TAINA hail from Bremen and play glorious, industrial rock. Seelenfresser is their debut. The sound that covers the album is what you’d expect: hard-hitting, crispy hard rock / borderline metal riffs laid on top of (and at times under) synthesizers, processed but pronounced drums, good old bass and German lyrics delivered at a somewhat low pitch, slick production values. While TAINA offer nothing new, their focus is more on doing what they do well, and boy, do they do it well.
Just to say this straight out the gate: this thing bites.
Now, industrial rock isn’t an easy blend. Most bands either skim on the industrial or the rock. It is very rare to find a band that strikes a perfect equilibrium between the two, which is where TAINA shines. Seelenfresser in general is an album where the delicate balance between hard-hitting rock and dance floor worthy industrial are married to one another. It succeeds because the sound play these influences off of one another rather than against. A good example would be Folge Mir that uses fuses its main riff to synthesized embellishments, at times even making the keyboards and the guitars compete and complete one another. The end result is something that has real impact.
Speaking of, Seelenfresser has energy, and true energy at that. Never once do songs struggle, even rather mid-tempo songs like Perfekte Dunkelheit retain a firm grounding in move-your-body edge (despite being rather morose compared to the rest of the album.) This creates a sense of pure, unabashed fun that permeates through the album and bleeds out of the speakers. It’s not hard to get into the album, nor is it at all unnatural to find yourself bobbing along to the jumpier, more club-ready songs like Allein or Pseudogott.
Another huge plus is that Seelenfresser has impeccable flow. The songs whiz on by and from the balls-to-the-wall opening of Schrei Nicht to the wonderfully energetic closer Alles Endet Hier, everything fits together and moves forward flawlessly. There are no mis-steps, no songs that sound like they belong to some other album. Special mention goes to Alles Endet Hier for leaving you hungry for more.
On the downside corner, however, you have the typical pitfalls of such albums: the slick and polished production may sound overdone at times. Another possible downside is that TAINA doesn’t exactly bring something new to the table – despite several attempts to slip past the bonds of industrial rock, the designation applies to a t. This is also reflected in the lyrical content, which covers, pretty much, the typical themes and topics. Also, the album is rather short, standing at 8 standard tracks and some change (although it could be argued that it does an excellent job of not overstaying its welcome.)
Seelenfresser doesn’t put on airs or pretends to be something it isn’t, and so succeeds where so many seem to fail. Both fans of industrial rock and those looking to broaden their horizons may get a kick out of this. Highly recommended.
WoLand – Vocals & Synths,
SerZh – Guitars
Hannes – Drums
Marcel – Bass
01. Schrei Nicht
03. Teil von Mir
04. Folge Mir
05. Perfekte Dunkelheit
08. Alles Endet Hier
09. Seelenfresser (Zardonic remix)
10. Devil-M – Savior Self (TAINA remix)
Note: This review is mainly based on the first eight tracks of the album. I am definitely not a fan of industrial albums containing ten thousand remixes after the main event, nor do I particularly like bands remixing or covering other bands’ songs at the end of their albums (exceptions do not disprove the rule.) Also, while the Devil – M remix by TAINA is a welcome addition to the album, I don’t think a more-electronic-less-rock version of Seelenfresser (an already good song) actually works.