Category: Alternative / Goth / Rock
Blurb: Despite the language barrier, Sündenrausch offers up a darkly inviting blend of gothic melody and rock & roll attitude that deserves to be heard by a global audience.
Hailing from Hamburg, Germany, Sündenrausch offers up a rather bombastic debut album in Sündstoff; while primarily identified as goth/rock, the band manages to accomplish the very difficult task of overcoming the language barrier and appeal to a wider range of tastes. Led by the songwriting partnership of vocalist Kira Sinister and multi-instrumentalist Michael Albers, Sündstoff is the product of a year’s worth of thoughtful songwriting and intricate production, demonstrating Sündenrausch’s potential to find a global audience.
From the harmonious choir of opening track “Heroin” leading into a darkly inviting blend of gothic melody and rock & roll attitude, Albers’ solo resonating wildly with Sinister’s shimmering, soaring vocals in a fashion that will surely remind many of the ‘80s. “Hier & Jetzt” follows with a much heavier delivery of booming riffs and percussion, amplifying the hard rock elements just enough for the catchiness of the chorus to overtake the listener. This pattern continues throughout the album as energetic riffs blend with subtle layers of electrified keyboard accompaniment. Songs like “Feuerregen” with its striking chorus and tensely ascending bridge, “Wahnsinn” with its cavernous reverb augmenting Sinister’s emotive voice and the faux-classical string backdrop, and the slow buildup of bluesy audio noir of “Verstand Verloren” all serve to entrance the listener in a bevy of black-clad rock atmosphere. The brief piano and vocal interlude of “Poesie” leads into the saccharine acoustic guitar driven ballad of “Lüg Mich An,” the sparse percussion steadily rising in tension as the song crescendos in a dreamy haze of gothic rock abandon, while the similarly moody “Narben” ends Sündstoff on a decidedly somber note.
With lyrics that revolve around love and sex, set to monochromatic imagery that includes a spattered ink heart, it would be easy to dismiss Sündenrausch as some Germanic version of H.I.M. mixed with the female-fronted crystalline ambience of The Birthday Massacre. As such, the dark rock power of Sündstoff is inescapably enticing for its sense of melodic grandeur and richly textured production – clean in its presentation with just enough grit to rock out to. Even at her most acerbic, Sinister’s voice is on the sweeter side without delving into the quintessentially operatic soprano, making Sündenrausch a breath of coldly fresh air. Though not in English, the music on Sündstoff is simply a treat that deserves to be heard and delved into.