May 24, 2007


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Wumpscut, Body Census
Metropolis Records, 2007

Out to people-please this time out, Rudy Ratzinger explores the goth-techno gray area between his last two records, 2005’s (bloody incredible and my own Best Album pick that year) Evoke and last year’s (depressingly been there) Cannibal Anthem. He’s well-branded now, no longer ripping off Enigma drumbeats or spoon-feeding inverted-cross blasphemy to his S&M-fashion peeps, thus you’re well-prepped for entry: there’s the monotone snarl, the wispiness, the EBM asides and the occasional soap-opera heartstrings. Aside from one or two bright spots, Cannibal Anthem was a textbook case of tail-chasing, a rote look at anger-management industrial/EBM that others are pulling off just fine, thank you, so by turning to his own Evoke for inspiration he succeeds where 99 percent of his wannabes cannot. “The Beast Sleeps Within You” alone has enough strange beauty and O Fortuna gravitas to qualify the entire LP as Evoke II, but the real Scooby Snack is the eponymous tune, whose features include a synth-whoosh to die for. A-Eric W. Saeger