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Music / In Extremo

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In Extremo is a German Folk Metal band from Berlin, founded in 1995, and is famous for being one of the first bands who combined medieveal instruments with rock music. Their name is Latin for At the Edge.

While their early albums were strongly influenced by the particular style of punk played in the German Democratic Republic, they later changed it to Metal and Neue Deutsche Härte. But their signature feature have always been the historic instruments like bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, harp etc.


  • In Extremo (1996)
  • Die Goldenenote  (1997)
  • Hamelnnote  (1998)
  • Weckt die Toten!note  (1998)
  • Verehrt und angespiennote  (1999)
  • Sünder ohne Zügelnote  (2001)
  • 7 (2003)
  • Mein rasend Herznote  (2005)
  • Sängerkriegnote  (2008)
  • Advertisement:
  • Sterneneisennote  (2011)
  • Kunstraubnote  (2013)
  • Quid Pro Quonote  (2016)
  • Kompass zur Sonnenote  (2020)

Their music contains examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: Implied by the title of Alptraumnote 
  • All There in the Manual: Some of their album's booklets contain German translations to the songs listed under Bilingual Bonus.
  • All Trolls Are Different: In Herr Mannelig, a female troll tries to convince a human knight to marry her in order to become human herself.
    • Also in Villemann og Magnhild, where the water creature is also often translated as a troll. The troll captures the beautiful maiden and has to be charmed by the hero playing the harp to give her back.
  • Anachronism Stew: Medieval instruments, modern Rock music and texts from everywhere between the medieval and today
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: A king is the villian in Spielmannsfluch
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: Micha claims to have once played the bagpipes at the court of a Sultan.
  • Arc Number: 7. There are seven band members, their logo is a heptagram, they call themselves the seven vagrants and their seventh album is simply called 7.
    • See also Rule of Seven
  • Arc Words: Verehrt und angespien
    • Those words, meaning "Worshipped and Spat Upon", were originally coined in French by Francois Villon in his "Ballad of the outlaws", which In Extremo covered in a German translation called Vor vollen Schüsseln. They also used those words in the introductions of their songs at concerts, and later named their second rock album after them. The words reappeared in the title track of their album Sterneneisen.
  • Artistic License – History: While they often play songs from historical sources, they never intended to be a historically correct reenactment-group and loved to experiment with more modern influences, most prominently rock music.
    • Sometimes, they invoked this on purpose by wearing sunglasses or modern clothing to annoy people who complained that the Anachronism Stew of their music style didn't fit into the rennaissance fairs where they played.
  • Audience Participation Song: Sternhagelvoll
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: While their outfits in promotion photos have changed from pseudo-medieval fantasy costumes towards something more modern, they still wear old-timey costumes on stage.
  • Banned in China: Luckily their music is not banned in China, but when they first played there, the authorities were extremely sceptical about their lyrics about freedom.
  • Battle of the Bands: Sängerkrieg is a medieval version.
  • Bawdy Song: Belladonna and Weiberfell
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: In Reth Tierliebe Micha explained that the following song Wie kann ich das Herz meiner Liebsten gewinnennote  is about a farmer who has a very intimate relationship to his sheep, but in a Last-Second Word Swap, he only scratches the sheep behind its ears.
  • Bilingual Bonus: While their main language is German, they had many songs in other languages, particularily on older albums. Most of them are traditional texts
    • Fontaine la Jolie, Nature Nous Semont and Requiem are in French
    • Ai vis lo lop is Occitan, an old French dialect
    • This corrosion, An end has a start and I disappear are in English, they are all cover versions (of TheSistersOfMercy, Editors and Metallica respectively
    • Santa Maria, Hiemali Tempore, Captus est, Maria Virgin, Totus Floreo, Omnia Sol Temperat and Salva Nos are in Latin
      • Stetit Puella and Nymphenzeit are partly German and partly Latin
      • Also, there are Latin versions of the normally German songs Zigeunerskat (released on Bruchstücke and B Seiten und Raritäten) and Wenn das Licht angeht (released on the sampler Cold Hands Seduction – Vol. 179 by the magazine Sonic Seducer, titled Veris leta facies).
    • Herr Mannelig and Vänner och Frände are in Swedish, as are Johan's Parts of Wer kann segeln ohne Wind
    • Villemann og Magnhild is Norwegian
    • Tannhuser and Palästinalied are in Middle High German
    • Merseburger Zaubersprüche, Merseburger Zaubersprüche II and Wessebronner Gebet are in Old High German
    • Krummavísur is Icelandic
    • Le'or Chiyuchech is Hebrew
    • Liam is Irish, but it's not a traditional song. It has been written by In Extremo in German and translated to Irish by Rea Garvey. The German version was released as b-side of the single.
