KMFDM
Nihil


5.0
classic

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
September 4th, 2010 | 31 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


Nihil is the eighth studio album by industrial rock group KMFDM, released in 1995. Following 1993's Angst, which saw the group moving into more industrial metal territory with a focus on distorted guitars rather than the EBM and synthpop influences of their earlier years, Nihil is a further development and refinement of this sound. Arguably, it is also the peak album of their lengthy and prolific career, which has been rolling along since the early 1980's to present.

The best way to describe this album to me is a fusion of Skinny Puppy and John Bush era Anthrax. The focus on rhythmic guitars is brought to the fore, but still this album beats with an electronic heart with a strong, intricate production courtesy of frontman and the only consistent revolving member Sascha Konietzko. Still, although there are the gothic overtones associated with this brand of industrial metal (hence the Skinny Puppy namedrop) KMFDM's themes and feel are entirely their own, a distinct brand of tongue-in-cheek political satire which is bound to confuse and alienate certain listeners who don't understand or care for such messages.

Every track on here is a winner for me, still opener Ultra rarely fails to do it for me upon hearing it. The intro with it's bass swells and percussion build up into one of the finest industrial metal songs of the early 90's, and gives me a kind of perverse thrill like no other. Juke Joint Jezebel is that one song I use regularly to test my headphones, the swirling electronics at the beginning and it's kickdrums panning left and right all over my ears regularly melt my senses. When I think it couldn't get any better in comes Flesh, it's danceable beats and infectious lyrics just making me jizz, over and over again. Then Beast, and then Terror, and you get the picture. Everytime I listen to a song on Nihil I feel things can't get any better, but the next track manages to come in and completely blow my mind. I cannot will myself out of this cycle, but I will mention two lyrical highlights. Search & Destroy is one of the most incendiary songs KMFDM has ever released, and I never fail to feel empowered after listening to it -

Will we close our eyes will we fall for those lies
Or will we make a conclusion that this life's a delusion?
Will we do what we're told 'til the day that we're sold
Or will we raise our voices make alternative choices?
"

And the radical anarchist themes of Terror -

Some people call them terrorists
These boys have been simply misguided

I tried to keep my faith alive
I'm close enough to trip the wire
I cannot keep my hate inside
I'm gonna set myself on fire


Once I reasoned that Nihil tapered off at the end somewhat, but I came to love the placement of every song here and really can't fault the last few tracks even if they feel slightly lesser to the others. To me this is KMFDM's finest release and is certainly one of my most played albums, which is a pity as it is followed up by the patchy XTORT and Symbols (which caused the group some controversy as Eric Harris, one of the perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre posted lyrics from these on his personal website around the time all that was happening). Everything post Nihil by KMFDM is incredibly hit or miss, but still, this remains one of the finest industrial metal albums of the 90's and a personal favourite of mine.



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user ratings (151)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Meatplow
September 4th 2010


5524 Comments


Ultra - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6wzgRy71M0

Beast - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SR2sEPSl34

Terror - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyV_LOpTJes

Willie
Moderator
September 4th 2010


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Love it!

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

Meatplow
September 4th 2010


5524 Comments


I wanted to review this for a while but could never find the motivation.

So here you go, Sputnik.

Blindsided
September 4th 2010


1871 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Holy shit this didn't have a review...

jrowa001
September 4th 2010


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is the only KMFDM i have. great review. i should probably finally get some more like i was planning on for a while

PayneTiger777
September 4th 2010


4409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm very surprised that no one had ever reviewed this before. Definitely one of the best industrial albums I've ever listened to. Brings back memories of the first Mortal Kombat movie.

kitsch
September 4th 2010


5107 Comments


looking for a way into industrial... may as well start with a crossover... good review as always

Meatplow
September 4th 2010


5524 Comments


yeah can't beat 90's industrial metal bands if you want to just start getting into the genre

still kitsch you are pretty big on post-punk you could probably head straight for the first wave stuff it overlaps with it a lot

Skyler
September 4th 2010


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was really disappointed with this album, because I was expecting to love it based on descriptions and stuff.

Nagrarok
September 4th 2010


8325 Comments


Meatplow's about to hit a 100 reviews!

crazyblinddude
September 4th 2010


3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. My favorite KMFDM. Got me into them for a good while.

Bulldog
September 4th 2010


3796 Comments


my thread now

Meatplow
September 4th 2010


5524 Comments


I was really disappointed with this album, because I was expecting to love it based on descriptions and stuff.


KMFDM seems to disappoint a lot of people idk why

took me a while to fully enjoy their music, and even then there are only a few albums I willingly subject myself to (some of their stuff of late is particularly awful). I might suggest checking out Naïve, Angst and Money than returning to this, I don't think I would like it as much if I didn't have those as reference points.

Meatplow's about to hit a 100 reviews!


And so I am, thanks for the heads up I haven't been keeping count. Might have to make the next one a special one.

Skyler
September 4th 2010


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think the thing I dislike most is the heavy thrash influence, and the lack of hard-hitting percussion. I do like the electronic elements quite a bit though.

crazyblinddude
September 5th 2010


3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A little (kinda) typo I noticed is that you rec'd this same exact album in the recommended by reviewer box. I'm sure 5 rating alone would warrant the recommendation.

Meatplow
September 5th 2010


5524 Comments


ya I meant to put Naïve in there

I was drunk when I submitted this, lol. Thanks.

IRAI
September 5th 2010


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nihil is Great 'n all, but i really think its overrated. Angst is the best album theyve done, and Hau Ruck and Tohuvabohu are not even close to being hit or miss(because they fucking rule), as you say everything after Nihil is.

these guys still put on a great live show as well.

KevinKC
October 27th 2010


224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah KMFDM is a disappointing band by definition. Angst disppointed me and it took me time to forget its flaws and learn to appreciate its qualities. Nihil disappointed me. Xtort disppointed me. But I go back to those album all the time. Symbols and Adios disappointed me but I never learnt to like them very much. Attak was a disappointment but now I really like it. KMFDM has such a strong identity that we wish they could be flawless and truly awsome when they are just great.

ThroneOfAgony
May 22nd 2012


3485 Comments


Awesome album. The first half has always done it for me, but the 2nd half is dry

BigBlob
January 8th 2013


1728 Comments


Dis-o-bedience!





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