Top 10 KMFDM AlbumsJun 30, 2012 Write an essay on this topic.
The Bottom Line KMFDM has offered fans a variety of different music, hard edged music over the years and are worth checking out if you have not done so already.
KMFDM (Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid) are a German industrial band that have enjoyed a long and eventful musical career and are often credited by many of helping popularize industrial music to mainstream audiences. KMFDM reached their peak popularity in the 90’s, but have released several great albums prior to as well as post that decade. Undergoing several lineup changes, the one constant member throughout everything is Sascha Konietzko. He plays a variety of different instruments and is the lead vocalist of the group, often giving the music an additional edge to it. One thing that always separated KMFDM from other contemporary industrial bands of their time was their ability to transcend music genres. KMFDM has the capability to sound like a metal band, an electronica group, an industrial band, reggae influenced rock group, and can even border on techno/dance at times. KMFDM has released numerous albums since their debut, but here is a look at their ten greatest.
10. Hau Ruck – After the release of the group’s hard edged album WWIII in 2003, 2005’s Hau Ruck followed along in a similar fashion. Hau Ruck is a hard hitting punch to the gut demonstrated by the fiery opening track Free Your Hate. Slow deep vocals guide the verse as the chorus bursts with anger all while the guitars remains authoritative throughout. Ready To Blow dabbles with distortion and the group’s more electronic side of music while the title track Hau Ruck features a head bobbing chorus that keeps the song marching onward. Real Thing is also one of my favorite songs off the album because of its ability to change the pace of the album and show that the group is not afraid to diversify musically on this record. After the musical battlefield that Hau Ruck has led listeners through, Real Thing is a refreshingly mellow drum based surprise with soothing guitar and synthesizers to boot. Lucia is awesome on this track and is most certainly worth a listen as her vocals are soft yet full of attitude. One criticism I have heard though is that this album and WWIII have too many similarities between them. Aside from being heavy and aggressive, the music contains enough variation between the two that they do not sound like carbon copies of one another. This album was made during their “auto-pilot” years, however I feel Hau Ruck is superior to WWIII and not too shabby of an album.
Favorite song: Free Your Hate
9. Adios – Released in 1999, this album was suppose to be the group’s farewell album from their old record label, and almost the entire music scene under the KMFDM name (hence the title). Fortunately, this was not the case. Adios is a polarizing album amongst fans and is often referred as one of the worst, if not THE worst, album KMFDM has released. Obviously I disagree, and with legitimate reasons. First of all, I am a huge fan of Tim Skold and this album sees him contributing more to it than any other album he has collaborated on with the group. His vocals are a welcomed addition and match the band’s new musical direction and style on this album. My second reason for liking this album is that it explores the more electronic/club sounding side of KMFDM’s sound which is a large reason why this album received mixed opinions. Songs like Today, R.U.O.K?, and Rubicon really exemplify the electronic elements that are highlighted on this disc while other songs like Full Worm Garden (feat. Ogre of Skinny Puppy) and Adios are more reminiscent of the band’s previous work. Skold’s depressed and subdued vocals sound beautiful against the electronics and are just one of the reasons that this album is an underrated gem by the group.
Favorite song: Full Worm Garden
8. UAIOE – Meant to be pronounced as a scream sounding noise (according to the then-guitarist En Esch), UAIOE is a very unique release in the KMFDM discography. Featuring Morgan Adjei on vocals on a majority of the songs, KMFDM continue to make their rock/industrial/electric fusion of music but with a new twist. Morgan’s vocals are reggae based (as he is Jamaican) and brings yet another element into KMFDM’s experimental music. Sascha still contributes a fair amount of dirty vocals himself on this album and the two vocalist sing about “ripping the system,” murder, and pot during this 33 minute punk adventure. I hesitate to use the word punk because KMFDM are in no way (and have never been) a punk group, but in a lyrical sense this album treads familiar waters of other groups such as Rage Against The Machine. I might as well say it now, they are also not a reggae group either but there is just a strong influence of that style of music on this album. Regardless, this album is probably there most underrated in their discography (more so than Adios) for its unconventional sound and not always favorable experimentation music wise. I personally love it’s originality from hard rocking songs like Thumb, Thumb and En Esch to the more chill Ganja Rock and Murder. UAIOE and Red Stripe will teach KMFDM’s white fans how to dance for many years to come, mon!
