ALBUM: Roter Stern
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
The new album from Germany's Centhron manages to borrow elements of all the latest developments in the EBM scene without slavishly following any of them in particular, resulting in an album that's modern but not overly trendy. For the most part it's techno-influenced, but pounds with an intensity bordering on power noise; fans of Nachtmahr in particular will enjoy the thunderous bass kicks and barked German vocals of songs like "Orkan" and title track "Roter Stern." Elements also creep in from terror EBM, like the distorted goblin vocals and haunting choir pads of "Kaltes Fleisch," while "Dreckstuck" is hard, dirty electro complete with porn samples. If the overwhelming atmosphere is of relentless dance floor aggression, however, it's the occasional inclusion of wordless singing from female vocalist Melly Thies (also the band's manager) that makes for the album's most interesting moments, particularly on "Seelenflug im Rotbereich," where her melancholic contributions on the bridge change the song's entire energy from hellish cyborg terror to apocalyptic mourning. Another surprisingly melodic moment shows up on "Cleopatra," with gorgeous Arabic-inspired wails evoking the tragic story of its namesake Egyptian queen over jagged synth slices and speedy mechanized rhythm sequences. A sort of zeitgeist of the latest and greatest club selections from the harder end of Europe's EBM spectrum, this is an album that transcends current trends and will keep bodies moving on the dance floor for years to come.
Visit Centhron on MySpace at www.myspace.com/97849860
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