Review by Brian McGowan
When Rammstein released their debut album, the German music press coined a new phrase. “Neue Deutsche Harte”. Stahlmann’s second album, Adamant is an evolution (or a regression, depending on your point of view) of NDH, softening the industrial rock harshness and adding danceable electronic elements ripped from warehouse all-nighters.
The first single, ‘Suchtig’ (Addicted), and ‘Paradies’ (Paradise) are the album’s most immediate tracks. They lack the guitar bite of opener ‘Die Welt Verbrennt’ (The World Burns) but emphasise the blood-surging rhythms and maintain the macho masculine edge of NDH, conversely, with a surprising lightness of touch and tunefulness. Unlike Rammstein, there are no neo-political messages or space for classical German Literature in Stahlmann‘s world, just a perception of humanity in crisis, hurtling headlong toward the apocalypse. And so, plenty of industrial strength noise-scapes and provocative, guttural vocals from mainman, Martin Soer, aiming to create a visionary chaos from which a better world can rise, most notably on ‘Schwarz’ (Black) and ‘Adrenalin’ (yeah, you guessed it). He talks his way menacingly, convincingly through the epic, slowburning ’Leuchtfeuer’ (Flare) and ’Nackt’ (Naked), which typically whips up the pace on the back of a hulking, pounding riff, and accelerates into a sturdily Teutonic chorus.
NDH Fans will love those latter tracks, but may not have the palate or the patience for the dancier, techno stuff, and vice versa. Therein lies this album’s wider problem, and the band’s dilemma. Big decisions ahead I would think.
7 out of 10
- Die Welt Verbrennt
- Wenn Der Regen Kommt
- Der Schmied
- Tempel Der Lust