Ah, Germany. It’s one of the most beloved and iconic European countries, and has given us some of the most beloved and iconic European bands of all time.
Sure, stereotypes might help you associate the German music scene with little more than oom-pah and polka, while acts like Kraftwerk, Engima, and Can might help you correct your way of thinking.
But of course, German music isn’t all electronic innovation, and post-punk anthems; sometimes our Deutsche friends like to turn the volume up a bit, let their hair grow long, and remind us how heavy they can make their tunes.
With Germany’s Scorpions set to return to our shores next year for a tour alongside England’s Whitesnake, we decided to take a look back at some of the biggest acts who, consequently, boasted the biggest hairstyles.
When Scorpions first formed as a band with beat influences back in 1965, few could have predicted what the future would hold for this stunning group of musicians. Slowly rising to fame over the coming decade, the group’s shift to hard rock slowly saw them attracting a dedicated global fanbase.
By the ’80s though, the band had found themselves as household names, with singles like ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ becoming staples of both radio and soundtracks, with their hard rock sound cemented thanks to this stunning tune. Of course, they weren’t done yet, with 1990’s ‘Wind Of Change’ topping charts around the world.
With the band set to visit Australian shores next year, this is only one of a few times that the band have managed to find their way Down Under; this is one opportunity you definitely don’t want to miss.
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Check out ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ by Scorpions:
It’s either a testament to their country’s talent or a constant source of annoyance, but no conversation about German music is complete without at least one reference to Rammstein. Having formed back in 1994, these Berliners quickly made a name for themselves as one of the most brutal and explosive groups on the scene, gathering a worldwide fanbase despite singing predominantly in their mother tongue.
With some of the most fiery (quite literally) and devastating live shows you’ll find anywhere, there’s a reason why Rammstein are considered not only one of Germany’s most successful exports, but one of the world’s biggest metal bands.
Check out ‘Mein Teil’ by Rammstein:
You know you’re a big deal in the world of heavy music when bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax all consider you to be a huge influence. So much is the legacy of Accept that they’re considered pioneers of the genre rather than followers of a trend.
Existing in various forms ever since the mid-’70s, Accept might be best known for singles like the classic ‘Balls To The Wall’, but there’s no denying that they’re a true force of heavy music, and one whose reputation proceeds them as trailblazers of metal.
Check out ‘Balls To The Wall’ by Accept:
While the likes of Metallica and Slayer make up the ‘Big Four of thrash metal’, Kreator are one of the acts that are known as the ‘Big Four of Teutonic metal’; the German equivalent of the US scene. Having kicked things off in 1982, it wasn’t long before Kreator found themselves a high-profile act, helping to popularise death metal and black metal along the way.
Despite releasing their debut album back in 1985, it wasn’t until the last few years that the band have seen widespread commercial success, with their last four records hitting charts around the world, and 2017’s Gods Of Violence giving them their first German #1.
Check out ‘Enemy Of God’ by Kreator:
Despite being known as Knight Of Demon in their early years, Destruction were another one of Germany’s Big Four, helping to pioneer black metal along the way.
One of the most prolific bands on this list, Destruction similarly managed to avoid much commercial recognition for the majority of their career, instead surviving based upon their reputation as one of the most influential and powerful metal acts to ever come out of Germany.
Check out ‘Curse The Gods’ by Destruction:
While the Biblical city of Sodom is known for being synonymous with sin, the name is synonymous with stunning thrash metal when used in a musical sense. Another example of Germany’s Big Four, Sodom kicked things off back in the early ’80s, going through numerous lineup changes over the years.
Although bassist and vocalist Tom Angelripper remains as the only constant member throughout the band’s history, their prolific and groundbreaking nature has seen Sodom become one of those bands who still boast a massive following close to 40 years later.
Check out ‘Agent Orange’ by Sodom:
Ever since they first formed back in 1984, Hamburg’s Helloween have maintained a reputation as one of the most influential and successful power metal bands on the scene. Sure, they might not have seen much success with their debut album, but every record since has charted in the local Top 40, with their fame slowly growing along the way.
While the Helloween lineup has also shifted considerably over the years, the current iteration of the group is as close to the early days as we’re going to get, and has recently seen the band reveal they’re hoping to release their 16th studio album in 2020.
Check out ‘I Want Out’ by Helloween:
Following on from our last entry, Gamma Ray came into existence back in 1989 after Kai Hansen ended his four-year stint with Helloween. While the exact reason for his departure is unclear, Hansen has claimed his former band was getting a bit too big to handle. So what did he do? He went on and created a similarly huge band.
Having released a number of records over the years, Gamma Ray found themselves associated with another huge band back in the ’90s when, post-Kyuss, Josh Homme attempted to kick off a new band. After the German outfit informed him that he couldn’t use the name Gamma Ray as first planned, Homme instead renamed his new outfit Queens Of The Stone Age. The rest, as they say, is history.
Check out ‘Rebellion In Dreamland’ by Gamma Ray:
Having been around for 35 years now, Krefeld’s Blind Guardian are undoubtedly a group of all-rounders, touching on just about every metal subgenre and solidifying themselves as one of the most influential groups on the scene in the meantime.
First forming as Lucifer’s Heritage back in 1984, the band’s discography is a picture of stunning compositions, with every one of the albums hitting the German charts, and their last few finding themselves receiving massive worldwide fame for their efforts.
Check out ‘Nightfall’ by Blind Guardian:
Moving away from traditional heavy music for a while, we would be remiss to create such a list without giving KMFDM a deserved mention. Pioneers of the industrial genre, the group are one of the first bands to have brought mainstream attention to the overlooked genre, and are well-known for the inclusion of electronic elements in their music as well.
From powerful live shows to their bold artwork, KMFDM have been a relatively constant presence on the German music scene since forming back in 1984. Chuck in a few controversies from time to time, and you’ve got the very definition of a groundbreaking group who do things their own way.
Check out ‘Megalomaniac’ by KMFDM:
Scorpions and Whitesnake Australian Tour 2020
Wednesday, February 19th, 2020
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday, February 22nd, 2020
Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, NSW
Monday, February 24th, 2020
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, QLD