CD Review

The Ancient Gallery – “Alles Ist Nichts”

By Marcus Pan

Alles Ist NichtsI really wish I knew what these guys are saying. From the Rammstein school of German shout-and-strum riffwork, The Ancient Gallery probably have some shouty stompy interesting things to say – but I took Spanish in high school for no apparent reason other than to know how to ask that cute Puerto Rican chick down the block to go down on me when I was younger. So German is beyond my capacity and knowledge at the moment.

I do nonetheless dig the heaviness of it all, just as I slammed myself into walls, metal poles and dance-floor things to the yell of "Du Hast!" in days that seem to be forever gone. The Ancient Gallery refine it a little bit further, applying a heavy dose of tight programming and hold back the guitars from becoming gut-wrenching heavy. Hence the lyrics become more prevalent and I wish I could understand what they are saying.

Mit Mir opens the CD with your standard fare industrial guitar and stompy beats. And while there's a lot of this being bandied about right now and The Ancient Gallery really don't take it to any other level much, they nonetheless do it well. Enough so that I'll keep the CD on hand in my own collection for further enjoymen (there's something to be said about just playing a CD because you want to hear it...and that's something this poor editor has less and less time for).

The main downside to this CD is something we see all the time. The difficulty to differentiate between separate tracks. The guitars are similar throughout the realm of the recording, with some exceptions like the beat-laced Teil Des Ganzen as one example, which is one of the tracks where The Ancient Gallery get heavier than their norm, shredding notes out in true guitar-driven industrial fashion. Ich Leer opens a bit on the surreal side and really adds some fine bass-laden programming to the mix.

Very Hard To... on slot ten turns out the English lyrics with extra help from guest Sui Yamamoto / Kamikaze 52. A typical industrial track with heavy, groaning guitars and just as heavy lyrical content touching on religious principles. "Very Hard to talk to God," says them. One of the better tracks on Alles Ist Nichts. The heavier stylings remain into the fast paced Kopfdelay where the rhythm remains strong throughout.

On the one hand The Ancient Gallery is surely guitar-brash industrial music. But on the other it's dissimilar to other bands of that nature such as Rammstein, Ministry(1) or Puncture(2). These three truly take the sound barrages that guitars are capable of to a gut curdling level. The Ancient Gallery can and occasionally do perform likewise, but they keep it a bit tighter, wielding an iron fist of control over the riffs. It therefore comes out more refined than the others...The Ancient Gallery are, dare I say, a gentleman's industrial band…even if lead singer Robin Weinhold is holding a gun to your head.

(1) Legends reviewed Dark Side of the Spoon and Animositisomnia, their two latest, in #89 and #133 respectively.
(2) Puncture’s only release that I’m aware of, Immune, was reviewed by Dan Century in his usual obnoxious style back in Legends #87.
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