KMFDM's seventh album, Nihil, finds the band sitting comfortably in the groove it started with 1990s Naïve. At this point, the German outfit has become an industrial musical collective, with various contributing vocalists and musicians coming in and out of the fold, while the nerve center of the group continues to be founders En Esch and Sasha Konietzko. Additionally, the group's ingenious marketing/merchandising skills (using the bold-faced KMFDM logo, idealistic sloganeering, and appropriately simplistic comic book artwork of Brute) have given the band a powerful, iconic image. The anthemic "Juke Joint Jezebel," with its disco-diva vocals (courtesy of Jennifer Ginsberg), remains the band's biggest "hit" to date; it is an enduring and indispensable dancefloor favorite at goth/industrial clubs around the world. Other high points include the politically charged "Terror" and "Disobedience." Throughout the album, there is a core of intelligence which lifts KMFDM above many of their contemporaries. Significant contributions by growling vocalist Raymond Watts and super-tight guitarist Gunter Shulz add new colors to the KMFDM palette, and the overall production skills on Nihil are state of the art. While industrial music has a reputation for being abrasive, KMFDM's sound is actually quite polished and tight, with any real "noise" expertly airbrushed out of the mix. Which doesn't diminish the impact of the material; it merely streamlines the band's attack.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Andy Hinds