OOMPH! has been consistently active with its original line-up for almost 30 years. Often referred to as the founders of Neue Deustche Härte (sometimes called New German Hardness or simply NDH), this German industrial metal band is well-known for being a big inspiration for acts like Rammstein and Eisbrecher.
“Ritual” is their 13th album, containing 11 tracks, two of which have already been released as singles as well as getting their own music videos: “Kein Liebesleid” and “Tausend Mann und ein Befehl”. The subject matter of “Ritual” mainly revolves around abuse, war and politics.
The album has many highlights worthy of a mention. Dero’s skills as a vocalist, as well as his training in classical singing, are truly showcased on the album’s second track “Achtung! Achtung!”. Meanwhile, “Trümmerkinder” brings a dance-worthy, uptempo song to the plate, chock-full of staccato riffs and with a great marching beat.
“Europa”, a song about current events and problems in Europe, features a guest appearance by Chris Harms of Lord of the Lost. It is followed by the aggressive “In Namen des Vaters”, whose screaming vocals are somewhat reminiscent of Marilyn Manson. Meanwhile, the appropriately titled “TRRR – FCKN – HTLR” touches on terror and extreme nationalism, both of which often take centre stage in current events nowadays. It is followed by “Phönix aus der Asche”, a track that places some nice riffs side by side with a sing-along-worthy chorus.
“Lass’ die Beute frei”, one of the best songs on the album in my opinion, features a bit of everything: powerful riffs, a rocking beat, and truly catchy singing – and screaming – on Dero’s part. This album isn’t all riffs and screamig, however; “Das Schweigen der Lämmer” is a calmer, more relaxed song, much like the final track “Seine Seele”, rounding off the album with a touch of piano.
All in all, this is another solid album from OOMPH!, and I highly recommend it for fans old and new, as well as for fans of Rammstein who might want to hear where they got some of their inspiration from!