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Album Review

In the best possible sense, Subway to Sally is contemporary metal's answer to Jethro Tull, fusing heavy rock instrumentation to traditional European folk melodies. The live album Nackt is a change of pace, then: recorded during a spring 2006 all-acoustic tour, the 15-track Nackt showcases the German band's folkie side almost exclusively. Featuring an expanded lineup that adds cellist B. Deutung to hold down the bottom end among all the high register lutes and mandolins, Nackt ("naked") wends its way through the length of Subway to Sally's dozen-year career, recasting hits and fan favorites in new arrangements that emphasize the tunes' sprightly melodies, which in the past have occasionally gotten lost in the metallic instrumentation. Folk and metal can be a dodgy combination — it's hard to forget the "Stonehenge" scene in This Is Spinal Tap — but Subway to Sally have never simply thrown a few jigs into an otherwise rock-oriented sound, and the main impact of Nackt is in the way it shows just how integral the folk tunes and instrumentation have always been to their sound. Indeed, the band could comfortably continue the all-acoustic concept in their studio albums if they wanted. [Nuclear Blast issued a 15-track edition in 2006.]


Formed: 1990 in Potsdam, Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Subway to Sally is a true musical hybrid. Based on a heavy metal foundation, Subway to Sally is far from your average metal headbangers as they combine progressive and folk anthems with early music and liturgical references. They contribute equal parts acoustic and electric from the guitar trio of Ingo Hampf, Bodenski, and Simon. Violinist Frau Schmidt can lay down a classic Robbie Steinhardt-like roll with as much conviction as with the gentler, more traditionally based passages. Perhaps the most...
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Nackt, Subway to Sally
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