Stahlmann – CO2

stahlmann-co2

Most Metal bands prefer to sing in English, which is why it is always nice for a German fan to come across a German Metal band that sings in German. I’m not sure how this is perceived outside of Germany, but the success of another German Industrial Metal band that shall remain unnamed here indicate that there is a certain international appeal about this particular combination. Maybe it is the harsh sound of the German language? If you are not acquainted with the German language, then try saying “a apple” instead of “an apple”. Something like that is perfectly normal for Germans.

But back to Stahlmann. There sure is a lot of appeal about Stahlmann, which is due to the fact that Stahlmann manages to combine all the elements that Industrial Metal is so well known for. There is, for instance, that certain stomping beat that will surely motivate many fans to start a dance floor instead of a Mosh Pit (“Deutschland tanzt”). Also, the synthesizer takes on a very dominant role throughout the whole album, while the guitar parts focus on supporting the songs with various riffs. And yes, this means hardly any guitar solos. The guitarist still gets his chance for a solo (“Die Klinge”), but this is an exception and not the rule on this album. If you find this off putting, then you’ll really want to pass on this one.

SM_CO2_P01

Another thing that I find noteworthy about the album is the underlying machismo, which reminds me a lot of Manowar, but which is still much less cartoonish and much more ‘real’. In fact, it is uncomfortably real at times. The song “Sadist”, for instance, is about a full blown sadist who gets off on strangling his more than willing victim to the brink of death. I am not sure how you feel about this subject, but it surely made me feel uncomfortable. But this not the only form of (self-)destruction on this album. The song “Die Klinge” is about self-harm, about cutting yourself to find relief from emotional pain through actual physical pain. The song “Friss mich” is similar in nature, but this time, the theme is about a man who enjoys being the prey in a hunt that escalates in him being eaten alive – lustfully. So yes, there’s a certain theme here, namely “love and pain”, or “lust and pain”, or maybe “lust through pain”? The boarders between these words blur quite a bit with Stahlmann.

This lyrical brutality is also what makes German bands like Stahlmann so interesting for German fans. We are simply not used to hear this kind of unapologetic brutality in our native language and this pushes a couple of buttons that are hardly ever activated. But it is not just that. Stahlmann’s often brutal German lyrics are also much more likely to provoke non Metal fans who just happen to hear you blasting the album. Art? Cathartic effect? Better prepare yourself for the fact that most non Metal fans will not get this. But then, so what? Heavy Metal has always been provocative and Stahlmann fits right in!

Tracklist:

1. Feindflug
2. Plasma
3. Deutschland tanzt
4. Die Klinge
5. Sadist
6. Friss mich
7. Spiegelbild
8. Wenn Engel tanzen
9. Der letzte Tag
10. Nimm meine Hand

Playing time: 37:30

Release date: 28 Aug, 2015

Label: AFM

Website: Stahlmann (Facebook)

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