Crack The Mind |Van Richter, 1999|
01. Violin, 02. I Am The Gas To Burn, 03. Guevara, 04. The War Of Minds, 05. Wreck Me, 06. Dumb (Die Krupps Remix), 07. Under Queen Whore's Grim Protection (She Is Me), 08. Head Of Compassion (Plastic Attack Mix), 09. Quest Of Nothing (Warzone Pharmaceuticals Mix)
Testify was an American-German band featuring musicians like Rascal Nikov, Myk Jung, Moses W., Eddie Logan, George McKinley and Mathias Black. Rascal and Myk had known each other before they formed Testify since both played in an EBM band called The Fair Sex in the 80's.
The song "Violin" opens up the Crack The Mind album dynamically with repetitive guitar riffs and the rough voice of Myk Jung. This is the exact sound of Testify which will be present on Crack The Mind and every other album in the bands discography.
The next song on the tracklist is called "I Am The Gas To Burn" and reminds me of an atmosphere similar to Motorhead songs with such typical twisted guitar riffs and a fusion of guitars, drums and bass getting very dense by the end of the track. Other than that "Guevara" has an industrial-metal drive with edgy guitar riffs involved, perfect for headbanging, an sounds kind of cool. It lasted exactly as long as the previous track (4 min. 58 sec.)
The music of Testify is full of pure aggression, expressed with simple, heavy and brutal arrangements filled with anger, that is very much illustrated in a song called "The War of Minds", which additionally brings up the album name of "Crack The Mind" in the lyrics.
I like "Wreck Me" the best of all the songs on the tracklist. It is represented by genius guitar solos and smart mood manipulation through interesting arrangements and sampling, which begin around the time of 1 min. 52 sec. "Wreck Me" may be considered to be a template of what an industrial metal song should sound like (but not rip off!), coming up with absolutely everything that a perfect track of that genre should have.
Because this album consists of five brand new songs and four remixes of a few original tracks released on the Mmmyaoooo album, this is the point where I get to address the remixes.
The first of them, "Dumb" was rearranged by Die Krupps and doesn't sound as stunning as many of the songs by the band. Whatever they make, it seems to become limited, with repetitive arrangements and unsatisfying rhythms. Crack The Mind was released in 1999, so two years after Die Krupps had recorded their best album ever entitled Paradise Now and the DK split afterwards (they reunited in 2005), I assume that Jurgen Engler wasn't quite sure of what style of music he wanted to create next, finding his way into a new electronic-dancey side-project DKay.com finally, giving me the idea of how hastily the remix was made for Testify in regards to the situation as well.
The second remix was made by Testify. The leitmotiv of "Under Queen Whore's Grim Protection (She Is Me)" keeps the original guitar riff of course, but there are new and clearly drawn beats tin the arrangement too, borrowed from drum’n’bass and techno styles, comparable to music by Acumen Nation.
"Head Of Compassion (Plastic Attack Mix)" was remixed by Plastic Noise Experience and wasn't very interesting to me. I've never been a fan of remixes, however I must admit sometimes they happen to re-do the original tracks in cool ways after all. That didn't happen in this case; dumb, 'gummy' beats had a fatal impact on this remix. It sounds like if somebody was hitting a huge tightly pumped tire with a crowbar. Besides the empty beat, the remix may be appreciated by fans of Frontline Assembly thanks to similarities in the electronics and guitar riffs used like on their Millennium album.
The last remix "Quest Of Nothing (Warzone Pharmaceuticals Mix)" was made by Die Warzau, but it doesn't sound like anything the duo has been better known for previously. It was rather aggressively arranged, however you will hear a violin as well as an entire spectrum of ambient electronica. The guitar riffs were kept though, resulting in a dark and heavy approach, common to music by Decree or Unit:187.
It's been eleven years since Testify recorded this album, and it still proves they were the best European industrial metal band of the 90's. Testify's music is a saving grace of sorts, offering a counterbalance to a bunch of pseudo industrial metal clones in the style of Rammstein with their predictable flat marching music that has been burgeoning in Germany for the last few years.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, 07/22/2010. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)