Album Review: Emigrate - A Million Degrees

28 November 2018 | 12:48 pm | Brendan Crabb

"Kruspe has again scrolled through his contact list to recruit high-profile names."

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Reaping the lucrative dividends of Rammstein’s lurid performances when that machine cranks into gear, in the meantime guitarist Richard Kruspe tackles this project with gusto.

He again predominantly adopts lead vocal duties and seems increasingly confident in this role. There's perhaps a slightly more melodic feel to the industrialised hard-rock thrust, but this approach fits Kruspe like James Bond donning a Savile Row suit. The main-man has an ear for a hook; note the infectious title track and the warm melodies and pop sensibilities of You Are So Beautiful and Lead You On, the latter featuring past Emigrate guest Margaux Bossieux.

On that front, previous album, 2014's Silent So Long, revelled in its collaborative spirit, drawing in several other participants without diluting the impact. Here Kruspe has again scrolled through his contact list to recruit high-profile names. Rammstein cohort Till Lindemann appears on Let's Go, singing in both German and English. The duo exude chemistry and Lindemann possesses that unique presence. The result may whet appetites of fans of the German heavyweights to some degree, but it also feels refreshing as the cut proves largely atypical of their day jobs. Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge's distinctive tones elevate already catchy rocker I'm Not Afraid. Meanwhile, Billy Talent's Ben Kowalewicz helps lend an urgency to the electro-punk swagger of 1234.

To Kruspe's credit though, this LP doesn't succeed purely on the presence of its additional personnel. There are potent songs littered throughout; genuine earworms that deserve to be greeted by a wider audience before the next Rammstein record arrives in 2019.