May 15, 2008

Rome - Masse Mensch Materia

Album:Masse Mensch Materia
Year: 2008
Genre: Neo-folk,Industrial,Martial

After the two successful releases Nera and Confessions d’un Voleur d’Ames, Rome is back at the frontlines with their third studio album Masse Mensch Material. Usually a third album of a band is important for the further direction and development of their music. The sound of this increasing popular martial folk project on Cold Meat Industry on the new album is more accessible than ever before. The songs by Jerome Reuter always had next to the martial industrial, neofolk. and neoclassical dark ambient influences a certain flair which reminds one of darkwave and new wave pop music and it is exactly this element which Jerome has refined further on Masse Mensch Material.

The songs themselves however have too much depth to label them as mere pop songs. The approach is a bit more subtle than before since the bombastic martial industrial has almost completely been removed in favour of the more thoughtful melancholic sounding songs like ‘Wir Gotter der Stadt’, ‘Die Nelke’, and ‘Der Erscheinungen Flucht’; which show a fascinating world of contradicting emotions like cruelty as well as affection, reflected musically with beautiful melodies and an excellent sound. Also when the atmosphere does go more towards martial pop, such as in the splendid track ‘Der Brandtaucher’, it is noticeable that the instrumentation is very varied with the effective use of percussion and bass which create an almost danceable rhythm.

Jerome now has support in the studio from Patrick Damiani, in whose studio the album was also recorded. It is striking to hear that now the approach of the songs go more towards pop; it also becomes clear that Jerome is a really gifted singer. The song ‘Die Brandstifter’ reminds me very much of the work of Tom Waits. ‘Wir Moorsoldaten’ shows in a splendid way (and contrary to the song title it is sung in English!) yet again the martial influence in this remarkable neofolk project. The neofolk song ‘’Neue Erinnerung’ illustrates why Death in June is often mentioned as an influence on Rome, but it actually is not one of the best songs on this album.

Rome proves with this third album that they have become the new face of dark romanticism. Leonard Cohen has found a musical and spiritual heir in Jerome Reuter, who with his original voice in very ingenious songs manages to make the listener surrender completely. Masse Mensch Material is the best Rome album so far."(


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