Album: Fass zum Teufel
Release Date: 25th January 2019
Record Label: RECORDJET
Haggefugg are another band playing Wacken Winter Nights this year and they recently released their latest album Fass zum Teufel. I would be a terrible reviewer if I didn’t give this one a listen, especially as they’re on my Wacken Winter Nights picks.
Gott und der Spielman I: Das Dudelphon begins the album almost Wardruna like, with war horns. Bagpipes and drums then come in and accompany a short spoken word monologue. It is a quick introduction to the album.
Katzenjammer is the first full track which is a catchy one, with the full band and bagpipe melodies. It’s a track you can both dance and bop your head to, and it would definitely be a singalong for me if I could speak any German whatsoever. There is a slower tempo section but it soons picks back up again.
Guitar and drums start off Sang, Weib und Wein. The tempo is similar to that of Katzenjammer, and the main riff is led by bagpipe, though the verses have a much less complex background with no bagpipes whatsoever. There is a breakdown during the song, and there is a stepped buildup back to the full band. A slower start for Auf den ersten Blick soon picks up with the addition of bagpipes and a catchier drum beat. The verses bring the tempo down again, and overall the track has a more solemn feel, though the choruses pick up a little again with bagpipe. There is a section with drum and low male vocal chants, and layered over is spoken word, and then the full band comes in to build up the instrumental again.
Fluch und Segen has an atmospheric and choral beginning before we have some heavier guitar chugging. The verses and bridges have only a few instruments that I can hear. It’s a much slower track than we have heard previously, and a lot more stripped back. There are almost harsh vocals in there too. A short spoken word in the form of Gott und der Spielmann II: Die Weltmusik follows.
Der Spielmann und die Lasung begins with what could be used in an RPG in a tavern, with acoustic guitar, drums and pipes. It is a very slow pace compared to what we have heard before. There is an acapella section with group vocals which is then accompanied by heavier guitar. The chorus is be catchy and would be a singalong, again if I could speak German. The track has a military style drum section with pipes, and the ending really picks up the pace in contrast to the rest of the track.
Drums and pipes bring in Brennende Welt, with guitars entering the mic and building up the instruments. This track brings back the dancey style of previous tracks while maintaining a little bit of that solemn feel, and we are even treated to a bagpipe solo.
Tandaradei begins with drums and bass before kicking in to the dancey feel again. We are back to just drums and bass in the verses, but the full band is around for the rest of the track. We hear the bagpipe alone fir a short time, and we get a guitar, voice and flute interlude. Tanz mit dem Teufel is fast paced from the start, but without bagpipe which now feels a little odd on this album, as most fast paced tracks are accompanied by bagpipes. Nevertheless it’s a catchy, dancey track, and there’s even some falsetto in there on the vocals.
Acoustic guitar and then accompanying vocals introduce Kerbemschlag. This track seems to flip between slower sections and faster paced sections, and for the first time we hear female vocals. It feels like this track is missing a good “hey!” chant section for me. Sternenjäger is bagpipe heavy and is consistently faster paced. It is the main track on this album that I would consider ripe for a jig pit, it has the right tempo and melody for it.
Gott und der Spielmann III: Der Höllenton is an other track interlude with spoken word, and then pipes, drums and choir build up over the course of the very short track. But right at the end, we hear a deep, evil laugh. It’s almost like the last track is a celebration of a great victory, and then this final short track tells us that not all is as happy and victorious as it seems…
I feel torn with this album. On the whole I enjoy it, but I don’t feel like there is that “spark” that I feel with an album that I know I’m really, really going to love. I don’t feel like that there is another wrong with the album so to speak, but there just isn’t that special something that really sets the bar high. Having said that, I am definitely going to try and catch them at Wacken Winter Nights, as from what I can hear the live performance is likely to evoke more feeling, and of course, you can’t have a jig pit while sitting on a bus listening to this album on the way to work…
Listen to Haggefugg on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/01rLaRjqHxcXjDVHz79Wqb
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