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Megaherz - "5" (CD)

Megaherz - "5" CD cover image

"5" track listing:

1. Dein Herz Schlagt
2. Gottlich
3. Ja Genau
4. Gott Sein '04
5. Wann Wirst Du Gehn?
6. Mach Dich Frei
7. Eigentlich
8. Zeig Mir, Dein Gesicht
9. Ebbe & Flut
10. Komm Ruber (Schattenland)
11. Weiter
12. Es Tut Weh
13. Augenblick

Reviewed by on April 30, 2006

"Megaherz is just as comfortable churning out a ballad as a crushing anthem. "

It’s hard to review a band like Megaherz without bringing up their fellow countrymen Rammstein. Both bands enjoy thunderous riffs, militant rhythms and ominous but dramatic vocals. What does set Megaherz apart however, is a curiosity and boldness to explore a sonic template that even Rammstein might consider challenging. The latest album from Megaherz entitled “5”, is a glossy slab of crunch and melody that should satiate even the most discerning industrial fan.

Album opener “Dein Herz Schlagt” builds slowly with a Morse code like electronic chirping that collides headlong into a wall of guitars. New vocalist Mathias Elsholz sounds like the sinister doppelganger of Rammstein front man Till Lindemann, ranting viciously in the verses and singing mightily in the chorus. “Gottlich” is catchy and dense, practically spilling over with hooks, it also borrows a riff from “I’m with Stupid” by Static-X. Electronics are buried in the mix at all times and are brought to the fore when the guitar and bass assault relent. “Ja Genau” is so rhythmic that it could easily be reworked into a rave staple. A drum and bass loop hold the verse together while synthesizers hum and keen, generating suspense for a chorus so epic it would fit well into an action movie. Tolling bells and mournful keys open the catchy but confrontational “Gott Sein ‘04”. This song bears all the earmarks of a Rammstein radio single: Punchy drums, grinding guitars and a mix of growling and clean singing. The chorus sounds as if it is sung by a church choir. The guitar bombast stops only for a spoken word interlude and the crooning of a single female vocalist, indeed a haunting moment. “Komm Ruber” channels the eerie urgency of “Darkest Days” era Stabbing Westward but the vocals sound absolutely monstrous, at times even deranged. The song makes for good neighbor scaring music. “Augenblick” is without a doubt the albums greatest oddity. Delicate vocals are set against a drum machine beat, a glistening harp line and a subdued string section. This song sounds like nothing else on the album. It is a vulnerable and heartfelt piece, and it is a brilliant way to close such a schizophrenic album.

The strongest selling point of “5" is that it’s an industrial metal album that blatantly challenges the genre on almost every song, welcoming a countless array of styles. Elements of trip-hop, classical, dance, ambient, goth metal and world music permeate the industrial bombardment. Their new vocalist is certainly one of their greatest strengths as well. Elsholz implements a slew of voices; alternately sounding like Trevor Hurst of Econoline Crush, Till Lindemann of Rammstein, and Sully Erna of Godsmack. The vast majority of the lyrics are sung exclusively in German, much like Rammstein as well. Fans of Mushroomhead’s varied but pop-sensible chaos would find a lot to like in this album. Megaherz is just as comfortable churning out a ballad as a crushing anthem and this will work for them in the long run.

Highs: Diversity. Megaherz tackle songs of all speeds and degrees of heaviness. The band utilize all of their resources to great effect.

Lows: A pair of filler tracks ( “Wann Wirst Du Gehn?” and “Weiter”) that pale next to the songs around them.

Bottom line: “5” is a solid album that breathes life into a sometimes stagnant genre.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)