Whom The Gods Wish To Ruin, They First Drive Mad, released earlier this year by Red Lokust, is the second album by this industrial duo composed of Jim Semonik (Distortion Productions, Electronic Saviors, Rein[Forced]), and Lee Lauer (X-Aslan Faction). Having seen Red Lokust perform several times, and knowing how much heart and soul Jim pours into virtually every endeavor he pursues, I knew pretty much what to expect. This album is a culmination of many years in the industrial scene, and reflects all of that experience and knowledge very accurately. This is a textbook example of premium, top tier industrial dance music. Every element you would expect to hear is there. Consistent, hard hitting dance beats, creepy orchestral background elements, samples galore, and distorted yet completely decipherable lyrics encompass nearly every single track.
Having performed alongside some of the industrial scene’s greatest acts, such as Suicide Commando, Chemlab, Thrill Kill Kult, KMFDM, and Sister Machine Gun, and some of the world’s largest industrial gatherings like Dark Side of the Con and even Coldwaves, these guys are no strangers to what it takes to be successful in this scene. And that’s not even taking into consideration one of Jim’s greatest accomplishments, the Electronic Saviors: Industrial Music to Cure Cancer compilations. Spanning six massive collections, including original work by virtually all of the planet’s greatest industrial artists, this world-renowned production was brought together for one purpose, a cure for cancer. And that fight, is one the Red Lokust takes personally, and its battle is reflected very clearly all throughout this release. It focuses on paranoia, gaslighting, betrayal, and rage, all channeled through a terminal illness.
Whom The Gods Wish To Ruin is not an exception in any way whatsoever compared to the majority of the genre. But it is an absolutely perfect representation of what the scene is. In my opinion, Jim Semonik is one of the hardest working individuals there is in the scene, without question. The fact that these guys were even able to find the time to put an album together is a testament to his dedication and will. Between running Distortion Productions, creating the Electronic Saviors albums, and planning almost every single industrial show that happens in Pittsburgh, he still found time to create music that reflects his personal battle with life itself. Be sure to check out this release, and all the other greats on the Distortion label. You won’t be disappointed.