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Eigensinn - 'Persona Non Grata' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/55/44/85/eigensinn-persona-non-grata-99-1523820931.jpg Hot

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Those with a broad musical taste and a more open mind might like what they hear.

When translated, Eigensinn means obstinacy (just in case anyone was interested). This German quartet originate from Stuttgart and were formed in 2003 by Nemesis (vocals) and Holly (guitar). The current line-up is completed by Pat McBazz (bass) and Ole "The Animal" (drums). Stylistically, Eigensinn can be described as Dark Industrial Gothic Rock (their description not mine) and the most obvious and natural comparison would be Rammstein with a female singer.

'Persona Non Grata' is the band's third full-length album, but their first for eight years. They have released two EPs during that time and have played shows around Europe, but they are hardly prolific; I guess their music can't be labelled as "mainstream". This is emphasised by the fact that only two of this album's ten tracks are sung in English. Metal/Rock sung in German can come across as harsh, but that is not the case here. Despite the language difference there is still much to appreciate, and I found myself playing the album over and over because musically it ticks a number of the right boxes.

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For the most part the material is up-tempo and the industrial sized guitar riffs are underpinned and complimented by subtle keyboard textures and programmed samples and effects. Nemesis' voice and delivery has an ethereal quality that becomes quite hypnotic, and from what I have read, I believe she has a mesmerizing stage presence as well. The bio states that the lyrical themes reflect a number of socio-critical topics, but I can only make assumptions as my German studies ceased nearly forty years ago.
One or two of the songs contain overly repetitive hooks (that never hurt Rammstein), but for the most part they are rather addictive. The two songs sung in English ('My Emptiness' and 'Scratching') are both punchy and hard-hitting and leave the listener wanting a translated version of the album. The pace only drops towards the end for the haunting 'Aurora B' and closing piano ballad 'Caldera' where Eigensinn channel a little Evanescence.

There is no doubt that 'Persona Non Grata' will only have limited appeal and many Fireworks & Rocktopia readers (and writers) may struggle with both the music and the lack of English vocals. That said, those with a broad musical taste and a more open mind might like what they hear.

Dave Bott

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