Megaherz – “Erdwärts” EP (Napalm Records)
If you’re into Neue Deutsche Härte, the Germanic sub genre of Industrial metal, then Megaherz will no doubt be a name from the mid 90s. Enduring numerous line up changes over the years with only long time members Christian ‘X-Ti’ Bystron on guitar and bassist Wenz Weninger being the familiar names, the style hasn’t shifted much with the trademark baritone Germanic vocals now provided by Alexander `Lex´ Wohnhaas to accompany the hammering beats of the appropriately named ‘Bam Bam’ Wiehler! Following on from the success of last year’s “Zombieland”, and as a taster for their German tour in January 2016 release comes this EP, which offers 4 brand new songs and 2 re-workings that go back to the “Kopfschuss” album in ‘Teufel’ and ‘Jordan’! Opening up with the hammering ‘Wer hat Angst vor’m Schwarzen Mann‘ complete with sick playground melody and Atari jingle seems appropriate for the subject of a chaotic and fearful world, although ‘Ist das Verrückt‘ is thankfully a lot more mellower with its dark, programmed Americanised soundscape with Lex singing in between his hoarse shout outs. Things lighten up for ‘Glorreiche Zeiten‘ offering an anthemic singalong wanting to strengthen dreamers to fulfill their biggest dreams through a massed soundscape of uplifting keyboards and guitars, while on ‘Einsam‘ (‘Lonely‘) brooding Lex is joined by a tender female vocalist for a ballad telling of a relationship breakdown through its heartfelt piano and atmospheric keyboards and guitars. However, just to prove how far have come in almost 20 years, ‘Teufel’ now has a somewhat faster almost dance beat with plenty of keyboard melodies and a far more refined and smoother approach compared to its darker and more hollow sounding original – now that’s what I call a re-work! But even better has to be ‘Jordan’, which is about crossing the river i.e. to die, which in its original form was a full on, metallized song with heavy riffs and a subdued piano hinting at the east, but now has been smartly reversed by having full on middle eastern female wailings driven by a pumping dance beat exuding cool blackness and Lex’s baritones lacing it slickly – cool, very cool indeed!