Hanzel und Gretyl

Vas Kallas Feeling the Crowd
Vas Kallas Feeling the Crowd

Hanzel und Gretyl is an American metal band formed in New York in 1993 by Kaizer von Loopy and Vas Kallas.

Kallas had previously sung with Cycle Sluts from Hell, among others. After joining with Kaizer von Loopy, the two took on the roles of the two protagonists from the well-known fairy tale Hanzel und Gretyl, and moved the plot into the future. The intent was to represent a facet of the fairy tale in each album release.

After the release of their Demos Children’s Music (1994), a song appeared on the compilation COP International Chaos. Energy Records took notice of the group and signed them up in 1995.

In 1995 the album Ausflippt (Energy Records) was released, and the band played concert with Ginger Bread (bass) and Pat 5000 (drums). Between 1995 and 1996 Hanzel und Gretyl went on a tour as a support band for Marilyn Manson.

In 1997, Transmissions from Uranus was published. The band then toured both as headliners and with greats like Prong, Slipknot, Rammstein and Rob Halfords Fight. 9D Galactic Center appeared on the soundtrack of the film Mortal Kombat 2 – Annihilation that same year.

A live performance at the MTV Video Music Awards 1997 made the group known to a wider audience. Despite this brilliant start, the group was unable to expand their success because their label Energy Records went under.

It was not until 2002 that Hanzel und Gretyl found a new label with Metropolis Records. Über Alles was released in 2002, and Anna K. (Drain STH) and Jon Osterman (Into Darkness) joined the band as touring musicians. In 2004, album Scheissmessiah was released and the group toured as the opening act for Ministry along with Mark Barker as the new drummer.

In 2006 the EP Oktötenfest 2006 was released, and the band toured as headliners through the USA. Next album, titled 2012: Zwanzig Zwölf was released in 2008. In 2010 the band played at the M’era Luna Festival in Hildesheim, Germany..

In 2012 the album Born to be Heiled was released, followed by Black Forest Metal released in 2014. In 2017, Kaizer von Loopy released the debut album Reichstar under his solo project Kyzrwölf, which stylistically ties in with the music of Hanzel and Gretyl. In 2018 the band released the album Satanik Germanik, which continues the style of its predecessor.

Hanzel and Gretyl initially mixed elements from industrial rock with breakbeat and drum-and-bass rhythms. With the album Über alles, the music became significantly more metal-heavy, the breakbeats took a back seat in favor of conventional rock structures and powerful double-bass fills. The current style can be described as a mixture of alternative metal, industrial metal and influences of the new German hardness. The band often uses samples, for example from political speeches, or excerpts from songs by Kraftwerk (I am above everything).

In their lyrics they often use German words (especially in Über alles, Scheissmessiah and 2012: Zwanzig Zwölf) and clear symbols from German history. In the album 2012: Zwanzig Zwölf, “Sieg-Heil” samples were used.

I took pictures of Hanzel und Gretyl when they opened for My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and Ministry at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on October 1, 2004:

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