American Neue Deutsche Härte veterans Hanzel und Gretyl, with local supporting acts, pounded St. Louis with their Germanic influenced industrial metal.

Although Kaiser Von Loopy and Vas Kallas are both natives of New York, their pseudonyms and the heavily Germanic influence on their lyrics and imagery (‘More German than German’ emblazoned on t-shirts) often lead people to believe they are from Germany.

Since their inception, Hanzel und Gretyl has provided support for some heavy-hitting national acts such as Marilyn Manson, Clutch, Slipknot, Ministry, Cradle of Filth, and even German band Rammstein. The two have been a touring band for 20+ years and are working on their seventh full-length release, Black Forest Metal, and are asking fans to help support their effort through the Hanzel und Gretyl Pledge Music page. Fans can donate to the cause and will receive different incentive gifts at each pledge level, ranging from $10 to $5,000.

[quote_right]One man’s wife regrettably could not attend due to illness, and Loopy was gracious enough to call her at home to say hello and wish her well. [/quote_right]

The duo performed at Fubar (St. Louis, Missouri) on May 31 to an excited crowd, many of them dressed for the occasion in their own goth attire of leather and studs mixed with the occasional hair bow or horns. True to form for the majority of bands playing at Fubar, Loopy and Kallas spent time with the fans before and after the show. One man’s wife regrettably could not attend due to illness, and Loopy was gracious enough to call her at home to say hello and wish her well. Both took as much time as the club and their own schedules allowed to meet and greet fans, autographing items, and posing for pictures.

Their set was enthusiastically received. The crowd packed in tightly at the front of the stage, becoming even more so as the show progressed, arms raised, fists pumping, and heads banging. While there was still some electronic and experimental elements in their newer material, their set unmistakably drew much more from the heavier influences of death and black metal than in previous years.

Both Loopy and Kallas were in control of their individual and group performance, while still having fun–the two had a box of PBR tall boys onstage and passed a few out to the crowd (thanks for the one you handed me, Loopy!) The night culminated in what is quickly becoming their signature song, “Das Boot” (which is about getting to the bar quickly) with Loopy drinking from and passing around a beer-filled boot–sure, the stage ended up a bit of a soggy mess, but other than the duo and their minimal equipment, there was enough open space to accommodate this ritual.

St. Louis and surrounding area locals, Thanatos Eternal, As Each Second Fades, and The Broadcast Obscura provided opening support for Hanzel und Gretyl. The Broadcast Obscura (Peter Stice-vocals, Collin Trunnell-vocals, guitar, Cameron Mudd-guitar, Andrew Gabalis-keyboards, James Hines-bass, Colin Evans-drums) played first, getting the crowd in the mood, with As Each Second Fades (Chops-vocals, Porter-drums, Joey Lovell-guitar, Wes Malick-guitar, and an as-yet undetermined bassist) upping the energy, and Thanatos Eternal (Brian L. Long-guitar and vocals, David Norman-bass, Tim Bishop-drums) furnishing the final layer before the headliners took over.

I had the pleasure of shooting Thanatos Eternal once before when they opened for Bile at Crackfox (St. Louis) in December, 2013, and can say their show has tightened and become even more energetic. Drummer Tim Bishop plays while wearing a homemade mask, and this show was no different. He sported a bird-like mask with a white head, black beak, and large, round goggle eyes that took him 40 hours to complete.

As Each Second Fades are promoting their new EP, Devolve, a collection of five songs. They had the physical CD at the show (only $5!) and are anticipating its digital release in the near future.

This was the first time I’ve seen The Broadcast Obscura, but I am looking forward to future shows. Their energy and dedication to perfection make their show an experience not to be missed.


Hanzel und Gretyl online:

Thanatos Eternal online:

As Each Second Fades online:

The Broadcast Obscura online: