review :: Royce Icon
I bought "Auto Da Fe" about 4 years ago, and at first I really didn't care for it much. I probably listened to it a dozen or so times before putting it away, not touching it for a good two or so years. But one night while I was trying to unpack my cd collection after moving to a different place I happened upon it, and I've really enjoyed it ever since.
I think the reason I disliked it was because it's so different from the other two early SPK albums I own, Information Overload Unit and Leichenschrei. But unlike the band's later stuff, which seems to have veered into more of a bland dance territory, "Auto Da Fe" is very much an old school industrial record. In fact, the first half of the album contains the band's earliest output, the singles they released before IOU, such as the legendary "Slogun" (sound familiar?). But it's definitely different, and due to the 5 year time span of the material on the disc it's musically varied, which I think is another thing that bothered me about it, but now it's one of the reasons I probably listen to it the most of my SPK records.
The sounds explored range from weird violent post-punk to dark synthpop, to psychotic industrial noise and PE to textured seething ambient, but that kickass early industrial spirit is intact throughout. "Auto Da Fe" pretty much concludes the trilogy of SPK albums that fall into the early industrial genre, and I think it's just as essential as the other two.