Artist: Die Krupps
Title: Vision 2020 Vision
Genre: Industrial / Metal / EBM
Release Date: 15th November 2019
Label: Metropolis Records
In the year preceding their 40th birthday, DIE KRUPPS release the album ‘Vision 2020 Vision’ which is meant to be something like a forecast to what 2020 will bring. In the past four decades the band has transformed several times from the line-up to the genres and influences and they are still evolving their ideas surrounding the famous singer and producer Jürgen Engler and the veteran Ralf Dörper. You never know what a new record of DIE KRUPPS will bring you until you listen to it. Sometimes it is Metal or Industrial Metal, sometimes it is way more EBM driven. Surely, the line-up of the last ten to twenty years with at least now containing two guitar players tend to be a little more guitar influenced, but still it depends from year to year and from release to release. After releasing ‘Vision 2020 Vision’ the band is touring through the major part of Europe.
The title track is the first what sounds when you start playing the record. ‘Vision 2020 Vision’ begins with a typical EBM sequence and soon develops to an Industrial Metal monster. Clear sounding and extensive use of the “loud and quiet” method to work out choruses and verses directly shout to you a negative vision of what 2020 would be able to become. Revolts, burning streets and revolutionary fights is what the story tells you. Or is it even war? And honestly this is not too eccentric. The song was released as a single in advance, accompanied with an official music video that you can easily find online. The latter both facts also applies to ‘Welcome to the Blackout’. The song has something cinematic, the story spreads slowly its post-apocalyptic content. No wonder that the band has chosen the first two tracks to be released as singles as they are hits.
‘Trigger Warning’ is made of what always made DIE KRUPPS popular, a perfect sequence and a well performed rhythm work aside of razor-sharp guitar riffs makes it highly recognizable. You can say that it is a masterpiece and it would probably never leave you alone again. ‘Trigger Warning’ somehow takes you back to the 90s, when DIE KRUPPS had a massive impact with hits like ‘To the Hilt’ or ‘Fatherland’. Yet ‘Wolfen (Her Pack)’ is another song that let you remind the band’s 90s somehow. And the story of the whole album’s concept continues as well, though it is meant as a sub-story. This phase of the album ends in ‘Extinction Time’ which is the next Industrial Metal driven piece. Although nothing too remarkable stands out, it impresses at least with its continuity, a seemingly never-ending beat and on the content side with a summary of the post-apocalyptic leitmotif of what went wrong in this world so far and what has created the album’s vision.
‘The Carpet Crawlers’ as a whole does stands out on the other hand, but that might be because it is a cover song of Genesis. It is the first and only real ballad on ‘Vision 2020 Vision’ and it is the only spark of hope in the context. If you want to see it as such. It fits anyway. ‘Fires’ is written by Paul Alexander Paul, so it is another cover song. But it complements the album just perfectly, because it changes the perspective. It shows the personal fate in this man-made apocalypse and the hopes and prayers that come along. What if this struggle wouldn’t happen at the other end of the world but right here in front of you? We don’t know that situation in the western world, it was out of reach in the last decades.
‘Obacht’ is the only song with German lyrics on ‘Vision 2020 Vision’. And it immediately reminds you of the serial killer Fritz Honka. Is it his story being told or is it a possible scenario that always and everywhere takes place in our modern world? Probably the former applies, especially if you consider the conscious choice of language. The next one is ‘DestiNation Doomsday’. The perspective is changed again. Now the causal persons are again criticized at the presidential level. While the instrumental is again made varied and stirring, the story develops towards its end. A doomsday can be meant to be triggered by some presidents pushing red buttons. ‘Alllies’ is a real hit, a perfect mixture of Industrial Metal and EBM sub-lined by breath-taking vocals. The title is a pun of “allies” and “all lies”, both sung in the choruses. ‘Alllies’ can turn out to be a real dance floor hit.
‘F. U.’ is an obvious abbreviation. On the content side it is a criticism about likewise obvious presidents that mislead their countries. Some might know this song already, because it is not very new. They already played this one on their double headliner tour with FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY (this is for sure, because this author was part of the tour’s support band). ‘Active Shooter Situation’ is the story of a soldier that seeks revenge as assassin. It shows that even the closest follower can change his mind when he realizes some truths and opens his mind and therefor can become an enemy. It sounds like a Hollywood story-writing, but it is not too absurd to be happening. ‘Human’ is the climax. The last song on the album is the conclusion of what might bring mankind to an end: man. You can’t get all problems to the point better. It looks like a harsh view, but after all mankind is the earth’s largest antagonist. Man, surely is “a dangerous creature”, so DIE KRUPPS just tell something true.
With ‘Vision 2020 Vision’ DIE KRUPPS deliver a solid Industrial Metal album with some influences of Electro and EBM. So, this might not be something new and this by far is not the first album that meets these criteria, but the band truly transports a vision of 2020, which is a special year following the band’s idea of an apocalypse happening soon. Thus, the album is very credible and conclusive and should catch the ears of a large group of listeners. Last but not least, DIE KRUPPS once again claim that they can still do it on the highest level even after 40 years.
01. Vision 2020 Vision
02. Welcome to the Blackout
03. Trigger Warning
04. Wolfen (Her Pack)
05. Extinction Time
06. The Carpet Crawlers
09. DestiNation Doomsday
11. F. U.
12. Active Shooter Situation
Jürgen Engler – Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars, Steel-o-Phone
Ralf Dörper – Samples
Marcel Zürcher – Guitars, Keyboards
Nils Finkeisen – Guitars
Paul Keller – Drums
https://www.diekrupps.com / https://www.facebook.com/diekruppsofficial/
Total: 9.3 / 10