In a time when Folk Metal was beginning to work on my nerves with its thousands of stereotypical bands using the same “Black Polka” formula, I happened to discover a few great and original groups, playing folkish music with attitude and rooted in the real world. That is how I got into bands like SUBWAY TO SALLY, ECHO OF DALRIADA, SKYCLAD and of course these Berliners of IN EXTREMO.
As you probably know, this is a rather bizarre 7 pieces act. They make their own instruments and the multitude of genres present on their compositions make of IN EXTREMO an interesting musical travesty. Thrash, Folk, Punk and Pop march hand to hand spiced with bagpipes and harps. “7” is probably their most representative album to date; the brightest of IN EXTREMO’s geniality can be found here, but the flaws that prevent them from being a totally master band are present once again.
All begins with the stunning anthem “Erdbeermund”, keeping the tradition of this band of starting their albums with extremely catchy songs. This track is among my very favourite by the band… thrashy, heavy and with a strong chorus. Then comes “Sefardim”, another great song inspired by Spanish medieval folk and with the third, “Ave Maria”, the Pop elements begin to be more notorious in the vocal lines, still over a crushing instrumental base.
Until this moment “7” is an extremely good album, but unfortunately with “Mein Kind” begin the fillers. Among five or six highlights (add “Küss Mich” and “Sagrada Trobar” to the first three), there are a lot of mediocre, boring and mid-tempo to slow songs, including the unattractive RAMMSTEIN rip-off “Melancholie” and the horrible “Madre Deus”. The overall result is then an overlong CD, original most of the time and with a few extraordinary pieces shining bright, but very irregular.
God, how freaking awesome IN EXTREMO could be if they just take more time between releases. Now I’m gonna make a 2 CDs compilation with my favourite songs by these Germans and you can bet it’s going to be killer!
(Online November 1, 2006)