CD: Steinklang SK37 [2006]

Dies Irae / ...Als Ich Starb
Nicht Kälte Mehr
Jenseits - Himmel
Der Tod Nagelt Die Augen Zu
Wohin Die Pferde Ziehn

"Oradour" was my first introduction to the music of Stahlwerk 9 [read review here[. Forgetting about any compilation appearances of course. Since that review I‚ve become a bit of convert. I‚ve gone out and bought as much of the back catalogue as possible. Some releases have been hard to track down. Impossible even. I‚ll get them eventually though. Happens all the time with acts I start collecting. If nothing else this proves that reviewers do actually pay for their music just like everyone else. We don't all live in 'freebie' land.

"Der tod nagelt die augen zu..." is a 5 track 47 minutes release of untypical Stahlwerk 9 sounds. Not that I'm in anyway whingeing. I find the eclectic mix of early Industrial influences combined with dark ambient / power electronic music a fascinating combination and one very easy to get into. You should try getting your head around some of the weirder stuff I have to review. Highly charged and atmospheric. That's the order of the day. We start with a religious chanting piece, with assorted screams, that soon builds up a head of steam of blackest electronics and gruff vocals. The scene has been set. Strap yourself in and sit right back. The ride ahead will be a thrill kill of epic nightmarish proportions. The music pounds away for the rest of the recording. Some slight melodic touches are introduced. The electronics sometimes flutter into lighter spheres but there‚s always the veiled threat behind that facade. The vocals are despondent in their delivery. Blackness be my best friend is what "Der tod nagelt die augen zu..." is all about. Brooding and dense sounds abound in a nihilistic approach that wants to crush your soul. The overall feel is utterly claustrophobic. The walls are closing in with no way out. The lights have long since been snuffed out. The only company at hand is your own inner fears. Welcome to the sounds of futility and despair.

If you were to nit pick. If you were to be brutally harsh you could say that there isn't anything really innovative to be found within "Der tod nagelt die augen zu..." - and you would be right. For once. I've lost count of the releases that have covered and crossed similar territory before. The whole "lets play with the dark side" has been around for... well... ages. I still enjoyed it though. The departure from the norm was a welcome change. As a fan of dark ambient / power noise releases this was as a pleasurable experience as any other . If nothing else it will sell well thanks to all the avid collectors of Stahlwerk 9 work. Myself included.

Footnote. A special mention for Steinklang Records. As I near the end of my tenure as reviewer on Aural Pressure one of the things I found most admirable from this record label, music apart, was the way they always sent out the full product for review. Not for them a cheap reproduction CDR and photocopied cover. They realised the importance of creating a bond between label and reviewing website and have always maintained this professional approach with everything they sent in for review. Even if they received a bad review they never complained and still sent material in. They set the standards that other labels would be best to follow. I salute and thank you.



Direct Link:

Other Reviews:

Stahlwerk 9: [Oradour]
Stahlwerk 9 / Rasthof Dachau: [The Final Resistance]

Our Steinklang Page