Killing Joke Killing Joke

Long-time English goth-rock group Killing Joke is particularly cranky this time, delivering ten tracks that are heavy and hard, with only a few pauses for something a little less caustic. The ominous and creepy salute to U.S. foreign policy "Total Invasion” gets things going making perfectly clear the intended message behind this record. In "Blood on Your Hands” singer Jaz Coleman comments "Five corporations/Earn more than 46 nations/You got blood on your hands” — no shortage of socio-political commentary here. Dark and driving and with all the aggro musical capabilities to back up the words, they manage to mix up the energy and force of metal with the oddness of experimental. Twenty-one years and several break-ups and make-ups later, bending genres has always left Killing Joke able to elude classification, and the versatility here is no exception. Sounding like Ministry with PMS, "Asteroid” is a powerhouse of a track with its ambush of percussion and gravely vox. Yet Coleman goes easily from gravel to grace in the slow and penetrating "You’ll Never Get to Me.” This disc keeps evolving as you listen, and Coleman sounds like a different singer from bar to bar. Power chords give some bite to the echo-y goth sound but they still keep their foot firmly planted in their post-punk roots. Old fans will appreciate the original line-up, with the addition of Dave Grohl as guest skin beater. (Zuma)