Oct 2011 12

Schattenschlag - PsychosisSchattenschlag
Category: EBM
Album: Psychosis
Stars: 3
Blurb: Solidly constructed, techno-fueled terror EBM unapologetically geared for club play.


Anyone with a grudge against terror EBM will level the usual complaints about Schattenschlag’s new album: four-on-the-floor beats, harsh vocals drenched in distortion, horror film samples, and pretty much everything else you could expect from the genre. Within the restrictions of the form, though, Psychosis is a beautifully constructed collection of tracks paying homage not only to project mastermind Joachim Sobczak’s predecessors within the genre but also to the hard trance and techno elements that are so integral to terror EBM but not often properly acknowledged.

“Hardstyle Brainsurgery” in particular is almost a pastiche of mid-‘90s hard acid, albeit with guttural vocals laced over the minimalist sequences, and “Weltenkonstrukt,” originally appearing on 2005’s Twisted Mind of Perversion album, shows up here in a Sanitarium version which is, again, all dark psy-trance sequences and minimalist builds. While Sobczak doesn’t shy away from horror movie samples, the only obvious choice here is a snippet from Jack Nicholson in The Shining, and it’s actually slowed down so much that it’s not immediately recognizable; when “Psycho” pauses its high-BPM assault to let Jack complain about Shelly Duvall’s character interrupting him, it’s authentically creepy instead of clichéd (shiver-inducing samples of what sound like hacksaws going through bone add to the song’s horror film credibility). And though tracks like “Schizophrenia” and “Anthology of a Psychopath” are unapologetic club-killers full of nonstop trance leads, pounding kicks, and thick vocal rasps, songs like the epic instrumental “Utopia” with its washed out choral loops, gothic atmosphere, and distorted breakbeats prove that Sobczak is capable of a lot more than cranking out dance floor candy. Psychosis isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about terror EBM, but it’s a solid addition to the genre.

Track list:

  1. Psycho
  2. Schizophrenia
  3. Hidden Truth
  4. Utopia
  5. Weltenkonstrukt (Sanitarium Version)
  6. Hardstyle Brainsurgery
  7. Borderliner
  8. Anthology of a Psychopath
  9. Psycho (Extended Version)
  10. Isolation
  11. Zucht Ordnung Electro
  12. Contaminated
  13. Dear God (A Praise from the Insane)
  14. Confusion Illusion
  15. Psycho (Karaoke Version)

Schattenschlag Website http://www.schattenschlag.com
Schattenschlag MySpace http://www.myspace.com/schattenschlag
DSBP Records Website http://www.dsbp.cx
DSBP Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/dsbp
DSBP Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/dsbprecords

Purchase at:
Amazon MP3


Matthew Johnson (infinitywaltz)

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