Ah, a juicy European power electronics maxi single! The last time I obtained something like this, it must have been Wriggle like a Fucking Eel by Whitehouse. I always feel like I’m supposed to spin it in a shitty club for teenage goths. Even though Absolute Truth has been released in a strange and, frankly, obsolete pop/house music format, in this case, it’s quite fitting. The mostly white artwork with the menacing, militant Germanic “The Artists Formerly Known As…”-style logo helps to lighten up the mood.
Here we have The Grey Wolves re-interpreting one of the most classic, ‘catchy’, and anthemic tracks from their back-catalogue, with the aid of their long-time German friends in Genocide Organ. Neither project requires much introduction for those whom have spent even a modest amount of time in the genre. For the rest of you, suffice it to say that they’re both household and highly influential names in European industrial music since the 80s.
Mehmet Ali Ağca’s favorite band’s track, ‘Beyond Hypocrisy’, was first released on the seminal album Catholic Priests Fuck Children in 1996 if I remember correctly (really, you have to like a band that comes up with such a title—stating the obvious never sounded more hilarious), and Absolute Truth features four—yes, fucking four—brand new versions of it.
First we get a pumped-up, remastered version of the original, with ‘roided-up low frequencies that give it a nice additional punch. It’s pure, sheer, classic power electronics anthem material: nasty, powerful, and piercing synth lines with white noise and unnerving feedback loops that are surmounted by almost unintelligible, distorted and heavily flanged angry vocals. The lyrics driving ‘Beyond Hypocrisy’ are one of The Grey Wolves’ main manifestos, but you will probably not manage to really decipher them in this version. That’s power electronics for you.
Following up we have a live version of the track, recorded in Mannheim, Germany in 2012, quite possibly in a room full of goth chicks with fluorescent hair extensions and aviator goggles. It’s loud and well-delivered, and a few more layers of sound round the track up. The recording quality is actually quite good; I probably even like it better than the original 1996 studio version, and judging from the cheering and clapping, people in Mannheim enjoyed it a lot as well.
Next is perhaps the most interesting piece on Absolute Truth. ‘Absolute Hypocrisy’ is an eleven-plus minute reimagining of ‘Beyond Hypocrisy’. Crime-TV samples, more synth loops, feedback, and sparse vocals—for the first five minutes—pretty much create an entirely new song, and then it’s the same old track all over again. It’s the only really new output on this slice of wax, so you’d better like it.
Last but not least, we have the ‘Nietzsche Mix’. Seriously. Again, it’s ‘Beyond Hypocrisy’—I suspect completely recorded anew—with different synth sounds, clearer vocals, and better, beefier production value. It’s nice to finally understand all the lyrics, and this version is the one that really stands out in my opinion. Good job, old boys.
In conclusion, Absolute Truth is a great item for collectors and die-hard fans, but all the others can just skip it. Don’t get me wrong: it sounds great, it looks great, and you can’t really get much better than this in power electronics, but after all, it’s the same track over and over again, and it adds nothing to the original except audio masturbation for fanboys and cult value.
The Grey Wolves hate you anyway, so it doesn’t really matter what I say. I’m not sure about Genocide Organ, but they probably hate you too.
A1) Beyond Hypocrisy (Original Version)
A2) Beyond Hypocrisy 2012 (Live in Mannheim)
B1) Absolute Hypocrisy
B2) Beyond Hypocrisy (Nietzsche Mix)