A Tribute To Nitzer Ebb... - Review
I'll not take the time or space to give a lengthy introduction to one of the greatest EBM bands ever, because Nitzer Ebb simply needs no introduction. That's why I really struggle yet enjoy this project and this album devoted entirely to covering tracks from this legendary act. Part of me really enjoys covers of all types done by bands of all different goth/industrial and synth related genres, oftentimes modernizing great classics, adding depth and breadth to each piece. However, not every band does covers well and they don't always pay the respect and do the original band justice and so that makes me have reservations when more and more cover versions come out lacking the originality and creativity that a band should have. Furthermore, I understand how bands will devote an entire album to covering other bands they want to pay respect to or just for fun such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and Through the Looking Glass or Love Like Blood with Chronology of a Love Affair, both excellent cover albums, but covering all kinds of different artists. But I haven't seen many bands devoted to covering one project outside of small-time cover bands waiting to come out with their own original sound and works. With that lecture out of the way, this project finds a happy balance as a cover band and manages to cover their chosen band Nitzer Ebb well and push past these reservations.
This disc contains six original cover versions and four additional remixes of these covers (how's that for another twist, remixes to the covers...). The artists are Sebastian R. Komor (Icon of Coil, Moonitor, Monofader) and the members of XP8. All have made a name for themselves in the electronic music scene with their recent releases. Sebastian takes the production lead and vocals on "Fun To Be Had" while Paul Toolhill takes command of the vocals on the other tracks. The original cover versions remain true to the powerful, yet minimalistic approach of Nitzer Ebb, yet adding a little modern twist, rubbing off from XP8 and Sebastian's respective projects, most notably Icon Of Coil.
The track selection they chose to cover are from the older, minimalistic works, mainly (4 of 6 tracks) from their album That Total Age, obviously because of the popularity of that release. It all kicks off however with "Control I'm Here", the crunching, metallic rhythms in the forefront and Toolhill showing a side of himself that sounds more like Nitzer Ebb than XP8. The heavy EBM styles we have grown to love come alive through Sebastian's artistic and powerful production reflective of the original greats. "Let Your Body Learn", "Violent Playground", "Join in the Chant" and "Murderous" all follow and fall heavily into the style of the originals as well, while Sebastian takes control of the vocals on "Fun To Be Had" and the production the most away from the original, yet still with a nice and powerful twist.
Now the part of the album that I have a problem with. Since the disc only includes ten tracks, after the huge catalog and selection the artists had to choose from, why not cover four more tracks instead of allowing the already covered tracks be remixed and defiled by said mixes. Each takes a new twist, heavily modifying the texture and overall style of the music, mainly adding techno and heavy trance influences which have infected the EBM related genres latelyl. I'll say no more and just leave it at that, if they would have included four more original covers rather than the remixes this disc would have been leaps and bounds better than it turned out. As it stands, the original covers are great, the remixes are average and so depending on the listener's original and distinct tastes dictate, they may or may not enjoy this disc. You'll just have to find out and listen for yourself.
Label: Nilaihah Records