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Following the release of two EPs, 'Anfang & Ende' and 'Lust & Laster', self-labelled Kraut-Metallers (remove the booklet from the digipak and you're faced with a big "Kraut-Metal" label) Die Vorboten finally arrive with their debut full-length album. And it's one of those releases that will undoubtedly engender a love/hate it dichotomy within the metal scene. Such is the fate of innovative albums where bands dare to try something a little different. We're not talking wild experimentation in the sense of Ephel Duath, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Fantômas or Psyopus, rather Die Vorboten's style, or styles, pertain to a whole array of subgenres. They can probably be very loosely described as industrial metal, for the fusion of electronic and traditionally heavy elements forms the core of their sound (albeit the emphasis sways more towards metal than industrial), but there is so much more at work here in what is, ultimately, a musically diverse record. The semi-spoken, German language vocals that feature prominently throughout have axiomatic similarities to bands such as Rammstein, Oomph!, Stahlhammer and Eisbrecher in the context within which they're used but, in essence, Die Vorboten's musical canvas is painted with far more heterogeneity than said bands. A prominent 'ReRoute To Remain'-era In Flames influence rears its head on occasion, particularly on opening track 'Das Volk', as well as moments of quasi-black metal, folk metal, and a scattering of innovative and progressive twists and turns such as during the verse section of 'Extreme' which sounds like a down-tempo Unexpect... kind of. And while all lyrics are in German, the style of their delivery varies throughout with the aforementioned spoken parts, harmony vocals, occasionally snarled, and even death growls on 'Dein Herz' and 'Vaterland'. Alternating between a menacingly dark atmosphere and more jovial, uplifting passages of music, 'Aufschrei' also cleverly switches moods that can be slightly jarring at times but makes the listening experience an even more interesting one. Percussion-wise, the album also shines with some well thought out drum patterns. For example, just when songs just threaten to verge into uninteresting passages, an up-tempo, exhilarating beat will be introduced to re-engage your listening attention ('Schmiede, schmiede!' is a prime example). Similarly, when the music veers into what could be construed as cheesy territory, Die Vorboten will surprise you by juxtaposing that with a contrasting passage of non-cheesy atmospheric metal. Overall, Die Vorboten transcend the "Neue Deutsche Härte" movement that I'm certain many journalists will try to brand them as. 'Aufschrei' is so much more and, although it won't be to everyone's taste, can be a very rewarding album for those who thrive on discovering something a little different.
Sonic Attack
Review by Mark Holmes
27th June 2011
1) Das Volk
2) Vaterland
3) Extreme
4) Hauptstadt
5) Schmiede, schmiede!
6) Schreit!
7) Der Weg
8) Dein Herz
9) Freigeist
10) Krautsinfonie Op.1
11) Hass
"...a very rewarding album for those who thrive on discovering something a little different."