1995, Music

Nihil (1995) by KMFDM

So I don’t like KMFDM. And I’m starting to think I know why. But my general dislike of a band always makes it kind of hard to fairly review them. This record seems to be the consensus best or second best of their career. But I do not like what they do here. I gave a glowing review to Angst because I accidentally thought it was released in 1988 rather than 1983 (long story), and thought it was great for how modern it sounded. But everything else I’ve listened to of theirs – all later records, and less metal to my ears – really rubs me the wrong way. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad, of course. It’s just not for me.

When I first heard Angst I felt like the lack of seriousness from this band was an asset. It should be an asset. But, to me the lack of seriousness – which I interpreted as fun when it was paired with loud enough industrial metal – now comes across as camp in their more accessible, dancier records. And I must say, I don’t love camp unless it is really, really over the top or paired with music I legitimately like. And, well, I don’t like industrial dance. It doesn’t do much for me.

I guess this isn’t as dancy as their later records – it’s not categorized as industrial dance by RYM, for example – but it’s still noticeably dancier – and campier – than their earlier albums, and earlier electro-industrial, or whatever you want to label it. And with the metal noticeably reduced from Angst it’s easy for someone like me – who does not like this genre – to focus on the slicker dancier sound rather than what might strike others as “metal”.

But I can’t say it’s bad – it does what it sets out to do, which is to make industrial metal danceable. If that’s your thing, great. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this album. (After all, when is camp not part of dance music with vocals?)


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