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DIES IRAE

Krautrock • Germany


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Dies Irae biography
Playing locally in and around clubs in southern Germany, Switzerland and France since 1968 Dies Irae, consisting of Rainer Wahlman, lead vocals/harmonica, Harald Thoma, guitars/vocals, Joachim Shiff, bass and Andreas Cornelius on drums were finally discovered by the now long defunct Hamburg record label PILZ in early 1971. They were were a progressive psychedelic/blues freak band with a darker side from Saarbrucken, Germany who released just one LP and one single as well as appearing on the PILZ sampler, Heavy Christmas, in 1971 before splitting up in 1972 as a result of musical differences to form two offshoot bands, Lucy Gang and Green Wave.

Not to be confused by several metal bands which have used the name Dies Irae which literally translates to Day Of Wrath which is the title of a Latin hymn which refers to the day of judgement before the throne of God where the saved are delivered from evil and the unsaved are cast into the eternal flames, the original Dies Irae has been often compared to Black Sabbath's early sound on their LP "First" for PILZ because of a guitar/harmonica heavy blues sound with lyrical references to the occult although the vocals were far more trippier and out there. Extended psychedelic electronic collages and free form jams were also included on the sole album.

Despite recording just one single album the band created some waves in the summer of 1971 when most German radio stations refused to play anything off their album because of controversial LSD induced lyrics with sacreligious conotations. A wacked out, off the deep end video, filmed in 8mm was, however, aired on German TV and was enough to gain them limited underground status to this day. An attempt was made in the early 90s to reform the original band again and several live tracks appeared on a live CD, " Saarock Live ", recorded at a local club in Saarbrucken called Le Garage which also featured several other bands. In 1993 the band was disbanded once again, this time slipping into Krautrock folklore forever, although their single album "First " remains in demand in CD form amongst fans of heavy prog .

Vibrationbaby (Ian Gledhill), Canada

Dies Irae official website

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ImmolatedImmolated
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The Art Of An Endless CreationThe Art Of An Endless Creation
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DIES IRAE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DIES IRAE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.39 | 11 ratings
First
1971

DIES IRAE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DIES IRAE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DIES IRAE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DIES IRAE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Lucifer/Tired
1971
4.00 | 2 ratings
...make ends meet...
1992

DIES IRAE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 First by DIES IRAE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.39 | 11 ratings

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First
Dies Irae Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars Dies Irae (Day of Wrath), is in fact a Latin hymn from the thirteenth century. There we go, I bet not many people knew that. What? you did ... smarty pants... all of you! .

What we have here is, as other reviewers have commented, a band that sound remarkably like 'Black Sabbath' - a band I've never been keen on. However, the saving grace is the fact that there's a fair bit originality in amongst the run of the mill heavy rock numbers.

Take a look in 'YouTube' for the great video to 'Trip'. (It really is a video - whoever said 'Bohemian Rhapsody was first there is wrong!). You'll see some dodgy characters here who's faces you'd just love to punch! A great tune which is very reminiscent of Floyd circa 'Meddle' but NOT representative of the album as a whole.

Unfortunately most of the other tracks are pretty much straight rock, although the album is disturbingly catchy considering I really can't be bothered with this style of music.

Rainer Wahlmann's vocals are pretty good but derivative in their execution. The drums get pass marks too with some bloke named Andreas Cornelius giving it some serious 'welly'. But, crumbs almighty - gonna sack that harmonica! Yeeuuuch!

A real mish mash of an album that barely scrapes 3 stars. From the dreadfully bad to the dull and ordinary to the surprisingly cool within it's short 36 minute duration. It's not bad... but nothing great.

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 ...make ends meet... by DIES IRAE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
4.00 | 2 ratings

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...make ends meet...
Dies Irae Krautrock

Review by Vibrationbaby

4 stars Sometimes it baffles me as to how great composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert could have emanated from the same cultural background as bands from the Kosmische or Krautrock movement of the late sixties/early seventies whose members lived in communes and played wacked out radical politically and religiously rebellious music that often got them into hot water with both the authorities and local townsfolk. Perhaps some sort of atonement or ongoing emancipation ritual from the memory of the totalitarian Nazi state that was still fresh in the minds of the German people and passed downto this younger generation. The better known bands from this era included Amon Duul, Amon Duul II, Xhol Caravan, Floh de Cologne and Guru Guru. Then there were one album wonders who were perhaps too busy with their communal lifestyle, of which music was an integral part of the free thinking philosophies, to sign successful big record deals.

