Review Summary: A more complex, intricate, and industrially modern sound by Nitzer Ebb holds both revelation and blessing.
The once densely thin Nitzer Ebb of past is just that - a thing of the past. Their quintessential last release of Industrially heavy atmosphere in Big Hit
was their downfall. Trying to adapt to the innovators and clones within industrial music was evident, completely scraping the appeal and median that separated them from other bands of their time. During the process tensions ran high with Bon Harris and Douglas McCarthy , deteriorating their relationship in personal matters and where they wanted to go in terms of direction. What felt so criminal and illicit in so many ways was that Big Hit
was fundamentally a band collapsing under the weight of other successful acts; the duo tried to conform, but eventually split into pieces with this decision, and while their ominous idealism remained within the music the scattered quality of that album was sufficiently lacking in many areas. 15 post-break up years and innovation is now a bleak term in what was a once wide open genre when they started out.
As Nitzer Ebb dissolved from false promises from Big Hit
, their music eventually saw the light of day from various venues, mainly from DJ remixes that helped them once again gain a cult status despite their inactivity as a group. It eventually caused an epiphany for the two and they soon resolved their differences and headed onto tour in 2006, eventually working on new material in 2007. McCarthy and Harris soon understood they still had the passion for Nitzer Ebb and began announcing more tour dates while finally concluding they would create a new album.
, to be frank, is nothing like their past albums. In the eyes of their last dreadful release it feels like this is the album that was promised by Nitzer Ebb. Its visceral, aggressive and the industrially charged atmosphere remains to have that same Ebb feel, most specifically the drums that are prevalent with its booming nature that is simplistic and hard in tone, but the key component of Nitzer Ebb's comeback is by far their incorporation of electronic in their music, that be said it is done in the modern sense successfully. That was clearly all over the place on Big Hit
. "Once You Say" is heard and immediately you hear homage to their past work, lyrically it sounds like "Let Your Body Learn" Part II, but its subtle and isn't thrown in your face and the rest of the song one ups the previous successful Big Hit
opener "Cherry Blossom". McCarthy hasn't changed his tune since 1995, which is astonishing considering the time that has passed, if anything he seems revived and more motivated in Industrial Complex
And this is what seems to be my confusion with this album. How exactly have these two managed to recoup their relationship yet release probably their best work , after the fact they had dissolved 15 years earlier? Industrial Complex
resonates maturity from a group that was already successful in their native continent and beyond, but what is most important is their influence on techno/electronic artists, yet they never gained the type of recognition that it would deserve. And this album shows why they do deserve it, from the ballad-like "Going Away" and "I Am Undone" that always eluded them on previous albums to the hostile and lovely simplistic "Hit You Back" that marks memories of Belief
. Nitzer Ebb are clearly united and McCarthy and Harris have the same mindset, they sound like a band that has been perfecting their craft for years, while that could be argued for, it doesn't seem plausible for a group that has been gone for 15 years.
No doubt the metal isn't tarnished after so many years out of the music industry. The furious rhythm in "Down On Your Knees" is chaotically beautiful, it rarely lets up and McCarthy's plea of 'get down on your knees', while Harris meticulously adds electronic samples that should add eeriness yet the destructive tone of the song like the album itself engulfs the entire track. The guitar work is reminiscent of the high-quality areas of Big Hit
as seen on "My Door Is Open", the percussion and programming is consistent to their past critical works, yet adds a heft of new, refreshing techniques to an old and wise band that failed miserably at incorporating both on the same album.
It's usually hard to justify a comeback for any band and for a band that wasn't necessarily successful in the mainstream, but when they go through their past hurdles and make something so modern that doesn't betray their history is astounding. I'm mesmerized on Nitzer Ebb by the prospect of future releases, Industrial Complex
was supposed to be an experiment or an classic-laden throwback, yet it's the best work we've seen by them and it oozes consistency and prowess.
-To put it boldly this is a better, more complex Nitzer Ebb that have found the sound they were searching for 15 years ago.
-Its homage to their past works is delightful, yet the sound is more modern and refreshing that will open up a new fan base.
-The track "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" sounds like a filler instance that doesn't work. Despite its 3 minute track time its still a glaring hole on an otherwise consistent piece of work. The always raging lyricist, McCarthy still brings his sarcastic calming tone to their latest.