Monday, 1 July 2013

New German Hardness

Hmmm. Tanz Metal or as it is also know Neue Deutsche Härte. Is a rather bland genre, for the most part though some absolute gems of course can be found. The thing with this kind of music is that it is generally written to be played in places with low-ceilings, low-lights, high-humidity, high-alcoholic environments. And knowing this I still keep on going back to it.

The most famous example of Neue Deutsche Härte is of course Rammstein. Now I LOVE Rammstein, and that includes the albums Rosenrot and Reise, Reise. I still remember listening to the first album as a teenager with my brother, after a friend had recommended to him. But those two albums don't strictly speaking fall under the banner of Neue Deutsche Härte the first three albums do though with Mutter being the masterpiece. That is another album I keep on going back to, it is an absolute joy to listen to. From the orchestral leanings of Mein Herz Brennt, to the army rhythm of Links 2 3 4, the heartfelt and heartbreak off Spieluhr and the magical riff on Zwitter. Rammstein as a band are also built for the stage, huge members with huge personalities and huge stage-shows. Their concert in Iceland is still one of the highlight of my life!

There are other bands who seemed to live well enough off playing Neue Deutsche Härte, there is Oomph, Hanzel und Gretyl, Eisbrecher, Megaherz and [Die!]. The first three are, for my taste, a bit too polished, bit too calculated. And the all have singers that sport the mid-range baritone like Till Lindemann. Which is usually not a bad thing, but even Till has started mixing up with his vocal style.

Now Megaherz started out as more like an alternative rock/metal band with slight dance/techno leanings. The first album was definitely like that, then they decided, for better or worse, to follow in Rammsteins footsteps with the next four albums. The difference being between them and the competition (Bar Rammstein of course) was that they knew how to play their instruments and weren't too afraid of mixing it up. Gott Sein is probably still the best song to come out the whole Neue Deutsche Härte scene. Then the singer, Alexx Wesselsky, quit because he found that Megaherz weren't danceable enough and formed Eisbrecher, who while are quite danceable are also fairly unlistenable! In his place they poached a singer called Matthias Elsholz from a band called Twelve After Elf(Yes it is a horrible band name), boy could he sing and not only in the mid-baritone note either this man is a Heavy Metal singer with full right to the capital letters I put in there. With him they released their best album, 5, which is easily on par with Rammstein's Mutter. I was at the time really really looking forward to the following album, but then Matthias quit. Whoomph, vanished. And that dream was kaputt. And instead they hired another mid-range baritone who doesn't stray too much above or below that, and who resembles Alexx a bit too much for my liking, named Lex(Even his name seriously!?) Wohnhass. And since released two albums that sound sterile, mathematically rhythmic and polished. And I lost interest, at least I have 5 and et al.

Recently I went through a bit of a Tanz Metal phase on Spotify and came across a band called [Die!] and their album 'Still'. Who apart from daft name and name design(I mean what is meant to mean? "THE!" Common!! Makes it nearly impossible to find them on Facebook or anywhere else on the internet) sounds absolutely brutal, in tanz metal terms anyway. With Matthias at the helm! Fuck YES!!!  If they keep on releasing stuff of this quality they will hopefully get far. A singer with that quality vocal range and talent deserves to go far and possible further then that.

If there is any justice that is.

Note: Come to find out later on that Matthias Elsholz has left [Die!]. Damn.
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