Lights of Euphoria
Krieg Gegen Die Mashinen
~review by Brian Parker
Following a short intro, the disc starts off strong with the single “True Life,” which has an anthemic trancey feeling compressed into a nice pop structure. The vocals are clear and strong, the hook is great, and it’s an extremely accessible kick-off to the disc. Front-loading the disc with the most likely hits, the collaboration with VNV Nation’s Ronan Harris follows, “Consequence (Face Yourself).” The brooding, critical lyrics are atypical for Harris but they fit the lyrical theme of the album nicely; his strong vocals are slightly distorted and laid over club-friendly beats. The inclusion of a few self-serious samples makes it all a little formulaic, but this track is obviously all about the dancefloor, not risk-taking.
Things slow down a little with “Nothing at All,” which still has great vocals and an accessible sing-along chorus that contrasts starkly with the bleak lyrics. It’s haunting, but unrepentantly EBM-flavored, and fans of Ravenous will likely pick this as a favorite. By now a lyrical theme has emerged, one which will carry through the disc: disappointed introspection, examining one’s self and finding one’s self lacking.
After a strong start, things stall a bit, with “Interface I” (there are a total of three “Interface” tracks on the disc). German spoken word (the sample is unfamiliar to me) is layered over a few minutes of soundscapes, and it breaks up the album nicely, but with the variety already present the “Interface” tracks just seem to kill the pace a little. It’s also a little striking that, after choosing to do all of the lyrics in English, they chose to liberally use German samples.
There are a few less-memorable tracks, and a couple of unusual “covers.” Run Level Zero’s “Shadows Merging” is the first, and it seems to be more of a very faithful remix than a cover. Although it fits the flow and theme of the album, it’s an odd inclusion, but a fortunate one for the many listeners who may not be familiar with the original. God Module’s “Dyskonnect” is also featured, and the busy programming is intriguing but still catchy.
Although the flow breaks down a little near the end, it’s still a great album to listen through from start-to-finish, held together by a bleak lyrical consistency (even when the lyrics are someone else’s!), strong (if occasionally unadventurous) programming, and great production values. Getting both a good album and strong singles doesn’t happen too often, and it’s nice. Lights of Euphoria don’t try to break out of the EBM genre, but fans of Funker Vogt or other catchy-but-heavy acts are sure to enjoy their efforts on Kreig Gegen Die Maschinen.