Most alternative music fans will have heard of Rammstein and some goth/industrial or metal fans may have heard of Eisbrecher, well these bands note Joachim Witt as an influence of their music. With a career spanning three decades including several hits and a number of popular albums. The music on this album will please fans of Rammstein, Eisbrecher, Oomph! and Lacrimosa with styles meshing from metal, electronic and industrial.
Pop - Review
After the powerful release of Beyreuth 3, Joachim Witt changes directions slightly with this new album, appropriately titled Pop. While not the typical pop music you would hear on commercial radio, it is a definite shift away from the grinding industrial metal of recent previous releases. Fans of most music in the goth/industrial genres that are presented here on Gothic Paradise will probably enjoy this shift quite a bit. It remains still 100% Witt with those unique vocal arrangements that he does, but it's a nice, almost tranquile shift. With fifteen excellent pieces, there is plenty of great material here (including 2 bonus tracks on the US version).
From the very first track "Krieger Des Lichts" you can detect the shift in direction with the extra use of electronics on this piece. However, out of the first few tracks, this is actually the most aggressive piece and the use of his deep, almost spoken vocals. "Fluch Der Liebe" carries on with the heavy electronics and a moving beat, but this soon gives way and slows down for "Fur Den Moment" and "Ich Will Mehr", both really excellent tracks that bring out some great melodic vocals and unique spoken word verses on the latter. The more I listen to this album the more I really enjoy these first few tracks, the transition from the moving electronic, and grinding guitar pieces slowly down into the dreamy "Ich Will Mehr" is excellent.
For those longing for some dance-friendly beats, you won't be disappointed with this album either as "Du Wirst Bald Geschichte Sein" really picks up the pace with a solid dance beat and heavy electronics with slight backing guitar. For anyone familiar with german goth/industrial music, Lacrimosa is a band that should stand out easily and Tilo Wolff even lent his vocals on Beyreuth 3, so it's no surprise that "Mein Freund Der Baum" uses a lot of that same symphonic style using plenty of orchestra strings and a slow grooving style that could easily fit on to an early Lacrimosa album, this piece is a real treat. The diversity and slow beats continue through "Spater" and leads up to another driving piece in classic hard-hitting industrial metal style "Vorwarts".
Nearly every piece named so far stands out as a stellar track, but when you get to "Erst Wenn Das Herz Nicht Mehr Aus Stein Ist" with the moving beat and melodic vocals, including some angelic female vocals, then I think many will agree this is a stellar and favorite piece. It seems the label and artist agree as this is also presented as a bonus track with a "club remix". This remix takes an already powerful and fun track and adds a steady, pounding club-friendly beat to it for a truly excellent piece. Another great fun danceable piece that stands out is "Draussen Vor Der Tur" with an interesting vocal approach on the chorus, reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne, though that's the only relation to draw, but it does sound really very interesting. This leads us to a truly heart-breaking piece "Immer Noch" with a slow beat, his spoken word on the verses and pleading, angst-ridden vocals during the chorus.
Overall this is a great disc, that the first time I listened to it I really didn't pick up on the great material. Maybe that's why it's taken me so long to get a review done, which is good, because now when I listen to the album there is so much great material on it that I have to keep listening to it over and over again.
Bayreuth 3 - Review
Beyreuth 3 marks the next chapter in the long successful history for this band. The album is comprised of 16 powerful tracks focusing mainly on electronic industrial metal, but with many variations throughout. It all kicks off with a classically-oriented symphonic introduction that gives way to the driving metal piece "Ahhh!!!". As the title indicates this is something that catches your attention, but falls short of the powerful masterpiece that is the march-like industrial piece "Menschen". This piece seems to be written for the dance floors and will keep the listener moving and riveted with the bombastic industrial metal approach and the harsh german vocals. Much of the album delves into this moving style with grinding tracks like "Shmutz"the popular track "Wo Versteckt Sich Gott?" which seems to be the backbone of this album with it's layered electronics and guitars alternating between a smooth rhythm and harsh metal.
Just when you think this album is going to be a grinding onslaught of industrial metal, he throws the catchy ballad-like piece "Wem Gehort Das Sternenlicht?". This piece is an excellent break from the harshness that is thrown at the listener with most of the other tracks on the album mixing in some excellent backing female vocals from Nadja Marie Saeger which lend a break from the less-than-melodious vocals from Witt. Another nice variation is the inclusion of guest musician and vocalist Tilo Wolf of Lacrimosa lending his awesome symphonic style to the music and his easily recognizable vocals. This mix proves to be captivating and this track has quickly become a favorite of mine off the dancefloor although the moving beat does pick up through the choral parts of the track.
The album pounds it's way along through several more tracks mostly featuring the underlying harsh styles previously mentioned with some variation. "Hundert Leiber" moves into a mostly acoustic style while still moving along with some driving percussion and also stands out as another stellar track from this artist. After the driving piece "Ich Spreng Den Tag!" which also appeared on the previously released single, we're featured with another beautiful piece that leaves the bombastic metal behind in "Tief In Der Tiefe" featuring some spoken word, but actually shows how Witt can actually sing instead of growl or shout, this is a really nice touch. At this point we're brought to the final piece of the album which is a remix by the popular EBM band VNV Nation. They add their electronic touch to this piece in a unique way that they manage to pull off with many of their remixes. This one packs a somewhat symphonic and bombastic punch while much of the original edgy attitude is still there. This should be a highlight for most fans and a great way to wrap up the album.
That pretty much sums it up in a nutshell... I think that long-time fans won't be disappointed in the consistancy that this album lends to the music scene and is a great way for newcomers to get to know and enjoy their latest work.
Label: Dancing Ferret Discs