We Say :- Ahh, now there’s something to be said for proper angry, shouty metal. You know the sort of thing. Now as it’s all sung in German I have absolutely no idea what Herzschlag (translates as Heartbeat, according to Google), the latest release from Unherz, is all about. Based on the energy these guys pump out I don’t reckon it’s a concept album about the vocalist’s love for his new puppy though…..
The thing is, you don’t actually need to know what they’re on about, the emotion bleeding through in the angry-man-punk vocal delivery really doesn’t need any translation. Having said that song titles like Lost World, Save me and No Paradise (thank you Google) point to a bleak outlook. Not sure that the translation of Prall Und Kugerlund as Plump And Round As A Ball quite captures the spirit of the original though.
Right, enough language related frippery…..
The album opens with one of those hospital heart monitoring machines bip-bip-ing then, predictably, flatlining before the punk-metal fury erupts for the title track. This is gloriously uncomplicated stuff, exactly as this type of thing should be. The feel does vary slightly from track to track with some rock’n’roll seeping in from time to time but things never deviate far from flat out route one stuff, and when they do (I’m looking at you Rette Mich) it’s not for long. That’s not to say that it’s all one dimensional, far from it with tracks like Die Stimme Tief In Mir hinting at real arena-bothering potential.
The fact that these aren’t just noisy Teutons is perfectly illustrated by the really rather nice ballad Die Holle Muss Schon Sein (oh, go look it up) where the shouty anger that exists elsewhere is replaced with a quivering, heartfelt emotion. Oh, and the duet that kicks in half way through is a proper lighter in the air, lump in the throat moment. It’s unexpected, and quite, quite beautiful. Maybe not as angry man metal as we first thought…..
For all the angry vocals there is also a sense of fun that runs through the album, Prall Und Kugelrund has an awesome rockabilly-esque beat. Like a really pissed off Volbeat 🙂 There’s a slightly raucous, stomping atmosphere here that works brilliantly, regardless of the fact that I have no idea what they’re on about.
After a few listens it’s difficult to imagine these songs having quite the same impact if they were sung in any other language, there’s just something about German that’s lost in translation.
Makes me wish I’d paid more attention at school.