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Rating: 1.0/5 | Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

“Hello, Rammstein? Yes, this is Lord of the Wasteland from Metal Rules. You may want to call your lawyers because I think this other German band called Stahlhammer is stealing your act. Only they aren’t just copying it, but they are doing a really terrible version, as well.”

“Schiesse!! Danke schoene, herr Lord!”

This is how I imagine the phone call going down should I wish to warn the Teutonic industrial rockers about Stahlahmmer’s balatant rip off of everything Rammstein has done since bursting on to the scene. Cold, industrial beats…check! Distorted guitars…check! More keyboards than a Spice Girls record…check! Scary, shouted German vocals…check! I just can’t get the image of Mike Myers as Dieter from Saturday Night Live out of my head when I listen to this kind of music. Freaky visuals and avant-garde music dripping with snooty, art-for-art’s-sake ambience. STAHLMANIA is sung almost entirely in German with the exception of a couple of English choruses. The electro-metal becomes so cold and impersonal that it becomes increasingly difficult to sit through the CD.

“Out of The Dark”, a cover of an old Falco (remember “Rock Me Amadeus”?) song, is actually quite good and the clean vocals in the chorus sound almost exactly like early James Hetfield! “Angst” features some excellent machine gun drumming and hook-filled riffs that really stuck in my head. These are the only two good parts of this CD. “Das Unentdeckte Land” is a horrific piano ballad with torturous vocals by Gary Wheeler. Remember this guys sounds just like the singer from Rammstein…croaking over a romantic piano ballad!! “Habe Dich Geliebt” continues the agony. Wheeler should stick with the aggressive stuff. Keep your hankies out, folks, because Wheeler takes on yet another tear-jerker, this time an old French song called, "Merci, Cherie." That’s right…a German industrial band doing a French ballad! Do I really need to go on with this review?

STAHLMANIA was sent to me after the distributor asked me to check out an mp3. That song sounded heavy and I thought I’d give them a shot. The rest of STAHLMANIA is a serious letdown because what I heard and what was sent to me appear to be two very different bands. It is CDs like this that make me hate my job…

KILLER KUTS: “Out of The Dark,” “Angst”