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Album Review

Merging the musical lexicon of the dancefloor with their own dark musings, Nitzer Ebb evokes an occasionally stunning mix of techno and industrial on their second full-length effort. At its best, Belief is a captivating call to surrender the pretensions of free will and control; escape is only possible through dance. The vocals, which alternate between athletic direction and threatening whispers, reveal an internal dialogue at work that both bullies and stalks the listener. This might make for dour dance music if the rhythms weren't so intoxicating. On tracks like "Hearts and Minds," "Control I'm Here," and "Blood Money," Nitzer Ebb builds a compelling soundtrack that exorcises their own sense of despair. In fact, this album seems to advocate the dancefloor as a surrogate religion. "Blood Money" asks us to "shed faith" in the wake of organized religion's failures, "T.W.A." suggests we "surrender to the faith" of the dancefloor, and "Shame" holds the vague promise of freedom from that original sin through dance. However, all but the most impressionable listeners are likely to recognize that the lyrics are merely a mask for pent-up aggression toward a world that can make the individual feel pitifully helpless at times. Although not as sonically powerful as bands like Ministry or Nine Inch Nails, Nitzer Ebb's Belief should appeal to the same audiences (their subsequent Showtime even more so). Favoring synthesizers and electronic percussion over guitars, the band doesn't baffle listeners with an array of sounds as Nine Inch Nails might, but they can draw from an impressive palette of effects when the muse strikes them (as on "Drive," which includes a percussive texture that could best be described as an amplifier "popping"). Note that the U.K. compact disc includes three bonus tracks: alternate mixes of "Control I'm Here" and "Without Belief," as well as a mix of the non-LP "K.I.A."

Customer Reviews

Groundbreaking, Erotic, Dirty.

Overshadowed by the more commercial debut from Nine Inch Nails, Belief is a true gem. The icy production and thumping beats go head to head against Douglas McCarthy's raspy vocal punch. Some of the synth work (Hears and Minds, Captivate) is as erotic as it gets without being over complicated. This is one of my favorite industrial/dance albums of all times.

What a machine gun would be if it were an album

Possibly the best industrial album ever made, Nitzer Ebb's 'Belief' transports you out of the everyday humdrum world of compromise and cowardice and drafts you into an army of fearlessness and ferocity. Driving, pounding rhythms and smart, crashing lyrics meld into highly original melodies like solder flawlessly applied to the cleanest steel. A must have for work-outs and freak-outs. Absolutely KILLER.


Classic Industrial, highly suggested for inquiries into the birth of goth/industrial/electro music......


Formed: 1982 in Chelmsford, England

Genre: Electronic

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

Before the majority of industrial acts added guitars and became the heavy metal of the 1990s, Nitzer Ebb produced hard-hitting electronic music with the Teutonic bent and abrasive edge of early industrial music, plus the vocal chanting and beat-heavy flavor of the late-'80s alternative and Balearic dance scene. Formed in Chelmsford, Essex, in 1982 by vocalist Douglas McCarthy, drummer Bon Harris, and keyboard player David Gooday, the group began experimenting with synthesizers and drum pads, fusing...
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