Looking like a cross between Mushroomhead and Mutter era Rammstein, Ost+Front (Eastern Front) are a Germen industrial metal band formed in Berlin in 2009. Having released their first single Fleisch (Meat) in 2011, their debut album Ave Maria is being released on Sept 10th this year (2012) through Out Of Line.
Being an industrial metal band from Germany, Ost+Front are inevitably going to result in comparisons to the undisputed kings of German industrial metal – Rammstein. And yes there are a number of tracks on this album that could have been recorded by the pyro masters. So tracks like Ich Liebe Es (I Love It), Heim Kind (Home Child) and Dein Kanal (Your Channel) hold no surprises. They are classic sounding tracks straight out of the Rammstein song book.
However there is definitely more to the band and this album than that.
Dawaj Dawaj (POLISH for Give Give) has an orchestral and choral sound to the choruses which lifts the song with tons of power, even though it is a deeply emotional song about loss.
Heimaterde (Native Soil/Land) is a cracking combination of AOR-esque 80’s synths and grinding guitars. The juxtaposition sounds strange but works. The synths add a strange dream like quality to the verses before the powerfully heavy choruses kick in.
Ein Alter Mann (An Old Man) is a deep dark song in the ilk of Marilyn Manson’s cover of Sweet Dreams. The keyboards lay down a eerie background to the song sounding like a wind up child’s toy which when added to the dark down tuned bass line gives a very intense track.
Along with the dark and heavy stuff Ost+Front also have a more tender side and it starts to seep out in track 1&1. If it wasn’t for the down tuned grinding guitars and the thunderous bass line, 1&1 could easily be a love song. However, when that track is back up against a true love song/ballad like Nur Fuer Dich (Only With You) it would have been too much.
Nur Fuer Dich is an amazingly beautiful song. The spoken lead vocals of the verses blend seamlessly with the choral backing vocals to provide a haunting sound that floats over the delicate string section.
Album closer Dunkellied (Dark Song) is exactly what is says it is. After all the heavy grinding industrial metal and the slower ballads in the middle Ost+Front close the album with this slow, dark intimidating song. The song conveys a sense of loneliness and isolation and this idea is echoed as the song ends with the sound of rain on sheet metal and the bark of a lone dog.
The production level on the album is outstanding. It is a really clean crisp clinically produced album. Ost+Front have written a brilliant album here, and regardless of the obvious comparisons to Rammstein it is still an enjoyable album to listen to.
So on reflection I’ll be awarding Ost+Front – Ave Marie 7.5/10.
Ave Marie is being released courtesy of Out Of Line on September 10th.
Track Listing –
- Ich Liebe Es
- Dawaj Dawaj
- Heimat Erde
- Ein Alter Mann
- Gang Bang
- Nur Fur Dich
- Dein Kanal
Ost +Front are –
Herrman Ostfront – Vocals
Gernhardt Von Bruh – Guitar
Siegfried Helm – Guitar
Wilhelm Rotlauf – Bass
Eva Edelweiss – Keyboards & Percussion
Fritz Knacker – Drums