Letzte Instanz - Schuldig
Industrial Rock
14 songs (50:34)
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Pete

Letzte Instanz has been around for a while. Over their thirteen year history the band has seen many musicians come and go as well as letting many musical styles bleed through their music. In 1996 Letzte Instanz were more akin to medieval metal like such bands as Tanzwut. The revolving door of members and shifting musical scene saw the band introduce more electronics into their sound moving the cellos and violins more to the background. They dabbled with a little rap, the radio friendly genre and just straight up metal, all tinged with their folk roots of course. In 2004 the band lost three members due to personal reasons and it's credit to the dedication of the others that the band managed to pull through releasing Schuldig in 2009.

Schuldig is the band's ninth official release (including live albums) and the band's style is still difficult to pin down with each album sounding very different to the last. This can be a good thing as it shows off a band's creativity and imagination. On the other hand it can frustrate many fans because the band is neither one thing nor the other. Schuldig, put simply is Rammstein lite. From the opening chords of Mein Engel the album smacks of a band that have been trapped in a room with only Senschunt for company. That doesn't mean the album is bad it's just easy to hear where their influences have come from. Deep male vocals sung entirely in German, big bottom end guitars playing chuggy riffs and tempos that rarely go faster than mid tempo are all clues to who the band like to listen to. Of course this could all be bunk and they don't hear Rammstein in their music at all and are sick of the comparison. But the above three points are all characteristics of Rammstein so it's nearly impossible to avoid the similarities. As already mentioned, Schuldig, is Rammstein lite because the vocals aren't as deep, the big bottom end guitars aren't as crunchy and the hooks aren't as catchy.

There are several decent tunes to choose from. Mein Engel and Flucht Ins Gluck set up the album nicely, the latter containing an excellent string section that enhances the song. The two songs don't exactly blow you away but they perk your interest but sadly the rest of the album falls into same ole same ole after a couple more songs. They rely a little too heavily on big guitar chords with strings over the top rather than actual guitar riffs and catchy melodies. By Die Eine you've worked the album out albeit for a few nu-metal shenanigans and a couple of un-developed acoustic led ideas. Having said that Schuldig is a pleasant listen. It doesn't pulverise your senses nor does it repulse you, it just filters nicely out of the speakers. Wann, in particular, is a classy way to end an album, it's just a pity a lot of similar music had gone before it.

Letzte Instanz suffers a little from Slipknot syndrome. There are seven members of Letzte Instanz however their music could easily be played with four and a couple of DAT tapes. The strings sound good but they rarely enhance the music only acting as icing on the metal cake, the same can be said about the electronica. At its core, Schuldig is a fairly simple, fairly interesting and fairly pleasant listen, but it doesn't push enough 'metal' buttons to be compelling. You'll quickly find yourself drifting off and wanting something with a little more urgency to it.

Killing Songs :
Mein Engel, Flucht Ins Gluck, Wann
Pete quoted 70 / 100
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