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I haven’t been overly-impressed with Oomph!’s latest stuff. GlaubeLiebeTod was their weakest in a while, Delikatessen was just a best of, and even Augen Auf, save for the title track, wasn’t horribly exciting. With their latest album, Monster, which continues the all-German-all-the-time trend started with Augen Auf, they have returned to their roots a little. Most of the songs are really enjoyable, in the vein of something from Ego or Plastik. The electronics are a little more subdued, the guitars shine through, Dero’s singing his heart out… a solid listen beginning to end. The slower “Auf Kurs” is a nice repreive between the predominantly hard-rocking tracks, and “Labyrinth” is simply fucking awesome! The album is maybe not quite as creepy and disturbing as parts of Unrein, but it comes a bit closer. I don’t have much more to say, Oomph!’s weaker albums aren’t that bad, really, and this is certainly one of the better ones. If your exposure to German hard rock (Neue Deutche Härte) is limited to Rammstein, please find some Oomph! right now.
So, I’m not sure if I should start with some old favorites first or what, so I’ve just decided to go with what I’m listening to right now. Typically, I “acquire” some music and put in my foobar retagging playlist. It stays there while I listen to it a few times and decide I like it, make sure there are no crazy glitches from encoding, etc. Currently, my main playlist has 2,308 songs, and my retagging list has 867! I’m a little behind in evaluations, but some of that in retagging is well over a year old and I never got into it… I should just dump it.
Now I find myself listening to something for evaluation. Of course, the title kills the suspense, I’m listening to the debut from German band Eichenschild, a nice folk rock album from 2000 called Mondscheinlegenden. It’s definitely not folk metal, which is probably why it has lingered so long in my eval list. After just a couple prior listens, I find that I remember a few of the tracks, which is always good. I’d call this a mix between Schelmish and Morgenstern, if that helps at all. Several times I’ve thought this sounds very much like something from Morgenstern’s Feuertaufe, but with more energy, and less… I don’t know… camp? Morgenstern makes me feel like a dork, like I should be wearing chain mail and being a flaming medieval reenacter, or a LARP dweeb throwing verbal lightning bolts and what not.
Maybe it’s the production on the disc. It’s not the greatest, and like Feuertaufe, it sounds a little hollow and tinny. But, that’s not all bad, it makes it feel a little more authentic. Certainly In Extremo‘s later and overly-polished efforts don’t feel like authentic anything. At any rate, Mondscheinlegenden is a keeper. If you like slightly more traditional sounding folk, but are ok with some modern elements, you’ll probably enjoy this. Standout tracks right now are “Hexennacht”, “Letzter Gesang” and “Thorin von Eichenschild”. Best of all, this one’s a freebie, download it from their website and enjoy.