A new Wumpscut album every year is no longer a surprise – indeed, it’s something we’ve come to expect around March or April time. And it should also some as no surprise that Rudy has dreamt up another gruesome concept to hang the songs around – this time offering us two-headed skeletons. So yes, the title does refer to the antiquated term for conjoined twins. And as for the music – yep, you’ve guessed it, no surprises here. Continue reading
Three studio albums in as many years seems to indicate a little desperation on Rudy’s part – he’s looking for a direction that suits him and doesn’t seem to be hitting the mark (I may have enjoyed ‘Evoke’, but many others did not). This disc sees a slight move back from the ‘clean’ textures of the last album, though neither is it really a return to the apocalyptic industrial behemoth of earlier works. One other thing worth noting is that the albums vocals are predominantly in German – even more so than on ‘Boeses Junges Fleisch’ (the only other album to be based around Rudy’s native tongue). It simply isn’t clear whereabouts in the :Wumpscut: sonic spectrum this thing is intended to lie.
For example, ‘Wir Warten’ is reminiscent of the :Wumspcut: of days past, pummelling kick drums and scything electronic the most intense thing Rudy’s produced this side of the millenium, even if the actual song is not a great one. Lead single ‘Jesus Antichristus’ is a reasonable dark dance number, despite the horribly cliched title, whilst the title track (sung in another mysterious language) features primitive synth bleeps and some delicate guitar parts. The latter half of the album is slightly weaker, thought the penultimate track ‘Hunger’ works well in a similar fashion to the female-vocal tracks from ‘Evoke’. At the end of the day, ‘Cannibal Anthem’ is just another :W: album – not the best one by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly enough to keep the fans happy. It’s just a pity that the ‘Wow’ factor is somewhat absent.
‘Evoke’ sees :Wumpscut: move even further towards a softer, slower sound, something previously hinted at on ‘Bone Peeler’. This may disappoint those wishing a return to the hard industrial days of hold, but luckily this is also an improvement on the previous album. This time, Rudy actually seems comfortable with the stripped-down, less confrontational style he has seemingly adopted (the clean artwork, featuring only a mysterious creature known as ‘Blondi’, reflects the musical differences as well as anything else). A number of the songs, including Maiden, Hold and Don’t Go, feature lead or joint-lead female vocals – sung rather than the more traditional spoken-word approach, which is heard once on the closing tracks ‘Obsessi?’. ‘Don’t Go’ also sees Rudy ease of the vocal distortion a bit – a welcome diversion from his usual electronically-hardened gravel. Continue reading
The first ‘proper’ :Wumpscut: album in four years was eagerly awaited but in many respects is something of a disappointment. It’s better that ‘Boeses Junges Fleisch’ in some respects, as it offers a more detailed production and less of a ‘sprawling’ feel. Unfortunately, it’s also rather boring to listen to. Having overplayed his hand several times in the past, the balance has now been thrown too far the other way. The songs on this album simply don’t have any impact. Take, for instance, the opening track ‘Crown of Thorns’ – the delicate synth chime giving way to the distorted beat and visceral vocals would traditionally make a fine :Wumpscut: track, but somehow it never really takes off. Continue reading
This release (typically referred to as ‘Preferential Tribe’) consists of the ‘Preferential Legacy’ and ‘Music For A German Tribe’ 12″ (formerly part of limited box sets) plus a number of new and unreleased tracks. Or in simpler terms, it’s another :Wumpscut: miscellany. The kind of compilation only devoted fans will by. Just as well there’s plenty of them. The ‘Music For A German Tribe’ tracks are essentially versions of well-known :Wumpscut: tracks with German vocals. Some of these work well (The teutonic tongue gives ‘Soylent Grün’ a little extra ‘bite’), others less so (thanks to the slightly higher syllable count, ‘Schwarzer Tod” is fractionally less powerful that it’s English equivalent ‘Black Death’). Continue reading
This is simply a compilation of the CD’s ‘Deliverance’, ‘Ich Will Dich’, ‘Totmacher’ and ‘The Remix Wars’. The first CD is the more interesting of the two, containing everything except the ‘Totmacher’ mixes. There’s some reasonable versions of ‘Deliverance’ (including a slow, symphonic-style cut) and the ‘Slut Remix’ of ‘Ich Will Dich’, that cuts out many (but not all) of the porn-movie styles that many found off-putting, although the other remixes are noticeably weaker. The ‘Remix Wars’ features three :W: songs remixed by Haujobb and three Haujobb song given the Rudy treatment, which will be of interest to those into both acts, as the remixes are reasonable enough, but as we all know, Haujobb remixes are ten-a-penny in this scene.
The second disc contains 10 mixes of ‘Totmacher’ from the now-deleted double EP (including contributions from Suicide Commando, VNV Nation and Covenant) plus the ‘Grave Digger Party Mega Mix’ from the ‘Boeses Junges Fleisch’ limited box. It’s a pity the couldn’t have picked a better song to remix. Some of the remixing artists have some interesting ideas on how to rework the guitar sample of the original, but few seem to have any desire to keep the original song intact, which is just as well. Perhaps the biggest surprise is a power-noise style remix from VNV Nation, which was probably assembled by Ronan to prove he has versatility, safe in the knowledge that he couldn’t be accused of spoiling a great song.
