Tuesday 16 March 2021

Eisbrecher - Liebe Macht Monster (2021)

Country: Germany
Style: NDH
Rating: 7/10
Release Date: 12 Mar 2021
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It's been a while since I've reviewed any NDH here at Apocalypse Later but Eisbrecher are back with an eighth studio album and it's quintessential stuff for the genre. There's not a heck of a lot of variety in here, though the songs do start to delineate themselves on a second listen, but it hits every checkbox that an NDH fan will be looking for and it does that within every one of the fourteen songs that stack up to comprise this generous almost hour long album. There's even one song with a guest appearance from Dero Goi of Oomph! and Die Kreatur to tie to the wider NDH scene.

The vocals of Alexx Wesselsky are clean, deep and in your face. The guitarwork of Noel Pix and Jürgen Plangger follows suit, adding an industrial rhythm through their riffing, while the rhythm section is tasked with underlining all that, Achim Färber's beats often sounding as much like a rivet machine as a drumkit. Absolutely everything is told with emphasis but it's also melodic and with a strong EBM angle through the keyboards and programming of Maximilian Schauer.

It's the latter that provides the greatest variety here because that angle waxes and wanes through the album. Schauer is all over songs like Nein Danke, which is as obvious an NDH single as I've heard in a long time, and Systemsprenger, but steps back a little on the opening single, FAKK, which sounds just like what you think it does—"Fakk, ich fakk dein ding"—but also introduced me to some imaginative German words. If I'm understanding the translation properly, because everything here is naturally in German, even on High Society, their word for a Twitter troll is "hobbyhitler", which is just perfect.

I guess different people will have different opinions about how that balance should work in any NDH song, but I think my own taste has the title track as the perfect balance. Not only can we follow either the dancing electronic side or the crunching metal side throughout the song, but the two combine in ways that go beyond both happening at the same time. Oddly, it's a little slower than the average for this album and I'm usually all about the speed. Then again, Systemsprenger follows it at a slower and less emphatic pace, so everything's relative.

The slowest song here is the one that stands out the most from its peers for being different and that's Himmel, which turns the guitars down massively and so makes this sound a lot more poppy, even with such a powerful beat. I get the feeling that the second half of the album is a little lighter than the first, but not so much that it's obvious and not to the album's detriment. I think, after the title track, I'd call out late songs like Leiserdrehen and Es lebe der Tod as highlights along with early ones like Nein Danke and FAKK.

All in all, this is a strong release from a band who are a little behind their typical schedule. Eisbrecher formed in 2003, released their first album the following year and added another every two years after that. The only exception was 2015's Schock, which took three, and this one, which didn't show up until four years after 2017's Sturmfahrt. I don't believe I've heard any of those, but I'd be more than happy to check them out on the basis of this one. Liebe Macht Monster is long and it's consistent, but it never gets old.

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