Rockharz - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Tanzwut, meaning dance-rage or dance mania, is a German folk/medieval metal band which is also combining some Neue Deutche Härte into their sound, and it was also the second band we wanted to check out on Rockharz 2012.

“We are Tanzwut, and we have come with the sun!”
- Mike ‘Teufel’ Paulenz (vocals)

Well, at least that’s what I think he said, but my German vocabulary is still sadly limited. I know there was something about “wir”, “Tanzwut”, “kommen mit” and “sonne”, so if any of you Germans feel like kicking my grammar ass, go right ahead.
That’s beside the point though, and also irrelevant to the show, so let’s have at it shall we?

What was really noticeable here, was how extremely popular this band, just as the genre, is in Germany. Even before the show had begun, there was a huge gathering of people in front of the stage, shouting and clapping in anticipation, and as keyboardist Oually entered and began drumming the show in on his large shaman-like drum, the anticipation only intensified, and when the rest of the band entered and the first song began the whole thing just took off.
On the visual front, I found it fun that their face-paint was a bit inventive, what with vocalist Teufel (eng. Devil) having a sort of black and red arrow across his forehead (not Harry Potter style) and bassist Der Zwilling (eng. The Twin) in complete white, but other than, the costumes and general look of the band was pretty much what you would expect from someone in this genre; freely adopted and fantasised from classical designs, without going as over the top as with their other band, Corvus Corax. Yes, Tanzwut started out only as a side-project to this medieval band back in 1998, but have since grown into an entity of its own, with 7 full-length CD’s behind them. A gift of knowledge there, from me to you.

On the audio side of things however, Tanzwut wasn’t a band to move me much however, and I believe this was mainly because of the lack of personality I could hear here at the festival. Apart from a few minor electronic elements which only managed to break through a few times, I could easily have been convinced that I was listening to In Extremo or Saltatio Mortis if I had closed my eyes. The sound and beat was almost identical to what these bands do, and Teufel’s deep voiced German could easily have been mistaken for any other lead-singer within the genre. I’m not saying it was bad mind you, it just didn’t have anything that set Tanzwut apart from the other bands of the genre. Except for the electronic stuff of course, but they weren’t very audible here and thus failed to do an impact.
Still, they had a beat which was easy enough to clap your hands to, which was something most of the audience was doing to songs like Ihr Wolltet Spass (eng. You Wanted Fun) and the new Wie Phönix Aus Der Asche (eng. Like A Phoenix From The Ashes) to great success.

In fact, the crowd was generally very enthusiastic about Tanzwut, but I must admit that it wasn’t what I needed or felt like this day, and after failing to get into the spirit of things for about half a set, I decided to leave...

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