KMFDM, the band that made it cool for metal heads to dance, bids farewell with its latest release, Adios (Wax Trax). As the influential band’s most mature album, Adios is the perfect way for KMFDM to wrap-up its 15-year career.
The album continues the band’s movement away from the hard, guitar-based sounds of its early albums and takes a dance-friendly approach similar to its previous album Symbols.
Although KMFDM no longer uses blaring, thrashing guitars, the band hasn’t lightened up its music. The album opens with the title track, a bitter farewell set on top of a happy yet hard-core style beat. “Sycophant” is a dark, ambient piece that is better for a come-down after a rave than for a packed dance floor. “D.I.Y” features the band in all its glory. The track features old-school metal with a crashing orchestral opening before it delves into a booming dance sound.
Vocalist Sascha Konietzko’s lyrics have not become more cheerful despite the new dance beats. The lyrics of Adios are grim, depressing, and violent. But on this farewell album, they are set to a smoother sound.
KMFDM also shows a softer side with the song “Today”-it’s as close to a ballad as this band has ever come. The song is reminiscent of the early songs by Ministry and other 1980s industrial-goth bands. “Today” is a sign of the band’s musical progress-one would never find a piece like this on its earlier albums. “Witness” continues with a more somber mood, featuring Bjork-like vocals.
The band elevates its energy again with “R.U. OK?,” another dark dance track that belongs in goth clubs. The second half of the album continues in this dark mold. Instead of resembling today’s dance music, KMFDM’s sound harks back to the synth bands and techno sounds of the early 1980s. Adios highlights KMFDM’s evolution from an industrial band to a slightly more friendly dance band-friendly being a very relative term.
It’s a shame KMFDM has decided to end its career. The band’s continued musical growth would have been interesting to chart. Rumors abound that the band has plans to re-form under a new name. Until then, KMFDM fans will be satisfied with Adios. It’s perfect for any dark wave and goth fans looking to get down-physically and emotionally.