Sound: For industrial/synth rock act KMFDM's latest album of remixes Krieg, an impressive roster of musicians including the likes of White Zombie and Prong were brought in to deliver fresh takes on the year-old material. While KMFDM usually comes up with some fairly intriguing ideas on its own, these remix projects tend to be a showcase of the creativity that exists within the music scene today, regardless of what genre you prefer. Krieg, which features remixes of the 2009 record Blitz, is still heavy on the electronic/techno/dance aspect, but the end result of each of the 12 tracks still tends to be original and innovative enough to keep your attention.
Because there is such a diverse group of artists used as collaborators on Krieg, it's safe to assume that not every track will necessarily click with your particular taste. That being said, if you have a general appreciation of either industrial or electronic, Krieg is a worthwhile listen. It all kicks off with Combichrist's take on Bait & Switch (All 4 One Mix). You can certainly hear the influence of the Norwegian industrial band, which injects a similar dance-oriented style that sounds just a bit crunchier than the original. Likewise, Davai (Cyrillic Mix) by Tweaker's Chris Vrenna leans heavily toward a sound that doesn't stray too far from KMFDM's original arrangement.
Where things start to get interesting is when Seismologist, Prong, and White Zombie's Ivan de Prume are thrown into the mix. Potz Blitz! (Harmonic Tremors Mix) by Seismologist feels almost akin to a Rammstein number, while both Prong and de Prume's take on their respective songs, Bait & Switch and Never Say Never, at long last bring guitars with a dose of high gain into the forefront. That's not to say that the dance vibe is eliminated altogether, but the rock presence is certainly a welcome addition. Another easy standout is solemn-yet-fascinating People of The Lie (Requiem Mix) by Static-X's by Koichi Fukuda, who isn't afraid to take strip the arrangement down (as is evident in the piano-only intro) in order to create a creepy feel. // 8
Lyrics: Because the 12 tracks heard on Krieg are essentially repeats of the material on the studio album Blitz, the lyrical content should already be familiar to KMFDM fans. The themes range from cynicism in People of the Lie (Whatever you believe nobody cares; Whatever it is you think you know; Don't give a Goddamn; Reality is bullshit) to appeasement in Bait & Switch (Fear not what the future holds; Rest your weary soul; I'll do the rest), which although intriguing at times, usually all tend to take a backseat to the musical arrangements. // 8
Overall Impression: The overall vibe of Krieg is certainly dance-oriented like most remix albums, but there are a lot of interesting twists and turns during the 12 tracks. If you're not fond of industrial or can't tolerate the slightest hint of electronica, this will not be the album for you. But if you don't mind one album visiting everything from trip-hop to industrial to synth rock, Krieg will deliver the goods many times over. // 7