    • En esta noche is Spanish, the text has been written by singer Michael Rhein's son who lives in Spain
    • Zauberspruch, Zauberspruch No. VII and Pikse Palve are Estonian
    • Dacw 'Nghariad is Welsh
    • Черный ворон (Schwarzer Rabe) is Russian, as is the chorus of Gogiya.
  • Bizarre Instrument: Dr. Pymonte plays a hammered dulcimer looking like their logo, a heptagram.
  • Break-Up Song: Alte Liebe, Heut Morgen
  • Call-and-Response Song: Ai vis lo lop
    Micha: Ai vist lo lop, lo rainard, lèbre
    Rest of the band: Ai vist lo lop, rainard dancar
  • The Cameo: They can be seen in the German version of the game Gothic playing their song Herr Mannelig
    • Also, Korn make an appearance on their DVD "Live 2002"
  • The Caper / Caper Rationalization: Kunstraub
  • The Cartel: When playing in Mexico, they were warned that there is nothing they can do against fake merachandise because the Mafia is behind everything.
  • Celebrity Song: Störtebeker
  • Character Title: Liam, Störtebeker
  • Chronological Album Title: There seventh album is just called "7"
  • Clever Crows: Krummavísur
  • Clueless Deputy: One police woman in Mexico wanted Micha to sign her underwear, handing him her loaded pumpgun while undressing.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Some of their songs are this to the source material. For example, "Spielmannsfluch" is far shorter than the original ballad "Des Sängers Fluch" by Ludwig Uhland.
  • Cooking Stories: Sieben Köchenote 
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: At least that's what their biography and some stories from interviews let you believe.
  • Cool Plane: The cover of Sterneneisen
  • Cover Album: The bonus disc of their best-of Kein Blick zurück consists of other artists covering In Extremo songs.
  • Cover Version: The covered I disappear by Metallica, This Corrosion by TheSistersOfMercy, An end has a start by Editors, Yeah yeah yeah by Die Fantastischen Vier and various traditional songs.
    • On one of their acoustic tours, they also played an unplugged version of It's a long way to the top (If you wanna rock'n'roll) by AC/DC
    • They have also covered the theme of Game of Thrones. You can listen to it here.
    • It may be argued that most of their older songs are cover versions because they use texts and melodies from medieval artists like Walther von der Vogelweide or Francois Villon.
  • Creator Breakdown: Their old bagpiper Thomas der Münzer had one before leaving the band.
  • Creepy Crows: Черный ворон (Schwarzer Rabe) note 
  • Dark Age Europe: The setting of most of their older songs.
  • Deceptively Silly Title: Doof
  • Drunken Song: Viva La Vida, Sternhagelvoll
  • The Dung Ages: They wouldn't want to live in the real medieval era, but their fantasy-version of it isn't the shiny perfect version of Chivalric Romance either.
    • Particularily obvious in Vor vollen Schüsseln
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes
  • Excalibur: In Sterneneisen, it is mentioned to be made out of Thunderbolt Iron.
  • Fairy Sexy: The nymphs in Nymphenzeit
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Subway to Sally
  • Fangirl: In their biography "Wir werden niemals knien" they mention a particularily annoying fangirl who wanted to marry their drummer Rainer.
  • The Far East: Singapur
  • Feudal Overlord: The villian in Spielmannsfluch
  • Filk Song: combined with Heavy Mithril
  • Folk Metal: They combine Rock and Metal with medieval instruments and sometimes contemporary folk music. This particular style of Folk Metal is called Mittelalter Rocknote  in Germany and today there are many bands like this.
  • Foreign Language Title: See Bilingual Bonus
    • Viva la Vida: Except for the Spanish Title Drop in the chorus, the entire song is in German.
  • Gallows Humor: Werd ich am Galgen hochgezogennote  is a literal example.
  • Genie in a Bottle: Flaschenteufel
  • Glorious Mother Russia: Roter Stern
  • Goth: While they don't see themselves as gothic, many of their fans are goths
  • Grape Stomping: Traubentritt is a song and dance to stomp grapes to. The name even means grape stomp.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Kein Blick zurück. Besides old songs and remakes of old songs, it also contains two new songs and a bonus disc with other artists covering In Extremo
    • In 2017, they released a new one: 40 wahre Liedernote 
  • Grief Song: Unter dem Meer
  • Gypsy Curse: Not exactly a gypsy, but in Spielmannsfluch, a king kills a traveling musician and the musicians mentor curses the king to never be mentioned in history, effectively making the king an Un-person.
  • Harp of Femininity: Averted with Dr. Pymonte
  • Healing Hands: The supposed effect of Merseburger Zaubersprüche II
  • Heavy Mithril: Some of the lyrics are definitely set in a fantasy setting. Due to their style of music it's also a combination with Filk.
