Well, you gotta give it to ’em. “Das Album” by We Butter the Bread With Butter left me speechless, and I had a real hard time figuring out what to write. Long story short? I absolutely loved it. I got so into this album that I decided to write this review completely in German. So, here we go.
Dieses Album macht so viel Spaß, du wirst wirklich Schwierigkeiten haben, es auszuschalten. Ich hätte nie gedacht, dass ich in der Öffentlichkeit gerne „meine Finger sind zu klein“ singen würde. Ich habe das allen meinen Freunden gezeigt.
Okay that didn’t last very long. My German is about as good as my juggling skills (I can’t juggle). But in all seriousness, “Das Album” is a collection of 13 astonishing and exhilarating tracks that have you singing along where/however you can.
Before we get into the tracks, let’s just chat about the album cover. I spent a good five minutes just looking at the album artwork. For some reason it was just so satisfying to look at. The overall aesthetic that the band have gone for with their latest release is just so unassuming and so easy on the eyes, yet very deceiving in that the music that comes with it is absolutely bone-crushing.
“Das Album”, the band’s fifth release, is genuinely so diverse, verging on well-organized chaos. I really did not expect to be this surprised, track after track. I couldn’t predict how a single song would go, and that was just as refreshing as it was exciting. The band said it themselves, this album is like a smoothie for your ears. A full-length record that is this heavily infused with electronic elements could become a little stale if done without smart execution, but that’s most certainly not the case with “Das Album“. Nearly every single track is memorable without the listener having to go through multiple play-throughs (though I highly recommend doing so, you’ll hear something new hiding in the mix every time). The integration between techno and metal is seamless, and the record really makes the listener feel like this unique blend is as conventional as classical-infused black metal, or rap-infused nu-metal. I remember listening to this band back in the late 2000’s and appreciating them for their novelty. Tracks with humorous titles like “Breekachu” were sure to lure in most listeners with a chuckle, but ultimately the ‘wow’ factor wore off. It sounds like after a few years of testing different styles, the band has found something truly valuable. It’s relatable back to their early days, but matured and intelligently written, resulting in an amazing blend of techno-metal that has something of substance to offer.
Both Tobias Schultka and Marcel Neumann pull off some incredible feats on “Das Album”. This is accentuated further by the production prowess of Christoph Wieczorek, producing an album that is crisp and clear, yet insanely powerful. He delivered a similar polishing magic to the recent (and highly lauded) Venues album, “Solace“. It feels like the chaotic energy brought by the duo was focused and distilled by Wieczorek into the bright and metallic mix we hear on this record.
I don’t want to give too much away about the tracks, especially if you haven’t yet spun the record, but there is so much to talk about. You will be transported from purely demonic beatdowns, to electro moments that make you feel like you’re in a windowless club in Berlin at 4 in the morning. The opening track, aptly titled “Das Album Intro” is a short and sweet electro offering that doesn’t prepare you for the onslaught that follows. “Dreh auf!” is a huge party track that’s delivered with the force of a sledgehammer. The boys are celebrating their return to total destruction, punching out lyrics like “Turn it up! WBTBWB is back!”.
The lyrics throughout “Das Album” had me cackling with laughter. My absolute favorite track, “20 km/h” is a super-charged satirical love letter to e-scooters. The chorus has this huge dance vibe to it, and it could arguably be used as a soundtrack to an anime series or a Japanese game show. Either way, I was hooked. The breakdown is what I want every techno-metal breakdown to sound like. When Schultka joins in on the breakdown with a strained version of his screams, it sounds like he’s beating his chest or chattering his teeth to vocally accentuate the rhythm that the drums and guitars are pounding out. However he does it, it sounds like a beefed version of revving an e-scooter, and it’s just one more thing that made me love this track the most. That’s not even mentioning the masterpiece that is the video clip for this track. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor.
I mentioned this earlier but I’ll reiterate in English: there is one thing that I can say for sure, I have never sung along to the words “Meine Finger sind zu klein” before in my life. Same goes for “N!CE”, a track that had me constantly yelling wholesome lines like “Ich find’s mega nice”. Better yet, I can’t remember the last time I sang along to any album of this heaviness and grinned from ear to ear, laughing occasionally. This album is a perfect reminder that even in a dark period such as now, it is so important to have humor. In the metal world it’s undeniably common to be serious and have a dark and intimidating demeanor, but We Butter the Bread With Butter proves that you don’t have to be angry and scary all the time; you can truly just be having fun playing the music that you deeply love. It also translates to how we see the world right now, you could easily say that the world is a dark and horrible place, or you can make the most of what you find passion in and have some fun with it, for once!
