Tanzwut – “Freitag Der 13” (AFM Records)
Tanzwut are a German medieval industrial rock band formed in the late 90s, although inspired by the ‘dance rage’ that arose when the Black Death swept across 14th century Europe. Combining the ‘Neue Deutsche Härte’ style more commonly known as ‘Tanzmetal’ i.e. dance metal pioneered by the likes of Rammstein, Tanzwut add a further dimension in the form of medieval folk with strong melodies played throughout by traditional instruments like the shawm and German made bagpipes a plenty! Despite that I wouldn’t say these guys are folk metal at all as the sound definitely is Tanz Rock with a modern dance beat and made all the more clearer by “Teufel” Paulenz’s deep baritone vocals but the folk element definitely adds passion in place of the cold mechanical beat more associated with industrial rock. Along with a renaissance atmosphere, songs like ‘Brüder Im Geiste’, ‘Vorbei Ist Vorbei’ and ‘Des Teufels Braut’ convey the sadness but also the courage of those who chose to laugh death in the face – literally – by partying and dancing away their last moments rather than succumb agonizingly to the sickness. It’s a deep sentiment that Tanzwut themselves can relate to, touring East Germany when ‘street music’ was banned by the GDR authorities while still communist that keeps that historical passion alive to create music for the common people. With Europe once again suffering economic woes, “Freitag Der 13” does exactly that and gives folks hope to laugh at the devil himself.