SATANIK GERMANIK! Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Believe it or not, there's going to be another Hanzel und Gretyl album coming out soon! Yes, this year. 2015! It's going to be called Satanik Germanik. Other than that, we don't really know anything about it. But watch out for the ability to preorder soon.
You can read my song reviews below. I liked the album quite a bit, but hardly any of the songs really fit a concert-setting, I think. The title track, "Pentagram Sky," and maybe "Big Bad Kyzrwölf," but other than those...yeah, I can't see myself getting too excited to hear live. Especially since Loopy doesn't use any kind of vocal effects on stage, and that's a big part of the Black Forest Metal sound, in my opinion. I mean, his voice is always off from album versions of songs, but I feel like the lack of distortion and whatever when they play the new songs, it really detracts from it. Maybe it's just me though.
Anyway, get ready for Satanik Germanik. I'm excited.
BLACK FOREST METAL REVIEW PART DREI Sunday, November 9, 2014
The new album is released in 2 days. Here are the rest of my reviews.
7. Burning Witches for Satan
Boom! In slams in the next song. It starts sounding like something off of the 2012 album, but then chills out into a more groovy style with English lyrics. I don't skip this track, but it isn't a standout selection. I foresee it being played live, and it would probably be enjoyable there. Something I noticed with this song, and it's a small thing, but the mix sounds a little different. The drums aren't as punchy, and the guitars sound a tad off. Maybe it was one of the first songs they recorded for the album, or maybe it's one of the last ones. I remember Vas or Loopy saying something somewhere about recording some stuff kind of late in the process. So maybe "Burning Witches for Satan" didn't get the same kind of attention as the other songs.
8. Mavro Metalliko
One of the more brutal and memorable songs in my opinion. We have some sort of foreign lyrics. I don't think it's German, at least not entirely. I could be wrong though. Before I mentioned these new songs generally having a more sophisticated and thought out sound. "Mavro Metalliko" exemplifies that nicely. It's all subjective of course, but I feel the way the different sections of the songs work together really makes the song. Just compare it to the previous track or "Hexenkraft." This song just takes you places, and I do get a little hint of Scheissmessiahness here. Good stuff.
9. Big Bad Kyzrwölf
If there are any silly songs on this album, this would be it. "More Metal Than the Devil" almost fits that description, but this one is more so. The title probably makes that obvious though. It's no "Number 1 in Deutschland" or "Der Furer" or something, but it is one of those Loopy songs that I hope gets played live and becomes a staple. Starting off with some Slayeresque guitar notes, it alternates between slow verses and super heavy parts. Again, the vocal effects are so extreme that I don't think they can get away with doing it without effects live; it would sound silly.
10. Pentagram Sky
Reaching track 10, this is my favorite song on the album, and certainly one of my favorite HuG songs of all time. It's heavy, it's catchy, it just takes you places. The main riff reminds me of "Shortest Straw" by Metallica a little bit, but that probably wasn't intentional. It features a lot of Vas/Loopy dueling vocals, which I've always been a fan of. They rarely have their vocals overlap for some reason, traditionally, although it does happen occassionally on this new album. But "Pentagram Sky" specifically, it works spectacularly. There's a creepy guitar solo in the middle, breaking it down. The song clocks in at 7 minutes and 31 seconds, which is also admirable. Almost all of their songs are between 3 and 4 minutes, and it's just awesome that this musical masterpiece lasts as long as it does. Looking into it, the only song that comes close as far as running time goes is "Trance Planet Vortex," which lasts 6 minutes and 47 seconds, if you're curious.
Anyway, I'm spending a lot of time on this song, but I have to. I can't remember the last time a song hit me like this one did, by any band. I can listen to it over and over again, and I get goosebumps every time. I love this song. I want to marry it.
11. Grimm Ritual
As "Hoia Baciu" took us into the world of Black Forest Metal, "Grimm Ritual" takes us out of it. It's musically more substantial than the intro, and just kind of drones on the whole time. In this case though, it works. It just makes me want more, and so I listen to the album again, because it's awesome.
And that's the end. Black Forest Metal, the new album from Hanzel und Gretyl, comes out in just a couple of days. It is sincerely a step forward for the band, but I believe if you've been craving a little old school HuG sound, you're going to get some of that here. Aside from "Hexenkraft," I love every minute of it. Speaking of minutes, the album is over too soon, with only 11 tracks and the bulk of them clocking in around the 3 minute mark. But hey, that just leaves us wanting more, and when we get it, if it's half as good as Black Forest Metal is, it'll all be worth it to wait.
Preorder this thing guys. iTunes, Amazon, Metropolis Records
The best deal is at Amazon, but use what you want. Buy it and go see them. It looks like they're going to do a small tour in the US in December. There's a New York and a Virginia date so far.
BLACK FOREST METAL REVIEW PART ZWEI Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Here we go again. Round 2 of my full album review of Black Forest Metal.
