Review Summary: Much more than a re-issue. This 1995 electro-industrial classic has been completely re-recorded with help from Haujobb and Stillste Stund.
Wumpscut has been churning out solid electro-industrial albums since 1991, but it wasn’t until 1995 that he really solidified his place in the genre. It was in that year that he released Bunkertor 7
to quality-starved electro fans. Since then he has released multiple albums under the Wumpscut moniker – most recently with ***it
just a few months ago. Despite how recently that album was released, Wumpscut is back with yet another exercise in dark electro-industrial. Officially this is just the re-release of Bunkertor 7
, but it’s not that simple. Instead of just slapping a new album cover on it or adding a few extra songs, he has completely re-recorded the entire album with a little help from friends.
While the re-recorded version improves on the original in almost every way, the most noticeable improvement is the album’s fuller sound. The beats are thick and full of bottom end, the dissonant samples cut through the mid-ranges and the various melodies dominate the upper range with plenty of clarity and separation. This enhanced clarity helps the melodies more than any other aspect of the album. They’re given more room to breathe and seem to be more adept at complimenting the songs. Despite the clearer production, though, none of the angst of the original has been lost. The beats still pound in typical EBM fashion with plenty of dark synth and distorted shouts layered over them. Unfortunately, some of the problems found on the original album can’t simply be fixed with a better sound and slight variations on the original songs.
The main problem is the very repetitive nature of the lyrics and their delivery. Almost every song seems to be comprised of a few slogan-like sentences that are repeated in the same basic distorted shout. This issue is only enhanced due to the very repetitive nature of a lot of the songs. The saving grace of every song is the strong melodies and innovative beats that form the foundation of each song. Whether the melodies are dark or soothing they provide the reason to come back to this album again and again. They range from echoing piano to layers of techno synth and are carried by imaginative and hard-hitting analog beats that maintain the album’s energy levels. The album also benefits from having two songs re-done by Haujobb
and one by Stillste Stund
. These bands’ versions aren’t so different that they don’t fit the Wumpscut sound, but they do put enough of themselves into the songs to provide additional distinction within the album.
Overall, it is easy to hear how this album would have been so well received back in 1995 but in 2009 it has a tendency to occasionally sound too primitive and redundant. This issue is diminished, though, by the strong melodies and solid beats that form the backbone of every song. Really, this album is much more than expected since it is ultimately just a re-issue. Instead of simply dropping the album with minimal effort, the band decided to give it a full, current sound that presents the songs in a much better light. Their decision to include Haujobb and Stillste Stund’s interpretations of a few songs is just icing on the cake and makes this worth looking into for fans of the band and/or the genre.