Here is an interesting album with a mix of almost all genres of popular music and themes of survival in a broken world. It’s pretty good if you’re in the right mood for it.
Dr. Schafausen is a curious project led by a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who dresses like a mad scientist and tries to play every genre imaginable. This album is labelled as djent, but could be more accurately described as a mix of metal (alternative and extreme), pop and trap, essentially the Linkin Park of the 2020’s. The album is inspired by the pandemic and general chaos of these last two years, and has an overarching theme of pain and survival. In that way, it’s very much of its time, but not in a way that won’t age well, more like an excellent time capsule that will be fun to go back to.
After a spoken word intro that goes on too long but spells out the album’s theme, we get into the first real track, a djent ballad called “My Beautiful Girl”. It starts like an anguished ballad, before going into angry rapping and ferocious growls, and it’s a great introduction to the album’s special sound.
I said in previous reviews that I have a thing for vocalists who can do all sorts of vocal styles, so I immediately fell in love with the mix of singing, rapping, screaming and growling, with an emotional delivery. The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint on that level. The different vocal styles are done pretty well and the mix of styles does work.
It produces melancholic and desperate tracks like “Waiting for Tomorrow”, which I think has the best vocal performance on the album. Or something faster and more defiant like “Can’t Get the Best of Me”, which in turn sounds more like a metalcore track from the 2010s, and “I Will Never Live in Silence” with its pretty cool bass intro. It may not be as musically inventive as other songs, but it has an infectious energy. There’s also some heavier and fiercer stuff like “Crypto Violence” and “Transient Parasites”, which sound like more aggressive nu metal numbers. Probably the best indicator of the album’s mix of styles is 2127, a strange track that starts like a trap ballad and lets out the growls on the second verse. It’s one of these songs where none of the parts seem to fit together and I love it for that. I never claimed to have great taste.
Speaking of that, I realize that this kind of album that’s not for everyone. Not just because, well, some people wouldn’t like its djent, trap and nu metal references, but also because, like many albums that mix a bunch of different styles together, some people will find it very creative and some will just find it confused and weird. But I think that if you listen to it with an open mind, it’s a pretty satisfying album, with good ideas, a lot of creativity and emotions. I found it equally fun to listen to and to review. There’s a lot of potential here and I’d love to see how it goes from here.
Release date: March 9th, 2021
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