For forty years now, KMFDM has solidified themselves as pioneers of Industrial Rock. An international act, led by Founder/Vocalist Sascha Konietzko, the current band consists of Vocalist/Keyboardist Lucia Cifarelli, Drummer Andy Selway, along with Guitarist Andee Blacksugar. Relatively consistent with this teaming for the better part of two decades now, they have toured regularly and put out a mass of full-length albums in the process. Last releasing Hyëna in 2022, now in 2024 the prolific KMFDM return with Let Go.
Their twenty-third studio album since forming back in 1984, Let Go sticks with the five letter title that KMFDM has often played with for other releases through the years. Set to arrive on February 2nd through Metropolis Records, if you have listened to KMFDM before, you kind of know what to expect. Furthermore, if you have enjoyed their mix of Industrial, EBM, and Alternative Rock, then you will more than likely enjoy what Let Go has to offer.
And to anyone that is new to KMFDM, all that can be said is – how in the world did you miss them after four decades? The answer could be that while KMFDM is a well-known name – standing for Kein Mitleid für die Mehrheit (which translates to no pity for the majority) – they are still very much underground. Difficult to imagine after all this time, it is a testament to them that while they have made an undeniable mark on the music scene, they have still stayed true to who they are.
With Let Go they give you eleven songs, beginning with the single and title-track; which is a fast and thriving cut that is almost reminiscent of Ministry. Filled with energy, this song will cause your adrenaline level to rise and give you a good push for the album and what is yet to come. Speaking of, what a coincidence, because the following song is called “Push!” Beginning with a snippet from a movie scene, its sound lifts off in a thick Industrial guitar groove before “Next Move” and “Airhead” kind of fade into each other; as the one ending sounds similar to the others beginning. Well done, this once again proves that KMFDM are mastering the art of transitions. Also, it should be stated that “Airhead” is also one of the more amusing and nostalgic songs of the entire album.
Moving forward, there is also “Erkönig”; which is an interpretation of the old German ballad by Poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. A tragic story of a mother and father losing their child, KMFDM translates it into a song that has a beautiful, catchy melody behind the Industrial atmosphere. That said, it is an interesting interpretation of a piece of poetry that probably every German child had to learn in school.
Then there is “WW 2023,” the most political song of the album… which is also expected for KMFDM. On every album you can find at least one very political song, and although other songs on Let Go do carry some political hints as well, the interruption of each of them may depend on the individual listener.
Overall, Let Go is filled with electronic, steady beats, heavy guitars, and well-balanced shared vocals between Konietzko and Cifarelli. The lyrics are varying, but heavy on storytelling with German and English sung, rapped and spoken parts; both mixing seriousness and sarcasm. So, you have a bit of everything on this album, but as always… beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Recommended for long-time KMFDM fans and those who are curious, Cryptic Rock gives Let Go 4 out of 5 stars.