Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sweet Ermengarde

Country: Germany
Formed in: 2011
Location: Bochum
Members: Kuba Achtelik - Vocals, Lars Kappeler - Bass, Danny Elevator - Guitar, Rafael Skudro - Drums, Marco Förster - Guitar
Contact: info(at)

The four founding members of 'Sweet Ermengarde' were the last and best instrumental ensemble from Münster gothic rock band 'Neon Dream', which can look back on two published in Équinoxe albums and numerous appearances at international festivals. However, according to internal differences the band came to the conclusion that Neon Dream was not suitable to provide the right background for future musical output. The four wanted to do more together and started a new project, which should accommodate the full range of musical visions.

So Sweet Ermengarde was born. Within a short time showed a remarkable musical output and you took on the first song. Although still lacking a singer, the online audible instrumental songs erziehlten already a considerable resonance and soon gave Jörg Kleudgen the track 'Kisses', a voice. Although not a regular singer was found, the band will be already on 28.10.2011 in Langendreer station in the interlude of  'The House Of Usher' and 'Golden Apes' their live debut. Jörg Kleudgen is thereby assume the position of the singer. It then took about a year of searching, finally to Kuba was found who now takes over the vocals. Scholli had professional reasons unfortunately left the band in his place Danny came.

Debut Album

Raynham Hall is one of those stately old English manor houses to be found in Norfolk, England. In the 1930s the probably most famous ghost picture of all times has been taken there: the now legendary "Brown Lady" descending the grand staircase in the foyer of Raynham Hall. Just as spirits seem to be haunting Raynham Hall, a new musical entity seems to be haunting the musical underground in Germany: the Gothic Rock band "Sweet Ermengarde". While the term "Gothic Rock" is often used inflationary these days, it falls right in place with this band, but is yet in its simplicity not enough to define their imaginative and varied sound.

Bassist Lars Kappeler, guitarist Marco Förster and drummer Rafa Skudro played a few years with “Rake's Progress” until Lars invited them to "Neon Dream", who had already released two albums and entered, complemented by ex-"Secret Discovery" guitarist Jürgen "Scholli" Scholz, international stages. Some time later they decided to provide a greater platform for their musical potential and thus founded "Sweet Ermengarde". Due to time constraints, Scholli had to leave again and Danny Elevator, who had already recorded some songs with Rafa for "Leaving With Ghosts", joined the band.

At this point of time the conceptually standing debut album was only lacking the right voice. After some experimentation, the band went for former "Rake's Progress" singer Kuba Achtelik.

Intense compositions

"Raynham Hall", the result of this highly productive collaboration, is Gothic Rock in its purest incarnation: atmospherically dense, slowly building up with growling bass, elegiac delay guitars and a tight rhythm section. The name dropping of possible sources of inspiration is deliberately omitted at this point. Not only to avoid (false?) preconceptions, but above all to sustain the willingness to engage with these intense compositions at a maximum high level. Gradually crescending anthems like "A Promise to Fulfill" or "Necropolitan Rest", impulsive percussive tracks like "Near Dark" or overwhelmingly haunting midtempo strains in the vein of "Kisses", which in a special version has already been released featuring "The House Of Usher" frontman Jörg Kleudgen on vocals, are evidence to the fact that "Sweet Ermengarde" – incidentally named after a short story by HP Lovecraft – definitely is a band that you should keep in mind (and in ears anyway).


2013 Raynham Hall (Équinoxe Records/Nova Media Distribution)

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