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And the great albums of 2017 just keep coming. I’ve been listening to Der Rote Reiter the latest album by German metal stalwarts Die Apokalyptischen Reiter (German for The Apocalyptic Horsemen) for over a week now and I just can’t get enough of the album. Now if you’re the kind of person that can’t stand music sung in a different language (yes there are people I’ve played Rammstein to over the years who have said ‘why can’t they sing in English’) then Der Rote Reiter is not the album but for you, but if you’re open-minded then this could well be one of the albums of the year for you.

The varied nature of the music on the album makes this the kind of album that you can listen to over and over on repeat with no issues of getting tired of it any time soon. From the Scorpions inspired hard rock sound of a track like ‘Ich Werd Bleiben’ through to the fast-paced and pounding drums of ‘Wir Sund Zuruck’ this is an album that has at all – thanks largely to a well-rounded band that seem comfortable doing whatever it takes to make a track that something special.

In many ways this is the perfect metal album. Ady’s guitar playing is the best that it has ever been and really shines through on the old school sounding ‘Auf Und Nieder’ and then makes ‘Der Rote Reiter’ sound like something that DragonForce would be proud of. There is also a strong Gothic feel to this album as well – ‘Hort Mich An’, ‘The Great Experience of Ecstasy’ and ‘Bruder Auf Leben Und Tod’ all have a deep Gothic vibe. ‘The Great Experience Of Ecstasy’ also opens with a great tribal feel that lifts this track to being one of the best on the album.

It is things like that that makes Der Rote Reiter such a special album. It seems like the band will try anything at least once from a crazy piano piece during ‘Franz Weiss’ through to the punk-metal that turns to acoustic seaside sound effects with ‘Ich Bin Weg’… the amazing thing is that they all work. The one thing that does remain solid throughout this album though is the vocals – take a listen to ‘Herz In Flammen’ and then tell me that Fuchs is not one of the greatest vocalists going around at the moment… I dare you!

Der Rote Reiter is an amazing album that shows that Die Apokalyptischen Reiter is still a band at the top of their game. The album is thirteen tracks of pure bliss and the fact that Die Apokalyptischen Reiter are prepared to try so many different sounds on the one album just shows why they need to be held in such high regard.

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