I had my doubts until half way through this release. This album contains more variety than any I have heard in a long time. Rainstorms, crows, bagpipes, piano, synthesizers…I thought it was an instrumental of keyboard sounds for a while! It isn’t until the third track that you hear the crushing guitars or hammering drums.

The actual band performances on ‘Funkenfeuer’ are typically upbeat and contain plenty of driving drum rhythms underneath bagpipe leads, vicious vocals and solid grooves.  Once you get accustomed to banging your head, Slartiblartfass will unleash a piano, some melodic vocals and a 2/4 rhythm groove that begs you to get up and dance until you have spilled all of your bier. The keyboard passages are moving and epic, as they should be and these guys know how to establish a mood and a rhythm just as well as they know how to take one apart!

The title track contains the most complex twists and turns and ‘Schwabenkinder’ brings out a series of serious headbanging attacks sprinkled with…a vibraphone, maybe?! Fingerbells?! I don’t know but that track alone is worth owning this album…the guitars establish excellent grooves alongside the drums and keyboards. I couldn’t help but really enjoy this track…and it was a B-side!

Slartiblartfass aren’t afraid to experiment and broaden their horizons, even if it means losing a sense of focus.  A worthy listen, all in all.