Blutkind is a 2CD compilation of :Wumpscut: archive material, reviving tracks from the demo tapes ‘Small Chambermusicians’ and ‘Defcon’ along with previously unreleased material, as well as two new tracks to sweeten the package. It is one of these new tracks (‘Hang Him Higher’) that proves to be the collections highlight, the delicate strings and synth chimes giving way to a robust industrial stomp, the resultant combination proving more successful than anything off his previous album ‘Boeses Junges Fleisch’. As for the arcive material, whilst there are a few early versions of well-known :Wumpscut: tracks (including a pointless instrumental of ‘Soylent Green’ but also an interesting take on ‘Default’), the bulk of the collection is made up of tracks that never made it onto any of the actual albums. Continue reading
This is a compilation of the EP’s ‘Dried Blood’ and ‘Gommorah’. Both are long since deleted, so if you hear any of these tracks these days, it’s likely to be on here. The songs on this collection all date back to the mid-90s and for the most part showcase the hardest, harshest sides of the :Wumpscut: sound. The undoubted highlight is the ‘French texture’ version of ‘Black Death’, the definitive version of one of the great early Ratzinger creations, delicate spoken-word sections, each of them building slowly up to an almightly climax, with an hellish guitar sample and relentless drumming combining to form one of the most intense sections of any industrial track I have heard.
The albums continues to spit bile and hatred through the no-nonsense beat-blasts of ‘In The Night’ and an early version of ‘Dying Culture’. The album does eventually ease off to provide at least a hint of Rudy’s more ‘subtle’ side, such as the funereal ‘Crucified Division’ and the ever-so-slightly melodic ‘Turns Off Pain’. There are still signs of songwriting immaturity, however – some the lyrics are often quite simplistic, especially ‘Funeral Diner’ and ‘Body Parts, whilst some of the other tracks lack the dynamic mastery of ‘Black Death’, hammering away relentlessly without colour or variation. It’s still an important :Wumpscut:, a collection of two rare EPs that cover what many long-time fans consider to be :Wumpscut:’s definitive era, even if it’s patchier in terms of quality than his studio albums of the time.
This is in many respects a remix collection for ‘Embryodead’, collecting a number of alternate versions of the albums tracks from various sources, adding a couple of previously unreleased tracks and a few other oddities for good measure. It’s worth noting that most of the mixes present are done in-house by Rudy, with usual suspects like B-Ton-K and Haujobb proving the rest. Despite the relatively strong source material, the results are somewhat disappointing – ‘Embryodead’ was a relatively cohesive album by :W: standards and it loses much of this power when shuffled around like this. The bulk of the remixes seem to sit in the ‘OK but not as good as the original’ camp, many of them sounding rather ‘forced’.
Some mixes are interesting, such as the attempts to add dance beats to ‘Womb’ and ‘Angel’, although these songs lose some of their ‘spirit’ in the process, whilst some mixes (such as the ‘Embryodead’ reworks) seems intent on removing everything that was good about the original. The two new tracks are good enough, ‘Wumpsex’ a straightforward noisebeat romp, whilst ‘Man’s Complete Idiot’ does the ‘slow and ominous’ thing Rudy’s done umpteen times before. All considered, the album’s only real selling point is the ‘distant’ vocals version of ‘Thorns’ (not an ‘Embryodead’ track, but never mind that now), Rudy’s duet with Fabienne D. meshing perfectly with the original tune, a rare opportunity to hear the voice of :Wumpscut: undistorted. It’s just a pity it couldn’t be accompanied by some stronger tracks than what’s on offer here.
This is a collection of early :Wumpscut: tracks that had appeared on ‘Various Artists’ compilations. It’s most notable for the eight-minute long ‘Mother’, a brooding-drawn out piece built from ominous layers of keyboard, with more ‘heartfelt’ vocal performance than heard previously from Rudy. There’s also a decent chunk of war-infused hard EBM in ‘War Combattery’, a good version of ‘In The Night’ and the ‘muted concept’ (aka ‘instrumental’) version of ‘Black Death’ (good, but I personally prefer it with the vocals intact.
The rest of the album is somewhat bitty, with semi-decent excerpts (the cathedral-like ‘Ceremony’ and the bubbling textures of ‘Lindbergh’, for instance), interspersed with a number of overly-indulgent audio experiments, such as 11 minutes of ‘Jesus Gone’, thankfully consigned to the end of the album, plus a few beat-heavy tracks that don’t quite come off – ‘UK Decay’, for instance, zooms past at such speed that it never has much chance to make a mark. ‘The Mesner Tracks’ are thus best treated for what they are – a diverse collection of early :Wumpscut: creations that don’t necessarily cohere well on CD, but still a collection that die-hards will snap up once given a chance.