Joachim Witt is the godfather of Germany's industrial metal scene, and at 57 years old, he's still going strong. Thanks to a deal with Dancing Ferret Discs, Witt's music is finally available in the United States at domestic prices. Though his first U.S. release is technically the third part of a trilogy, don't fret; familiarity with previous releases in the "Bayreuth" series is not necessary to enjoy this one. If you've rocked out to Oomph! or KMFDM, you'll be in very familiar territory. Things start off with "Dammerung," an instrumental composition of synth strings, then launch wholeheartedly into the anthemic metal of "Ahhh!!!" and "Menschen," all big guitars, guttural German vocals, and Wagnerian operatics in the background. "Wem Gehort Das Sternenlicht?" slows things down with an honest-to-god power ballad, then "Schmutz" speeds them right back up again with electroclash beats, dramatic chords, and some straight-up rock 'n' roll guitar solos. The German techno metal sound is formulaic enough to have been parodied by Laibach on more than one occasion, but Witt keeps things interesting with an array of diversions. A duet with Lacrimosa's Tilo Wolff on "Abendrot" sees the two trying to outdo each other in sheer Teutonic ferocity, while "Die Macht" starts off minimal and modernist, with pulsing beats and percussive breath sounds backing the heavenly soprano of Nadja Marie Saeger before launching into the inevitable bombastic chorus. "Der Turm" changes things up with a waltzing rhythm that forsakes the usual head-banging vibe in favor of something you'd expect to hear in a beer hall for post-apocalyptic killer cyborgs. To help rope in EBM and synthpop fans, there's also a remix of "Wo Versteckt Sich Gott?" by VNV Nation that adds some dance appeal and Gregorian chant while leaving the song's symphonic gravitas intact. Theatrical and impressive, this album should especially impress fans of comparatively newer German metal acts like Rammstein and Eisbrecher.
Visit Joachim Witt at www.joachimwitt.de for more information.
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