Death In Vegas – Satan’s Circus

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

The fourth album from Death In Vegas sees Richard Fearless and Tim Holmes ditching the vocal collaborations and concentrating entirely on instrumentals, and with a number of song titles in German, it should hint at what kind of sound they are aiming for this time around.

The chiming keyboards and whirling synths of cheekily-titled opener EIN FUR DIE DAMEN plants you firmly in Krautrock territory, while the opening bars of ZUGAGA, lifted wholesale from Kraftwerk’s TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS, couldn’t make their intentions any clearer. Unfortunately, where the invention of those late 70s electronic pioneers took you into new and unexpected territory, SATAN’S CIRCUS contains too many songs that just meander along.

There are only flashes of the intensity of some of their previous work: the creepy dub-inflected static of HEIL XANEX and BLACK LEAD do at least pile on the atmospherics, while the catchy KONTROLL evokes Orbital and HEAD is a comparatively epic slab of techno-rock. Unfortunately, the rest of the tracks seem to take a long time to go nowhere.

A limited edition double CD version comes with a live set recorded at Brixton (the Academy, presumably) and it’s worth picking this up to remind you that Death In Vegas are actually capable of exciting, visceral music.

3 stars