I absolutely loved the last album by these putrefying Germans. It’s been quite a while since ‘Gehirn zwischen Wahn und Sinn’ came out way back in 2009 and I was keen to find out what the band were like after all this time. Not that this is a very easy task though as having interviewed them for Terrorizer around the last release we were not in total agreement as I was fixating upon a sound that was very Swedish in feel and one that I thought shared a lot with the depressive suicidal black metal sub-genre in all but vocal language, than anything else in particular. Although the band said that parallels to black metal were unavoidable it was the German punk rock that they grew up in around 89-90 and doom that they found more inspirational in their style. Notably they were at that time about to embark on a first live show with Lifelover and they are one of the prime bands who their current album at the time reminded me of.
I will say that on hitting play the sound was instantly identifiable, as were the incredibly harsh Teutonic vocals. Another point addressed in the interview was the fact the band do everything from lyrics and vocals to their website in German and I wondered if this hampered their acceptance outside Germany. I was politely told that the reason they do so is that their English is horrible and bands should have the courage to sing in their own language more. Who can argue with that even if the point was made in perfectly good English? Hate and misanthropy are the two key words in the short biog accompanying the album and then there’s those themes Snuff and Hiroshima… interesting.
We start with ‘Grauen’ and there is a sense of horror and savage indignation here with the yelled out vocals. Musically it has a hard rocking feel behind things with sharp angular attacking guitars sounding like Swedish high kicking rock bands such as Kvelertak as much as anything else. Yep there is an angular punk feel about it all before it settles in a groove and moves between slower paced parts and fast in the face pummelling flurries. The fear in what sounds like a person battering at a door and screaming in terror at the end of the track seem like they have come from a snuff film. Perhaps the likes of native film makers Jorg Buttgereit and Marian Dora have rubbed off on them! There is lots going on here, we get very effective passages spoken through what sounds like a megaphone and angst ridden, tortured yells along with depressive musical parts as this continues. With the language I am not fully engaged but really intrigued, it’s a bit like watching a foreign film with no subtitles. I like it but feel like I am missing the plot. Tracks work for me as a cohesive whole listen with one track surging away and combining quirky fragments with pile driving segments of blazing rock and abject depressiveness. They certainly mix everything up and it’s an album to tackle as a whole rather than dissect into easily bite sized chunks, which would frankly be impossible.
I have given this plenty of listens, it is no easy album to review but it is an album that is easy to like, if that makes sense. I am going to mention Lifelover again just as this is the tone that I get from a lot of the music on this and want to give some indication of who may well like it, after that though it’s anyone’s guess, although the mark is a suitably high one.
(8/10 Pete Woods)