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Xmal Deutschland blended the gloomy beauty of Siouxsie & The Banshees with the ethereal guitars of Cocteau Twins and Joy Division’s ability to channel gloom. “Qual” opens the band's 1983 debut, Fetisch, with Anja Huwe cooly singing in her native German over a driving rhythm bolstered by Manuela Rickers’ grinding guitar work and what sound like lasers blasting from Fiona Sangster’s synthesizers. The brooding, menacing bass line of the mechanical “Young Man” wobbles between staccato guitars and primal percussion. The standout track “Orient” features Burundi-esque drums (de rigueur in the early '80s) amid echoing, Siouxsie-like howls. Sangster leans on more '60s-style organ tones on the instrumental “In der Nacht”; they rub against the chilling '80s synth ambience for a perfect contrast.


Formed: 1980

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s

Sounding like howling witches burning at the stake, the ghoulish shrieks of Xmal Deutschland's 1982 debut single "Incubus Succubus" immediately won the approval of goth rock connoisseurs. The German band wasn't able to maintain its black-clad sound, selling out to pop before the inevitable breakup, but Xmal Deutschland competed with Siouxsie & the Banshees for goth royalty. Xmal Deutschland was formed in Hamburg, Germany, in 1980 by Anja Huwe (vocals), Manuela Rickers (guitar), Rita Simon (bass),...
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Fetisch, Xmal Deutschland
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