I won't lie to you -- I was looking forward to ATTAK
. A lot. Perhaps that's while I'm a little disappointed by it.
Make no mistake, this is KMFDM. All the essential elements are in place: buzzsaw guitars, bombastic keyboards, ultra-heavy beats and Sascha Konietzko's growling/oily vocals, backed/augmented by a female diva (Lucia Ciafarelli, this time around). If anything, the music is more intense than ever; longtime fans may hate to admit it, but KMFDM's fan-base includes a lot of nu-metal lovers, and they'll be well catered-to here.
However, despite the rabble-rousing vocals and churning riffs, something isn't quite right. There's a crucial element missing -- and I think it's the band's sense of fun. Their previous albums concealed a surprising measure of wry humor, and there's not much of that humor on display here. Where once you could picture them wearing broad, mocking grins as they made their music -- as if laughing at the very fact that listeners enjoyed their work -- they seem to be going through the motions here.
Furthermore, as the major label guys might say, I don't hear a single. This is significant; most KMFDM albums have two or three obvious standout tracks that become part of the broader KMFDM canon, but nothing on ATTAK distinguishes itself to that degree. "Skurk", "Urban Monkey Warfare" and "Risen" come close, as do a few others, albeit briefly, but there's no big impact -- the quality is uniform, but below par.
Is this how KMFDM will play out the remainder of their career -- rehashing past glories to dwindling effect? (Non-fans would doubtless insist that they've been doing this since the early nineties.) They wouldn't be the first band to do this, even within the bounds of their own genre, but somehow I expected better of them. I hope they've got more left in them than this.