"The Phoenix" (Apocalypse Machine; 2009)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"The Phoenix" is one of the best albums of Destination: Oblivion's career. They've come a long way form their sterile but always interesting music to a full-blown concept album.

"The Phoenix" is more of the crushing electronic, guitar sound mix that brings to mind Marilyn Manson, Prong and others. This CD isn't completely industrial, but has a little more heart to it - something of a more human element that I don't remember hearing before from this band.

And "The Phoenix" tells a complete story. You'll follow the story from the first track to the end and be enthralled throughout. It's a great listen.

Yeah, it's a little on the bleak side, like most of the band's other material. Nonetheless, this is a particularly good album and the title track is especially addicting. The second-to-last track, "The Final Goodbye," is perhaps the bleakest, with an icy piano and strings and vocals that remind me of some eerie Roger Waters/Pink Floyd material but with a much colder atmosphere.

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"The Bridge to No Where" (Apocalypse Machine; 2008)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I was a little hesitant going into Destination: Oblivion's "The Bridge to No Where." The music from the band I'd heard earlier was noisy, depressing stuff and, although there is certainly a time and a place for that, it's not exactly the most pleasant place to be.

But "The Bridge to No Where" is a little different than previous Destination: Oblivion CDs. Instead of the grim, ambient type of music I remembered from previous releases, "The Bridge to No Where" brought to mind the harder, heavier industrial sounds of Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson or Prong.  Although I know bands like Destination: Oblivion hate the word, "The Bridge to No Where" is more accessible than the band's previous CDs and, hence, is automatically more listenable.

Things start to morph back into the band's usual style toward the end of the CD but, overall, this is my favorite Destination: Oblivion album thus far. Sometimes the production is a little weird (such as on track five beginning with almost 30 seconds of annoying electronic buzzing) but you'd expect nothing less from this band.

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"Winter Solstice" (Apocalypse Machine; 2008)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Winter Solstice" is more grinding, mechanical noise from a very prolific band and, if it's what you're looking for, you need look no further. Say what you want about Destination Oblivion's sound, the band has mastered it and continue to deliver it in regular doses.

Like the band's previous CDs, "Winter Solstice" is a grim, downbeat soundscape, music so heavy with atmosphere you can almost feel it weighing down the cilia in your ears. The tracks on this CD are bleak and depressing, haunting and eerie, strange and edgy. If the filmmakers of the "Saw" franchise are looking for their next soundtrack score, they should just give Destination Oblivion a call.

If some of the songs sound familiar, that's because they may very well be. "Winter Solstice" is a collection of remixes and, with a band this technically oriented, the re-mixes are complex and involved.

Obviously not for everyone, "Winter Solstice" is another successful concoction by a band that knows what they're doing. Successful, that is, if it happens to be your cup of tea.

Destination Oblivion: Denis Navratil on vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, drum programming, sampling; Joe Martinez on guitar, drum programming, backing vocals; Dan King on bass and backing vocals. 

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"December Sun" (Apocalypse Machine; 2007)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

There are very few albums that I’ve listened over the last eight years or so that create a feeling of nausea by their mere presence or visual evidence. My initial reaction to Destination: Oblivion’s “December Sun” was that it was destined (pun intended) to join that short list of albums that I can’t stand.

Destination: Oblivion is a modern music outfit that forms its base in the industrial genre; “December Sun” is a post-modern industrial album that treads new ground. Yet it is essentially tuneless and devoid of memorable songs.

The robotic vocals and mechanized guitars/synths (think grinding motor engines) evoke the idea that it’s not “the man” that is getting us down, it’s “the machines” that are wearing us out. This idea is a bit stale by now. Modern society doesn’t feel the weight of machines like some Orwellian nightmare – modern society is being killed by information, and too damn much of it. If anything, today’s world is lacking in feeling – nothing of which “December Sun” provides.

“December Sun” is an incredibly long album for an unsigned band – well over an hour. Perhaps there is some artistic statement being made, but I’m not sure of what it is at this point. Perhaps the intent was to describe a world in which fear and paranoia are the result of an increasingly large police state.

Listeners more in tune with the experimental nature of folks like Mike Patton are better equipped to get something from an album like “December Sun.”

For what started off as being a dismal listening experience “December Sun” turned out to be an interesting experience insomuch that it challenged my pre-conceived notions of what could be possible for the future of industrial metal. As an unintended bonus it got me thinking – any album that makes me revisit what I learned in eighth grade English (i.e., reading Orwell’s “1984) is worth something.

“December Sun” was produced by Dennis Navratil.

Destination Oblivion is Denis Navratil on vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, and electronic percussion; Joe Martinez on guitar and electronic percussion; Dan King on bass; and R. J. Braemer on drums. 

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"Larvae" (Self-produced; 2005)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I’m not sure what to think when listening to "Larvae." It has a NIN, industrial and metal sound in certain parts. It sounds like dark rave music. It’s blurry and stews just under the surface with a tinny sounding guitar. It also slows down too much and sounds too much like Radiohead.

Born out of the oppression that holds us captive by what is fed to us, Destination Oblivion wants to slowly pull you away so that their music will make you think for yourself. A nice concept, but I'm not looking for a band to define me and what I should think.

I like to listen to music and give it a chance, but this type of music is not to my taste. If you like industrial dance/rave music then scour your local tat parlor and face-piercing hut to find out where you can score a copy of "Larvae."

Destination: Oblivion: Dennis Navratil, Dan King, Dan Rueles, Joe Martinez, Alfred Pusey, Henry Preston.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2011 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 Aug 2023 13:47:15 -0400.