Eisbrecher
Schock


3.0
good

Review

by LilLioness USER (7 Reviews)
April 2nd, 2015 | 14 replies


Release Date: 01/27/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Eine neue Eiszeit beginnt or Still Lost in the Tundra

Eisbrecher is a difficult band to love. They burst onto the Neue Deutsche Härte (or Tanzmetal) scene in 2004 with a fantastic self-titled debut record and followed it up with an arguably better sophomore effort in Antikörper, if with a bit of wear and tear from recycled ideas. However, the raw intensity on that 2006 effort seemed to be steadily drained from subsequent releases. Tracking their output became tiresome as each record was more forgettable than the last. The band became reliant on the verse-chorus-verse formula and compounded it with the cookie cutter rough verse/soaring chorus approach that has been popular amongst directionless rock acts since Slipknot popularized it.

While that downward trend has been true for three successive records, Eisbrecher’s sixth effort does not entirely fall prey to it. The band is still not a viable alternative to the international monster that is Rammstein, but they do seem to be trying again. The lead single off Schock, “Zwischen Uns”, succeeds in blending hard rock instrumentation with infectiously catchy singing. Nina de Lianin (of In Strict Confidence)’s icy spoken delivery of her lyrics is an immaculate foil to vocalist Alexx Wesselsky’s feral growl. True to the Tanzmetal genre, the song is quite dance-able. And although it doesn’t really pop on first listen, “Schlachtbank” is a bloody ballad with a delightfully brutal take on the break up song.

The true highlight of the record, though, is the title track. The moment that stalking bass line ignites the noxious fumes of “1000 Narben”, the act of paying this band any attention after all these years suddenly doesn’t seem like wasted energy. The band’s menacing riffing evokes the efficient ruthlessness of the hunter as Wesselsky takes on the persona of a tycoon preying on the poor. The cover art of the pissed off arctic wolf becomes appropriate when previously it was comical. However, with the catchy exception of “Zwischen Uns”, the rest of the record simply isn’t memorable. It isn’t quite as vanilla as Die Hölle Muss Warten, but that does not necessarily make it superior.

The songs that populated the self-titled record and Antikörper were by no means masterstrokes, or golden examples of an exalted genre of music, but they did have character. Even at their most generic, they were energetic blast-it-in-your-car-and-scream-along tunes. However, with the transitionary Sünde and the band expanding its membership from 2 to a full band, that charisma dulled and the band took to softening their lyrical content. The violence of “Phosphor” and “Angst"” has had a pacifier forced into its maw and has been housebroken into crooning about drifting through life and unrequited love (for the umpteenth time).

While this record has a bit of a sharper edge to it than its recent predecessors, it still falls into the trappings of pop rock, the place where, regrettably, Eisbrecher have been entrenched. It is no surprise that the band continues to be commercially viable in Europe. The single, “Zwischen Uns”, topped out the German Alternative chart. Their ongoing commercial success has not resulted in increased creativity, but complacency in producing redundant bouncy tunes with growling guitars pasted on to the verses to appease Neue Deutsche Härte fans. And these tactics may be enough to please said fans, but for more discerning minds, this record simply does not do enough to reconnect with their earlier, harder edge or to commit to a new direction.

The band would like to evoke images of the arctic, given their name, but for the last few albums they have been confined to the tundra, too warm to be the gorgeous crown of the world and too cold to be somewhere someone would actually want to live.



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
LilLioness
April 1st 2015


2994 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

A little pleb break before I dive into a review for another obscure artist (well obscure to people who don’t know his name/reputation). Also, subtle jab at Slipknot is subtle.

So this record is really kinda meh. That 3 is because 2 or 3 tracks manage not to boring. Here is the best track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3NyOzVlaM4

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2015


11589 Comments


Great review, pos'd. Might check this band out, maybe the first two instead of this album.

Digging: Dekagram - May Flights Of Devils Guide

LilLioness
April 1st 2015


2994 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good idea. The song I link'd is pretty all you really need from this record, even though the single is good. I was expecting this to be a 3.5, but the the back half of this one is just dull.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2015


6676 Comments


"the band expanding its membership from to 2 to a full band"

- solid writeup overall, wasn't expecting this after your slew of Geinoh reviews, so well done on mixing it up

LilLioness
April 1st 2015


2994 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damn, I edited this one all by myself so I had a feeling I would miss something (didn't help that The Americans was coming on as I was finishing up with the edits).



Yeah, and the next two reviews will be even more heavier on the ambient side of things, but I do intend to tackle what I can. Hell, in May I might actually tackle something current. Assuming, of course, that 10 people don't beat me to it.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2015


6676 Comments


yeah some solid releases coming up in ambient world, especially from Eilean records

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2015


8019 Comments


Great review, pos, keep it up.

Digging: Suffering Quota - Life In Disgust

LilLioness
April 1st 2015


2994 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The next review is an 07 release, but every since I 'discovered' Robert Rich, I have been eyeing Filaments and, as luck would have it, no has reviewed it yet.



Thank you, Voivod!

PotsyTater
April 2nd 2015


1560 Comments


haha love that last paragraph. you're always great at closing up your reviews

LilLioness
April 2nd 2015


2994 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha, thank you. This review had an earlier version where I talked more about myself and liking this album more than I thought I would (yada ya) and then I re-listened to it on Tuesday and the "still lost in the tundra" phrase popped into my head. That last paragraph was actually the first and easiest part to write. The last sentence I wrote was "The band's menacing...". For some reason, I just couldn't think of a way to describe the instrumentation.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
April 4th 2015


39738 Comments


great job, i find conclusions are often the hardest part to right and it really shows when one comes naturally and flows well

LilLioness
April 4th 2015


2994 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thank you very much, Graham. I am glad to see your profuse has been reinstated.



Also, I am pretty curious how you will fin my next review. XD

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2015


11589 Comments


Finally checked this out and I must say it was very enjoyable actually. After going on the search for Deutch speaking bands I came back to this accidentally and gave it a go, glad I did.

AndroBoy
July 18th 2017


17 Comments


I just wish this band would move more away from the radio-rock singles that they've been pumping out since the fourth album.



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