The surprising thing about Panzer AG's second album is that the most memorable songs are the quietest. "Among The Few" and "Mother," for example, are lush cinematic pieces, with strings, timpani, and operatic female backing vocals, while "Moerketid" is an ominous martial soundscape featuring lyrics in project mastermind Andy LaPlegua's native Norwegian. As for the faster bits, they're undeniably catchy, but there's a strong rock 'n' roll influence that will undoubtedly turn off a number of fans of LaPlegua's more purely electronic work. Still, when he debuted his power noise project, Combichrist, it was drastically different from the melodic EBM that first won him international acclaim in Icon Of Coil, so hopefully fans will be able to keep pace with his eclecticism. With tracks like the catchy punk-inspired "Machinegun GoGo" and the gritty rock-infused "Tip The Dancer," LaPlegua keeps the sex, drugs and industrial attitude from recent Combichrist tracks intact, even if the distorted analog synths on odes to self-destruction like "Crash N Burn" seem more like an afterthought than the main focus of the songs. Panzer AG's less minimal approach allows for some interesting touches beyond the obvious addition of guitars; "Monster," for example, features spooky organs, and closing track "When I Am You" throws in frantic gypsy fiddles, of all things. Electronic purists might not like LaPlegua's latest excursion into broader musical territory, but open-minded industrial rock fans will find it a joy to listen to, from the moody heaviness of "Not Too Late" to the raucous, KMFDM-inspired chants of "Aenimal."
Visit www.combichrist.com for the latest news on Andy LaPlegua's projects.
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