(8/10) Surprise, surprise - sometimes it's the unexpected things that makes everyday life more colorful. On of these moments was for me personally when I listened to the new longplayer of In Extremo.
The seven-piece band from Berlin, Germany is very well known in Germany where the guys achieved already gold and platinum status with some of their records. In Extremo is more than two decades in business and belong to the spearhead of medieval rock/metal. On the one hand the guys build their music in classic rock instruments like electric guitars, bass and drums. But they include more unusual instruments in their music too. Bagpipe and shawm are just two of them.
In Extremo released their debut "In Extremo" twenty years ago and in the meantime their discography was constantly getting bigger and bigger. The newest release is named "Quid Pro Quo" and it's the band's 12th full-length longplayer.
I must admit that for whatever reason I never really found an entry point to In Extremo's music. But then I got the new album and to my surprise I really liked what I heard. This whole medieval thing wasn't really my favorite metal style and I don't think that this, generally spoken, will change, but I also have to say that I like In Extremo's new album. It's one of these positive surprises I mentioned earlier.
What made an impression is the power and the musical variations on "Quid Pro Quo". The album comes with a lot of good songs, some average tracks and no downer. In addition there is absolutely nothing wrong with the sound. This longplayer is forceful and benefits from a dynamic production.
I talked about the width of sound on "Quid Pro Quo", something that can be seen as a red thread throughout the entire album.
"Störtebeker" is the bold opener and for me one of the best tracks on this disc. It combines melody with a fast rhythm and comes with a certain punky expression - real pirate style. Another song you should have listened to is the title track. It has a repetitive pattern in the verse which has an almost hypnotic expression. We are talking about a cool grooving anthem that includes a well-done sing-a-long chorus and relevant lyrics.
"Pinkse Palve" instead could come directly out of your favorite Irish pub, something that also goes for "Sternhagelvoll" which is a prefect drinking song too.
In Extremo got also support from some guests. "Roter Stern" includes vocals done by Blind Guardian frontman Hansi Kursch. It's a song that's, compared to the other tracks, a bit more complex. It grows over time and I needed some time to find out the joy of this number.
The second tune that features a guest appearance is "Flaschengeist". Heaven Shall Burn added some quite heavy sounds to this piece of music which makes especially the middle section to a real heavy one.
All in all I like the album. I was surprised by the fact that I want to listen to the album again and again. So, even if you're not the biggest fan of medieval inspired metal music you should take the 'risk' and listen to "Quid Pro Quo". You might be surprised too.
- Roter Stern
- Quid Pro Quo
- Pikse Palve
- Lieb Vaterland, magst ruhig sein
- Flaschenteufel (feat. Heaven Shall Burn)
- Dacw 'Nghariad
- Glück auf Erden
- Schwarzer Rabe
Genre: Medieval Metal
Release Date EU: June 14th, 2016