Here comes the second (and last) of the 2020 Echozone physical product albums I had left to review. Minusheart is a German electro project founded by Diver in 2007, now with several previous albums under their belt, mostly on the Echozone label. Diver handles the vocals, and there is also Chriss Rey on guitars, Robert Lee on E-drums, and Herr Hilter on synths. I haven't heard any previous material by Minusheart, but I can imagine it sounds pretty similar to what I'm hearing on 'The Dark Side Of The Sun'. Diver has a very distinctive style of speak-singing that will remind you of Dirk Ivens (Absolute Body Control, Dive, Klinik) and Nitzer Ebb, but maybe more of the former than the latter. According to Echozone's one-sheet, "Minusheart are mostly inspired by North America's industrial scene (What?? we have an industrial scene here? Where? please let me know!)...and have moved up to be one of the best industrial rock acts all over Germany.” Now that part I guess I can believe. The album has a very accomplished, professional sound. To me though, it sounds more EBM than Electro, but maybe that's just category quibbling.
On first listening, the songs on 'The Dark Side Of The Sun' might seem to sound too similar, in part due to Diver's distinctive punk industrial vocals. Subsequent plays though reveal that that isn't the case at all. The music is somewhat stripped down, edgy and the perfect foil to Diver's visceral lyrics in the dystopian world we all now live in. While most of the tracks on the album are really, really good, the one chink in the armor is "Ice Burns," the closest thing to a ballad in its slower tempo. Something about it just didn't sit well. Other than that though, the songs have plenty of chutzpah, verve, zest, whatever, with inventive arrangements and unexpected little touches that make 'The Dark Side Of The Sun' a real winner. I don't know if it will ever get better for Minusheart, but for now, it really doesn't matter. And how come these guys aren't playing Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2021? They really should be, as this is music that just screams crowd motivation.