Released: 2014, Awesome Kickass Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
I'll be first to admit I don't often "look back" when reviewing music. I tend to stick to the current and upcoming releases, it benefits my mindset while looking forward at the same time. It's narrow minded, but it's a habit I use to find the best music I can every year. I'm always looking for that next 'big' release of the year and generally speaking I'm not going to find those albums by looking into the few albums I missed "last year".To Alien To The System's credit they must have found me in the right mindset (or more accurately my editor dropped this on me at the right time) because here I am, writing this review for an album that deserves consideration no matter the year we're in.
Alien To The System's 'Kraftwerk'is a 48 minute exercise in groove metal, occasionally adding little nuances of death metal to culminate in an all out headbanging affair.It's got a certain appeal for those who will wait for a rhythmic drop in a riff and from a listening stand point, Alien To The System rely on their fans to wait for every little half-time, riff focused section of music to get them over the line. It's like a sonic "piggy back" to the end of the album. This creates some simple problems as far as 'Kraftwerk' is concerned. There's no verbose technicality to be found within tracks, no unique flair that would see the band reach stellar heights but it doesn't hinder the band's core execution levels. 'Kraftwerk' misses out on all the flamboyant arpeggio runs and typical wankery that modern day bands look for. It's simple no frills metal, maintaining just enough melody to keep things interesting. Under all the rhythm guitar and ballsy snare hits lies a few subtle notes that really flesh out the rest of the album (see: 'Der Aufstand'). Crunchy guitar tones meet typical triplet picking, coupled with harsh vocal passages. It's nothing extraordinary but it works for every listener not looking to be challenged every second of the album.
For those not fluent in German certain lyrical boundaries are challenged, but only go as far as context. If you can look past the lyric sheet and just enjoy the album for what it "is", rather than what it "could" be, you'll be rewarded by the experience. Overall 'Kraftwerk' brings the right amount of heavy making Alien To The System's 2014 release worth multiple listens.