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Skold Vs. KMFDM
Self Titled
KMFDM Records
April 7, 2009
None Listed

Seven years after they last worked together, Sascha Konietzko and Tim Skold decided that being on separate continents was not enough reason to avoid working on an album together. Thus, in June of 2008 the two laid down some ground rules (no guitars, no real drum kits) and began bouncing ideas and content back and forth to each other over an FTP server. Four months later they wrapped things up, and another four months later they released Skold Vs. KMFDM through their own website, on Sascha's own label. The result is an angry, powerful industrial album that's equal parts Skold, KMFDM and MDFMK, yet somehow greater than the sum of its parts.

As one might expect from an album titled Skold vs KMFDM, many of the tracks lean one way or the other. The lead track, "Why Me," tastes a bit more KMFDM with its throbbing techno beat and Sascha taking point on the vocals; to use an old American Bandstand catch phrase, "it's got a good beat and you can dance to it." By way of contrast, "Antigeist" is more Skold-influenced, a cyberpunk piece de resistance that in many ways sounds like the flipside to "Shut Up," the closing track of Skold's self-titled album. "Bloodsport," the next full-length track, is again more militarized KMFDM-style techno, with Sascha growling along through the Mortal Kombat-esque lyrics; one can't help but feel that if Lucia Cifarelli joined in on the chorus, it'd morph into something not unlike MDFMK. This is followed by "Love is Like" (again, leaning Skold-wards) definitely the most memorable (and, dare I say, radio friendly) track on the album, already having been featured in an episode of NCIS (albeit with more, dare I say, television friendly lyrics).

Standouts among the seven remaining full-length tracks include: "Error 404," a slower, poppier tune with Skold's record-skipping vocals filtered through a vocoder, computer bleeps standing in for missing guitar; "Gromky," an aggressive industrial track that sounds like it drifted out of Soviet Russia to punch you in the face (and "cut out your mother's tongue"); and "Alkohol," a kitch piece like something out of Repo: The Genetic Opera, equal parts techno and GLU- style industrial, KMFDM-style drum loops mashing Sascha and Skold's lyrics together into an ode to face-bashing debauchery. A personal favorite is the penultimate track, "All Or Nothing," a slow cyberpunk dirge with echoes of Skold's "Neverland" that brings the album to an epic end.

Well, nearly so; the actual final track is "Why Me (Interlude)," one of eleven on the album that account for half the number of tracks, but only about two-and-a-half tracks worth of music, each coming in at somewhere between 0:52 and 2:26. These are not mere filler; they're more like appetizers, or palate cleansers, little alternate takes on the main tracks that spin things in a new direction. Some are admittedly stronger than others, and in a few places the stitches come a bit loose, but overall the Interludes are not something you'll just skip over to "get to the good stuff" -- they are good stuff. "Bloodsport (Interlude)" reminds me of the quieter parts of "Mr. Self Destruct" off nine inch nails' The Downward Spiral, almost like listening to someone being beaten in the next hotel room over; "A Common Enemy (Interlude)," later on the album, similarly reminds me of something akin to one of the TDS remixes, and both "It's Not What (Interlude)" and "Gromky (Interlude)" evoke tracks off Year Zero, like lightning in a bottle, screaming to get out. Still others seem ripped straight out of video game soundtracks; "Why Me (Interlude)" is like Se7en meets Left 4 Dead, and "Error 404 (Interlude)" would be right at home on the Bioshock 2 soundtrack, with its God-Died-Underwater spookiness, water sloshing, bubbles rising... It all makes me wonder if Skold and Sascha shouldn't follow in Iron Maiden's footsteps with an actual video game: less Ed Hunter, and more... well, Skold vs KMFDM. The soundtrack's already written.

Favorite Track: "All or Nothing"

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Michael Fiegel is a freelance writer and graphic designer. His diverse background includes journalism, radio copywriting, technical writing, game design and music reviewing. He is best known as the creator of the Internet cult sensation, Ninja Burger and the Hellas: Worlds of Sun & Stone RPG. He can be reached at or at his website,

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