About In Extremo
Germany's In Extremo (Latin for "at the edge) deliver a powerful, melody-driven amalgam of folk and heavy metal that incorporates a standard hard rock lineup of vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, in addition to folk instruments from the middle ages like bagpipes, hurdy gurdy, harp, and shawm. Known for their medieval themes, lyrics, and instrumentation, colorful aliases, and period outfits, the band's songs are both originals and traditionals, the latter often in medieval languages such as Latin or archaic dialects of German. Since debuting in 1997, In Extremo has grown in popularity, especially in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, via chart-topping outings like 7, Mein Rasend Herz, and Sängerkrieg. Though their eclectic instrumentation has remained largely unchanged through years, the late 2000s and 2010's saw the group leaning harder towards the heavy metal end of the sonic spectrum.
Founded in 1995 in Berlin and formed over the course of the next two years, the band comprises Das Letzte Einhorn (born Michael Robert Rhein; vocals), Der Lange (Sebastian Oliver Lange; guitar), Die Lutter (Kay Lutter; bass), Der Morgenstern (Reiner Morgenstern; drums), Dr. Pymonte (André Strugala; bagpipes), Flex der Biegsame (Marco Ernst-Felix Zorzytzky; bagpipes), and Yellow Pfeiffer (Boris Pfeiffer; bagpipes); former members include Die Rote Füchsin (Conny Fuchs; bagpipes; 1995-1996), Thomas der Münzer (Thomas Mund; guitar; 1995-1999), and Sen Pusterbalg (bagpipes; 1995-1997). In Extremo made their recording debut in 1997 with the five-track single "Der Galgen," followed by the full-length album debut Gold (aka In Extremo Gold; reissued with bonus tracks in 2006). Subsequent albums included their commercial breakthrough, 7 (2003), Mein Rasend Herz (2005), and Raue Spree 2005 (2006), all of which were Top Five hits on the German albums chart. The band also scored a series of modestly successful hit singles, most notably the Top 40 hits "Küss Mich" (2003) and "Nur Ihr Allein" (2005). In 2008, the group scored their first German number one album with the release of Sängerkrieg. Citing musical differences, drummer Der Morgenstern departed in 2010, though the band continued on and released 2011's Sterneneisen, followed a year later by a live version of the album, 2012's Sterneneisen Live. The 2013 album Kunstraub introduced new drummer Florian "Specki T.D." Speckardt, and proved that the group's German fans were still behind them -- the album peaked at number two on the German sales charts. 2015 saw the release of the massive, career-spanning, 13-track box set 20 Wahre Jahre, and in 2016, the band issued their 12th studio long-player Quid Pro Quo. ~ Jason Birchmeier