One such band was Dies Irae who released a single LP in 1971 on the obscure BASF/Pilz label simply entitled "First" ( maybe a more fitting title would be "First and Last" in hindsight! ). Long after all the smoke from the bedlam of that era cleared a concert was held in Saarbrucken in Saarland to celebrate some of this long lost music with a Dies Irae reunion being one of the highlights. A subsequent album was released entitled "Saarbruck Live" which featured 3 cuts from the Dies Irae set. Those three tracks plus the remainder of the set form the foundationand introduce this 78 minute 15 track demo CD that conpletes Dies Irae"s recorded library if you have the highly collectible "First" album on either CD or Vinyl.

Beginning with the live set which includes all the tracks from the "First" album, this has got to be some of the heaviest psych ever laid down. Plenty of relentless guitar freaking along with the wacked out vocals of Rainer Wahlmann from this 1992 hippie orgy. The musicianship is suprisingly above average for such a band and it gets into some really trippy jazzy and bluesy grooves. Wahlmann joins in on mouth harp here and there making the music even more unusual. Those who might be familiar with "First" with it's meticulous Conny Plank engineering will no doubt be in for a big suprise here. Th songs are balsy, literally right-in-your-face and might even scare some old hippies. All the controversial lyrics that got them into trouble when their album was broadcast live on WDR Radio in 1971 are recited here with tenacity and conviction. 60 years down the line there was a bit more tolerance! The centerpiece and jewel of the album is arguably a track called " The Trip" ( the warped 1971 8mm video can be viewed on youtube ). " To nowhere, throw the dice" vocalist Wahlmann chants as he muses about what he prefers, heaven or hell. So he takes a trip to both as he vapourizes into the sureal lyrics. " Hell was fightening!" he declares at one point. Audacious versions of "Lucifer", "Witche's Meeting" and "Harmageddon Dragonlove" are delivered without irresolution as well. And as the master of ceremonies raves at the beginning this part of the CD this is what rock 'n' roll legends are made of.

Around the same time of this live reunion in the fall of 1992 the band attempted to re-unite for another studio album and wrote 5 new songs which were laid down in rough mixes in the Green Wave studios in Riegelsberg, Saarland. They had a raunchy cosmic blues sound that the live set had and were recorded straight with few overdubs. The lyrics were typical of the earlier Dies Irae style that got them into trouble back in '71. Despite the potential for another album the band split for good in December 1992 and slipped into Krautrock folklore forever and those 5 tracks are included here.

Featured as bonus tracks are two Dies Irae tracks that appeared on a long lost to time Krautrock compilation of Christmas songs that was also released on the BASF Pilz label entitled "Heavy Christmas". Dies Irae's contribution to this festive Frankenstein included a nightmarish version of "Silent Night" complete with air raid sirens and gunfire followed by the band's special stoned Christmas message on Shepherd's Song.

The only complaint about this gem would be the varying quality of each individual track that and the abrupt cuts between selections. Available exclusively directly from Rainer Wahlmann this is an essential for fans of early Krautrock searching for that long lost classik. A true Krautrock freakout blast from the past.

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 Lucifer/Tired by DIES IRAE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1971
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Lucifer/Tired
Dies Irae Krautrock

Review by Vibrationbaby

3 stars Two wacked out psychedelic blues tracks from Dies Irae`s only studio LP, " First ". One is more upbeat than the other and both tracks can be described as similar to Black Sabbath`s first album with stoned out German accented vocals comparable to Peter Panka or Klaus Hess of Jane . Side One`s "Lucifer" has a spaced out intro and outro that are reminicient of Jim Morrison getting mad at the world with sacreligious lyrics. Basically it morphs into an all out heavy blues jam with lots of screaming guitar and growling vocals. On side B's "Tired" there`s a wild harmonica solo, then the harmonica player / vocalist , Cord Wallman and guitarist Haralld H.G. Thoma get into a harmonica / Guitar battle exchanging licks like it`s nobody`s business. Running at 8 minutes & 40 seconds this has to be one of the longest singles from the early seventies.

