Dec 2012 28

Hanzel und Gretyl - Born to be HeiledHanzel und Gretyl
Category: Industrial Metal
Album: Born to be Heiled
Stars: 3
Blurb: Hanzel und Gretyl returns more German than German (even when they’re a little southern).


 

Deftly bridging a wide range of genres and languages, Hanzel und Gretyl is a unique beast in the industrial and metal arenas. Active since 1993, 2003’s Über Alles saw HuG focusing much more on heavy riffs and flirting with Germanic and fascistic themes. Despite some minor controversy, the album was met with high praise and set the template for the second phase of the band’s career. Follow-ups Scheissmessiah and 2012: Zwanzig Zwölf didn’t tamper with the newfound aesthetic too drastically, opting instead to refine the powerhouse sound and slowly turn the metal knob up to 666. Hanzel und Gretyl has managed to carve a distinct and respected niche that is still running strong today.

Emerging after restless bouts of touring, HuG brings us Born to be Heiled, the initial release on Metropolis Records’ new imprint, Metropolis Metal. The record is instantly recognizable as Hanzel und Gretyl, retaining the band’s ersatz Germanic swagger, but continues to cannibalize new genres and aesthetics as needed to keep things fresh and fun. Fun is a key word when talking about Hanzel und Gretyl; from their never-too-serious songs to their legendarily boozy live shows, the band is about having a good time and it shows. That being said, there’s a lot of fun to be found on Born to be Heiled. “Hanzel und Gretyl fur Immer” and “Unterstutzung 87” start the record on fan friendly familiar territory. All of the core elements are here and displayed well. “Unterstutzung 87” has a solid chorus that’s easily going to translate to live shows (an arena one would be remiss not to mention with this act). “Blitzkriegerz und Hellriderz” with its outlaw biker motif and prodding guitar solo is a prime example of how HuG can add new elements to the sound without alienating the longtime fan. As one of the standouts of the record, “Blitzkriegerz…” delivers a particularly satisfying vocal performance from Vas Kallas and an attitude that’s hard to dismiss. “Hammerzeit” is somewhat standard to the band’s sound, but notable for fantastic drum programming that gives the song a very distinctive feel. “Born to be Heiled” is just as anthemic as the title would suggest. With its swinging rhythm and memorable chorus, the song shows a confident HuG patting themselves on the back, much to the delight of the listener. Again thinking toward their live performances, one expects this to be a modern HuG classic. “Holy Shiza” delves into a more standard metal sound, exhibiting some guitar work that almost recalls early Metallica in the bridge. “I’m Movin’ to Deutschland” brings much of the new and much of the familiar together; the decidedly southern sound (a nuance present in varying degrees on the album) and train whistle are a departure for HuG, but the party-to-Berlin subject matter is right at home. Skipping ahead, “More German than German” closes the album on a fun note, indulging in some tongue-in-cheek boastfulness that comes off as fun as a classic KMFDM song without coming off too heavy handed (like, well, a modern KMFDM track).

Not all of Born to be Heiled is so grand. While none of the album’s remaining tracks are out and out unlikeable, they all leave something to be desired. “Der Furor” is notable for being extremely heavy but, sadly, not much else. It’s interesting to hear HuG throw down such heavy bones, but one wants for a bit more meat on said bones. “Motorschwein” starts out well, a little more electronic than the rest of the record and displaying some ethereal fuzzy guitar, but drags almost immediately after. The playful guitar in the midway point is enjoyable but not enough to save an otherwise frumpy track. Finally, the most disappointing track on Born to be Heiled comes in the form of “Ironstar Outlaws.” While the introductory banjo (yes, banjo) and cock rock guitar work instantly grab the listener, the song suffers from a surprisingly weak vocal performance and forgettable lyrics. The band gets points for really changing things up, but the guitar work and handclaps (stellar in their own right) are not enough to stand without a good voice. This is one of those tracks that you want to like.

All things considered, Born to be Heiled is a fun record with some very enjoyable music. If you’re searching for soul churning, genre reinventing art, one suggests looking elsewhere. If you’re looking for hard partying industrial metal, Hanzel und Gretyl, as always, delivers.
 
Track list:

  1. Hanzel und Gretyl fur Immer
  2. Unterstutzung 87
  3. Blitzkriegerz und Hellriderz
  4. Hammerzeit
  5. Der Furor
  6. Born to be Heiled
  7. Holy Shiza
  8. Motorschwein
  9. I’m Movin’ to Deutschland
  10. Ironstar Outlaws
  11. More German than German

 
Hanzel und Gretyl Website http://www.hanzelundgretyl.com
Hanzel und Gretyl MySpace http://www.myspace.com/hanzelundgretyl
Hanzel und Gretyl Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hanzelundgretyl
Hanzel und Gretyl Twitter https://twitter.com/HANZELUNDGRETYL
Hanzel und Gretyl ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/hanzelundgretyl
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/metropolisrec
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2012-11-27
 
Richard Reich (DJRichardReich)

1 Comment

  1. filip de bruyne says:

    Hanzel und Gretyl rules!!!Saw them live this year in Holland and a while ago in Belgium and Holland.Fantastic!!”Uber Alles” is my favourite album.”Third Reich From The Sun”, “Komm Zu Uns”, “Let The Planets Burn”, “SS Deathstar Supergalaktik”,…)are superb tracks.When i hear these tracks at a liveshow i go completely ballistic.What a kick-ass band.

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