Music Reviews

Artist: Schwarzschild (@)
Title: Radius
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Rated: *****
From the Ruhr area of Germany comes Schwarzschild, and their aptly titled debut album, 'Radius'. (Google "Schwarzschild Radius" and you'll see what I mean.) They call themselves an industrial/gothic/synthpop band, but I have a slightly different take on the genre classification, and we'll get to that in a moment. The band consists of Dino Serci and Peter Daams, and the album features 11 tracks in which the guys address social taboo subjects such as addictions, bullying and euthanasia. It's a good thing for the accompanying one-sheet or I never would have known that since Schwarzschild sing only in Deutsche. Das ist eine Schande, weil ich die Texte wirklich verstehen möchte. These songs seem compelling enough to actually make me want to spend some time translating the lyrics, but not enough to go full Rosetta Stone. As noted on the one-sheet, the band was playing a release concert (May 13th, Crowded House in Oberhausen) so Schwarzschild isn't just some studio project. That's admirable.

The overall ambiance of 'Radius' is sci-fi, and the machine-voice sample in the intro ("Gravitationswelle") with dark electro backing sets the tone. When the beat kicked in with "Auferstehen" and the raspily spoke-sung vocals (by Peter, I'm guessing) I thought I was in for some Leaether Strip/Wumpscut style EBM; but then Dino comes in with this great soaring melodic voice on the chorus, and know I know this for what it really is - FUTUREPOP! Yep, Apoptygma Berserk and VNV Nation move on over. Assemblage 23 get the hell out of the way because here comes Schwarzschild! Now the one thing I've always found in Futurepop is that once a band in this genre settles into its groove, I develop a certain sense of ennui about them. Not really so here. The songs are varied in pacing, arrangement and melodic content. Although Peter's synths aren't anything you haven't heard before, it is all very well done, top notch in fact. Not every track is danceable, but that's a good thing in my estimation because it allows for a variety of moods and emotions you can't necessarily get from club hits. There IS plenty of hit potential on the album though, some of the most outstanding tracks being "In meinem Blut," "Ruf der Nacht," and "Mein Feind." The rest is really good as well; wonderful moody melodic content. And yeah, something for the (trad) Goths too - "Ruf der Nacht" ("Call of the Night") and "Das Erwachen" both about Anne Rice-style vampirism. Dino has a great voice and he really knows how to put the material across. So this band seems poised to make their mark on the scene, but (and I hate to say it) singing only in German is going to hinder this band from becoming an international dark electro sensation. So maybe who cares about those Englisch sprechendes anyway? Their tangerine bad-dream presidente insults us. Most of them don't even know what the hell goth-industrial music is, and if they saw us in the street, they'd probably spit on us. Fuck-em!...Maybe we should learn the language and move to Germany, where a lot of the really good music seems to be coming from these days. Then again, they've got their hands full with real refugees, so just buy the album, grab the lyric sheet, click on Google translate and enjoy.

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