Am Rande der Welt

Written by: EW on 04/05/2009 19:58:35

Folk metal is certainly in vogue at the moment with huge numbers of, mainly European, bands out on the circuit bringing their brands of happy melodies to the masses, and as we are entering the wonderful festival season it seems as good a time as any to dissect the values of one or two of those whom have yet to make their mark on the genre. Of course, folk metal is perfect fodder for drunken enjoyment at summer festivals and whether its birth was formed with this intention in mind is debatable but for any FM (will it catch on?) album to 'pass' it must be suitable for the stage, and ideally, digestible to a large following.

And therein lies the problem with Nachtgeschrei - they aren't going to be digestible to anyone outside the German-speaking region. Some own language styles/bands can work, hell I saw Týr last night who were brilliant and sing largely in Faroese/Danish/Icelandic, but Nachtgeschrei just sound so German that a natural musical barrier is formed. Also, in case you were wondering if the band could pull off a coup by being successful despite the language barrier then on the basis of "Am Rande der Welt", they shall not. Undoubtedly to the chagrin of everyone who might've read Massacre Records' description of an 'ageless medieval rock' band as something cool and exciting, it certainly isn't. Nachtgeschrei are essentially a German rock band possessive of folk instruments, sometimes performing 'heavier', sometimes very soft and sappy, and always sounding like In Extremo. Early songs on the album like "Muspili" and "Herz aus Stein" are folk metal for the Alestorm generation - all style and no substance, led by said folk instrumentation that make for an amusing bouncy performance but offer nothing substantially new to the genre. It is with "Fernweh" where things really start to plummet however - acoustic guitars take the lead during vocal patterns in what is essentially a pop song. In German. One could argue the usage here of the folk instrumentation is different to the norm but the song's structure is so inherently commercial in nature that the band's worth to a folk metal-craving audience has gone out the window and it becomes hard to accept Nachtgeschrei from here on for whatever they want to be known as.

I should've known from many Wacken experiences that bands like In Extremo and Subway to Sally were there for the locals only, and Nachtgeschrei can now join that dubious list of disinterest to all foreigners. Too many songs end up sounding the same and with a weak spine in the album's acoustic elements backing much of the proceedings, "Am Rande der Welt" simply won't be successful here in Britain. As for Germany, well that's anyones guess.


Download: Muspili
For The Fans Of: In Extremo, Subway to Sally
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 20.03.09
Massacre Records

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