Wolfsheim Casting Shadows

How, oh how could they ever follow up the pure genius of 2001’s Spectators you ask? It’s a toughy, I know. Well, our German faves give it a go with Casting Shadows. Things start off on a slow note, culminating four songs later with the sombre and gorgeous "Kein Zuruck.” Listen to this one with a German-English dictionary and then tell me this isn’t one of the best electronic, orchestral ballads of the last decade. Or toss the dictionary — sometimes it’s more exotic and mysterious not knowing what the hell Peter Heppner’s heart-wrenching vocals are even saying. Strong songwriting and sequencing from the masters of dark synth-pop again as expected with several numbers that‘ll lead you to hit the rewind button. Overall, the disc has a more relaxed feel. The songs have a slower tempo — the beats don’t actually pick up until halfway through — and the tunes that are faster either have more of a house rhythm (see the much too Eurodisco Pet Shop Boys-y "Wundervoll” — don‘t know what they were thinking here) or bounce along at a steady EBM pace. Perhaps more songs for listening than dancing and not quite as memorable as "Spectators,” but it’s Wolfsheim doing Wolfsheim and that’s good enough for me. (Metropolis)