically, but offers catharsis; even through the walls of static and modulating synths that fill the mix, a simple piano figure offers succor. L+ES isn’t a comforting or hopeful release necessarily, but it does contain within in it the potential for that feeling to emerge, counterintuitively amplifying each grain of optimism by obscuring it.
Most industrial sub-genres are now long enough in the tooth that to speak of them as being “retro” is becoming an increasingly vague descriptor. What period? What iteration? What country of origin? New on the scene one-man act Paralyze, hailing from Wisconsin, split the difference by taking a distinctly retro yet broad reaching approach to the post-industrial back catalog, creating a fresh blend of familiar styles by hybridizing stripped-down electro industrial programming with break-neck power electronics noise and yowling. It’s a combination that works well right from the gate (think of a more lo-fi version of Protectorate with more hardcore-style breakdowns), with simple but punishing programming delivering the goods across all five tracks of the project’s debut EP. The more extreme, endurance-test side of Paralyze is communicated through blast-beat drum fills rather than pure distortion, putting a unique stamp on Dissociative Prosthetic and again, speaking to an influence from extreme metal and punk. Paralyze is mean, forthright, and splashes just enough cold water on some familiar sounds to reinvigorate them.