After teasing us with 4 singles from their album "The Factory Bloc", wildly different in pace and vibe but connected by tone and theme (giving us the perfect mixture of preparing for the full beast-mode release), the Chicago based Electro-Industrial three-piece outfit Jugem's Cloud has finally released their powerhouse second album. Making the 6-year wait between their last release and now well worth it, this album is a meticulously crafted release devoid of filler that manages to avoid all of the pitfalls you might expect from a late-coming sophomore release. The album is very mercurial, giving you enough variety to feel entertained within the 12 tracks, but still feeling consistent enough that it doesn't become erratic. Each track stands out on the release as if it has it's own purpose connecting to the overarching core sound but giving its own take on the formula. Some songs are more guitar-heavy, others are more electronic, some songs are heavier while others are more atmospheric, others make a good mixture of different elements or even shift from one to the other within seamlessly. The singles they chose to display the album were well picked, and are among the albums best, but set only by its own internal standards. The album, unlike so many nowadays, plays brilliantly from beginning to end. There is not a track worth skipping, with each adding a new dimension to the overall post-apocalyptic soundscapes they have been crafting for over half a decade.
For fans of Industrial music, there is plenty for you rivetheads to dig right into. Gritty acid electro baselines, old school 80s, and 90s inspired Electro-Industrial & New Wave inspired synth lines, creepy and mysterious samples, a mixture of haunting and angelic (sometimes both at once) background ambiances, aggressive dance-inspired arpeggiators, and crisp and powerful drum machine percussion are present throughout most of the tracks to some degree. Honestly, sounds like a good mixture of Front Line Assembly & Skinny Puppy 90s era music, which is some of my favorite eras of music, but brought to the modern era of mixing and with the Jugem twist. I could not ask for anything more!
For fans of Metal/Hard Rock, if you have an open mind to the more Electronic/Atmospheric elements and/or like Progressive music this might be up your alley as well. Not every song is jam-packed with guitars, but the songs are aggressive enough and contain enough punishing drums, distorted synth lines, and fierce tone throughout it'll potentially keep up the pace for you. And the vocals are probably gonna be one of the most relatable elements, as the lead vocalist's raspy style will be familiar to any metalhead. Seriously one of the most consistent indie industrials vocalists. Every song just nails it, and the great thing about it is he doesn't seem to be OVERLY relying on effects. You can tell there's a lot of natural power coming into these vocals, not just some guy whispering into a mic and adding distortion. Overall, the powerful, yet clear, vocals will be one of the biggest draws for those into the rock/metal genres.
The mixing of the album is definitely one of the high points of the release. It manages to take into consideration the need for intensity and grittiness that you'd expect from the genres in question, while still managing to achieve the loudness and clarity you'd expect from an album in 2020. Considering the album was self-recorded, produced, mixed/mastered, and released this is a pretty solid feat. Potentially factoring into the long gestation time, another case of well worth it as this album sounds potent, clear, and consistent on the several different playback systems I tried it on. Definitely don't miss one of the best Industrial albums to come out in the last couple of years, available now on all major downloading and streaming services::
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