Its so easy to think, for many, that German industrial groove metal is Rammstein. And that’s it. Its always a wonderful wake-up call to find out that they are without doubt the most famous, but far from the only ones.
The genre has its own name of Neue Deutsche Härte. It is the product of combining electronic, techno, industrial, groove, metal into one wonderful tasty soup of Germanic hard metal that just blows you away.
And so we come to Stahlmann, Neue Deutsche Harte proponents who have been on the go since 2008 and are dropping a new album “Kinder Der Sehnsucht” (Children Of Desire) on 22 March 2019 on AFM Records.
So is it any good? Is STAHLMANN just a poor shadow of RAMMSTEIN? Can they deliver music that stands apart?
Well, Gott Im Himmel!! Ja! Ja! Ja!
From the very first track “Vom Himmel Verloren”, you can tell you are in for something special. It glides in on electro techno wings only to land with pure industrialised heavy metal. Martin ”Mart” Soer’s vocals has that definite deep Germanic tone you have come to expect from this genre and is indeed reminiscent of Till Lindeman.
Next up is “Wahrheit Oder Pflicht” with a beautifully rendered ubiquitous creepy little girl intro to the track. It feels right because when you know what type of music you are listening to, when they do something (even if it is the first time you hear it) it is accepted as always happening. This is a real craft to be able to do something that just feels natural. The track itself is just a pure delight of grooved up industrial heavy metal.
Now, two songs in. You could very well be hooked now (especially if you like Rammstein) as listening to “Kinder Der Sehnsucht” feels like unexpectedly finding a Netflix series, wondering what its like and then having to binge til the last episode.
Next up is the recently released single “Die Besten”, which has an energetic upbeat feel to it, though delivered in such a way you can still be a hard, angry headbanger with ease.
“Mein Leben Fällt” is superbly slow heavy groove track with an electro pop synth in the background. It just rolls on switching between the low almost whispered vocals of Martin and heavy pounding, chugging metal. Perfectly balanced.
Then comes the title track “Kinder Der Sehnsucht”. Once more Martin is able to rumble out his rolling vowels with aplomb to this synth overlaid masterpiece of industrial heavy metal that you will not be able to sit still to.
“Schliess Deine Augen” once again lays down with masterful metal manipulation a electronic synth groove that compliments the controlled aggression of heavy guitar grooves with the drums thundering out the foot tapping beat all the while.
“Hörst Du Wie Mein Herz Schlägt” is so 80’s schmaltzy emotional synth pop its catchy. This though is a track of nostalgia with a chainmail fist that just pounds you repeatedly during the chorus.
Up next is “Regen” with that now expected threatening style of whispered vocals that sweep across the rising choral mountains and back down to the low slow ploughed valleys fields of the verses. Another compellingly catchy tune that you will be humming during the day after a couple of listenings.
Then comes “Wenn Du Gehst (feat. Blue May Rose)” is a whispy whimsical electronics track that, oddly, does not feel out of place at all. With the drums and Martin’s vocal style it still feels heavy, threatening and a force of nature. This is perfectly balanced with the operaticly soft, ethereal vocals of Blue Mary Rose. This is no ordinary ballad. This is a Stahlmann ballad.
The penultimate track is “Sinnlich” with a real kick ass staccato rhythm that once again cements how incredible STAHLMANN are. Fist pumping, feet thumping, and headbanging throughout.
The final track is a remix of “Die Besten (AMIworx Remix)” is an incredible slowed, menacing dystopian version of the song. Highly recommended.
It can be said with no hint of false praise, STAHLMANN deliver a fantastic album that may help redefine Neue Deutsche Harte, just as Oomph! defined it in the 90s, Rammstein ramped it up in the 90s and 2000s. Martin, Mario, Eugene, and Dimitrios tightly and professionally produce an exemplary album of industrialised techno metal that is as catchy as it is menacingly metal. At least one of these tacks have to make it onto a stylishly dystopian show like Altered Carbon, Doom Patrol, or Titans. Or on the next Bright or John Wick movie. Each track has such a feeling of epic blood pumping, brutal kaleidoscopic action, you can at least make your own gaming theme by putting on this album before you start running around The Witcher, Wolfenstein, or Deus Ex.
It will also bring on a whole new swathe of native English speakers to learn the German language!
Album Review by Ivor Whitten, Happy Metal Geek
STAHLMANN are Martin ”Mart” Soer (Vocals & Programmings) | Mario Sobotka (Guitars) | Eugene “Gene“ Getman (Bass) | Dimitrios “Tacki“ Gatsios (Drums)