Noises In My Head: DEPECHE MODE – “Blasphemous Rumours”

By Carl Begai

Depeche Mode – “Blasphemous Rumours”

Album: Some Great Reward

Heavy without the metal. Some Great Reward was released when I was a mere 15 years old and had only just started my musical journey. While my high school peers into Depeche Mode and MuchMusic were going apeshit over “People Are People” and “Master And Servant”, I discovered the bizarre closing track, “Blasphemous Rumours”. It was so different from the music in my primordial music “collection” and what I was being pummelled with via Top 40 rock radio, thus I was drawn in by the song’s epic weirdness. It was unlike anything I had ever heard; I still remember listening to the song through my father’s billion dollar Marantz headphones, feeling the darkness of the track in my bones while the percussive violence made my head swim. Even the song arrangement itself is twisted, casting traditional songwriting structure to the wind.

I loved Dave Gahan’s voice (I still do) and there was something about the way he sang “Blasphemous Rumours” that was hypnotic. And the lyrics….. jeez. The chorus is probably one of the most brutal things I’ve heard if I sit here and think about it, and Gahan’s almost happy delivery is a wonderful contrast to the dark dark dark subject matter. As someone who dabbles in writing lyrics I can only dream of writing something as brilliant as that. I’m convinced that being Depeche Mode fan is one of the reasons I was drawn to the dark / gothic side of metal as I started to branch out from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, thrash royalty and the hair bands. I also know I’m in good company as far as being a Depeche Mode fan, as many metal fans / artists I’ve spoke to over the years have expressed appreciation for what Gahan / Gore / Fletcher / Wilder accomplished in their early years.

And, like The Cure catalogue, there are certain Depeche Mode songs that should never be covered. “Blasphemous Rumours” is at the very top of that list.

“I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumours
But I think that God’s got a sick sense of humour
And when I die I expect to find him laughing.”

RAMMSTEIN – Liebe Ist Für Alle Da (Universal)

RammsteinLiebeRammstein’s latest platter of tongue-in-cheek violence, Liebe Is Für Alle Da (translated: Love Is For Everyone), proves that so long as you have a singer that should be in theatre and a killer producer it’s possible to write the same songs over and over again and still be successful. The band continues along their tried and true crunching industrial demolition path, relying on their traditional “big, bigger, biggest, Rammstein” execution to grab you by the throat and drag you in. Indeed it does, with an iron fist. First three songs ‘Rammlied’, ‘Ich Tu Dir Weh’ (I’ll Hurt You’) and ‘Waidmanns Heil’ (‘Hunter’s Salute’) are predictable Rammstein anthems that succeed through larger-than-life production / engineering; nothing mindblowing but mean and intense when listened at a proper unhealthy volume. Fourth track in, however, things start to become twisted. ‘Haifisch’ (‘Shark’) sounds like it was yanked off a mid-‘80s Depeche Mode album for kids, followed by the eyebrow-raisingly brutal ‘B********’ complete with a death-vocal chorus courtesy of frontman Til Lindemann. And with each trip through the record it become increasingly apparent that this is Lindemann’s show. As heard-it-all-before as the music may seem at times, he’s able to give each song serious depth, dark or humourous or up-yours brazen. Make no mistake, unlike 10 years ago the man can sing. Continue reading RAMMSTEIN – Liebe Ist Für Alle Da (Universal)