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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 technical level. 

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. 

Important Gigs?

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. 

The Future

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!!

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