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From left to right: Robert, Dero, Andreas
Oomph! (sometimes rendered OOMPH!) is an Industrial Metal band (even though their first album, Oomph!, was an EBM album) founded in 1989 in Wolfsburg, Germany, consisting of Dero Goi, Andreas Crap and Robert Flux. Their second album, Sperm, released in 1994, is widely considered the Ur-Example of Neue Deutsche Härte (or NDH, "New German Hardness"), a German subgenre of Industrial Metal with influences from EBM, featuring such bands as Unheilig, Eisbrecher, Megaherz, ASP and a certain little band that you may have heard of going by the name of Rammstein.
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Even though they were very influential, they didn't make their big mainstream breakthrough in Germany until 2004, when "Augen auf!", the first single from their album Wahrheit oder Pflicht, was #1 on the German singles chart for 8 consecutive weeks. Moreover, the success of Rammstein, whom they have themselves inspired, contributed to popularise NDH even outside the German-speaking public, and was indeed of help for Oomph! as well.

The sound of their music has varied a lot over the years — just compare "Wunschkind" (Wunschkind, 1996) with "Kleinstadtboy" (Des Wahnnsinns fette Beute, 2012).

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Band Members:

  • Dero Goi - lead vocals, drums, programming, live backup percussions
  • Andreas Crap - lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Robert Flux - rhythm guitar, samples, bass guitar, backing vocals

Live Members:

  • Hagen Godicke – bass, backing vocals
  • Patrick Lange "Okusa" – percussions, electric drums
  • Michael Merkert "Silvestri" – main drums
  • Felix Vonk – keyboards, backing vocals

Discography:

Studio Albums:

  • Oomph! (1992)
  • Sperm (1994)
  • Defekt (Malfunction) (1995)
  • Wunschkind (Wishchild) (1996)
  • Unrein (Impure) (1998)
  • Plastik (Plastic/Sculpture) (1999)
  • Ego (2001)
  • Wahrheit oder Pflicht (Truth or Dare) (2004)
  • GlaubeLiebeTod (FaithLoveDeath) (2006)
  • Monster (2008)
  • Des Wahnsinns fette Beute (Fat Booty of Madness) (2012)
  • XXV (2015)
  • Ritual (2019)

Compilation Albums:

  • 3 + 1 (1994) - An EP containing 3 remixes from Sperm and the bonus track "Fleisch".
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  • 1991–1996: The Early Works (1998) - Their first compilation album; includes also three remixes.
  • 1998–2001: Best of Virgin Years (2006) - A compilation of songs from the albums released under the Virgin label.
  • Delikatessen (2006) - A double record containing some of the band's favourite tracks, b-sides, remixes and never-heard before bonus tracks.
  • Truth or Dare (2010) - A compilation of older songs re-recorded in English.

Videography:

  • Rohstoff (Raw stuff) (2007)

Ready or not, I'm troping:

  • Album Title Drop: "Augen auf!" ("Eyes Open"note ) has at one point Dero Goi mentioning the game of Truth or Dare, "Wahrheit oder Pflicht" in German, the album's name. This applies also to the translated English version "Ready or Not (I'm coming)".
  • Anti-Love Song: "Kein Liebeslied" ("Not a love song") unsurprisingly: is a song praising hate, wrath, vengeance, deception; any negative and destructive feeling.
    Dies ist kein Liebesliednote 
    es ist kein schönes Liednote 
    dies ist kein Liebesliednote 
    und trotzdem werdet ihr es lieben!note 
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Three protagonists of "Kleinstadtboy".
  • Artifact of Attraction: "Mein Schatz" is about the attractive power of The One Ring, told from Gollum's perspective.
  • Based on a True Story: "Mary Bell" refers to the case of a British woman, with a seriously messed up childhood, who killed two little kids when she was barely eleven.
  • Bowdlerise: The music video of the song "Beim ersten Mal tut's immer weh" ("The first time always hurts") has two versions: the original explicit, showing the story of a pedophile being tortured and mutilated by a girl, and a censored version, showing for the whole video only the band playing.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Dero pulls this very often in music videos, in official art, or in concert.
  • Concept Album: Wunschkind is based around the theme of child abuse.
  • Cover Version:
    • From Augen auf! (Limited Edition): "Eisbär" by Grauzone;
    • From Delikatessen: "The power of love" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood; "Zauberstab" by ZaZa; "Der Präsident ist tot" and "Polizisten" by Extrabreit; "Eiszeit" by Ideal;
    • From A Tribute to Die Fantastischen Vier: "Ernten was wir säen" by Die Fantastischen Vier.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The village in the music video for "Das weiße Licht" ("The white light"), which is revealed to be inhabited by humanoid robots.
  • Creepy Child: The music video for "Augen auf!" is full of them.
  • Crossover:
    • In Plastik, Dero Goi duets with Nina Hagen in "Fieber".
    • "Brennende Liebe" crosses over Oomph! with the Austrian duo L'Âme Immortelle.
    • From GlaubeLiebeTod: the single version of "Die Schlinge" crosses over Oomph! with Apocalyptica, while the single version of "Träumst du?" becomes a duet of Dero Goi and Czech singer Marta Jandová.
    • "Land ahead", the English version of "Land im Sicht", includes of Sharon den Adel from Within Temptation as backing vocalist.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: The protagonist "Ice-Coffin" insists that he deserves no love nor pity, as he already hurted enough whosoever is trying to save him, and begs to be left alone in his "ice coffin".
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: The music video for "Labyrinth" is based on Alice in Wonderland, so naturally.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Oomph! reached mainstream popularity with their eighth album, Wahrheit oder Pflicht, when the band settled with a softened NDH sound. The numerous newcomers may find very puzzling their album from the 90s, with their harder sound, grittier vocals and overall more violent imagery. But their very first album Oomph!, an EBM album with barely electric guitars, takes the cake.
  • Evil Laugh: Heard during the interlude in "Willst du Hoffnung?", while a plead to God his recited repeatedly.
  • Genre Shift: Oomph! are the living embodiment of this trope, thanks to the numerous experimentations during the course of their career. Their first EBM album Oomph! was immediately followed by the more Industrial Metal Sperm, which is considered by many the enstablishing album for the NDH genre. Plastik represented a turning point by noticeably softening the band's sound, and Wahrheit oder Pflich introduced Gothic Metal elements which have been kept so far, although at a varying level.
  • Gorn: The music videos for "Beim ersten Mal tut's immer weh" and "Auf Kurs".
  • Guyliner: Dero's customary makeup since the release of Wahrheit oder Pflicht.
  • Hidden Track: In Wahrheit oder Pflicht, the final track "Im Licht" ("In light") is over 11 minutes long, but the actual song ends at around 4:10 minutes; a bonus track, "I’m going down", begins at around 6:40. However, later releases of the album had the tracks separated altogether.
  • Hot Teacher: Marta Jandová's character in the music video for "Träumst du?".
  • Instrumentals: It was commmon for older albums, up until Ego, to have a couple of instrumental tracks: Sperm had "Kismet"; Defekt had "Zeitweilig Incontinent" and "Decubitus Vulgaris"; Wunschkind had "Wälsungenblut" and "Filthy Playground"; Unrein had "Zero endorphine"; Ego had "Serotonin" and "Dopamin".
  • Intercourse with You: "Sex" from Sperm.
    GIB MIR SEX!
  • Kill It with Fire: "Das letzte Streichholz" ("The final match") tells of a girl on her way to burn down her house, to take revenge on her Abusive Parents, likely with the intention of killing them as well. The music video downplays it, as the girl only burns a big pile of family portraits and possessions, under the hysterical reaction of her abusive mother and siblings.
  • Lead Drummer: Dero Goi. In concert a session drummer is employed however.
  • Lyric Video: For "Kein Liebeslied", their first and only one so far.
  • The Ludovico Technique: Happens to Dero in the "Auf Kurs" music video.
  • March: "Gleichschritt" ("Lockstep") is a weird electronic military marchlike song, both in lyrics and melody.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Seemannsrose", a bawdy accordion-filled folk music parody, is immediately followed by a doleful song about grieving for a suicide victim.
  • Mortality Phobia: "Der Alptraum der Kindheit" ("The nightmare of childhood"), the spoken outro of Wunschkind, describes in rather morbid details the physical decay, the illnesses brought by old age.
