Dec 2014 01

Steril - MisanthropSteril
Category: Electro / EBM / Industrial
Album: Misanthrop
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: While not as guitar-heavy or as experimental as past Steril albums, the band sticks to what it does best and delivers a hard-hitting EBM album perfect for any dance floor.


It almost seems that Steril has locked itself into a continuous cycle in which every new album release could be heralded as a “comeback;” indeed, the German EBM act’s latest album, Misanthrop comes eight years after the release of Realism, and with electro/EBM having undergone so many permutations since the band first emerged in the early ‘90s, Steril stays true to its mission to stick to the basics and deliver to audiences some hard-hitting no-nonsense EBM. From start to finish, Misanthrop is an aggressively charged display of driving industrial dance rhythms and squelching electronic sequences, topped off with just a dash of guitar accompaniment, all designed to get your fists waving and your feet stomping.

Distant samples stutter through the speakers as the first notes of what comes to be a bouncy bass sequence percolate and build in intensity until the beats kick in; Mähne Meenen’s raspy voice cuts through with a few stabs of Axel Tasler’s minimal but powerful guitar adding a bit of flavor, flowing seamlessly into the cloudy ambience of the chorus and making “Glas” not only an effective opener for Misanthrop but a signal loud and clear that Steril is back! Hardly ones to pull any stops, tracks like “Fan” with its warbling synths and electrified vocals with glimmers of distorted piano, “Zeit” or “Elektroliebe” with their darkly mesmerizing layers of pads and off-kilter chord progressions, or the steely and straightforward title track hit hard and fast with throbbing bass sequences and frenzied yet simple dance beats make for a hearty helping of sheer EBM force. Other tracks on the album showcase Steril’s willingness to step just outside the lines of convention, with the slow and ominous atmosphere of “Architekt” being a noteworthy example, the thrums of piano in the verses and the twilit pads in the chorus making for one of the album’s more musically endearing moments, while “Tanz” flirts with breakbeats in a fashion reminiscent of the band’s experiments in the late ‘90s.

For all of Steril’s adherence to its own formula, Misanthrop never comes across as dull or dated. While this writer would have preferred a greater presence of Tasler’s guitars beyond the occasional riff, as it would have helped to elevate the album above the threshold of monotony that it does dangerously skate, the album maintains interest and energy throughout. Consequently, it is perhaps not as experimental or as diverse as past Steril albums have been, perhaps making the eight year wait since Realism less worthwhile, but Misanthrop makes no apologies and takes no prisoners as a full frontal EBM assault. Its simplicity and straightforwardness both a detriment and a strength, Misanthrop will certainly please longtime fans of Steril and genre enthusiasts in need of a few new dance floor hits, which this album more than adequately delivers.
Track list:

  1. Glas
  2. Strom
  3. Fan
  4. Netzwerk
  5. Misanthrop
  6. Architekt
  7. Zeit
  8. Tanz
  9. Elektroliebe
  10. Karnivore
  11. Presse (Bonus Track)
  12. Tanzt! (EvvilKing Mix)

Steril Website
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Frankahdafi Records Website
Frankahdafi Records Facebook
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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