Review: Das Ich

Das Ich
(Metropolis Records)

This is old-school Deutsch-style anger, built on simple electro and classic industrial roots, with vocals that slide from roaring to bright. This isn’t as aggressive as I’d expect from Das Ich. They’re considered mainstays of contemporary industrial music and they play it up with full make-up and a reputation for eccentric performances. But, I digress. I’ve had this CD on repeat for days. It’s infectious. Unless you’ve got more than a little high school level German under your belt, you won’t understand a word of the vocals. Still,  the energy on this record could surpass any language barrier.  “Grund Der Seele” is by far the strongest track. It starts off with a stripped down, head-nodding groove. Out of nowhere, a clean, melodic breakdown leads into a peaking chorus.  “Krieg Im Paradies” kicks in with an ambient wash the dumps into a driving bass-beat. The whispered verses billow into a massive chorus.  “Das Dunkle Land” stands out with clearer, more subdued vocals and a sing-along chorus.  While their blend of symphonic elements and bleak electronica is powerful, it does come off as a compromise of both sides. The orchestral parts live up melodically, the production values are more in line with video game soundtracks… from about five years ago. There’s simply no reason to hang on to the midi tones of yesteryear. This is a genre that was built on innovation. Purists in this genre who cling to old methods are simply missing the point. That’s where this disc falls short. There’s very little groundbreaking material to be found here.