I was saving this review for the magazine, but I’ll land on the moon before the magazine comes out, so here it is. In full. My latest discovery.
At the top of a futuristic tower a corporate Master of the Universe, armed with a couple of androgynous secretaries gets his comeuppance, courtesy of our pale faced loons in proto-Nazi uniforms. The bad versus the bad. Cue lots of gurning and psycho-grinning, writhing hands and a bit of thigh (a lot of thigh actually), and within a few seconds we are pitched into the high definition armageddon of All the Devil’s Toys.
You have to admire a band with names like Whiplasher Bernadotte and Nightmare Industries who strut about without shame in their uniforms, pantomime smirks and metal melodrama. Deathstars are Rammstein without the sturm und drang. A Swedish nod to what happens when you forget the vorsprung durch technic.
Back in the late seventies, when another bunch of misfits started wandering around covered in Nazi symbolism, you had to avoid the reality of being gobbed on or having a size nine hob nailed boot parked under your chin. With Deathstars we’re never quite sure if they’re going to pull out all your fingernails or tickle you to death.
The album, The Perfect Cult, from which All The Devil’s Toys is taken, is a masterpiece of industrial metal with lashings of cinematic effect and big synths. And so it should be. In fourteen years Deathstars have only made four albums, which begs the question what have they been up to? My guess is that they’ve hollowed out the Arctic ice pack and are, as we speak, firing up a big Art Deco space ship armed with high calibre guns that fire bullets made out of lard.
Fifty minutes long – stretched out with several track remixes – The Perfect Cult is a romp if you like your metal big, atmospheric and totally lacking in the kind of po-faced seriousness that infects too many of today’s acts. Deathstars are living proof that you can pretty much get away with anything if you have a sense of humour.