CD, Artoffact, 2007
After a ten-year hiatus, which to diehard Individual Totem fans seemed like a lifetime, the German duo that made a crucial impact on a struggling industrial music scene in the mid-1990s has finally returned with a new album, curiously titled “Mothfly.”
Now, to Totem fans that have scrimped and saved little tidbits of music leaked here and there by the band during their lengthy interval, this album is more a collection of those tracks with a few meaty instrumentals thrown in for good measure. Most who hear this album won’t know the difference, so with that in mind, its release will probably be well-received by those who remember this band.
The opening track, “WWW,” is a fitting proclamation of Individual Totem’s triumphant return, hitting hard and fast with catchy lyrics, grinding synth lines, and heavy beats. The album continues on this path with “Redeemer,” laying out some classic synth patterns, driving beats, and richly layered rhythms. The two previously released tracks, the bittersweet slow-burner “In Memorial” and the frantic, rhythm-driven anthem “Reflexion,” are definitive standouts. There is definitely a classic industrial sound to this album, which to longtime fans of the band has a certain nostalgic charm, but whether new listeners will appreciate that aspect remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, “Mothfly” is a strong comeback for this talented band and should be well received by industrial music lovers who decide to give it a chance.
— Paul Nielsen