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Macbeth - Gedankenwächter Award winner

by Kai Naiman at 29 March 2020, 6:26 AM

From the country that introduced us with Teutonic Thrash Metal back in the 1980’s come the Heavy Metal unit MACBETH. Ready to unleash their fifth full-length album, “Gedankenwächter” to the world, this 10-track long record, which translates to “thought keeper”, is an album every German Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal fan will enjoy, and for an album promised to be the band’s fastest album as of yet, I sure can understand why.

Have you ever heard the phrase “it ticks like a German clock”? – because that’s exactly what MACBETH’s “Gedankenwächter” is; dealing with topics such as religious fanatism, wartime atrocities, propaganda and their impact on mankind, this bombastic album depicts, both lyrically and musically, grim images of days bygone. Even if you're not adherent to the German language, just listening to the tone used by the band to portray their message of philosophy, war and tragedy. Enshrined in the traditional German Heavy Metal compositional whereabouts but provides enough atmosphere-clairifying mostly thanks to the guitar duo of Alexander Kopp and Ralf Klein and Oliver Hippauf hardened and rough vocals, there are quite a lot of satisfying and engaging moments in the collection: "In Seinem Namen" for example, or in it's Englified rendering, "in his name", possibly refering to the notorious man whose name begins with the capital G, is a powerhouse of intriguing moments, which are rarely found in MACBETH's local Metal sphere. "Brandstifter", or "arsonist", is another brilliant example.

There is quite a lot going on, compositionally-wise, in “Gedankenwächter”; as I've previously stated, this album is basically traiditional German Heavy Metal with several elements of Thrash Metal. That being said, the fact that MACBETH, again, mostly in graditude to their guitar duo, created what can be generally labeled as Heavy Metal or Thrash Metal, does not take away from the band's ability to vitalize their natural thematic frame, and add a fair amount of enjoyable riffs and solos, that rarely goes dull or flat on the listeners' ears. Title track “Gedankenwächter” is a collection of Heavy Metal classical mannerisms, but remain true and just to the album's pattern. Another fun highlight snippet can be found at the fourth track, "Wolfskinder", or "wolf's children" where more slower and perhaps, Doom Metal-esque colours are presenting in between the surrounding groove.

Overall, this album is what I'd expact every traditional Heavy Metal album to sound like. It's full of vigour and character - a real 'balls to the wall' classic. It stays true to the genre by illustrating dire and dark matters, but did anyone honestly expect otherwise? MACBETH's fifth attempt, “Gedankenwächter”, is an instant-classic for traditional and German Heavy Metal fans alike, and may as well flutter Thrash Metal fans as well.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Friedenstaube
2. Krieger
3. In Seinem Namen
4. Wolfkinder
5. Daskalogiannis
6. Neue Welt
7. Brandstifter
8. Hexenhammer
9. Gedankenwächter
10. Demmin
Oliver Hippauf - Vocals
Alexander Kopp - Guitars
Ralf Klein - Guitars
Hanjo Papst - Bass
Steffen Adolf - Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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Edited 28 March 2023

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