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kmfdm paradise
Artist: KMFDM
Title: Paradise
Genre: Industrial Metal
Release Date: 27th September 2019
Label: Metropolis Records


Album Review

KMFDM are angry again! Okay, they always had some furore in them but the more recent albums often felt a bit like KMFDM by numbers, despite the usual ultra-heavy beats. Their 2017 album ‘Hell Yeah’ had a few solid songs but was a little forgettable in the long run, 2014’s ‘Our Time Will Come’ was slightly more memorable and at least had the equally hilarious and hard-hitting song ‘Genau’. At the end of the day, KMFDM have run the danger to become the Status Quo of the Industrial Metal scene. That is, being too repetitive and formulaic, although single songs were still as kick-ass and exciting as you would expect, and live KMFDM have always been a force to reckon with, of course. But for a band in its fourth decade and still releasing new material every two or three years it’s probably no surprise that the results become a bit predictable, if we’re honest. However, over the course of a full album KMFDM have always been at their best when they thought outside their box and started to experiment a little.

And the new album, ‘Paradise’, starts with a pretty surprising track called ‘K-M-F’ - yep, the ‘D’ and ‘M’ are missing here for a reason! It is certainly not the first time that KMFDM experiment with Hip-Hop but it is an unmistakable statement that they open their new album with such a track, with the dominant Rap lines delivered by Andrew “Ocelot” Lindsley. Song number two, ‘No Regret’ goes back to well-known KMFDM territory but there are more moments on the new album when KMFDM try to offer something new and fresh while staying within their own parameters. On ‘Automaton’, ‘Megalo’ and ‘WDYWB’ (featuring LIVING COLOR’s Doug Wimbish on bass guitar) KMFDM marry chirpy Electronic Dance Music with the typical aggressive and super-direct KMFDM approach. And as KMFDM love to feature guests there is also Raymund Watts, original band member on their 1984 debut ‘Opium’, who sees his first guest appearance in 16 years on the track ‘Binge Boil & Blow’.

KMFDM also loves to be self-referential in their lyrics, and there are a few lines which might sound familiar to you. But ‘Megalo’ takes it to the extreme! It is, as you might have suspected already, a flashback to their 1997 hit single ‘Megalomaniac’. However, ‘Megalo’ is not a mere re-recorded or remixed version of ‘Megalomaniac’, although the lyrics are identical. Musically the songs are two very different beasts, with the new ‘Megalo’ sucking up EDM and a 80s Synth Pop vibe while the guitars take a back seat. In the end it is a clever way to revisit old material and apparently KMFDM thought the classic lyrics add something important to the new album.

On ‘Paradise’ KMFDM play around with styles even more than on the previous releases and stretch the definition of Industrial Metal, the genre they are most of the time linked to. There’s a lot of dance music and the album is full of great hooks, making it one of their more accessible albums and DJs will love ‘Paradise’ too, for sure. However, the lyrics are as aggressive, dark and political as ever! This is certainly evident in the title track, which bears the slogan “This world is a paradise - a paradise for assholes”! KMFDM have always been the masters of sloganeering but this should be one of their best catch phrases and, if you look at the current state of the world, a very apposite and relevant one.

The rise of populism and right-wing agitators worldwide, a narcissistic twat in the White House, perpetual neo-liberalism, ongoing wars for oil and power, the advent of a new cold war, a hyper-capitalism which even brings mankind on the brink of the abyss with the impending emergency of climate change - there’s a lot which makes the blood boil of our favourite lefties from KMFDM. And when you watch the news you can certainly come to the conclusion that this world is indeed a paradise for assholes… For the album version they blow up the single version to pompous eight minutes, with the first half being more or less the single edit and the second half some sort of epilogue in a Dub & Reggae style. I’m not quite sure what the point of the second half is, it sounds nice but they probably should have split it into two tracks. I recommend to get the single version, as well, which is available as download.

The album ends with another Dub & Reggae feast called ‘No God’ which is kinda funny and lets the album end on a rather relaxed and smooth note. But it is a false sense of security, we’re talking about KMFDM after all. The call and response “Where is god?” - “God is here!” is a smart bottom line to the lyrically angry and musically alluring album ‘Paradise’, and you can make of these lines what you want. To me they have a rather apocalyptic meaning... With KMFDM it’s probably the same as with MINISTRY - both bands deliver their best work when the world is in a mess! With ‘Paradise’ KMFDM are at the top of their game again and head and shoulders above their competitors.


Tracklist

01. K-M-F
02. No Regret
03. Oh My Goth
04. Paradise
05. WDYWB
06. Piggy
07. Disturb The Peace
08. Automaton
09. Binge Boil & Blow
10. Megalo
11. No God


Line-up

Sascha Konietzko – vocals, synthesizers, programming, drum programming
Lucia Cifarelli – vocals, keyboards
Andy Selway – drums
Andee Blacksugar – guitars
Steve White – guitar, bass guitar, programming


Website

https://kmfdm.net / https://www.facebook.com/officialkmfdm


Cover Picture

kmfdm paradise


Rating

Music: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10




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