    • They also had a cameo in Gothic
  • A Hell of a Time: Himmel und Hölle
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Rotes Haarnote 
  • Hot Witch: Belladonna
  • Iconic Song Request: Spielmannsfluch. There was a time when they refused to play it.
  • Intercourse with You: Weiberfell, En esta noche, Belladonna
  • Interspecies Romance: In Herr Mannelig, a female troll tries to convince a human knight to marry her
  • Ironic Episode Title: Gaukler implies a happy song about gleemen, but it's a rather sad song about how nobody goes to the circus anymore.
  • Kids Rock: One chorus in Lieb Vaterland, magst ruhig sein
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: If you read their biography "Wir werden niemals knien", you find out that they have stolen more than one thing on their travels.
  • The Klutz: The protagonist of Vor vollen Schüsseln
    Wohin ich greife, fallen nichts als Scherbennote 
  • Location Song: Berlinnote , Singapur
  • Lorelei: In 2016, they made a festival for their 20th anniversary at the side of the Loreley. There's also a song about it, but it doesn't mention the original myth.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: In the live introduction to Wie kann ich das Herz meiner Liebsten gewinnennote  it is explained that the song is a bout a farmer really loving his sheep, but in the last second, he only scratches the sheep's ears. This can be heard on their album Hameln as the title Reth Tierliebe.
  • Lost at Sea: What the female main character suspects about her lover in Liam. Turns out that he's already dead.
  • Lovable Rogue: How they see themselves
  • Magic Music: They made songs from several traditional spells, for example the Merseburger Zaubersprüchenote 
  • In Memoriam: Their first album contained an instrumental song called Für Bonote . Bo was a member of one of Michas former bands who died in a car accident.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Between 7 and 8
  • Money Song: Quid pro Quo
  • Murder Ballad: Albtraum
    Ich habe meine Tante geschlachtetnote .
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: In Villemann og Magnhild, the troll can be charmed by the hero playing the harp to give back the beautiful maiden.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Guitarrist Sebastian once stole a thong from a stage dancer of the band Music/Blutengel and went into a highway rest stop wearing nothing else.
  • Name's the Same: Their old tour manager was called Doro Peters. One time when they played on a festival they told the worker "Doro booked the room" and were led into the dressing room of Metal singer Doro Pesch.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: They combine medieval music, punk rock, metal and folk
  • Non-Ironic Clown: One is mentioned in Gaukler, but he's no longer there
  • No Title: Their first album, leading fans to call it In Extremo Gold because of it's golden cover. The re-release got a title and was called Die Goldene
  • Ode to Intoxication: Sternhagelvoll
    Auf Schaukelschuhen durchs Leben
    Was kann es Schöneres geben?
    • Also Biersegen
  • Obsession Song: Unsichtbar, Küss mich
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Vollmond
  • Panty Thief: Sebastian at Amphi-Festival, but not out of pervesion, just because he was drunk and thought it would be funny to walk into a highway rest stop wearing only a thong.
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin: Hameln is an instrumental song which's title is the German name of Hamelin (the album cover shows a rat), while Rattenfänger is an adaption of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's poem based on the legend.
  • Parental Love Song: Mein Kind, Glück auf Erden
  • Pirate: Störtebeker
  • Power Crystal: Ostkarsteinar means "magic stones", but it's not clear if they are actually magical.
  • Protest Song: Lieb Vaterland, magst ruhig sein and Saigon und Bagdad
  • Punk Rock: Half of the band was in various Punk bands before merging their latest band, Noah, with the folk/medieval band In Extremo, thus creating the band they are today.
  • The Rock Star: How they see themselves
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Küss mich is based on a female neighbour of Micha and Dr. Pymonte whom Micha often saw through her windows from their flat.
  • Regional Riff: The melody of the song Singapurnote  sounds vaguely Asian.
  • Rule of Seven: The number seven features heavily in their songs, for example Sieben Köche, Sterneneisen and Zigeunerskat
    • Also, there are seven band members
    • One of their logos is a heptagram
    • Their seventh album is called 7
  • Sad Clown: Gaukler
    Es tut so weh wenn ich die Gaukler weinen sehnote 
  • Schizo Tech: Their electric guitars and drums look like this between the traditional instruments. Actually, their bagpipes are the most modern instruments, because the Marktsack, the specific kind of bagpipe they use, has been invented in The '80s
  • Self-Titled Album: Their first album initally only had the words In Extremo on it's golden cover, so fans called it In Extremo Gold. For the rerelease, it was titled Die Goldenenote , averting this trope.
  • Seen It All: The title of the song Alles schon gesehen literally means Seen It All and plays this trope straight.
  • Sequel Number Snarl: Zauberspruch No. VII may be this to Zauberspruch. There were no songs called Zauberspruch II - VI.
