There are two major phases of Einstürzende Neubauten. The first one is what the band is most famous for, characterized among other things by existential angst and confrontationism amidst a metallic inferno. This phase ended with the departure of Mark Chung and especially F.M. Einheit in the mid 90:s. Einheit seems to have been extremely important for the way that Neubauten worked with sound during the first half of their existence.

In the time since, the Neubauten tracks I have loved the most have been of a quite different sort, longing, melancholic and beautiful. It started with the otherworldly "Zebulon" off "Tabula Rasa", and has continued since all the way up to the desolate organ and exquisite poetry of "Nagorny Karabach" on this, the public release of "Alles wieder Offen".

Sometimes, listening to the faster tracks on this album, I almost get the feeling that the band feels compelled to make some noise because of their previous incarnation. Although they too have their moments, the steelpounding frantic songs like "Weil Weil Weil" and the hommage to dadaism "Let's Do it a Dada", never reach the strengths of the more sublime pieces. Since we're talking about Neubauten here, the latter ones are by no means ballads; they vibrate with tension and inevitably build toward a powerful catharsis, all the more effective for starting so quietly, perhaps with a lone Mexican vihuela guitar as on "Ich warte".

I would also like to stress the importance of Blixa Bargeld's lyrics here. I don't know any musicians as ambitious or skilled in the use of their own language, and his sticking to his mother tongue should be applauded and mimicked by artists everywhere. Running the scope from surrealism to natural romanticism, the lyrics are full of references and hidden meanings well worth pondering over, and complement the unique souncscapes of the band perfectly.

"Alles wieder Offen" is quite a straightforward Neubauten album, without the long, experimental tracks usually present. They ended up on various albums in the supporter project instead. As it is, this album only shows us a part of what Einstürzende Neubauten is really about.