German Saltatio Mortis (“Dance of Death”) is a band you could easily put under the folk metal genre. Their use of bagpipes, acoustic and traditional instruments in combination with heavy metal and hard rock music should be a key to success. But since they belong to a sort of German niche called “Mittelalter-rock” or in English “Medieval folk rock”. Similar bands are Schandmaul, Tanzwut, and the more well-known Subway To Sally and In Extremo, who all mostly sing in German.
And that’s probably what’s holding those bands back a bit from gaining real big success. If you’re really into bands like this and you don’t live in Germany or a neighboring country, it’s quite a challenge to find their (older) records. Since Saltatio Mortis has been around for a good 15 years now, they decided to release a best of CD to give an overview of what they’ve been up to. On Licht & Schatten you get a really nice collection of some of their more uptempo folk punk/metal songs and their more calm songs. Their progression throughout the years can be nicely followed and you finally could add those long sought-after great songs to your music collection.
As a little cherry on the cake, they added 3 previously unreleased tracks. With Schoene neue Welt you get a quite upbeat and catchy metal/hard rock song infused with pipes, much like the music on their last record. On Fatum it feels like they’re aiming for a more emotional loaded song and Weiss wie Schnee cranks up the amount of pipes present in the music, which is always a good thing in their case. Great additions to their already long catalogue!
If you’re into folk metal and you don’t mind to listen to a bit of German, you should definitely give Saltatio Mortis and the whole “Mitteralter-rock” scene a try. You’ll find some real little treasures to get your folk fix of the week. And this best of Licht & Schatten is a perfect double CD to start your research with.
Release Date: June 17th, 2016
Label: Napalm Records
1. Frueher war alles besser
3. Habgier und Tod
4. Wachstum ueber alles
6. Nichts bleibt mehr
7. Satans Fall
11. Tritt ein
12. Falsche Freunde
1. Ode an die Feindschaft
3. Krieg kennt keine Sieger
5. Schloss Duwisib
7. Salz der Erde
9. Letzte Worte
10. Schoene neue Welt (previously unreleased)
11. Fatum (previously unreleased)
12. Weiss wie Schnee (previously unreleased)