I do not like this song. I almost always skip it when I listen to Black Forest Metal. I'm not sure why I don't like it, but it's the weakest track in the bunch, in my opinion. Even if someone didn't actively dislike this song, I think they would agree that it's the least good song on the album. As I've mentioned before, these new songs are generally slow to mid-tempo, and this is a slower song, but I don't think that's why I don't like it. Maybe it's that the verses are slow, and the choruses are even slower. Maybe I'm weird and prefer the more driving choruses found in songs such as "Loud und Proud" or "Fikk Dich Mit Fire."
5. More Metal Than the Devil
Contrasting the previous track, "More Metal Than the Devil" is very listenable. Even the title of the song is awesome, and I hope it makes its way on the back of a t-shirt in the near future. While the name of the song sort of recalls "More German Than German," from the Born to Be Heiled album, the song itself is nothing like it. It isn't my favorite song on the new HuG release, but it's in the top 3 probably. It's one of the faster songs here, and perhaps the heaviest, featuring Loopy's wolf-vocals. Also of note is that the refrain/prechorus/whatever part contains some screaming and sort of ridiculous drumwork that we might have heard on Zwanzig Zwolf some years ago. It's the kind of sound I wish more of these new songs shared: It's definitely a new direction from what they've done before, an evolution, but it's still unmistakably Hanzel und Gretyl.
6. Evil as Fukk
Then this song plays, trying to beat the last song for coolest song title ever. I like this song a lot. It's kind of groovy and slow and drones on, but it's pleasing to my ears. It's a nice transition from "More Metal Than the Devil." Hopefully they'll play this live. Speaking of which, and I'm sure I've mentioned it here or on the forum somewhere, but all of Loopy's vocals are heavily processed and scary sounding. I wonder how they'll handle that live. Will it just be playback? Or will he use a vocal effects processor? I hope it's the latter, but we'll see.
BLACK FOREST METAL REVIEW PART EINS Sunday, November 2, 2014
Alright, I'm late doing this, but here we go. Black Forest Metal is coming out next Tuesday, November 11th. My plan is to do 2-3 reviews each day, so I should be done with each song review by the end of the week. Like before, as I said, I'm going to review each song individually. That's different from most album reviews. But if you're here reading this, you should be familiar with Hanzel und Gretyl's catalog and will get a good perspective on my feelings about the album. I like all of HuG's albums, but I can definitely appreciate all of them.
1. Hoia Baciu
This is the intro to the album, setting the tone for what is to come. It's very slow and dirgey, with spoken word being the focus. I can't say it's very interesting, but it serves its purpose.
2. Black Forest Metal
You've probably heard this song by now. If you haven't, go watch the nifty video they did for it. I didn't like this title track at first, but it grew on me. Musically, it's more sophisticated than most of Hanzel und Gretyl's past work I think. Other than the crazy death metal German growling towards the end of the song, it's lacking that patented HuG silliness a little bit. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don't know. That's up to the listener to decide.
3. Blood of My Horns
The third track is one of my favorites on Black Forest Metal. It's more of a straightforward metal song with a chorus that will surely be fun to experience live, and if you're listening to the album from beginning to end, you've probably realized that Black Forest Metal is indeed a turning point for the band. It's heavy, but these songs are slower than you'd expect them to be. This song, and pretty much every other song on the album, would not fit on any other Hanzel und Gretyl album.
BLACK FOREST METAL REVIEW INCOMING! Thursday, October 23, 2014
Because I am so fortunate, I have been listening to Black Forest Metal for a few weeks. You may remember last year that I reviewed the remix album, Fur Immer. I want to review Black Forest Metal too, so I'm going to. I've been working on typing out reviews of each track. I don't want to spoil anything, but it's good. I will say this though: if you miss more of a Scheissmessiah sound and/or did not like Zwanzig Zwolf so much, you'll like Black Forest Metal a lot, I think.
BLACK FOREST METAL HAS BEEN FUNDED! Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Hanzel und Gretyl have reached their PledgeMusic goal. As of this posting, they've raised 103% of it actually, weeks in advance of the deadline. Maybe with the extra money, they'll come up with more merchandise for us to buy such as military caps or tank tops or socks or something. Or...maybe something to fancy up the live show like strobe lights! I miss the days when they would use those.
Anyway, even though the goal has been reached, we should still consider pledging more. There are still some cool, one-of-a-kid items to purchase on the PledgeMusic page: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/hanzelundgretyl
I bought a lot of stuff myself, including but not limited to Loopy's New Century V Factor guitar. I fell in love with that thing when I saw him playing it 8 years ago in Chicago. And now (or whenever they ship it) it is mine!
NEW ALBUM! PLEDGEMUSIC! Wednesday, May 21, 2014
I don't have time to write up a lot for this right now, but I wanted to get this out there. Hanzel und Gretyl are doing a PledgeMusic campaign for their new album. Lots of exclusive goodies can be had by you if you donate. There's 60 days to meet the goal. We can't tell what that goal is, but we've got it up to 8%. Not bad for only being up for a few hours.
This is something I've been hoping HuG would do for an album someday, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I got wind of it. Fund the new album, Black Forest Metal, and get awesome stuff in the process!