KMFDM is back. Again. But why should you care? Because the Godfathers of Industrial consistently deliver the Ultra Heavy Beat and on PARADISE, their 21st album which celebrates their 35th year as a collective, they’re offering up their most diverse and, quite possibly, their best record of the 21st Century.
The title track alone is the most exciting piece of music KMFDM has released in the past decade or so! Trying times creates this need for a reaction in the artistic community and KMFDM has definitely answered the call on this one with Sascha Konietzko stating within: “Nobody knows nothing/ Shit Happens/ On a global scale/ Conglomerate of Bloodsuckers/ Unchecked/ Unhinged/ Beyond the pale” to which Lucia Cifarelli viciously responds: “Get your motherfucking head on straight/ A worldwide rat race/ Lineage of the good ol’ boys/ Drowning in a swamp of white noise”. Then you have the chorus consisting of “This world is a paradise/A paradise for assholes” and while this might be their most vital diatribe in years, It’s nothing compared to the accompanying video. That said, if you dug the initial single version, nothing will prepare you for the eight minute album version featuring sick guitar work from Andee Blacksugar as well as horns as this Reggae-tinged jam after the initial onslaught grooves out.
Yeah, it’s gonna be that kind of album. Strap in.
“K.M.F.” is unlike anything KMFDM has delivered as an opening salvo in the last twenty years with Andrew “Ocelot” Lindslay adding a Hip-Hop flair as Andy Selway reliably destroys those Ultra Heavy Beats and riff master Blacksugar shreds. It’s driven, fierce, and unrelentingly Electro. And did we mention abrasive? Because it’s that, too. Like most of KMFDM’s finest pieces.
“NO REGRET” is minimalist KMFDM at its’ best but mixed with Drum & Bass as Sascha K. delivers an incendiary vocal performance with a fiery scream. Cifarelli doesn’t show up vocally until “Oh My Goth” which is kind of like KMFDM’s take on a new Goth anthem a la “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” with the way the bass tones drive home a hypnotic pulse underneath. The song might be one of Cifarelli’s greatest yet as she delivers lines like “I’m the Queen of Hell and I burn for you!” in both a sultry and sexy way culminating with this wicked scream bringing to mind classic Arthur Brown.
Those fans yearning for more Dance-oriented KMFDM tracks take note because “WDYWB” is a thumping, throbbing blast from the past ushered in by Cheryl Wilson of “Power” fame off XTORT. If there was an appropriate spot to drop the eye bulge emoji into this review, it would be in this space. Surprisingly, everyone’s favorite Lord of Lard does NOT make his grand reappearance on “PIGGY” (We’ll get to the <PIG> mastermind’s return a little later) but instead fans are treated Living Colour’s Doug Wimbish who brings some funky bass on a fun track featuring some super cool Cifarelli vocal manipulations and Blacksugar bringing some classic guitar lines.
PARADISE is so chock full of stand outs that it’s hard to not talk about them all. Like the swirling Electro cacophony of “Disturb The Peace” which bounces as much as it batters or “AUTOMOTON” which is kind of like The Faint merged with Duran Duran’s “Blame the Machines” put into a blender with modern Devo, given a Metallic sheen and topped with Cifarelli’s trademark angelic sneer. “BINGE BOIL & BLOW” is the long awaited return from Raymond Watts, last gracing the hallowed halls of KMFDM over 16 years ago, and it does not disappoint! Watts brings his signature snarl to a track that is both triumphant and terrifying, offering up an Industrial kind of gospel from two legends who shouldn’t wait almost two decades to collaborate again.
I get excited for any KMFDM new music announcement and PARADISE got this reviewer especially excited when they announced the return of Watts but it was the inclusion of a new rendition of “MEGALOMANIAC” (The aptly titled “MEGALO”) which sealed the deal and sufficiently raised excitement levels to peak levels. Let me start off with this: Retreads can be tricky and, honestly, sound silly when trying to capture a certain feel if not done right. “MEGALO”, while not quite topping the original, is a fantastic beats and keys-propelled masterpiece all on its’ own. Destined to be celebrated in Dance clubs and not the mosh pits, the song conjures these magical synthetic worlds created within the Tron: Legacy score with its’ bleeps and boops that brim with electronic excitement. Finishing up, “NO GOOD” plays PARADISE out and ventures into Industrial Reggae territory wholeheartedly with a bouncing bravado as Sascha’s whispered vox lead KMFDM’s latest and greatest off into the sunset.
PARADISE is out through Metropolis Records on September 27th. Pre-orders are available now and can be checked out in various formats by clicking here and here. For the latest on KMFDM, follow them on the socials over here and here.