Feb 2013 24

Category: Industrial Rock
Album: KUNST
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: 29 years and still going strong, the Ultra-Heavy Beat continues with an in-your-face album that exemplifies all that the band has stood for.


Among the many limitations of the English language, it is rare that a single word adequately convey the totality of a concept. Such is the case with the German word KUNST, which roughly translates to “art,” but whose meaning encompasses wisdom, knowledge, skill – in essence, all of the components intrinsic to what people come to define as art, making it a perfect title for the latest Ultra-Heavy Beat assault from KMFDM. For nearly three decades, the multinational industrial rock collective has been at the forefront of the underground music scene, standing as one of the most controversial and influential entities in existence. In many ways, KUNST is the quintessential KMFDM album, living up to its title in presenting all of the elements that have aided in the band’s longevity: excellent production, tight performances, and a lyrically dynamic blend of sociopolitical diatribes and pseudo-humorous self reference. As such, it would be easy for the longtime fan to be dismissive of KUNST as more of the same from a band subsisting on its past glory. Of course, this would discount the plain and simple fact that with 29 years of conceptual continuity behind them along with numerous accolades, Sascha Konietzko and company have nothing to prove to anyone. Not that KMFDM ever actively tried to do such a thing, always marching to the beat of its own drum with KUNST being as straightforward and in-your-face as ever.

One need look no further than the opening title track, a veritable cornucopia of the band’s history; the bass line from “Megalomaniac,” the synth melody from “Leid und Elend,” and lyrics comprised almost entirely of past song titles; in other words, a song that is sure to inspire as much dance floor mania as appreciative chuckles. Other tracks like “Quake” and “Pseudocide” hit the listener hard with Käpt’n K’s gritty shouts and precision programming, machine gun guitar riffs from Jules Hodgson and Steve White, and the thundering rhythms of Andy Selway adding to the hard rocking energy, while Lucia Cifarelli’s smoothly melodic blend of aggression and sensuality make “Ave Maria,” “Hello,” and “Animal Out” all the more enticing. Legion Within’s William Wilson returns to lend his raspy darkwave drawl to “Next Big Thing” for an almost malevolent effect that befits the song’s almost sarcastic mix of simultaneous self adulation and deprecation, while “The Mess You Made” features members of Morlocks, resulting in an inflammatory track that presents the classic KMFDM formula of pulsating electronics, guttural rock, and lyrics that point the proverbial finger at you, the listener, to take action against the ills of the world. Keeping it topical, “Pussy Riot” pays tribute to the Russian feminist punk rock group with a defiant shout of “Break out!,” while “I Heart Not” pounds out the closing of the album with some scratchy electro that seems to mock the lack of real emotional content and communication in the modern age.

As stated, some might find KUNST to be somewhat derivative for KMFDM, another entry in a discography that already contains more than a few albums that would be considered classic or even essential for industrial and underground music. However, it simply should not be understated that KMFDM has lasted three decades by staying true to what the band stands for, and KUNST is simply exemplary of the band living up to its independent spirit. Perhaps gone are the days of the band setting trends or defining the new innovations of the genre… but who cares? KMFDM is doin’ it again, and few bands should be so lucky that more simply need not be asked for.
Track list:

  1. KUNST
  2. Ave Maria
  3. Quake
  4. Hello
  5. Next Big Thing
  6. Pussy Riot
  7. Pseudocide
  8. Animal Out
  9. The Mess You Made
  10. I Heart Not

KMFDM Website http://www.kmfdm.net
KMFDM MySpace http://www.myspace.com/officialkmfdm
KMFDM Facebook https://www.facebook.com/officialkmfdm
KMFDM Twitter https://twitter.com/kmfdmofficial
KMFDM Records Website http://www.kmfdmrecords.com
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/metropolisrec
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Amazon Vinyl
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

Leave a Comment


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!