Release DetailsLABEL Metal Blade Records
RELEASED ON 6/4/2002
Sunder Ohne Zugel
posted on 10/2002 By:
Metal and what? Bagpipes. and metal? Oh, I get it, bagpipe metal! You heard correctly, Germany's In Extremo have combined traditional German instruments with some awesome heavy metal worthy of my exclusive playlist. Have you ever heard bagpipes combined with the lute, mandolin, harp, and others? Maybe so, but have you heard it combined with metal? I thought not. In Extremo manages to be one of metal's coolest and most original bands, and their latest release is evidence of this. Sunder Ohne Zugel starts out with the track called "Wind", pronounced vind in German, obviously. It was my first experience with In Extremo, and I was instantly HOOKED! I happen to be a big fan of bagpipes, and they sound seriously cool with heavy metal, as any fan of AC/DC's "It's A Long Way To The Top" can attest to. The second track, Krummavísur, has some sort of mandolin or harp in the background and sounds just plain cool, it's mesmerizing. Other standout trax on the album are Vollmond, their single, which also has a video (included on the enhanced CD), and Unter Dem Meer, which is sort of a sad, slower song, but it's done well. All tracks have some sort of cool instrument in them, whether it is a bagpipe or otherwise. I looked up the English translation of the lyrics on their website. Unfortunately, it doesn't really translate from German too well. Their lyrics sound, I don't know, clunky or hokey. The slower ones have really sappy lyrics too. But the great part is, it's in German, so it sounds cool even if they say, "we shared love, we shared pain", which translates to, "Wir teilten Liebe, wir teilten Schmerz". The singer is much like the singer from Rammstein, sort of the classic German growl. But there's no clean singing like Rammstein throws in every now and then, if there's a softer part to be sung, it's still sort of the raspy low growl ala cool Rammstein singing, which is awesome. This album has great production, which is especially cool taking into account all of the instruments you don't normally associate with metal. Trust me, bagpipes are SO METAL! All of the members are very good at what they do, I think they have like 3 bagpipe players or something. If they come to the USA, I will drop everything to see bagpipes on stage with guitars. My life would be complete. I think my enthusiasm about the bagpipes speaks for itself, I love this album. While not straight metal, it is very unique, making it a great listen. Imagine Rammstein without the electronics and dance-music influence. Replace those with bagpipes, harps, and mandolins and you have yourself In Extremo. If you're feeling adventurous, then by all means, go out and pick up this album. Tell 'em Wrathchild sent you, and they'll give you 50 percent off the price, but you'll still have to pay my 50 percent referral fee. Don't mention any of this to them though, otherwise they'll kick you out of the store. I swear.
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