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Five on the Open-Ended Richter Scale

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Album Review

Like watching a stalker cleverly follow its prey for miles, only to watch it shy away just short of lodging a knife into the back of the followed, Fünf Auf der Nach Oben Offenen Richterskala (Five on the Open-Ended Richter-Scale) is Einstürzende Neubauten at their unsettling, gripping, and tension-ridden best. It was also the group's most subdued and measured work to that point, organic dark ambient that rarely utilized the chaos and cacaphony for which they had become known. You expect the big release during the closer, "Kein Bestandteil Sein," but you don't get it.

Biography

Formed: 01 April 1980 in Berlin, Germany

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Along with Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle, Germany's Einstürzende Neubauten ("collapsing new buildings") helped pioneer industrial music with an avant-garde mix of white-noise guitar drones, vocals verging on the unlistenable at times, and a clanging, rhythmic din produced by a percussion section consisting of construction materials, power tools, and various metal objects. Einstürzende Neubauten were founded by vocalist/guitarist Blixa Bargeld and percussionist/American expatriate N.U. Unruh...
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