Die Apokalyptischen Reiter

Metalcamp - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Thus far this summer had handed me a host of new experiences with German bands, so when the time came for Die Apokalyptischen Reiter to take the main stage at Metalcamp I figured, why not? After all, I had heard about this band before, without actually hearing the band itself, and for some reason I had a gut feeling telling me that this might be fun...

”It is time for a revolution, don’t you agree?!”
- Daniel ’Fuchs’ ’Eumel’ Täumel (vocals)

Well, musically the band wasn’t as much ’fun’ as I had thought they would be. The musical part actually seemed to be kept pretty serious, and as most of the lyrics were in German it was pretty impossible for me to give any thoughts about these. In general, they kept it hard and heavy and up-tempo, and the songs weren’t very easy to get into as the beginner that I was. Also, it didn’t help that the backing vocals were louder than the main vocals much of the time.

The show however...
Before the concert began, the whole stage was covered by a curtain, and when it fell we saw a stage which had been heavily modified (at least compared to other shows here) to fit the band and their style. The most eye-catching item was definitely the keyboard of Mark ’Dr. Pest’ Szakul, which had been built up to look like an antique organ, which in turn was decorated by bloody limbs stuck on metal-pipes. Further into the set, these would move up and down as Szakul would turn the large handle on the side of this monstrous mechanical feature, but for now they were just on display in all of their gory glory...
There was also a set of stairs and a large, rusty box midstage which Täumel would happily climb when he wasn’t out on the speakers in front of the stage or off doing something else. Yes, there was always something going on in this performance; already after the first song we were being shot at with a confetti cannon which was spraying the place with red stars, and after this, whether it was changes in the wardrobe, flag and/or whip-waving or some other special tricks, there was something new happening in almost each and every song! This was something well thought out and executed without any apparent glitches, well done!

Täumel was also one to chat up the audience when it was possible, and as Metalcamp was one of the few non-German festivals we visited this summer, it was a relief to finally hear something spoken in English!
Still, it was obviously not always completely clear at whom he was directing his comments (or was it?) as was heard when he apparently had singled out a look'er in the middle of the crowd and said; ”Where are you from my love?”. Well, apparently the recipient wasn’t whom he had intended as he quickly followed up with; ”No, not you! The girl beside you!”
Other things weren’t to be mistaken however, as the time when Täumel asked for a wall of death, something the enthusiastic crowd was only too happy to provide him with!
Yes, the crowd seemed to know and love the band, and it was a far larger crowd than I had expected! The grounds were really well-filled for this show, so even with their fairly early slot between 7:40 to 8:40 p.m. it was clearly one of the more popular shows at the festival. And why shouldn’t it be, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter was working hard for the money.

Musically I was somewhat confused, but on the other hand this is a band which has had its fingers in almost all of the metal jars, mixing death, thrash, folk and even some rock together in their very personal blend, which I’m sure would gain from knowing it a bit better than I did at this point.
As it was now, it was the show which pulled the weight for me, but as this was handled quite perfectly I was still well entertained at the end of the day.

Setlist (incomplete):

Peace May Be With You

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