Look out world because the German Industrial powerhouse known as KMFDM are about to unleash their 18th studio album on your poor unsuspecting souls. According to the band’s fearless leader, Sascha, the album is titled KUNST (German for art) in hopes that most will mispronounce (or misspell) it and call it KUNTS. The cover art was designed by Aidan “Brute!” Hughes and pays tribute to the Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot and Ukrainian protest group FEMEN. Facebook found it offensive and removed it from KMFDM’s page. Let’s see if they do the same with this review.
KMFDM have never been known to be subtle and KUNST is anything but. The group—which currently features Sascha, Lucia, Jules, Andy, & Steve—has spent three decades conceptualizing its own brand of musically artistic war against the establishment and this record screams angst all throughout, especially “Pussy Riot,” which was penned in solidarity for the jailed Russian punk rockers of the same moniker.
The rest of the release seamlessly blends the band’s anarchic signature sound with elements of punk, industrial, and EBM while introducing new beats and structures. The overall tone is consistently gritty with an emphasis on intricately programmed beats, samples, synths, and pummeling guitars. “Ave Maria” is a dance oriented tune with punchy electronics and jazzy riffs. The relentlessly pounding “Quake” registers about 9.0 on the Richter scale. In “Hello” ethereal vocals and sultry beats entrance you before a blood curdling scream rips you to shreds. “Animal Out” is classic KMFDM through and through and “The Mess You Made” is another riveting track that will bust down the doors and shake you to the core. The CD also features contributions by Swedish cult band Morlocks and Legion Within’s William Wilson.
When Sascha’s sinister vocals sang the last note on “I ♥ Not” I was quite happy that the album started over from the beginning because I was just about to reach for the repeat button. I can’t wait for the physical disc so I can crank this puppy up on a proper stereo. In the meantime listen to “KUNST” and wait patiently for the album’s February 26th release. – NIN