Favorite song: Rip The System (Duck & Cover Mix)
7. WTF?! – Released in 2011, WTF!? Is the group’s seventeenth studio album in an already impressive careers worth of music. The question on the minds of many fans and critics were, “Can this group still rock out while remaining fresh?” The answer, quite simply, is yes. Boasting energetic songs like Lynchmob, Rebels In Kontrol, and Amnesia are sure to have listeners jumping around and dancing wildly. Lucia has a solid performance in the song Take It Like A Man and album’s closing song Death & Burial Of C.R. is just plain creepy at certain points. Sascha’s voice is still intimidating and wails on the albums noisy pipe bomb of a song, Krank. The album contains a balanced approach of guitar, synthesizers, distorted/clean vocals, and electronics to create a record that will please fans from various eras of the band. The group even records a song that is sung in Italian on this release! Age has apparently treated KMFDM well as this is one of their better (and also one of the most accessible) albums in their entire catalogue. This song could easily move up as high as #5 on this list depending on the type of mood I am in when I give WTF?! a listen.
Favorite song: Rebels In Kontrol
6. Xtort – Following KMFDM’s album Nihil, Xtort was released in 1996 and is as aggressive as it is danceable. This album was the very first KMFDM album I ever listened to and is the reason I became a fan of the group in the first place. With songs like Power, Craze, Son Of A Gun, and Dogma, it is hard to leave this album out of my top five albums; but that should say a lot about my top five picks as well. Power opens with an energetic guitar riff, harsh vocals, and women singing “we’ve got the power” during the chorus to get listener’s blood pumping right away. This song is an instant standout on the album and the song is only the beginning. Dogma is a spoken word track over an electronic beat that features Nicole Blackman on vocals. Her ideals and viewpoints are cleverly written and hold a good deal of replay value. Craze is an all out scream fest that pummels listeners until a robotic sounding chorus creates an uneasy calm to its frantic tone. Son Of A Gun may be the album’s best track with heavy guitars, distorted electronic vocals (male and female), a danceable beat that varies in tempo, and a catchy chorus. Everything about this song is pretty choice. This is an excellent place to start off listening to KMFDM for new or curious listeners. Don’t forget about the hidden track on the album either!
Favorite song: Son Of A Gun
5. Angst – Often listed as a fan favorite (and sometimes as the group’s best album depending on who you ask), Angst is when KMFDM first really experimented with fast paced metal guitars. At times the group can sound similar to their German counterparts Rammstein, however I can’t remember Rammstein doing anything as interesting as Angst. The album’s opening song titled Light puts KMFDM’s guitar work on display early and gives the listeners a taste of what is to come. A Hole In The Wall further shows off the group’s impressive guitar playing and contains lyrics that are dirty, yet funny. Blood (Evil Mix) is possibly the angriest song on the album and is filled with Sascha’s distorted intense vocals soaring over a steady drum pattern. This song is probably KMFDM at their most industrial on this album. A Drug Against War has quickly become one of the group’s most popular songs ever. Boasting furious guitar work and self-referencing lyrics that the group is known for, this song may be the best one off of the entire album. Angst also includes a song titled Sucks which does anything but. In the song, the band mocks themselves and anyone/anything else they feel like talking about. The lyrics are hilarious and the music itself is enjoyable. “KMFDM sucks” has quickly become a saying that fans use to show their appreciation towards the band (think Primus). Their 1993 release, Angst, is by far one of the group’s most enjoyable efforts to date.
