Release Date: 30th October 2009
Label: Accession Records
'Rot' (Red) is a colour bearing many possible associations, and it's the title German Electro formation [:SITD:] chose for their newest album which presents you with a cover showing a calm water surface and something that looks like gun barrels reaching out of the water, one carrying a flag. The gun barrel thing of course is just my interpretation of the depiction. Now let’s dive straight into the water and see what’s underneath. Actually, I would have to say that we’re getting dragged into the water as that’s what the opener ‘The Insanity of Normality’ does. Its threatening, creepy atmospheres and maiming beats tug us behind the so ideal façade and reveal to us an ugly countenance. Then ‘Catharsis’ takes over with a gloomy sequence ultimately flowing into a relentless cluster of beats and an immense darkness and harshness matchless with any other [:SITD:] track I know.
Besides that, it’s simply a club grenade and will have the floors filled in no time as is the case with most material on the album. The title track brings me back to the water metaphor again, as it feels to me like drifting through a cold, raging sea in a submarine. Its racing beats, especially the used sounds and effects to create them radiate a cold that is close to being palpable. While progressing further, the track is getting way more melodic, but in a positive way melodic! It’s not darkness you feel there, rather hope. The track’s giving you the feeling here that the submarine is slowly emerging from the cold depths of the sea and you’ll soon see the sky again. Once I heard ‘Stigmata of Jesus’ I had this incredibly strong image in my mind of a crucifixion scenery which is described in the lyrics as well. Lyrics and music work together here as unity in a way that is incredibly rare!
The music seems to take the words and create sonic equivalents to them with mutilated sounds symbolizing the sorrows of the crucified for instance. It’s quite an experimental effort but I’m sure you’ll be amazed by it. Speaking of experimentalism: I think ‘Zodiac’ won’t appeal to everyone as it’s stripped out an element that is usually typical for an [:SITD:] song, and that is a memorable melody. Instead it’s relying on rather old-school-like break-beat patterns and with the mechanical noises dwelling in its structure it creates a frigid environment as if you would suddenly find yourself inside the crippled soul of a psychopathic serial killer. Quite a contrary affair is ‘Redemption’ which is one of two songs featuring Tom’s vocals. Its intro sequence already gives away multiple layers of dense atmospheres amplified a thousand fold with a heart-rending piano melody driving tears to your eyes. However this is nothing against what’s going to happen in the chorus when everything’s coming together and sadness will overwhelm you.
For those of you who will chose to buy the limited edition of the album, there’ll be a second CD not just comprising remixes like the PROJECT PITCHFORK rendition of ‘Redemption’ which is very much equalling their last album concerning the classic sound design, or a remix of the title track by REAPER who’s going to be on tour with [:SITD:] as well. Hope you don’t mind me calling this just an alternative club version, but that’s what it is and frankly, that’s what I’ve expected. Besides that, the CD also holds a full-track version of the album opener ’The Insanity of Normality’ which only takes you deeper into the abyss. My personal highlight, however, is the last song ‘Heldenhaft’, a new version of the last album’s closer with vocals which couldn’t be more soulful and melancholic. It alone is worth buying the package.
So, if you stayed with me up to this point then I guess you’ll have a few more seconds for my summary of ‘Rot’ now. It’s hard, cold and dark but also warm, intense and emotional. It is more radical in its compositional approach in the way that it turns the inner rage to the outside, pulling it over the track like an additional layer. The most mature work, lyrically & musically, [:SITD:] have delivered this far.
01. The Insanity Of Normality - 1:42
02. Catharsis [Heal Me, Control Me] - 4:40
03. Rot V1.0 - 5:56
04. Stigmata Of Jesus - 5:06
05. Zodiac - 4:55
06. Pride - 6:03
07. Redemption - 5:22
08. Frontal - 4:32
09. Pharmakon - 6:31
10. MK Ultra - 5:01
11. Destination - 4:50
Bonus CD (Ltd Edition only)
01. The Insanity of Normality [Final] - 4:25
02. Rot V2.0 [Extended] - 8:17
03. Rot [Remix by Reaper] - 5:07
04. Redemption [Remix by Project Pitchfork]- 6:41
05. Rot [Remix by S.A.M.] - 4:44
06. Rot [Remix by Aesthetic Perfection] - 5:08
07. Heldenhaft [Vox - feat. Othura] - 2:17
Carsten Jacek - Vocals and Lyrics
Thomas “Tom” Lesczenski - Keyboards, Programming, Sampling and Backing Vocals
Francesco “Frank” D'Angelo - Keyboards and Backing Vocals
http://www.sitd.de / http://www.myspace.com/xsitdx
Extras: 8 (Bonus CD)
Total: 8.7 / 10