DIE KRUPPS - Songs From The Dark Side Of Heaven (Oblivion / SPV)

  Van Muylem    24 mei 2021

The mothership of German industrial/metal crossover strikes again. Since 1980, Jürgen Engler, Ralf Dörper and their various comrades-in-arms have shaped the alternative/electronic music scene like no other band, especially through the sophisticated combination of the two styles "industrial" and "metal" that they created in the 1990s and that didn't even exist before. Countless other acts have since adapted this style, which was invented and launched by this extraordinary band. Now it's time for DIE KRUPPS to pay tribute to their own heroes - and to do that, what could be better than an album filled to the brim with cover versions in typical DIE KRUPPS electro metal style? But see and hear for yourself, the men around Jürgen Engler have subjected real gems to their "treatment".

Funny thing is that this is my first Die Krupps review ever. When you are mixing the New Wave family, the metal family and have a wide range of a taste in the world of music you can’t do them all. I’m also not a Die Krupps specialist, but I’m always ready to review something new and this one was.

After listening to this cover album it feels like a nice way to get into their music. Another cool thing is that you can also hear some special guests like Jyrki 69, James Williamson (yup, the one and only one) Big Paul Ferguson and Ross The Boss!

I’m not sure if it’s a good thing, but I knew 7/10 songs covered here and am very happy with the Belgian touch (The Neon Judgement)!

Ok, let’s start now with the music! The Number One Song In Heaven (Sparks, 1979) really sounds outdated when you listen to the original and put on this new version. I really adore the faster tempo and the harder sound. It’s for sure a great update! It might even become a new hit! When I listen to it I start to think and wander why bands like Funker Vogt and co didn’t think about doing the same thing with this song. I also like the angelic backings and the ah-ah-ah’s. Chinese Black feat. Jyrki 69 (originally by The Neon Judgement) gives a it a darker shade of black with a mix of Marilyn Manson and Elvis on vocals. It sounds like the perfect tribute towards more than one artist here! Whip It (originally by Devo, 1993) is the second song I know from my youth. This updated version sounds really good and better than the original. It’s so cool to hear it coming out of my music system! If there is one song from which I really love the original than it’s for sure: (Don’t Fear) The Reaper feat. James Williamson (originally by Blue Öyster Cult). Listen to the original with the lyrics close to you. The sweet sound, special vocals and guitar play … It’s one of those songs that touches you deeply and is still very actual in our actual world. In this new version the electronics take over (but we still hear a guitar). With the vocals the way they sound it feels a bit more like a new version done by Marilyn Manson, but it was a great idea to ask James Williamson to step in and add his vocals and knowledge here. I must be honest, it took me some time before I could accept this version. The fact that Die Krupps dared it also shows that they took a huge risk and thus not afraid of failing. I can conclude this new version is not better, but simply totally different and more into the sound of 2021 (so: mission accomplished). Another song that I know well enough and still play on regular base is To Hell With Poverty! feat. Big Paul Ferguson (originally by Gang Of Four). Here I like the fact that they kept the guitar and original drum sound and just added more electronics and a new voice. It sounds to me like the perfect tribute towards one of the finest bands with a good attitude and great lyrics! Another huge original hit is No More Heroes by The Stranglers and featuring in this version is Ross The Boss. In this version the guitar and the synth sound a bit louder, whilst the vocals are a bit sharper. Next one: Another One Bites The Dust (originally by Queen) doesn’t need an introduction. I like this electrified version as it keeps a good tempo and great beats. Marilyn Dreams (originally by B-Movie) was a postpunk track with an excellent bass and great vocals. This new version blows of the ’78 dust and gives it a new life (totally deserved). I hear some London After Midnight influences in this new version. It was a good choice! Another hero (who died too soon) comes with the re-evocation of Collapsing New People (originally by Fad Gadget). This is one of those cover versions that where expected and got it all set right in the updated and upgraded version! Fad Gadget was once bigger than Depeche Mode (I was there at the last Fad Gadget gig in our country) and ended up as their warming up act. Frank Tovey never got where he deserved to end and decided to end it himself: a very sad story. This is the perfect tribute! Thank you Die Krupps! Closing track is a surprise for me: New York (Version 9/11) (originally by MCL)! It’s the last tribute to the 80’s and mixes it with a harsher sound and some bits that remind me a bit of Paul Hardcastle (19).

It's a nice one and really had a great time listening to them and searching for the originals. It would have been great to see thm with this setlist at W-Fest in Ostende in august: but DIE KRUPPS sadly cancelled.


01. The Number One Song In Heaven (originally by Sparks)

02. Chinese Black feat. Jyrki 69 (originally by The Neon Judgement)

03. Whip It (originally by Devo)

04. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper feat. James Williamson (originally by Blue Öyster Cult)

05. To Hell With Poverty! feat. Big Paul Ferguson (originally by Gang Of Four)

06. No More Heroes feat. Ross The Boss (originally by The Stranglers)

07. Another One Bites The Dust (originally by Queen)

08. Marilyn Dreams (originally by B-Movie)

09. Collapsing New People (originally by Fad Gadget)

10. New York (Version 9/11) (originally by MCL)