REVIEW: KMFDM - "Attak"

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

As an elder Goth outside looking in on the vast panorama known as industrial, the band name is rather well known. However, a confession must be made that I have simply never heard anything by this band prior to this CD. I am aware that their music has been sold in retail chain shops and that their fans are legion. For a time, anyone on any internet e-group had to have some knowledge that they broke up and reformed. It is safe to say this is not your average underground band with minimal publicity.

Digging around on their website for band member line up information, a few things came to light. One is that their name is an abbreviation for Kein Mehr Heit Fur Die Mitleid, though I could not possibly hope to translate what that actually means so forgive the language barrier if you will. Other information that came to light was the revolving door effect of the band members. Outside of the artists being given credit for the individual tracks laid out on this CD, it was daunting to find out who is actually in this band at present and what their roles are.

Nevertheless, Attak is simply a timely piece of work that enters the world market in the post traumatic World Trade Center disaster. Overall, the CD simply delves into the angst of a generation who have realized our forebears have made a mockery of our planet and a scapegoat of anyone with so much as a penchant towards revolutionary change.

The opening track, Attak/Reload, is simply the stellar highlight of the disc, brilliantly written and sung by Lucia Cifarelli and Sascha Konietzko. Cifarelli's contribution literally makes this track come alive and thankfully other tracks with her vocals are also featured on this CD as well. Skurk is your standard industrial fare, but it delves into the intolerance with being fed corporate and world authoritarian rhetoric. The lyrics are potent and deliver a burst of emotional edge missing in much of today's industrial music. Dirty is not that unique, as it sounds like half a dozen other NIN clones. The macabre elements are woven within the tune, and the utilization of the middle eastern notes keep it a step above from being boring or monotonous.

AttakUrban Monkey Warfare is an ambiguous finger pointing track at "someone" or "something" that makes one unsympathetic to their complaints with life. Cifarelli adds her vocals into the chorus of this track that once again elevate much better than what the guys are capable of doing. Save Me is an anthem for a disillusioned generation who has had to watch silently as their inner and outer world becomes a source of derision. Yohoho had a bit of trip hop between the electronic blips. Despite it registering at 165 BPM, it sounds quite slow and monotonous.

Superhero is another contribution from Cifarelli. The lyrics are a bit catty and her delivery here is rather sing song, i.e. pop sounding. The track would have fared much better if she did this with as powerful a vocal angst as the earlier track. It's not a bad track, but she does so much better when she takes away the sweetness and simply kicks vocal butt with her raw emotions. Sturm & Drang is the type of four to the floor driving track that one would want on full volume while driving down a long deserted highway. Preach/Pervert was a Rob Zombie clone. It works, but it has been done before.

Risen starts off more bombastically before it hits us with the driving intensity of the music. Vocally, it harkens to the growling recitation of punk rock bands from yesteryear. This is industrial rap. If you like that sort of thing, you will enjoy this track. Sleep took New Wave drum beats with minimal instrumentation at the opening. Doronia Alberti, Cifarelli and Sascha add their vocal contributions to this track and simply make it hypnotic.

The one thing this reviewer finds monotonous with industrial bands is the fact that the male vocals have to be compressed beyond the need to do so. These ears do not register that as angst as much as noise. The male vocal contributions on this CD pale in comparison to the female vocal works of Cifarelli and Alberti, who simply made what would have been a dull CD come to life. The group should simply leave all the vocal work up to these ladies as they can take them to a new height, particularly for those who never heard any of their work previously.

As the title suggests, the lyrics are an attack, but it is on some unknown third party. Initially this may have started out as a good idea, but after a point it becomes rather trite and overplayed. In essence, a full CD of songs of blame to some invisible counterpart simply comes across as a childish tantrum rather than young adults with a message of conviction for their "attack." The pre-requisite loud and thrashing beats are evident, however there were very few stand out tracks with a good hook to make them memorable. For those with a need for purging their inner demons and anger, this would make a good addition to your musical library. However, beyond the hormonally conflicted teen and early twenty years, this CD holds little merit.

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Contact Information:
Web: http://www.KMFDM.com

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