Metropolis Records / KMFDM Records
Posted: Friday, August 24, 2007
By: Ilker Yücel
KMFDM's 15th album lives up to its title, truly presenting a band that is "wild, without form," exploring different languages and blending a bit of funk, disco, industrial, and metal.
The ultra-heavy beat industrial rock powerhouse we all know as KMFDM has reached a milestone with the release of Tohuvabohu. After 23 years, Tohuvabohu marks the 15th studio album from KMFDM, as well as the third album in a row to feature a steady lineup, headed by founder and ringleader Sascha Konietzko. Titled after a Hebrew word meaning "wild, without form," the band lives up to this description, trudging forward on the path forged by the previous album while also giving a few nods to key moments in their past, staying true to their notion of conceptual continuity.
"Superpower" begins the proceedings with a funky bass line that will immediately remind listeners of the days of Naïve and Money, while kicking into high gear with those signature crunchy guitar licks, courtesy of Jules Hodgson and Steve White, as well as a cool sax solo. As a celebration of KMFDM's influence and longevity, the song features recordings of the band's fans collected by the fan phone, as well as their trademark tongue-in-cheek lyrics, making it another great opening track. Next up is the danceable fury that is "Looking for Strange," in which Lucia belts out a healthy dose of melodic aggression amidst a sea of infectiously catchy sequences. The same can be said of "Not in My Name" with its fiery bursts of supersonic synths, while the title track presents Sascha singing in an uncharacteristically operatic baritone. "Tohuvabohu" also intrigues with its use of Hebrew and Latin, another first for KMFDM. They even add Spanish to their linguistic repertoire with their cover of "Los Niños Del Parque," originally recorded by Liaisons Dangereuses. Like most of their covers, they manage to stay true to the original song while infusing their recognizable blend of powerful beats, guitars, and synths reminiscent of sounds we haven't heard since Nihil or "Symbols." Fear not, for the requisite German is still present in the heavy metal monster that is "Saft und Kraft," easily qualifying as one of KMFDM's harshest songs, which even teases the listener with the breakdown that would normally indicate the code until it raises us back up for one last hurrah.
As they've always done, KMFDM present their sardonic view of the world with a wonderful balance of musicality and angst-ridden industrial noise. While the politics of the time still find their way into the lyrics, they take a rather dramatic backseat on Tohuvabohu, offering a welcome breath of fresh air after the overtly and harshly critical Hau Ruck and WWIII albums. Instead, the band focuses on truly being "wild, without form," delving further into a combination of musical styles that when combined create what we've come to know and love as the ultra-heavy beat. A little bit of funk, disco, industrial, and metal, keeping the energy on high and never letting up until the end, producing yet another solid album that can only be described as KMFDM.