Top critical review
Good but not quite up to the usual standard!
on 25 September 2003
I have to admit I was a late starter when it came to appreciating the music of KMFDM – my first album being Angst which I picked up in December 2001 – However I have made up for my years of living unaware of their talent by grabbing all the old albums and singles, and an assortment of albums by their collaborators. I am very much a KMFDM fanatic and so the build up to any new album is always going to be special – especially considering that with the release of WWIII it was only the second time this had happened since I’ve been a fan.
So, onto the album itself. What can I say? Well, on the whole I found it very much………..alright. Unlike a lot of other people – I loved Attak the album immediately preceding WWIII, and I was hoping for the very best here with a similar band line up. And on listening to the new one you do get the usual KMFDM vibe as there are some great tracks on it – but it is unfortunately one of the lesser vibes more akin to UAIOE than Nihil.
The overwhelming sense I have for the album is unfortunately one of mediocrity; the songs are not the ultra-heaviest beats ever as I was led to believe they would be and there is just that vital spark missing that would have made it another fantastic release.
That’s not to say it doesn’t have its high points though. On the plus side, the album works as a cohesive whole. There isn’t much in the way of classic single material on it or anything, but it all fits together as an entire album; each song flowing into the next, covering similar themes maybe, but not any the worse for it. Lucia’s vocals are a high point, although overused on some songs and underused on others (I like it when everybody chips in a bit!), but this is really only a minor quibble. The presence of Raymond Watts both in writing and performing some of the songs is very welcome and up to his usual high standard – you can clearly hear his influence on proceedings if you are familiar with his work under his Pig moniker or on his many collaborations.
My personal highlights are the heavier, more anthemic songs Blackball, Stars and Stripes and Intro which all contain the staple diet of thumping bass-lines, revolution riot-inciting lyrics and industrial bleeps and noises, and it’s well seen that Good old Kapt’n K and the crew can still deliver the goods. As a rule – it sounds unmistakably like KMFDM but I still came away feeling somewhat letdown.
WWIII is still an accomplished album, written by pioneers who can be forgiven for resting on their laurels occasionally given their previous achievements and generally speedy work rate (WWIII comes only a year after Attak!) and will still no doubt beat the hell out of every other album released this year – I just wish for me that it was that little bit more special. Nevertheless its worthy of 3-4 stars though and I’ll still be waiting with baited breath for the next one!