    You can only pray that when that happens you have someone who loves you...
  • Narrative Poem: "Eine Frau spricht im Schlaf" has one of these as lyrics, the text being a well-known work by a German poet Erich Kästner.
  • Nested Story Reveal: The girl in the music video of "Labyrinth", attempting to escape from, well, the labyrinth? It turns out to be all an imagination of a mentally ill Dero Goi, stuck on a wheelchair and playing with a wooden labyrinth, accompanied by Flux and Crap as his nurses.
  • New Sound Album:
    • Sperm takes the first steps into Industrial Metal and shows some Groove Metal influences, moving (partially) away from the previous EBM album Oomph!.
    • Plastik represents a turning point in the band's sound, which gets significantly softened, featuring less aggressive instruments and vocals and more prominent synthesizer riffs.
    • Wahrheit oder Pflich introduces substantial Gothic Metal elements.
    • Des Wahnnsinns fette Beute abandons the previous gothic influences but also distances itself from the more traditional NDH; this album experiments a lot by blending together different and contrasting genres and sounds, sometimes within the same song.
  • Prayer of Malice: The second verse of "Gott ist ein Popstar" is a corruption of Lord's Prayer, in which Dero Goi prays to God to have mankind's whims realised, but to have them granted his grace nevertheless.
  • Rags to Riches: "Jesus" in "Gott ist ein Popstar" music video starts as a hobo sleeping in the trash; he's taken by Oomph! members, cleaned up, shaved, and made a supermodel.
  • Rearrange the Song: "Gekreuzigt" from the album Unrein was rearranged in a new single version in 2006, called (unsurprisingly) "Gekreuzigt 2006", later included in Delikatessen. It differs from the original version for softened riffs and vocals, more in line with the current band's sound, and the removal of the Greek language choir in the chorus.
  • Religion Rant Song:
    • "Feiert das Kreuz" ("Celebrate the Cross") ironically instigates people to turn to religion and praise God, but is clearily a type 2.
    • "I.N.R.I. vs JAHWE" ("Jesus vs God"), a type 1, tells in first person of someone calling out God for never rewarding the sacrifices they endured nor the crimes they commited in his name.
    • "Gott ist ein Popstar" is type 2 by comparing God to a popstar, who merely provides the masses with something to obsess over without giving any actual relief from worldly problems.
    • "Menschsein" ("Mankind"/"Being human") is another type 2, stating that humans only use religion as an excuse to destroy each other.
  • Robot Me: Dero in "Das weisse Licht".
  • Rock Trio: An unusual one, since each member plays a wide variety of instruments in studio (as indicated above); it's no surpise that they employ many other stage musicians in concert.
  • Romanticized Abuse:
    • "Come and kick me" is sung from the perspective of someone who enjoy the abuses and the beatings they receive, begging for more.
    • "Alles aus Liebe" ("Everything out of love") tells of a man who's prepared to suffer any physical violence, any pain, any torment "out of love for her".
      Ich will mich verletzen, will alles wagennote 
      Grausame Schmerzen werd' ich ertragennote 
      All das nur aus Liebe zu ihrnote 
  • The Sandman: "Sandmann" is a song about the poverty and the bad situation of children. The chorus invokes The Sandman to put the singer to sleep and end his suffering.
    Sandman, Sandman! Please put out the light, The truth is a big scam, So let me dream tonight.
  • Self-Abuse: Hilariously spoofed in "Deine Eltern".
  • Self-Demonstrating Song: The song "Defekt" ("Defective"/"Faulty") ends with a loop which sounds like a phonograph glitch.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their first, self-produced album, Oomph!.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Brennende Liebe" music video is loosely based on Bride of Frankenstein.
    • "Beim ersten Mal tut's immer weh" music video is one to Hard Candy, which is in turn one to Little Red Riding Hoodnote .
    • "Kleinstadtboy" takes up the title and, partially, the melody and the text of "Smalltown Boy" by Bronski Beat.
    • "Tausend Mann und ein Befehl" ("A thousand men and an order") shouts out "Hundert Mann und ein Befehl" ("A hundred men...") by Freddy Quinn, an anti-war song which, in turn, is a reinterpretation and loose German translation of the patriotic song "The Ballad of the Green Berets".
  • Spoof Aesop: "Deine Eltern" starts out like a song about parents always knowing better, but the advice they give their child turns out to be "don't touch yourself or you'll go blind", even though they have bad eyesight themselves.
  • Title Drop: "Zwei Schritte vor" ("Two steps forward") music video has a big "OOMPH!" dropped on screen at the end of the video.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: The music video for "Träumst du?" shows male students misbehaving on purpose so that they can get caned by their teacher.
  • The Topic of Cancer: "Hello my name is Cancer" is from the first person of the Cancer itself, as it presents itself to its victim, mockingly asking them to surrender to their fate.
  • Translated Cover Version:
    • "Der neue Gott" ("The new God") from Oomph! is sung in German but has a short interlude in English. Later releases of the album included a "bonus version" completely in German, with the interlude translated almost precisely.
    • The compilation album Truth or Dare contains some of their most important songs re-recorded in English language.
  • We All Die Someday: "Geborn zu sterben" ("Born to Die") is about life's fleetingness.

"Augen auf - ich komme!"note 
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