Raw Ensemble: Blasting Thrash Metal from Southern Germany
Written by Brett Kihlmire
As the years pile on and heavy metal grows with multiple genres popping up around the world old and new tend to collide. This was the case with “blasting thrash” metal outfit, Raw Ensemble, who blend trash metal with the brutal drumming style of grindcore.
Hailing from Ulm, Germany, Raw Ensemble was formed in 2010 by guitarists Robert Bickerich and Dennis Eickenhorst, who shared a vision for a truly awesome thrash metal band.
Blending a multitude of inspirations including but not limited to Demolition Hammer, Overkill, Exodus, Death and Testament, the band quickly rounded out their lineup and released their debut, 7-track demo ‘ Jesus is Back….and He is Fucking Angry’ in 2012.
The original lineup would largely dissolve in 2013 with the band losing a guitarist as well as their bassist and vocalist that year. The band would struggle to solidify their lineup until 2016 when they finally replaced their vocalist in 2016 with Brecko. That same year the band had to replace their second guitarist, Fab, with Johannes, who has been with the band ever since.
As of this writing, Raw Ensemble is a whole band again consisting of Uffe (drums), Dennis (guitar), Mad (bass), Brecko (Vocals) and Johannes (guitar).
After six years of struggling along, Raw Ensemble made their full length debut with ‘Suffer Well’ in June, 2016. The album was well received and the band sees it as the biggest achievement of their career as a band so far. Of course, they’re just as proud to have shared the stage with their musical heroes such as Warbringer, Traitor, Fleshcrawl, Solstice, Possessed, Hackneyed, Running Death and many, many more.
As a thrash band, Raw Ensemble takes a direct approach with their music and their lyrics.
“It is the actual behavior of the world. We do not need imaginary friends or fiends – the world is sick enough,” says Eickenhorst of their lyrics, which are written by Brecko and Mad. “We are thinking about how the world turns to this actual situation. Why is there so much hate of different cultures, egoism, terrified of losing your own identity?”
Least to say, their latest release, Suffer Well, has quite a bit of commentary hidden amongst the lyrics. As for the music, the band is straight thrash metal with tinges of grindcore. As of this writing, the band is busying themselves with writing new tracks for the next album. Sadly, there are no plans for extensive touring due to the band being an “after work band” for the time being.
Though the band won’t be touring, the Raw Ensemble does make a point to rock the small underground clubs of Southern Germany. According to Eickenhorst, the band’s live show is straight to the point and best described as “40-60 Minutes of full speed thrash metal. No blood, no crosses, no puppets, no Viking warships, only drums, bass and twin guitars. Let music do the talking!”
While the band isn’t likely to spread out from their southern German stomping grounds just yet, fans from abroad can whet their appetite and build up hope for Raw Ensemble coming their way with their debut album, Suffer Well, and the recently released music video for ‘Neither Nor.’