Germany’s gothic-industrial-metal outfit OOMPH! drops Ritual on January 18.

Made up of Crap (guitar, keyboards), Dero (vocals, drums), and Flux (sampling), OOMPH! challenges pressing topics such as war, abuse, and politics on Ritual. Dero describes the album as “Our most aggressive, heaviest, and darkest album in a while.”

With a sound blending elements of electronic body music, industrial and metal rock, and new wave, the band pushes its innovative music to the brink of edginess without tumbling over the threshold into sonic oblivion.

Ritual comprises 11 tracks starting off with “Tausend Mann und ein Befehl,” a dark, heavy, pounding tune with industrial flavors and flowing, orchestral keyboards. Thick, rasping vocals infuse the tune with surging, ominous colors.

The best tracks on the album include “Achtung! Achtung!,” which rides a potent, nu-metal energy with baroque, Queen-like vocals overhead. In fact, the tune is reminiscent of Queen on steroids, exuding a tasty concoction of hefty textures. “Kein Liebeslied” features an old school, muscular stomping groove with dense, almost guttural vocals and brawny hammering guitar riffs.

One of my favorites is “Trümmerkinder,” delivering pulsating savors of doom and black metal atop a relentlessly driving melody. The rhythmic pulse of this song is hecka-buff, surging with opaque, heaving momentum. Another excellent track, called “Im Namen des Vaters,” melds pulsing dance impetus with Megadeth-like dynamics. The result thrums with relentless reverberating hues and supercharged menace.

“Phoenix aus der Asche” combines elements of nu-metal and death metal into a powerful tune rife with growling vocals shifting to more melodic textures, giving the tune both dark and light surfaces. A soaring, wailing guitar solo punctuates the tune with magnetic tones.

Think Rob Zombie on performance enhancing drugs, and you’ll know what “Lass’ die Beute frei” sounds like: raw, edgy, and ramped up to grandiose levels of sonic bulk. Thor-like drums and a blazing solo send this tune into the realm of outrageous.

With Ritual, OOMPH! lives up to their name, delivering music with walloping energy.

Purchase the album here. 

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