Excellent cosmic blues from this obscure German band which reformed briefly in the early `90s. Both tracks can be found on the LP "First" Dies Irae`s one and only studio LP, original pressings of which, like this single are almost impossible to find and fetch high $$$$$$. Unless you`re a serious collector, I would go for the LP which is also available on CD.

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 First by DIES IRAE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.39 | 11 ratings

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First
Dies Irae Krautrock

Review by Vibrationbaby

3 stars Tripped out psychedelic blues/rock which can be compared to everything from Chuck Berry on quailudes to some early Earth/Black Sabbath. Recorded over a period of 25 hours by top-flight German recording engineer Connie Plank at Star recording studios in Hamburg in June '71, this one off album from Dies Irae ( Day Of Wrath ) achieved some notoriety at the time of it's release because many radio stations refused to play it because of dabblings in the occult even though the drugged out vocals ( sung in English ) were barely comprehensible through the narcotic haze which prevades over most of the album.

Although there are a few tracks ( Lucifer, Another Room, Armagedon Dragonlove ) that get into some groovin' blues/rock riffing there's just too much LSD in these concoctions especially the drugged out vocals to take too seriously. Tired picks up the pace somewhat followed by Witches Meeting which gets into some freaky guitar effects but too much time is wasted on a couple of directionless bass and drum solos here. Red Lebanese Parts 1&2 ( another drug of choice? ) continues on with a bit more structure and more freaky guitar and gets into a jazzier blues slant with Red Lebanese Part 2 briefly becoming more melodic with some acoustic thrown into the mixture along with some toned down electric guitar then returning to the original blues riff. The strangest track on the record and the one which perhaps holds the most curiousity is simply titled Trip. Basically a sound experiment, again with various guitar treatments that was also made into a surreal short 8mm film, a visual presentation of an LSD trip that was even shown on German TV!

Unfortunately the creative potential of these far out blues, rock and elecronic studio experiments are not fully realized because every groove they hit is just not exploited to the max. There are certainly some really cool moments in this mindtrip from these blues hippies, mostly thanks to Plank's studio wizardry, but Die Israe's First will hold more appeal for followers of '60s head counter-culture than it will for the uninitiated. The band was reformed briefly in the early '90s and three live tracks from First ( Lucifer, Another Room and Trip) appear on a 1991 album, Saarlive, recorded in their hometown of Saarbrucken, Germany which are by far superior and more mature than the versions presented here.

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 First by DIES IRAE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.39 | 11 ratings

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First
Dies Irae Krautrock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

4 stars This is a bizarre blend between hard rockin songs of Scorpions at their very beginning with stoned atmospheres from the krautrock galaxy. The heavy jamming guitar sessions represent a real musical attraction, constantly propulsive with space rock effects. "Lucifer" is a heavy rock "trip", featuring an aggressive blast of rhythmical guitars, stoned voices. " Salve Oimel" is exclusively made of recitations. "Another Room" goes back to an intense spaced free sounding rock, largely made of echoing groovy guitars, a lot of "trippeness". "Trip" is an amazing, almost "ethereal" acid rock composition. "Tired" is a boggie, rock 'n roll song, in the tradition." Witches meeting" is a pretty good heavy rock improvisation dominated by inspired guitars. Hippy freak like style in the genre of Shanandoa. Heavy psych-out musical action that will ravish fans of krautrock!

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 First by DIES IRAE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.39 | 11 ratings

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First
Dies Irae Krautrock

Review by Rapataz

3 stars Dies Irae was a 70`s progressive/psychedelic Hard Rock Band from Germany. Their sound is quite similiar to Black Sabbath at some times (especially Track 1. Lucifer, 3.Another Room). This similiarity has it reasons in the quite dark and slightly satanistic(?) song texts dealing with topics like armageddon and so on... But this is not everything... There is another thing which makes me really like this album: It has really interesting harmonica work (even a harmonica solo) on it and sometimes it even edges the psychedelic sound of their landmates ASH RA TEMPEL in " Tired" and the obviously drug glorifying Song "Red Libanese" If you like either the 70´s hard rock with dark influence or the atmospheric sound of Ash Ra Temple or even a Fusion of both i really recommend this album. A weak point maybe are the english vocals (like it was for many german bands of that time)

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