As much as I love the German medieval rock scene, I must admit that no band ever managed to come close to the status of the genre’s first important bands such as Subway To Sally, In Extremo, Schandmaul or Saltatio Mortis. Saltatio Mortis peaked the charts with the enjoyable Das schwarze Einmaleins last summer, In Extremo released a really strong record entitled Kunstraub at the end of last year, Schandmaul came around with the softer folk rock orientated Unendlich earlier this year and Subway To Sally will soon be releasing their conceptual record Mitgiftfeaturing eleven tracks about crimes and murders. Everything has somehow remained the same in this genre over the past ten years. A couple of promising bands such as Cultus Ferox didn’t make their breakthrough, the versatile Schelmish split up and more classical bands like Corvus Corax released a couple of less convincing records. It’s really about time for the genre to come around with a few fresh faces, new noises and thundering tracks.
Ingrimm are a younger band that was founded in 2006 and they already come around with their fourth release Henkt Ihn! this winter. Obviously, I have heard about this band before but I had never checked out an entire record. Their new album has a rather heavy sound somewhere between industrial metal and a few thrash metal parts. This could be an interesting base but the problem is that the musicians are not exceptional and that many songs sound quite alike after a while. As a reference, I would maybe cite Saltatio Mortis’ Des Königs Henker or Subway To Sally’s Engelskrieger which were their heaviest outputs respectively. Ingrimm put more metal but less folk influences in their sound. There are a few bagpipes, hurdy gurdies and violins in the songs but they don’t play anything addicting that gets stuck on your mind most of the time. Sometimes, it rather feels as if the folk instruments were alibis to get the attention of the medieval rock scene for a Neue Deutsche Härte band. Ingrimm somewhat sounds like a mixture of Grantig, Saltatio Mortis and Stahlmann. It’s not really bad but nothing revolutionary either.
Henkt Ihn! still has a couple of energizing and promising moments but you really have to dig their mixture of genres. “Carpe Diem” kicks off like a Neue Deutsche Härte track in the key of Megaherz and gets faster to sound a little bit like Tankard. The vocals are raw and even feature a few exceptional growls. The chorus is though very melancholic and almost slow and features hypnotizing violin and bagpipe sounds. When the chorus is repeated for the last time, blast beats suddenly kick in and end the track with a bang. It’s interesting to fusion these different elements but the mixture doesn’t sound fluid to me. The song has some potential but sounds somewhat odd. If the band worked on its song writing, this mixture could become a winning element in the future.
Apart of “Carpe Diem”, the mixture of medieval folk passages, Neue Deutsche Härte buildups and thrash metal riffs works best in the catchy potential single “Asche auf mein Haupt” and the dark grower “Schwarzes Gold” in my opinion. On the other side, the record gets somewhat repetitive towards the end despite its short length of only forty minutes. The closing epic “Engel” drags on for far too long for example and sounds rather predictable. The song has a mid tempo pace, features more romantic lyrics and tries to sound different from the rest but it feels too constructed and doesn’t end the record on a high note.
In the end, fans of the aforementioned bands and genres can give this band a try. I would maybe purchase this record at a reduced price and put a few good songs on my playlist. Ingrimm might be rather appealing live as well and you should try to catch them up during a festival if you can. On the other side, this record is pretty unspectacular. It’s not bad but it’s not excellent either and that’s maybe the worst thing for an artist if you sound irrelevant and are neither adored nor hated by the masses. After all, if you don’t care or know about the bands mentioned in this article, Ingrimm should rather not be your first choice to get in contact with that particular German sound.