Way back in 2007 one of the best hard rock albums of all time was released. That album was the self-titled album by Emigrate. I was drawn to the album as soon as I heard about it, largely due to the fact that I was totally in love with Rammstein. Of course as I was to find out Richard Kruspe’s side project sounded nothing like I band I loved but it didn’t matter his creativity seemed to bring something different, something totally original to the hard rock genre.
Now Emigrate are back with their third studio album, an album that sees a definite softer side to Kruspe’s lyrics, but also an album that is as equally brilliant to their debut and poetic in a way that you never thought hard rock could be.
From the opening of A Million Degrees this album draws you right in. The strange form of electronic that Emigrate mash with hard rock just grabs you and pulls you right in. The opening track ‘War’ delivers powerful lyrics such as “this is what it sounds like to keep us terrified” while Kruspe’s vocals make him eerily sound like Ozzy Osbourne while the track itself sounds like it needs to be included on a Resident Evil soundtrack.
The first released single off the album ‘1234’ is as catchy as all hell and the added vocals from Ben Kowalewicz mean the track hovers somewhere among a sea of hard rock with an electronic tinge and punk. That catchiness also returns on ‘Hide And Seek’ which also contains an aggressive edge just under the surface, while it also raises its head on the powerful ‘I’m Not Afraid’ and the thought provoking ‘Spitfire.’
The album’s title track consists of very touching lyrics but at the same time sees the band again deliver a wave of electronica that separates Emigrate from all other hard rock bands out there. The genius of Kruspe’s song writing is clearly on show with ‘Lead You On.’ The inclusion of vocals from Margaux Bossieux makes it feel like a hard rock love song but the twisted element of the vocals “I am going to lead you on” puts the song into the same special place as VAST’S ‘Dirty Hole.’ By far the most beautiful track on the album is ‘You Are So Beautiful’ a track that Kruspe recently told HEAVY Mag he wrote about his baby daughter… yes this is a track that is going to find itself on a lot of love mixes over the next few years.
‘Hide And Seek’ and ‘I’m Not Afraid’ the latter featuring Ghost’s Cardinal Copia both see a catchiness return to the album. It feels weird saying that as ‘I’m Not Afraid’ is powerful as all hell while ‘Hide And Seek’ also has an aggressive side to it. ‘Let’s Go’ sees a darker side come through the album but one of the best tracks of the year comes with the epic ‘We Are Together’… a track you just want to listen to over and over. And if the album hasn’t already convinced you of Kruspe’s song-writing abilities it finishes with the thought-provoking ‘Spitfire’ and the very beautiful ‘Eyes Fade Away’ which contains some very personal lyrics and again sees Kruspe sounding like Ozzy Osbourne.
A Million Degrees is a brilliant album that just goes to show how talented Emigrate are as a band. This is pure musical perfection and clearly one of the albums of the years.