:CD Review: Eisbrecher – Die HÃ¶lle muss warten
Eisbrecher – Die HÃ¶lle muss warten
Released: February 14, 2012
Label: Metropolis Records
Review by: William Dashiell Hammett
What can one say about Eisbrecher, one of the most visible representatives of what has been termed Neue Deutsche HÃ¤rte (New German Hardness)? Started in 2003 after Alexx Wesselsky left his previous project Megaherz and joined up with another former Megaherz member Noel Pix, they burst onto the scene with their self titled debut album followed by stronger selling AntikÃ¶rper. Their third album, SÃ¼nde had the best showing reaching number one on the DAC. 2010â€™s Eiszeit reached number five on the German charts and, besides being on this reviewerâ€™s Best of 2010 list, made the charts in Austria, Swizerland and European Top 100. So obviously, it was with some anticipation that I received Die HÃ¶lle muss warten and I can say I am not disappointed.
Starting with â€œTanz mit mirâ€ that album takes not time punching you in the head. Heavy guitars and drums burst forth until Wesselskyâ€™s voice comes in and takes centre stage. The chorus takes the guitars and drums back up to their previous level. The first really noticeable synths since the trackâ€™s intro come in during the second verse, a high pitched warbling sound that carries the melody forward while skilfully accented by some well placed guitar riffs. â€œAugen unter Nullâ€ slows the tempo down a bit and, once past the synth dominated into, sounds a bit more rock oriented than industrial metal the group is generally associated with. Wesselskyâ€™s voice again carries the track with the steady guitar and beat driving it forward to the chorus where things get real quite for a moment before exploding back into the soundscape.
The next track â€œDie HÃ¶lle muss wartenâ€ starts with an abundance of strings and the vocal pattern along with the background piano and backing female vocals give the track and overall ballad like feel. The tempo is deliberate and steady. The drums seem a but silenced, the intensity is there, but the volume sounds almost lowered to let the piano and less aggressive vocal tracks to lead. â€œVerrÃ¼cktâ€, the first single from the album, kicks everything up a notch. Starting with a quick paced guitar line the tempo and mood of the album is transformed upon the entry of the percussion and main guitar riffs. With the guitar falling into the background when the downright speed main vocals begin. The transitions in this song are well crafted and the bridge with the female backing vocals and crescendo of sounds is brilliant. It is easily one of the strongest songs on the album and it is readily apparent why it was chosen as the first representative track of the release. It is a very powerful track and almost a shame that it is the second shortest on the album.
A soft almost bell like sound, soon joined by more static laced synths that would sound at home on an EBM release start off â€œHerz aus Eisâ€. The tempo is reduced from the previous track and again, the song has a more ballad like feel then the aggressive in your face, follow me or get lost, attitude of â€œVerrÃ¼cktâ€. The synths strengthen during, and carry, the chorus of the song while the guitar and drums are used more to add depth and some nice accents. â€œPrototypâ€ starts at a deliberate pace that is carried by simple beat that expands and grows until the first chorus when the track explodes with a relentlessness that amplified by the heavy guitar. The track evolves during the break, adding an interesting electronic almost voice like sound that harmonizes well with violent guitar riff and the almost imperceptible real vocals. After the break, the track returns to the explosive chorus before fading out with that voice like electronic sound.
â€œEin Leben lang unsterblichâ€ begins with a pretty standard guitar riff and percussion track. When the vocals come in, one would be surprised it is an Eisbrecher track, sounding more like a straight pop rock track. While some electronics can be heard surrounding the main guitar and drums, this track is dominated by the more mainstream sounds these organic instruments bring. â€œAbgrundâ€ starts completely differently with much heaviness than the previous track. The break before the first verse also provides and interesting moment of quiet before Wesselsky voice comes in and takes the focus. The guitar line just before the chorus is attractive and contrasts nicely with the more severe riffs of the refrain. Like the previous track, the electronics are definitely in the back seat to the conventional instruments.
â€œIn meinem Raumâ€ begins with some interesting synth progressions, but once the vocals come in, the track changes to another ballad like song dominated by typical instrumentation. The chorus adds a nice dimension with an exceptional harmonization vocal. Again â€œKeine Liebeâ€ starts with some nice synths, but rather than giving way as they had in the previous few tracks, these synths stay and provide some excellent depth and accents to the track before finally giving way just before the first chorus. The vocals are softer and more melodic than what one is used to from Wesselsky. â€œExzess Expressâ€ also has the same formulaic opening of synths giving way to guitar and heavy beats. The tempo is increased from the previous track and the menace in returned to Wesselskyâ€™s voice. Quiet synths accentuate the melody during the verses and the chorus speeds forward giving the mood of velocity.
Starting with a piano accompanied by synth strings that do not immediately give way to traditional rock instruments, â€œRette michâ€ has a mood of longing and mournfulness. The guitars add a relentlessness to the melancholy during the chorus which amplifies the sadness from the nicely harmonized vocals. The tempo is slow, easily the slowest on the album in mood and feel. â€œAtemâ€ continues in the same vein with a slower pace and moroseness. The vocals are expansive and dramatic, some of the most emotional this reviewer remembers hearing from Wesselsky ever.
The last original track on the release is â€œTreibenâ€ which has a decidedly more upbeat mood then the previous two tracks. Starting with a synth crescendo before giving way to rock oriented guitar and drums, the tempo is quicker as well. Just before the vocals there is a nice pause, accented by electronic machine sounds which do a good job of snapping the mood again before the verse slows things a bit. The chorus is expansive and emotive with an interesting guitar line. The accents throughout the track are nice and this is easily one of the more creative songs on the album.
The Metropolis release includes the Combichrist remix of â€œVerrÃ¼cktâ€, and while Iâ€™ve never been a big fan of remixes, there is something different about this track which I canâ€™t help but like. All of the elements that made the original, the heavy guitar riffs, Alexx Wesselskyâ€™s intimidating vocals and the over all agressivness, are still there and something has been added giving the song even more depth.
Overall, this is another well produced quality release from Wesselsky and Pix and fans of Eisbrecher will not be disappointed. However, I must state that there seems to be a transition in sound with this release from their previous albums, to a more mainstream sound. This is not necessarily a bad thing as this release has already charted well in Europe, garnering the group a surfeit of new fans, and tracks like â€œVerrÃ¼cktâ€, â€œTanz mit mirâ€ and â€œPrototypâ€ all show that Pix and Wesselsky havenâ€™t lost what made AntikÃ¶rper and SÃ¼nde so notable. Â Many of the tracks on this album will be making their way onto my daily playlist and the release in whole will be part of my collection.
1. Tanz mit mir
2. Augen unter Null
3. Die HÃ¶lle muss warten
4. VerrÃ¼ckt (Original Version)
5. Herz aus Eis
7. Ein Leben lang unsterblich
9. In meinem Raum
10. Keine Liebe
11. Exzess Express
12. Rette mich
15. VerrÃ¼ckt (Combichrist Remix)
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