ST. MICHAEL FRONT unveil the video clip ‘Wir sehen uns wieder’ (“We Will Meet Again”) as the first single taken from their new masterpiece “Schuld & Sühne” (“Crime and Punishment”). The Hamburgian “Apocalypso Schlager” duo formed by guitarist Bruder Matthias and singer Bruder Sascha will release their bold sophomore full-length on Friday, 13th of May.
The video is an illustration regarding the German lyrics of ‘Wir sehen uns wieder’. While the balladesque song superficially appears to be a typical Hamburgian harbor song full of romantic longing for the far-away or returning home from it, its lyrical core delivers a punch to the face about alcoholism. Once the brass instruments kick in, it also becomes crystal clear that this is not your average 60s Schlager either.
Our first new single ‘Wir sehen uns wieder’ is intended as both a hymn and a swan song. This final ode to life is intoned like in a church service. The song is also a profession of faith in the odyssey of the seekers and in the eternal sea!Bruder Sascha
Madness reigns where ST. MICHAEL FRONT tread: The duo from Hamburg, Germany does not give a damn either about artistic boundaries or musical taboos, but happily combines chanson and Schlager, neofolk, pop, and soundtrack with audible relish. On their second album entitled “Schuld & Sühne” (“Crime & Punishment”), which for the first time is written entirely in their mother-tongue, the two Northern Germans alchemically distill campfire romance, wanderlust, greed and love, melancholy, a thirst for revenge, and apocalyptic anger into pure gold.
“Schuld & Sühne” opens with the lyrical sledgehammer ‘Knochen und Blut’ (“Bone and Blood”), an anthemic song that reveals the basic musical formula of the duo: On the solid foundation of Brother Matthias’ rhythmic guitar play thrones the unmistakable voice of charismatic singer Brother Sascha. His narrative style subtly reveals his background as an actor both in theatre and in German TV productions. Underneath this sonic construct operates an on-point percussion with drums and timpani, while for example xylophone and a Morricone memorial trumpet add sparkling instrumental highlights. The hard opening track is followed by the quite different ‘Ende der Zeit’ (“End of Time”), a melancholic retrospective set in future times. In another cunning musical twist, ST. MICHAEL FRONT continues with ‘So weit nach draußen’ (“So Far Out”), which makes the eternal wanderlust of their harbor city palpable. Even these first three songs outline the enormous emotional range of emotions on the second album of the Hamburgians.
ST. MICHAEL FRONT got off to a flying start with their first album, ‘End of Ahriman’, even though the duo never stuck to any “rules”. Having grown out of many years of friendship and studying at the same art academy gave the two musicians the confidence to ignore the music industry’s templates. They for example recklessly combined German Honolulu-Schlager with Dark Pop, which they somehow managed to fit together seamlessly against all odds. The result catapulted their song ‘Once’ to the top of the charts of German station RADIOEINS for 6 long weeks and put the duo into the focus of a wide range of media outlets from newspapers to podcasts.
The enthusiastically received debut album opened many doors for ST. MICHAEL FRONT. This included gladly-accepted invitations to perform at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig and the alpine cult event House of the Holy in Austria. The band itself characterized ‘End of Ahriman’ as a mix of dark folk, OLIVER ONIONS, THE WHO, and RICHARD WAGNER. Their jaw-dropping sound experiments on the debut full-length were accompanied by tongue-in-cheek English language lyrics. Their preoccupation with esoteric themes that they ironically deconstructed sure hit the zeitgeist. In the meantime, the Hamburgians have decided to switch to their mother tongue in order to write even deeper and more intricate and multi-layered lyrics that dissect the everyday madness of a world gone increasingly crazy with sharp precision.
With “Schuld & Sühne”, ST. MICHAEL FRONT unleashes a personal soundtrack to society’s mental apocalypse of today. Sometimes acidic, sometimes wonderfully schmaltzy, but always straight to the point, this album will find its way – wherever it will land on the shelves tagged as “dark chanson”, “apocalypso pop” or with any other style designation.
You can pre-order “Schuld & Sühne”, HERE.
Cover photo: (c) Gudrun Niebuhr
Band photos: (c) Pelle Buys