Truth or Dare

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Circa the early 21st century, it's understandable to assume you're in for some Rammstein-like sounds when you hear there's a new release by a "German hard rock band." And as evidenced by the 2010 release by Oomph!, Truth or Dare, this assumption is proven to be correct. But...there's a small catch. Oomph! are not a mere second-wave Rammstein clone, as they have actually been around for longer than their German electro-rock compadres (Oomph! originally formed in 1989, and issued their debut album in 1992 -- compared to Rammstein's 1994 formation and 1995 recording debut). That said, however, don't be fooled into believing that Oomph! are a cutting-edge band and have left their subsequent competition in the dust, as much of Truth or Dare can be directly compared to other more globally renowned acts: namely, there's the boy-girl battle-duet à la Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life" on "Burning Desire"; you get a whiff of Trent Reznor's sex creep schtick on "Labyrinth"; and the symphonic swirl of an album closer, "On Course," contains some surprising Geoff Tate-esque crooning, courtesy of vocalist Dero Goi. And wouldn't you know it, there is even a track that unashamedly screams "Rammstein!" -- "Ready or Not (I'm Coming)" -- due to its combination of English/German lyrics and slamming industrial rock. Elsewhere, Truth or Dare's approach can be split evenly between the metal side of things ("Crucified" and "Sex Is Not Enough") and the more melodic side ("God Is a Popstar" and "The Final Match"). For straight-ahead neue Deutsche härte -- with little surprises -- Oomph!'s Truth or Dare should do the trick.

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