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Einstrzende Neubauten

Perpetuum Mobile (Mute)

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Where does an industrial-noise innovator like Einstrzende Neubauten go after setting off one of the biggest klangkriegs in musical history? Why, it simply turns tempered angst inward and taps into its Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits veins. Nobody could maintain the intensity these wizened Germans harnessed throughout the '80s and early '90s. Witness what happened to the band's kindred spirit Swans, which mellowed out something awful in less than a decade. But with its eleventh album, Perpetuum Mobile, Einstrzende Neubauten melds tenured songwriting with the sort of odd instrumentation (e.g., Pythagorean tube bells), vocal loops and electronic manipulations that excite avant-gardists. These dark, trenchant songs prove Neubauten can age gracefully with only a trace of maudlin around the edges. Singer Bargeld's voice is basically shot, but his more nuanced delivery lends Mobile a subliminal intensity that complements the disc's cinematic splendor and chilling beauty.

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