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In Extremo – Kompass Zur Sonne Award winner

In Extremo
Kompass Zur Sonne
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 26 May 2020, 3:58 AM

IN EXTREMO is a 7-Piece Medieval Rock/Metal band from Berlin, Germany. In 2020, they are celebrating 25 years of existence. Combining Metal with Medieval Traditional songs, blending the roots of Folk Metal with ancient instruments like the Harp, Bagpipes, Nyckelharpa and the Shawm, they are one of the most important bands ever in the genre and have inspired countless bands. In Germany they were big influences on bands like RAMMSTEIN (for the stage shows with fire, pyrotechnics and pagentry) but in the rest of Europe, their influence is still felt to this day.

This is unlike anything I ever heard before, they have three Bagpipe players and the mix of traditional Folk Metal and those ancient instruments makes it a hybrid of sorts. They have a very poetic approach to writing their songs and they actually have translated some very old poems to music in the past and they are not a one tricky pony! As much as at the beginning of their career, they were very medieval driven, they have incorporated more and more Metal elements to their music. This album is a musical progression and their first album since their 40 song Best of that came out back in 2017.

They did however abandon the older instruments (and heaviness pretty much) on ‘’Quid Pro Quo’’ and they were nothing more than an afterthought yet they decided to come back to their roots for ‘’Kompass Zur Sonne’’. One thing you have to admit, even when listening to the back catalogue is how their music is entertaining, very crown pleasing. It’s like listening to a party when you listen to one of their albums and it’s an experience. I bet those live shows are something else and according to the YouTube videos, it has to be seen to be believed obviously. The songs on the new album, especially ‘’Wintermarchen’’ and ‘’Lugenpack’’ will be crowd favorites in the future when all of this chaos will be dealt with. Those songs are catchy as hell and the energy is boundless.

They still keep that Medieval spirit that everyone has loved since their beginning and really came back to their roots on this album. They are back to what made their mark and I can really hear the influences these fellas have had on bands like KORPIKLAANI, ENSIFERUM, TYR among countless others. It’s really difficult to categorize their music yet there is something quite magical about their approach. Them speaking about olden times, shanties and old wives stories is something else and it’s unlike anything that is made right now. They are the legends of the genre and I would compare them to ESTRADASPHERE, nothing like it on the scene today and they innovate on all levels.

If you want something completely out of the ordinary and if you like the Folk Metal bands of yore, this is for you, it’s not just an album, it’s an experience like anything you have ever felt before. This new album sets sight for the future yet keeps that medieval spirit up to 11. Without them, so many bands you guys like would have never existed, their influence will be felt for decades to come bar none.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Troja
2. Kompass Zur Sonne
3. Lugenpack
4. Gogiya
5. Salva Nos
6. Schenk Nochmal Ein
7. Saigon Und Bagdad
8. Narrenschiff
9. Wer Kann Segeln Ohne Wind
10. Reiht Euch Ein Ihr Lumpen
11. Biersegen
12. Wintermarchen
13. 7 Bruder (Bonus Track)
14. Saigon Und Bagdad (Club Mix) (Bonus Track)
Das Letzte Einhorn – Vocals
Specki T.D. – Drums
Van Lange – Guitars
Die Lutter – Bass
Dr. Pymonte – Bagpipes, Harp and Shawm
Flex Der Biegsame – Bagpipes and Shawm
Yellow Pfeiffer – Bagpipes, Shawn and Nyckelharpa
Record Label: Vertigo Berlin


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