It's exceedingly rare to find a band working in the dark-electronic, EBM or industrial genre that can be bothered either with memorable melodies or with positive lyrical messages; normally all you get is a bunch of cookie-cutter nihilism grunted or shouted over soundalike jackboot rhythms. The Dutch band Angels and Agony, however, offers both rich (and surprisingly gentle, though still danceable) sonics and even more surprisingly positive (even religious) lyrics, and its second full-length album is perhaps its strongest release yet. Singer and lyricist Reinier Kahle isn't exactly a crooner, but he delivers his lyrics with restraint and taste, and even when the band is rocking out fairly heavily (as, for example, on "Rites of Passage" and the businesslike "Salvation") it does so without making you feel like you're being ordered to dance for the glory of the Fatherland. On other tracks, like "Awakening" and "Closing," the band gets downright ambient, even dubby -- and on "Insight" they incorporate recitations of Buddhist sutras, in Chinese. This is not your usual industrial fare, and so much the better. Highly recommended.