Y'know, rock as a whole is pretty good at being bent and shaped in whatever way you want. It can also suck in the influence of any other musical genres that wander too close and very often you will get back something that is at least interesting.
Rock seems to have a particular affinity for horns. Even the boys and girls of the more, shall we say, extreme Metal persuasion will acknowledge that a full on horn section will give any tired old rock a new lease of life. Sometimes the reinvigorating effect can be close to revelatory.
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And here, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and people of all rock types, is a case in point. All you have to decide is whether Volksmetal is a German umpah troupe with a Metal backing band or vice versa. Off putting? Don't let it be.
'Volksmetal' is a fucking howl. The result of Teutonic Metal bumping drunkenly into German folk music and happily replacing the resultant spilt beer. Volksmetal the band comes at you with a stein in both hands, lederhosen that are perhaps a little too tight and a big shit eating grin.
According to the accompanying promo blurb, here's how it all started. I quote: "Marco and Patrick coincidentally met one morning, during a forest walk near the island of Mainau while picking flowers. The live preparations of the summer festival of the folk musicians were running at their fullest. The show is presented by an unknown talent Florian Goldstahl who still remains an unknown talent. He invited both full blooded Metal heads without further ado to the evening.
"Two Metal heads meet four traditional folk musicians, Botze, Martin, Christian and Christian. Immediately they recognize the tender soul relationship between Metal and folk music which is not least based on the common admiration of holy beer and viola, the birth of Volksmetal."
'Volksmetal' is a camp, boisterous, humorous album that demonstrates the boys have not been afraid to mess about with strongly held musical traditions. Needless to say, in doing so they've suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune at the hands of righteous Metal heads and traditional beardy weirdies.
The problem is how to describe what the hell it sounds like. 'Fürstenfeld', 'Da Mäddelbanger' and the punky opener 'Da Deifel Is A Oachkatzerl' pretty much set the scene with their accordion and tuba frills. The entire album has a double kick Metal groove bastardised to suite yer local Bierkeller, which to be honest is no bad thing. Imagine an unlikely happy smiley Rammstein jamming with a Bierkeller house band.
If a soundtrack were needed for a rockers/bikers beer appreciation evening then this would more than ably do the job. Folk music with all the features of a Metal album, what impresses is the way the band shifts the emphasis, the music not only effortlessly flipping between the two genres but melding them without losing the boisterous good time atmosphere.
The more evangelical Metal heads amongst us will be apoplectic; so disgusted will they be that they'll be poking their upside down crosses in their ears whilst weeping into their favourite mug of cocoa and protectively fingering their new Fetus Stench CD. The rest of us will be swinging along trying not to spill that very expensive but very nice Deutsch bier.
If you are not afraid to dabble a bit in something different then this is most definitely for you. Volksmetal may ultimately prove to be a bit of a one trick pony but the album will undoubtedly prove a must for the fast approaching Chrimbo party season.
Prost! Und möge der gute Herr Erbarme dich deiner tiefen dunklen sterbliche Seele.