The tenth album by the hand of the German jesters of Die Apokalyptischen Reiter guarantees for something special. From rather extreme and dark in the early years of Allegro Barbaro and Love Is All You Need over crazy circusclowns on Samurai, Riders On The Storm and Licht to a mature combination of both on Moral & Wahnsinn and Tief. Tiefer… What does the arrival of the Red Rider bring along?
The first track Wir Sind Zurück says it all. On their latest – and longest – album, the Weimaranes regularly return to the harsh intensity of their early phase. The first tones could perfectly be called Black Metal. Other tracks are colored by other genres. Auf Und Nieder is de facto happy Pagan Metal. Der Rote Reiter, The Great Experience of Ecstacy and Brüder Auf Leben Und Tod Take us back to the great days of oldschool Death Metal. There are a bunch of punk and New York Hardcore influences on – again – The Great Experience Of Ecstacy, Franz Weiss, Die Freiheit Ist Eine Pflicht and Ich Bin Weg.
So on their Tenth studio album and their twenty-second anniversary, “Die Reiter” take us on some sort of trip throughout the realm of extreme metal. Obviously, all these styles are but short fragments, as the true fans expect some real “Reitermania” in each song. This comes in the shape of a blend of Melodic Death Metal and hard Nu-Metal, with an obligatory wink to Rammstein every once in a while. Hört Mich An is a good example of this style. In strophes, the pace is high and the tone is hard, while on choruses and intermezzos, the pace somewhat drops in service of a more tranquil and epic atmosphere. Singer Fuchs’s vocals vary from epic and tormented over angry grunting up to cheerfully inciting, but always fizzing with energy. Clean piano is largely replaced by orchestral keyboards, but fortunately they are still present on songs such as Franz Weiss and Ich Nehm Dich Deine Welt. All in all, this is a typical Reiter-album, which is always a guarantee for some fooleries here and there. The funny little xylophone on Hört Mich An, ludicrous alien choirs reminding of Devin Townsend Project’s March OF The Poozers on The Great Experience Of Ecstacy, Die Freiheit Ist Eine Pflicht and Ich Nehm Dich Deine Welt, hyperfast or estranging, distorted piano solos… Lyrically, we can be brief: The Red Rider finally brings doom and apocalypse over the world, so abandon ship!
At the same time, Der Rote Reiter is a very mature album. Guitarplay and composition are the best we’ve heard from Die Apokalyptischen Reiter so far. Folgt Uns and especially Herz In Flammen are in many respects absolute and varied pearls. Catchy, hard, balanced, melancholic, innovative… On their tenth album, Die Reiter offer the best of their genre, with a little treat for anyone as long as it can be heavy and inspiring. The technical quality and thought-through composition of the last few albums is reconciliated with the hard intensity of their early work, but much better executed. They remain loyal to their own style and notwithstanding the fact that each song contains basically the same elements, I wasn’t bored for a second. You can’t really do any wrong by buying this album! Just be sure to buy the limited edition, as it comes with a 150 minutes live show Das Letzte Abendmahl, in celebration of twenty years of Reitermania.
Translated into English based on the originally Dutch review by the same author on www.musika.be
Release Date: August 25th, 2017
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
1. Wir Sind Zurück
2. Der Rote Reiter
3. Auf Und Nieder
4. Folgt Uns
5. Hört Mich An
6. The Great Experience Of Ecstasy
7. Franz Weiss
8. Die Freiheit Ist Eine Pflicht
9. Herz In Flammen
10. Brüder Auf Leben Und Tod
11. Ich Bin Weg
12. Ich Nehm Dir Deine Welt
13. Ich Werd Bleiben