My appreciation of In Extremo came pretty sudden. I had already heard all their previous albums, but I had shunted the review copies to other people because I didn't dig them at all. Then, all of a sudden, there came "Sünder Ohne Zügel". I loved it right away, and it turned out to open my taste buds for more of their earlier stuff as well. In fact, "Sünder Ohne Zügel" also became one of my favourite albums of recent years.

Now I am lead to believe that many earlier In Extremo fans considered their recent material too much like rock music. They preferred their more folky tracks. So I was wondering what the band would do on their next album - and hoping that they'd stick sufficiently to their, um, rocky path. "7", the aforemeant "next album", thankfully delivers what I'd hoped: Plenty of rock, laden with use of traditional instruments. In fact, only two tracks are genuinely folky: "Davert-Tanz" and "Melancholie", the latter of which perhaps a little too overtly so (IMHO, obviously). "Mein Kind" is a little cheesy, but other than that all tracks all pretty much rock. "Albtraum", "Madre Deus" and "Segel Setzen" in particular are excellent tracks. Not that any of other tracks are actually less, it's just that these rock most. "Sagrada Trobar" is probably my favourite track. On the whole, "7" has a little less chunk and a little more melody than its predecessor. It is certainly another fine album by these fairly unique Germans.

I am looking forward a lot to the next time they'll be playing a gig in the Netherlands. In Extremo is the band that my wife and me appreciate most together, and indeed we recently intended to get wed to "Die Gier" (but they turned out not to have a CD player available).

"7" is a 'Copy Control' CD, but thankfully the SHIFT key is never far away.



Written October 2003


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