Blutengel are insufferably melodramatic, over-the-top, and absurd. The more-Goth-than-thou attitude is so blatant that it is sure to make the masses turn away in cheese overdose. And yet, that is perhaps what makes Blutengel such a remarkable entity in the dark underground. Frotnman Chris Pohl’s penchant for vampires of all sorts—romantic, erotic, and malicious—has yet to be replicated on an admirable level by any bands within the realms of Gothic and industrial music. Complemented by baroque-flavored synthpop and an unmistakable lyrical niche, for better or worse, the instantly recognizable qualities of Blutengel permeate through their newest album, Monument.
Classic Blutengel fanfare is in spades on Monument—infectious Goth concepts unabashedly showering floorkillers in “You Walk Away,” “All these Lies,” and “Willst Du?” The symphonic balladry represented by “Die Zeit” is still delightfully vampiric, as are “Deine Welt” and the brutally aggressive “Lebensrichter.” Classic tales of obsession, grief, and supernatural rage saturate the symphonic Goth theatrics. Truly, the group’s 8th album does not go out on a particularly experimental limb, but the blood angel novelty, as far as fans (such as this reviewer) are concerned, is still worth reveling in and drinking in. Even so, leftfield surprises like the dubstep breakdown in “All these Lies” and the groovy electro-funk of “Save Our Souls” are enough to keep listeners on their toes, should they begin to slip beneath the veil of electro Goth complacency.
The shameless romantic fantasy conjured up by Pohl and womanly counterpart Ulrike Goldmann has not missed a single step in erecting medieval castles on moonlit winter nights, housing black-clad clubbers and absinthe bars. Monument does do much to dismantle stereotypes or break barriers, but these children of the night understand their boundaries and even manage to celebrate within them.