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Link to original article: http://www.metal-observer.com/articles.php?lid=1&sid=1&id=7062

Article:

Stahlhammer - Stahlmania (7,5/10) - Austria - 2004

I’m not absolutely sure why STAHLHAMMER still release album after album as I don’t feel that often mentioned brilliancy, also on this album, but I can’t deny that the Austrian band has also its moments of class and a sense for melodies and good heaviness. The opener “Keine Tränen Sehen” starts with big pressure and the following title track “Stahlmania” has a very heavy und convincing groove.

On the other side, STAHLHAMMER often use strong staginess, especially concerning the vocals and the great chants, which have almost a classy note. Track number three is the first cover version, STAHLHAMMER are very famous for them. This time, it’s FALCO’s “Out Of The Dark” and the three guys here have absolutely the right to cover this song of the already and way to early deceased maestro of 80s and 90s Pop music. The song is really good performed and will be a sure hit in every Rock club around the world, although people get bored by the increasing numbers of cover versions in all areas of the music industry. Another cover version is heard at the end of “Stahlmania”, it’s “Merci, Cherie” from Udo Jürgens (I’m sparing to name his bought professor title). Good idea and very funny.

But before you get to this title, you have to go through such power hammers like “Compact”, “Der Ewige Augenblick” or “Lady Josephine”. Guest appearances on piano (“Das Unentdeckte Land” and “Merci, Cherie”) and on violin (“Der Zerbrochene Traum”) enhance the sound of STAHLHAMMER and serve for some diversity. The album was produced by themselves and can absolutely convince wih its sound, on a higher volume level is it relentlessly powerful. There are no half-hearted things but professionalism and power. My attitude towards German lyrics should be already known, so I couldn’t get really warm with “Stahlmania”, although the musical performance is really great. I doubt that they can now shake off the comparisons with megasellers RAMMSTEIN, but this shouldn’t be that important and actually, STAHLHAMMER are even stronger than them. Without the German lyrics, I wouldn’t take the CD off of my CD-player, but who cares as the true fans will surely love the new record of the Austrians. Recommendable and for fans of the band of course a must-have.