See past Featured Artists
German Power Metal Meets
Melodic Swedish Death Metal
Encryption has been chosen as the featured artist because
they embody most of the elements of what I like in metal today. They have
the power metal influences from bands like Helloween and Blind Guardian
yet they have heavier edged influences thanks to the melodic death metal
scene from Sweden.
The members of Encryption include: NORBERT HARTMANN on
vocals - Norbert is the perfect singer for this type of band as his vocal
style is somewhat melodic yet has some of the death metal sounds
found in bands like In Flames. On drums is JOHANNES KLEIN who is a
powerhouse behind the kit. This guy has the double kick thing that I love
down and as an added bonus here and there he slips in heavier elements
like blast beats! OLIVER GÖß provides the backbone on bass over
which MANFRED HERZOG and CHRISTIAN KLEIN lay down some very
fine leads and harmonies that are played with as much skill and conviction
as any of their peers.
ENCRYPTION was founded in February 1995 under the name
CRYPTIC. They began, like most bands, by playing cover-songs, soon
starting to compose their own material. The band comes from Dachsbach, a
little village with approximately 1000 inhabitants. Dachsbach is located
in middle Franconia (this is a part of Bavaria), approximately in the
middle of a line between Würzburg and Nuremberg (Dachsbach is 50 km away
from Nuremberg). According to Norbert, "Dachsbach is nothing
more than a little fucking boring village with some old men, no chicks and
some cows and dogs, haha." Well regardless of their humble
surroundings they have created some great music!! :-)
In 1996 Encryption released their first demo which due to
financial limits was only done on a 4-track-recorder. Reaction to this
demo, "The Cryptogram", ranged from good to very good. Material
written after the demo was harder, faster, more melodic and on a higher
In spring 1997 the band took the (financial) risk of self
producing a full-length CD at PowerSoundStudios. It took 10 days to record
"Shrouded In Mystery" and at the end of October '97 their debut
CD was released (see cover art to the right).
Reviews for "Shrouded in Mystery" range
from good to amazing. There has hardly been a bad reviews - but there was
bad news...In early February '97, the band received a letter from a German
band also called CRYPTIC. This band was the legal owner of the name
CRYPTIC, and in their letter they threatened legal action if the name
wasn't changed. A new band name was thus agreed upon...after three years
of CRYPTIC, they agreed to go with the new moniker ENCRYPTION.
Encryption's influences are varied. It's clear that the
band has taken note of many different bands. Within ENCRYPTION, the range
of favored bands goes from more "commercial" acts like Die Toten
Hosen or Bad Religion to extreme Death / Black Metal-Acts like The Crown,
God Dethroned, Defleshed or Satyricon. Some of the guys also listen to
classical music (e.g. Edvard Grieg) or acts like Dead Can Dance (R.I.P.)
and Elend. When pressed for influences as opposed to what they are
listening to they mention: Blind Guardian, Iced Earth, Dark Tranquility,
In Flames and At The Gates.
Perhaps the ultimate live-highlight for Encryption to date
was the support gig for IRON SAVIOR and EDGUY on April 19, 1997 in
Nuremberg. Encryption was chosen for this gig in a competition organized
by a German hard rock magazine. According to the band, "Some things
were quite chaotic: we had to place our amplifiers on stage in total
darkness, because the fans already had entered the location, and we had to
start playing at once without a sound check. Therefore there were a few
sound-problems in the beginning, but nevertheless the gig was very
successful. After the last track, the were even encore-shouts."
Unfortunately Encryption didn't win the competition - who's prize was the
release of a track on the Iron Savior CD Unification. The competition was
won by the Swiss band Excelsis. Even so the guys had had a lot of fun at
the gig and got to know some key people.
Of course no one can read the future but with luck and
with the right people hearing this band it's not hard to predict that they
could be one of the major contenders in the metal arena.
Read our interview
with Norbert and Chris of Encryption!!
Click on the below banner to
visit their website.