KMFDM
Paradise


3.0
good

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
September 29th, 2019 | 16 replies


Release Date: 09/27/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Half asleep...

The kings of consistency are back with another round of ultra heavy beats. Since reuniting under the KMFDM name in 2002, Sascha Konietzko has been operating like clockwork. The schedule is tight and clear, we receive an album every two years wrapped in similar artwork (always cool, by the way), a sturdy collection of tracks that follow a number of clear structures, plus the accompanying tour. As expected, this rigid approach regarding the music was bound to become a curse as well. It resumes to the ideas the band can craft within a rather fixed time frame, usually a good amount of safe, by-the-numbers tunes with occasional fails or excellent cuts. When they decide to experiment a bit, things can get better (remember Hau Ruck, [i]WTF!?[i] or the polarizing Blitz), however, at times they simply are on autopilot (Our Time Will Come, Tohuvabohu or Kunst to a certain degree). In 2016, long time guitarists Jules Hodgson and Steve White left the group, as a result, there was a bigger emphasis on electronic elements on Hell Yeah. Nevertheless, it ended up as the most interesting and catchy release in years.

Therefore, I was excited to listen to Paradise, still, the latest LP ends up as a mixed bag. You can hear an effort to experiment (in KMFDM’s terms), yet parts of it don’t quite click. This year's band referencing opener, ‘K-M’F’ is unnecessary and even though the guys tried to enhance it with some rap sections, it remains forgettable. ‘Automaton’ is the hi-energy banger you can hear on each album, sharing pummeling beats and bright euro-techno synths. The vocoder used on Lucia’s vocals doesn’t help, the lyrics are often dumbed down, so I would recommend other variants of this type of track on previous albums (try ‘Murder My Heart’ or ‘Ave Maria’). Another useless addition is a remake of one of the act’s trademark songs, ‘Megalomaniac’ (Symbols, 1997) under the title ‘Megalo’. It barely resembles the original, save for the shared lyrics and some sequencers. It doesn’t necessarily sound bad, but it would’ve fared better had they morphed it into a brand new composition.

A long time ago, KMFDM included some reggae elements into their music. We can witness a slight return on Paradise, the title track sharing an intro, verses and coda that dabble into this genre, complete with percussion, saxophone, melodica and several dub-echoing sound effects. This is actually a cool feature that heavily contrasts the pounding riffs of the choruses. The song kicks ass, Sascha and Lucia sing powerfully, whereas the instrumental is on point. Unfortunately, ‘No God’ further elaborates the Rastafarian side, but the occasional distorted guitar leads don’t really fit in and the track doesn’t go anywhere. The number of missteps on the album inevitably drag it below expectations. Thankfully, things are slowly picking up with ‘No Regrets’, a solid cut where Konietzko goes the extra mile to pound his ethics in your brain. The programmed drums are punchy and the song boasts the necessary power to match the singer’s rage. Meanwhile, the partial ‘80s throwback, ‘Disturb the Peace’ is a quirky tune that goes through a number of phases during its time span. The Soviet synths are fun and the switches to playful bass/kick drum combos are refreshing. Lucia also helps with a smooth performance on the mid-tempo grooves of ‘Oh My Goth’, while Raymond Watts finally makes a swift return to the camp on the hard hitting ‘Binge, Boil & Blow’. It isn’t one of his top contributions, yet his eccentric style is always noticeable.

All in all, we can witness KMFDM’s attempts to bring something different to the table. Unfortunately, Paradise won't turn many heads, but it reveals the fact that mastermind Sascha Konietzko needs some reliable partners to help him produce a strong collection of songs. Half of the LP is a good reminder why the band is one of the tightest in the genre, however, on the other, the engine shows signs of rust. Each new record comes with a question mark, maybe is good, maybe average. Maybe next time.



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user ratings (11)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2019


4879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Some good songs, some meh.

Just spotted a small mistake when mentioning WTF!? in the review, but I can't edit it



'Paradise' (video) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3_SfldSFa0

Stream here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MpiiGB_jb4&list=OLAK5uy_nh_sYhqscUfDMJ7YBcXnZ2EWJvXaAxfYA

Digging: Wilco - Ode to Joy

Willie
Moderator
September 29th 2019


17873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

KMFDM doing it again... ha ha. A line from their song 'Light' in 1993, and it's basically the tag line for every album since. I'll still listen to this eventually.

Digging: Leprous - Pitfalls

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2019


4879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha, joke's on them these days.



There are some songs that are worth adding to the collection, but Hell Yeah was definitely better.

Ebola
September 29th 2019


3660 Comments


never listened to this band before. this is unbearable

Willie
Moderator
September 29th 2019


17873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

If you're willing to give them another chance, try the Angst album. It's my personal favorite.

KevinKC
September 30th 2019


865 Comments


This will be the first KMFDM album I do not listen to on release since Attak. I'm tired of these collections of tracks that all have a very different style and half of which aren't truly that great that which leaves me with about 4 that I truly enjoy each times (since Kunst) even if the albums are good overall.

So, I will (hopefully) listen to this in two years along with their next album so that I (hopefully) can gather one album worth of great songs which will feel a bit more cohesive and not endure the ritual frustration that has become each of their new releases.

budgie
September 30th 2019


13836 Comments


damn i havent heard kmfdm in at least a decade

Digging: Stop Suffering - Win

Willie
Moderator
September 30th 2019


17873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

--damn i havent heard kmfdm in at least a decade--



Actually, you pretty much have and just didn't know it. As soon as you hear this it will feel totally familiar.





-This will be the first KMFDM album I do not listen to on release since Attak. I'm tired of these collections of tracks that all have a very different style and half of which aren't truly that great that which leaves me with about 4 that I truly enjoy each times (since Kunst) even if the albums are good overall. --



That's a great way to describe it. We got the promo and I didn't even bother to stream it, but I definitely still consider myself a fan of the band.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2019


4879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Kevin, you can take 3-4 tracks from this album as well and add them to the playlist. Nothing different.



From this decade, WTF!? is the most noteworthy. Hell Yeah has its moments as well, but wears off faster.



Willie
Moderator
September 30th 2019


17873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Listening to it right now. The first three tracks are pretty good. The third track, in particular, is kind of different for them.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2019


4879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

'K.M.F' is just another one of those self referencing openers, it's too predictable. 'No Regrets', 'Oh My Goth' and 'Paradise' are great. 'Disturb the Peace' is another cool, slightly different type of track

Willie
Moderator
September 30th 2019


17873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

I made it through the first nine tracks, but I'll have to finish it tomorrow. I like the first four songs, even the predictable opener. The only other one I really liked from the first nine songs was "Automaton".

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2019


4879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

To each his own. I hope I can catch them live sometime soon, maybe the new songs are better this way.

BigBlob
September 30th 2019


5272 Comments


KMFDM always great fun live. band has become a cover version of itself though. wish they would take more time to make an album than just get stuff out as quick as possible. doubt we will ever hear another Nihil quality album again

KevinKC
September 30th 2019


865 Comments


Thanks Insomniac and Willie. if this had been on the level of WTF!?! I would have listened to it without hesitation but as it seems to be a five great tracks one, I'll wait for the next.

TecumsehGargoyle
October 6th 2019


61 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is their best album in a long time



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