Crikey, this one's a stinker. "Schädling" sits on the mellow end of the :w: spectrum, with none of the classic club-oriented endzeit crunch, but the latest from the non-papal Ratzinger also utterly lacks the evocative ambience of "Cannibal Anthem". After that record and the equally respectable "Body Census", we're squarely back to a "Bone Peeler" level of craptitude. Embarrassing vocals drown out any subtle flourishes that Rudy might have crafted into the tracks, but nothing here could go half a round with any halfway memorable :w: cut you'd care to mention. The only bright spot is the instrumental "Hard To Bear", which deftly constructs a traditional, non-EBM electro groove with surprising flair and panache. That there isn't any other real experimentation on this album is another mark against it - had Rudy tried to broaden his horizons and fallen flat on his face (*coughskyshaper*), it'd be slightly more forgivable than releasing what sounds like a hastily assembled collection of sub-standard leftovers from the previous two albums. By the time album-closer "Nest" ends with what (I presume) is meant to sound like the buzz of a swarm of insects ("schädling" appropriately translates to "pest", according to Google), you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for the final flatulence of a slowly dying, decrepit old horse, and being thankful that the sad thing's finally given up the ghost.
Rudy claimed a while back that "Schädling" would be more uptempo than recent releases, and that he was returning to "Music For A Slaughtering Tribe"-style aggression with all tracks weighing in at 135 BPM or more. He might be technically right about the latter claim (this couldn't be "MFAST" part II even in bizarro world), but when the beats can't even evoke a single foot tap or head nod out of yr highly over-caffeinated writer (again, with the exception of "Hard To Bear"), hawking a record on the specs of its BPM isn't just moot, it's comically pathetic. Rudy recently flooded the market with a glut of reissues and remasterings of far stronger classic material, so if you've got a hankering to drop some cash on :w: produkt in '08, you've got loads of options beyond the limp and uninspired "Schädling". Strong recommendation to avoid.