Home Read Classic Album Review: Einstürzende Neubauten | Perpetuum Mobile

Classic Album Review: Einstürzende Neubauten | Perpetuum Mobile

Some 20 years into their career, the German nosemakers are still so good it’s scary.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Countless horror movies try to scare you with sensory overload — grinding chainsaws, screaming teens, strobe-light editing, bottomless buckets of blood and gore. And yeah, that can be fairly frightening.

But for my money, nothing is scarier than a well-paced psychological thriller full of deep shadows, prolonged silence and the sort of disturbing, real-life menace that makes you check the closets before turning out the light. What does this have to do with German industrial-noise experimentalists Einstürzende Neubauten, you ask? Well, it could be argued that back on their early ’80s albums, they came on like a horror movie, shocking the senses with their sonic sculptures forged from clanging metal, whirring drills and extreme blasts of noise. But as the years have gone by and the shock has worn off, they have moved on to new terrorization techniques that are far more sophisticated but no less intense. Take their latest album Perpetuum Mobile. It delivers an hour of creeping paranoia, unsettling vibes, guttural German vocals and synthesized menace — most notably on the 13-minute title cut, a stunning epic of noise-prog majesty. Which is not to say EN don’t still raise one helluva racket every so often — only now the thwacking and pinging and squealing are used sparingly, to create dynamic contrast and emphasis. And yes, to creep the hell out of you. Now 20 years down the line, EN are still so good it’s scary.