Song of the Day: Azure Skies - Forward Contamination

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It’s hard to believe this release is nearing 20 years old. Although I’ve been hearing about it for years, I only recently acquired a copy for myself, and it sounds just as innovative and fresh now as it must’ve done when it first dropped.

I’m not sure how many industrial music fans we have at IVM, but this is the real deal. It’s not metallic industrial, nor dance stuff, just harsh, sonic, rhythmic experimentations. And what really caught me off guard was how much this album infuses ambient sounds. It’s completely paradoxical to suggest there might be a genre of ‘ambient industrial’ but Azure Skies have pulled it off.

For those who aren’t familiar, the band is comprised of members of Mental Destruction and Sanctum, both of Sweden. Where the former thrives on noise and harsh sounds, the latter delves somewhat into gothic and atmospheric textures. Both are industrial but at opposite ends of the spectrum. I suppose that’s what makes this collaboration so unique as it brings together elements of both artists.

“Forward Contamination” is a slow burn. But when those crunchy rhythms kick in with the layers of industrial machinery sounds over the top, it takes me somewhere really powerful. The album is almost entirely instrumental, except for one track, and our featured song is not the exception there. I recommend you play this as loudly as you can stand it.

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