:Wumpscut: Wreath of Barbs

Rudy Ratzinger (aka :wumpscut:) proves once again his expertise in dark electronica. Wreath of Barbs is a celebration of darkness and foreboding - at times noisy and aggressive with assaulting beats. Song titles like "Mankind's Disease," "Line of Corpses" and "Hate is Mine" speak of the sombre overtones of :wumpscut:'s work. It is not for the faint-hearted, and all of its heaviness can be an exhausting listen. Still, Ratzinger's talent for writing a catchy song is not lost in all the bleakness. The title track is a beautifully arranged ballad (to the extent that industrial music has ballads) and is one of the more memorable moments on the CD. As expected, there are also several boot tappers that make you want to hit the dance floor. Aleta Wellings sneaks in some occasional vocals to break up the sameness of these 11 tracks, providing cohesion as well. (Metropolis)