Review Summary: Dark music for dark people.
"Spur 2" is by far the scariest record that I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. Listening to this record brings out all my anxiety and paranoia to the forefront. It's unsettling song structures, it's foreboding percussion, the hissing noise loops and backing shrieks really start to *** with your head after awhile. The atmosphere of this record is always nauseating and dreadful. Listening to this makes you feel like someone or something is stalking you. You turn around the corner and see and hear nothing but slowly and quietly, it's just biding it's time just waiting for the right opportunity to hack at you and drag you back to it's cellar to dig into your internal organs in the comfort of it's own macabre home.
The music presented here is authentically creepy and that's what I love about it. A lot of artists aspire to create "dark" music but more often than not fail in their quest. Their attempts come off as uninspired or unimaginative self indulgence at best, and parody at worst. That's not so much a problem here with "Spur 2" by the longrunning German outfit Söldnergeist. Musically, Söldnergeist play in the death industrial realm, an offshoot of power electronics that is less abrasive in nature and features a heavier emphasis on dark ambiance and rhythm. "Spur 2" came out in 1995 when both these genres were still being developed and honed so their sound is raw and authentic to the time period. Many of the respective artists in these two scenes exploited sexual deviancy but on here I feel a more nihilistic theme touching upon militarism, genocide, apathy and insanity.
The first track "Stobgebet" features a haunting synth line and heavy percussion that gets progressively louder and louder. It feels like the SS-Sturmbrigade "Dirlewanger is emerging from the depths of hell and passing through the mountains to wreak more havoc and indecent behavior upon humanity. The scattered soundbites only add on to the image that a collective of depraved lunatics are going to come in and commit unspeakable acts. The next sixty minutes of the album follows in a linear path of mental deterioration. The music becomes progressively more distorted and harsh as time passes on with vocal samples and noise loops aligning with the synthesizers to create what can only be described as 'troubling music". "Asepsis Neurosis' is the battle starter of the album. The song starts off with a marching drum beat, like an army that is nearing the war zone before evolving into a symphony of death. The noise loops sound like bullets being distributed upon an unsuspecting town. People are falling, buildings are crumbling, fires are rampaging across the wasteland. No sympathy is felt by the aggressors, no trace of compassion or sadness on any of their faces or in their actions. They walk through and kill everything in sight before leaving in the same apathetic demeanor.
The song lengths average about five to seven minutes long but the closing tracks "Bis Zur Grenze' and "Perfecte Kunst" carry the bulk and make up about thirty minutes of the albums material. This is quite an exhausting listen. There are times when you don't want to listen to this anymore, you feel as if all your life-force has been sapped and you don't want to do anything else for the rest of the day. This music kind of ruins your mood but at the same satisfies you in a way that "positive" music cant. You really have to pay attention to this and at the same time let your imagination take over. When a music artist inspires me to search my mind for random creative thoughts they tend to stick out more to me than the ones that just get me to sing along mindlessly.I have more respect for those artists who make me open my mind. Most of the time people want to hear something catchy, something upbeat they can sing along to, something that makes them feel good. I'm no different for the most part but listening to this record has given me a different albeit refreshing perspective on music enjoyment. I love listening to deeply pessimistic, repulsive music that angers and upsets me. I can't really explain the feeling but I can just connect with this kind of music even if it isn't healthy for my mental state and general well-being. This isn't an album for everyone but if you're willing to take the risk and time to listen to it then by all means acquire it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.