Review: In Extremo – Kompass zur Sonne

In Extremo strikes again! In 2016 I reviewed their album of that year, Quid Pro Quo, here. A year later Das Letzte Einhorn, Flex Der Biegsame, Die Lutter, Dr. Pymonte, Yellow Pfeiffer, Van Lange and Specki T.D. released their best of, titled 40 wahre Lieder. On May the 8th they released their new album, titled Kompass zur Sonne, and they, again, don’t disappoint.

That’s an understatement for sure, because it’s not that Kompass zur Sonne just doesn’t disappoint, it has become another very strong album by this band!

Opener Troja starts with a nicely humming bass-intro, with folk-instruments and Das Letzte Einhorn’s typical raw voice soon added. A bit later heavier guitars are added. During the chorus the first peak of energy can be heard and it’s not that that’s the only energetic peak of this album.

Not at all, this album is full of energy, which also gives many of the songs on this album a perfect live-vibe. A few examples of this are Lügenpack, Narrenschiff and Reiht euch ein ihr Lumpen, which contains very nice energetic shout-a-long parts. There’s one track that even has this nice live-vibe a bit more though and that’s Gogiya, which is my favorite track of this album, despite choosing a favorite track was really hard on such a great album.

Gogiya is the first of the two tracks with guests, with the guests here being Russkaja. Fans of Russkaja will probably suspect this immediately during the first seconds of this song, even without knowing, as the Russkaja-vibe becomes clear quite soon and Georgij Makazaria’s voice is also very typical. The Russkaja-vibe and the In Extremo-vibe are perfectly combined in this track and the typical voices of both Das Letzte Einhorn and Georgij Makazaria are a great mix. An extremely nice track, with a bit of a heavy klezmer-vibe to it, also including a nice fists-up-in-the-air-and-shout-a-long-part. As a fan of both In Extremo and Russkaja this is a very nice treat.

The other track with a guest is the, in terms of pace, a bit calmer track Wer kann segeln ohne Wind with the guest being Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg, whose very deep grunts also combine very nicely with Das Letzte Einhorn’s vocals.

Two other tracks that mainly are a bit calmer pace-wise are Schenk nochmal ein and regular album closer Wintermärchen. Schenk nochmal ein also has that nice live-vibe, but in another way than the earlier mentioned nice live-vibe songs. Schenk nochmal ein is more like an epic, goose bumps giving track which would be very nice live, with a drink in your hand and arm around your shoulder. In the second part of this track we’ll also hear some epic drums, something that also can be heard towards the end of first bonus track 7 Brüder and in Biersegen.

Biersegen starts a bit darker including very nice throat singing leading up to another very energetic discharge, ultimately ending in a very epic shout-a-long way. Many different nice details, such as that throat-singing part, can be heard on this album, a few other examples being the whistling bird on Wintermärchen, the a bit electro-like sounds in the background halfway into Salva Nos and Biersegen, something that sounds like a soprano voice in the background at the end of Wintermärchen and the child voice in Saigon und Bagdad. Logically, that child voice can also be heard in the second bonus track, since that is the club mix of Saigon und Bagdad. Of course it depends on the fact you like club mixes or not, but it fits quite well.

In addition to these nice details, there are also some details to be heard in the vocal lines, with Das Letzte Einhorn singing a bit faster on some parts of Troja, singing a bit lower in parts of this album’s title track, going a bit spoken-word-style in Salva Nos and shouting a bit more in Schenk nochmal ein.

Instrumentally there are also quite some variations to be heard. Of course, we can hear many different folk instruments, but the guitars, such as in Salva Nos, and the drums, such as in Lügenpack, also bring this. For the main part the guitars on this album sound very heavy and tight.

Whether you want to headbang a bit more, be sure to check out Lügenpack, Saigon und Bagdad and Narrenschiff then, you want to jump around like crazy, be sure to check out the title track, Gogiya and Reiht euch ein ihr Lumpen then, or you enjoy the a bit slower songs, be sure to check out Schenk nochmal ein, Wer kann segeln ohne Wind and Wintermärchen then, Kompass zur Sonne has it all and everything is delivered very energetic in true In Extremo style!

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