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Letzte Instanz: Liebe Im Krieg

Although they haven't really made waves outside of their homeland (and to a lesser extent Austria), Letzte Instanz have scored top twenty albums in Germany and are therefore a band of which their label, AFM Records, are rightly proud. With Rammstein the only German language outfit to really break out into wider acceptance, it's easy to see why Letzte Instanz have up until now remained confined to their native land. However with Liebe Im Krieg, their eleventh(!) album, AFM seem very keen to try and break the band into a wider sphere.

With the German language approach it's difficult to not at least reference Rammstein, but with the exception of the staccato burst and string backing of "Steh Auf!", really, that's the only comparison. Instead, Letzte Instanz take a smoother rock approach, infusing it with copious amounts of strings, while also ladling on the emotion. While my language skills are limited to English (and many would say that's limited too!), I have long been a fan of bands singing in their native tongue, whether I understand it or not. Here however, singer Holly Loose would appear to be letting the words do the talking, a restrained, almost lazy style failing to capture the imagination without the (I'm guessing), power of the words he's using. Unfortunately he's also the centre point for much of what's going on, guitars crunching in the background, violin and cello layering restrained atmospheres onto tracks such as "Tageslicht".

"Wir Sind Eins" on the other hand could almost come from a Take That album, the lack of punch making the soft rock attack almost impotent. To be fair, the album begins in much more ebullient fashion, the title track a pulsating push of guitars and drums, "Tränen Aus Stein" galloping along with choral backing and a real sense of urgency. However as you make your way through "Das Gerücht", "Blutmond" and "Ich Werde Vor Dir Untergehen", the concentration begins to slip and the songs all begin to blend into one. The reliance on strings to make the album's strongest mark, often the very reason that it doesn't quite click into place.

Liebe Im Krieg is in places a good listen and yet it leaves an aftertaste of dissatisfaction, verging on disinterest. Some sort of hook, or more pointed attack required to really make you tune in to what's going on. This isn't bad, but for Letzte Instanz to begin to make inroads beyond their homeland, you can't help but feel it's going to take much more than they've shown here.

Track Listing
1. Liebe Im Krieg  
2. Trnen Aus Stein  
3. Steh Auf!  
4. Tageslicht  
5. Wir Sind Eins  
6. Reise  
7. Wei Wie Der Schnee  
8. Das Gercht  
9. Blutmond  
10. Unsere Tage  
11. Ich Werde Vor Dir Untergehen  
12. Weite Welt

Added: January 14th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Letzte Instanz online
Hits: 1363
Language: english

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