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A gothic masterpiece - 95%

kluseba, December 12th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2014, CD, Massacre Records (Enhanced)

Ewigheim comes around with the biggest surprise of its career on this album. ''24/7'' offers a balanced, diversified and entertaining mixture of five new songs, one re-recorded rare track and four or five remixes by renowned gothic acts depending on the different versions of this output. The most surprising element is that ''24/7'' is much more dynamic than anything the band has ever released before or even after this output so far. The lyrics are also overall less sinister and introspective and offer an impressive lyrical spectre from a potential new band hymn over sarcatsic black humor to vivid dancefloor anthems with a certain lust for life. Musically, the keyboard sounds are much more vivid than usual, the guitar work is more present than ever and the rhythm section turns out to be a real powerhouse combination. Even the vocals that are usually melancholic and gloomy are more diversified and sound more enthusiastic and theatrical. Instead of being a filler release that goes nowhere, this here might actually be the band's finest hour so far, even though it's the group's least representative record.

Since each of the five new tunes is absolutely outstanding, each track deserves a short description. ''Tanz um dein Leben'' opens with beautiful piano melodies, western guitar sounds and mysterious keyboard patterns before the rhythm section pushes this track into a passionate dancefloor anthem. The lyrics vary between a dark gothic rock style and slight Neue Deutsche Härte influences. This track sounds like a mixture between Moonspell and Unzucht in their most experimental hours. If you don't dance along to this song, you probably have a wooden leg. ''Nicht mehr'' is a perfect continuation of the opener with an even faster rhythm, more prominent darkwave sounds and classic Neue Deutsche Härte vocals and lyrics. The chorus is simplistic but incredibly catchy. This is the best single Ewigheim has never released. ''24/7'' is almost entirely dominated by darkwave sounds supported by a pumping bass guitar and powerful vocals. Lyrically, this song includes a lot of self-references to the band and can be seen as a band anthem but it isn't the potential band anthem I was talking about in the introduction. ''Wir, der Teufel und ich'' starts with epic and sinister big band sounds, thunderous drums and expressive vocals that are constantly recalling Rammstein. The real band anthem on this release comes around in form of ''Gloria''. It's an epic song supported by majestic symphonic elements and the group's most memorable chorus ever. The track finds a perfect mixture between dancable parts, heavier passages that invite you to bang your head and raise your fists into the air and a truly anthemic chorus that immediately appeals to be sung along to.

The risk might now be that the rest of the record couldn't live up to the phenomenal start but it actually does. ''Schneemann 2.0'' is much better produced than the original track since it has much more punch and the different instruments are also much easier to distinguish. That being said, this track is a true hidden gem with its sulfurous lyrics about cocain that somehow remind me of the ironic lyrics by Austrian singer Falco. Even the remixes on the record are on a quite elevated level thanks to the groups involved. Laibach has always been innovators of industrial music and they put a lot of effort into their danceable yet elegant remix. Sun of the Sleepless delivers this record's most sinister tune despite a few liberating and light moments. Ironically, Soko Friedhof works with a lot of electronic samples that add a disturbing touch to one of Ewigheim's most positive tunes. Neue Weltordnung deliver an experimental electronic version recalling aggrotech and hardstyle elements on one side but also classical elements and new age soundscapes. To my surprise, the remixes reinvent the original songs without losing their initial brilliance. I'm not a big fan of remixes in general but the ones included on this release are really spot on and should please to a larger audience as long as one accepts to listen to something else than puristic gothic metal music.

I guess you have realized how enthusiastic I am about this record by now. To keep it short, ''24/7'' is Ewigheim's best album and the perfect deal for collectors, new fans and occasional listeners. Metal fans, authentic gothics and even experimental dancefloor maniacs should dig this album alike. The remixes reinvent the band's greatest hits, the new songs are high-quality tunes and the re-recorded track is a forgotten pearl worth to be discovered in a perfect new sound. Anyone who considers himself a goth or has an affinity for the gothic scene, should purchase this unexpected masterpiece.