Speaking of having fun, it absolutely baffles me that the song with the cutest, yes, cutest chorus ever, is also home to one of the most revoltingly brutal breakdowns in the metal realm currently. “Piks mich” is the name of the track, and its chorus is guaranteed to buzz around in your head like a mosquito that won’t leave you alone. That’s just the kind of eclectic mix of styles you’ll be in for whilst you go through “Das Album”. “Läuft” does the same thing, going back and forth from aggressive metalcore straight into some equally aggressive hardstyle.
One thing to be taken seriously is the level of talent from these Berlin boys. Despite the drums being programmed by Neumann, it takes a formidable level of musicianship for him to then be able to provide a guitar performance of the same intense calibre. The eleventh track “Metal” has some of Neumann’s best guitar work, sweeping up and down some evil arpeggios and playing some rapid riffs that immediately took me back to the early days of As Blood Runs Black. “Letzter Song”, an impressive final track, also has an awesome little performance by Neumann towards the end in which the guitar flutters over a massive synth sequence.
Further praise should go to Neumann for putting together a vast and varied collection of synth and electronic layers that have their own personality through each track. I wouldn’t be surprised if more time and love was put into getting the right sounds and performances in this department than the guitars.
Schultka’s vocals are astonishing. Next to the lyrics and well-done techno/metal infusion, his unique performance is one of the best components of this album. There is an incredible level of vocal variance, so much so that it’s really hard to know what his regular ‘go to’ vocal technique or sound is, as he does them all so competently. I think screaming in German makes his performance even more gnarly. Similar to how Alex the Terrible from Slaughter to Prevail sounds even more horrifying when he growls in Russian.
It’s unquestionably entertaining to listen to the vocals on “Das Album”. You’re taken by the hand and pulled into this wonderland of insane vocal sounds in the same way that Justin Bonitz from Tallah has done on their near-perfect debut album “Matriphagy”. The high screams from Schultka very much remind me of the early days of deathcore, like former Chelsea Grin vocalist Alex Koehler in the “Desolation of Eden” days, or Scott Lewis from Carnifex during their “The Diseased and the Poisoned” era. His ‘scat’ sections are hilarious, but fit in to the tracks so easily that it’s hard to think that it could be done any other way. “Angriff der Dönerteller” is full of them, as is the beginning to “20 km/h” where he begins with an appropriately confident “Ratatatatata”.
His spoken sections are comical, yet just like the scat sections they work perfectly. “Sprich sie einfach an” creeps along for the most part whilst Schultka provocatively pulls himself together to talk to a girl. He even ties it in and layers it on top of some screaming sections in “Jump ’n’ Run”.
Look… I did say that I didn’t want to give too much away about the songs, but, I did also say there was so much to talk about. “Das Album” is a barrel of fun, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Each track has been created, produced and released with as much love as there is personality in them. The ability of We Butter the Bread With Butter to create some truly refreshing numbers that entertain the listener for 40 minutes has completely removed the potential for them to feel gimmicky or short-lived. Each offering is so full of energy, and no matter what language it’s being sung in, it translates effortlessly to the listener that this band is well and truly back, and they’re having the time of their lives.
Released On: September 24th, 2021
Released By: AFM Records
- Tobias Schultka / Vocals
- Marcel Neumann / Guitar/Synth/Programming/Backing Vocals
“Das Album” Tracklist:
- Das Album Intro
- Dreh auf!
- 20 km/h
- Jump ‘n’ Run
- Sprich sie einfach an
- Meine Finger sind zu klein
- Piks mich
- Angriff der Dönerteller
- Letzter Song
If you came here for a straightforward album that didn’t colour outside the lines, you came to the wrong place. We Butter the Bread With Butter has given us one of the most unique and versatile albums of the year, and they did it with a smile. The comical nature of the band is only rivalled by the sheer ferocity that dominates “Das Album”, and the musicianship on display comes through to the listener with an incredible confidence. This is their best offering yet, and it feels like they’re just now hitting their stride.