Favorite song: A Drug Against War
4. Money – Shortly after my first KMFDM experience with their album Xtort, I decided to dig further into their musical catalogue and landed upon Money. Money, the band’s sixth album, is very different than any other album in their discography. Money mixes a combination of danceable electronic music (less techno-ish then Adios), distorted vocals, and some of Sacha’s best lyrics concerning money (obviously) and religion. The title track Money is hands down the best song on the album and one of the best of the band’s career. Sacha sings in a rap-like fashion about education, drugs, and money while an electric loop beat and guitar come in behind him. Help Us, Save Us, Take Us Away and Sex On The Flag are also very enjoyable songs that are led by dance beats and fun lyrics. There are even five songs at the end of the album that have been remixed from this and previous albums as an additional treat! While this is one of my favorite albums by KMFDM, fans of the band’s heavier sound should be warned that they will not find it on this album and should instead look to Nihil, Angst, Xtort, or Hau Ruck.
Favorite song: Money
3. Symbols – After the success of the previous two, more aggressive albums (Nihil and Xtort), KMFDM released an album that was not as metal oriented and whose title was comprised of various symbols (dubbed the album’s name). Returning to a more electronic approach with guitars, synth, and distorted vocals still intact; Symbols is easily one of the best albums that KMFDM has released. With guest appearances by Tim Skold and Ogre (Skinny Puppy), this album is packed with industrial flavor as their vocals blend seamlessly into the digitized soundscape. While there are no bad tracks, the first three songs took me a while to fully enjoy (Stray Bullet is even one of their most popular songs). However, with songs like the relaxed Mercy, the hard rocking Anarchy, and the glitchy bipolar beauty that is Waste, this album certainly packs a punch. Once again, Tim Skold contributes excellent vocals (only on Anarchy for this album) as does Ogre (on Torture), making those two songs two of the better ones off of Symbols. This is not KMFDM’s heaviest work, but it is certainly an enjoyable step towards their more electronic sound which would fully be developed on their following album, Adios. Symbols is a great introductory album to the group.
Favorite song: Anarchy
2. Nihil – Without a doubt KMFDM’s heaviest album they have ever made, the group became a name that was now being mentioned in the same breath as NIN and Ministry. From the very first song Ultra, KMFDM gets down to business with Raymond’s deep voice snarling over a simple yet effective guitar strum pattern. “And when you peel back my eyes/ I see the pain of my own life” Raymond whispers during the breakdown as this KMFDM classic concludes and listeners are properly introduced to Nihil. Flesh wastes no time hurling listeners amongst head banging riffs, raspy vocals, and thunderous drum beats. The song builds a full head of steam by the end of each verse and unleashes itself during a foot stomping chorus. Search and Destroy might be my favorite song on the album with its thrash guitar rhythm and some of my favorite lyrics on any KFMDM song. “Will we close our eyes - Will we fall for those lies/ Or will we make the conclusion / That this life's a delusion.” There are even momentary breaks from the chaos on songs like “Juke Joint Jezebel,” a song that introduced many fans to the group in the first place after its appearance in the Mortal Kombat movie. I’d be willing to say this album is their most popular among fans and critics and for good reason; everyone in the group is really on the top of their game on this record.
Favorite song: Search & Destroy
1. Naïve – Yes, that’s right. My number one KMFDM album that I’ve built up, with little anticipation, is their fifth studio release titled Naïve. This record contains everything I love about this group. Musically, it is all over the place ranging from dance/electronic (Die Now, Live Later), harsh German spoken industrial (Liebeslied), sludge rock (Piggybank), and borderline metal (Godlike). Their song Virus is a dark, yet enjoyably song about the spread of HIV making it a good lyrical addition to the album. Also, the song Go To Hell seems to describe a soldier invading foreign countries and sleeping/raping the women of the nation’s he has conquered. This description could also be linked to the album’s cover art and is another lyrically strong song on Naive. As if I couldn’t praise this album more, Naive also contains my favorite song by KMFDM, Piggybank. The lyrics are the dark and twisted thoughts of a stalker as he longs to be with an unnamed woman. Sascha’s voice and creepy lyrics play off of the rhythm guitar wonderfully and is a song anyone who remotely likes this group needs to hear. This is without a doubt my pick for the best album that the group has ever released. As the intro track Welcome says, “Welcome to the world of KMFDM!”
Favorite song: Piggybank
Top three songs by KMFDM: Piggybank, Anarchy, Money
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