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: Totus Floreo
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: When playing in Mexico, they saw tons of merchandise being sold that they never saw before. Mostly it was printed with Gratuitous German texts full of typos and wrong grammar and phrases Google brings up if you search for "In Extremo".
    • Also, another early Mittelalter Rock band, Tanzwut, released a song called Exkremento, accusing In Extremo of being a Shoddy Knockoff Product of Tanzwut. It's all just a joke among musicians, as Micha and Tanzwut's singer Teufel were once in a band together and are still good friends.
  • Shout-Out: An unintentional one to The Last Unicorn. At one of their first concerts, Micha wore a T-shirt reading "Das Letzte Einhorn", the German title of the film. Somebody called him "Das Letzte Einhorn" because of the shirt, and the name stuck, even though he thinks it's stupid.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: They made a musical version of Frank Wedekind's Der Tantenmördernote . In both versions, the protagonist kills his aunt, which would avert this trope. But In Extremo's verison is called Alptraumnote , implying that this version might be All Just a Dream.
  • Special Guest: They really love guest musicians:
    • Horizont features Marta Jandová of Die Happy
    • Liam features Rea Garvey of Reamonn, who also translated the song to Irish
    • Hol die Sterne features Der Graf of Unheilig
    • Unsichtbar features Mille Petrozza of Kreator
    • En esta noche features José Andrëa of Mägo de Oz
    • Flaschenteufel features Heaven Shall Burn
    • Roter Stern features Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian
    • Gogiya features Georgij Alexandrowitsch Makazaria of Russkaja
    • Wer kann segeln ohne Wind features Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth
    • Micha also was guest singer in various songs by other bands:
      • Wer sonst? by ASP
      • Buntes Volk by Faun
      • Valhalla and Charon (Fährmann Des Todes) by Grave Digger
      • Willst du's extrem by Schandmaul
      • Veris Dulcis, Le Povre Villon and Ich was ein Chint by Schelmish
      • I guess you know by Exilia
      • Fields of Green/Nie zu spät by Fiddlers Green
      • Mond by Music/{{Rêverie}}
      • Meridian and Murter by Manntra
      • The acoustic version of Alte Liebe rostet nicht by Music/{{Hämatom}}
      • Time to wonder (2020) by Fury In The Slaughterhouse
      • Also, he played the harmonica in Going Down Blues by The Armada
  • Spoken Word in Music: For example in Poc Vecem or Flaschenteufel
  • Stage Names: Every member has one
    • Their singer Michael Rhein is called Das Letzte Einhorn
    • Their guitarrist Sebastian Lange is called Van Lange
    • Their bassist Kay Lutter is called Die Lutternote 
    • Multiinstrumentalist André Strugala is called Dr. Pymonte
    • Their bagpiper Marco Zorzytzky is called Flex der Biegsamenote 
    • Their other bagpiper Boris Pfeiffer is called Yellow Pfeiffernote 
    • Their drummer Florian Speckardt is called Specki T.D.
  • The Stasi: Before they founded In Extremo, some of the members played in several punk bands who often were on the run from the Stasi.
  • Stealing from the Hotel: How Micha got all of his cutlery.
  • Street Performer: Some of them started out as street performers and also included those acts into the stage show during their early years.
  • Swarm of Rats: Rattenfänger and Hameln are about The Pied Piper of Hamelin
  • Textless Album Cover: Their first album had their name on it, but no title. Since the cover was golden, it was renamed Die Goldenenote  when it was rereleased
  • Thunderbolt Iron: Sterneneisen compares the band themselves to Iron from the stars
  • Translated Cover Version:
  • Trojan Horse: Mentioned in Troja
  • Trope Maker: For Medieval Metal (Mittelalter-Rock)
  • The Woobie: The protagonist of Vor vollen Schüsseln
  • Unplugged Version: They had an unplugged live-album (Sängerkrieg Akustik Radio Show) and also on the special edition of Quid pro Quo there was an unplugged version of the titular song.
    • On one of their acoustic tours, they also played an unplugged version of It's a long way to the top (If you wanna rock'n'roll) by AC/DC
  • Unusual Euphemism: In Belladonna, a song about a Hot Witch
    Du kennst bestimmt das schönste Spiel, komm setzt dich auf den Besenstielnote 
    • Also in Erdbeermund: the titular "strawberry mouth" refers to the vagina.
  • The Von Trope Family: Van Lange is the stage name of their guitarist.
  • Wanderlust Song: Neues Glück
  • War Is Glorious: This is what the protagonist of Lieb Vaterland, magst ruhig sein believes at first.
  • War Is Hell: This is the truth the protagonist of Lieb Vaterland, magst ruhig sein finds out
    • Also the topic of Saigon und Bagdad


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