Bethlehem (German band)

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Bethlehem

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Origin = Grevenbroich, Germany
Genre = Black/doom
Years_active = 1991 – present
Label = Red Stream Inc
Associated_acts = Pavor Deinonychus
Current_members =
Past_members =

Bethlehem is a German band from Grevenbroich that formed in 1991. Their early sound contained elements of black/doom and death/doom, which was described by critics as "dark metal", after their their debut album of the same name.



Many of Bethlehem's songs have morbid lyrics, which may, for the most part, be personal to the band. On "Dictius Te Necare" (Latin: You must/should kill yourself) Rainer Landfermann, well-known from the German death metal band Pavor, is the vocalist. His voice is described as "one of the sickest and most extreme voices you'll ever hear from a human being". [cite web|url=|title=Bethlehem - "Dictius Te Necare"|last=Panagiotou|first=Kostas||accessdate=2008-09-19] On "S.U.I.Z.I.D." his place is taken by Marco Kehren from the band Deinonychus. Guido Meyer de Voltaire, the vocalist from "Schatten aus der Alexanderwelt" and "Mein Weg", is also well-known with his band Aardvarks. His vocal performance is equally extreme, though more varied. Andreas Classen, vocalist on "Dark Metal" also did vocals for Paragon Belial, a German black metal band.

Over the years Bethlehem modernized their style and so the early black and doom metal influences are now hardly present, the band favouring a more "Neue Deutsche Härte" (New German Hardness), gothic and electronic approach. In 1998 Bethlehem collaborated on the soundtrack for the American underground movie "Gummo" with the tracks "Schuld Uns'res Knöcherigen Faltpferds" and "Verschleierte Irreligiösität".


The band gained notoriety early on, when a German teenager had purchased dozens of copies of their demo and used them to construct a sort of altar in his room. This outraged his mother, who embarked on a moralistic crusade against the band, who she perceived was damaging her son and other children with their lyrics and music. Her lobbying, among other things, prompted the authorities to ban Bethlehem from performing in several cities, a ban that apparently held through the mid-1990s Fact|date=July 2007. Bethlehem appear to be weary of official harassment in their interviews, but at the same time willing to stir up more controversy. This includes overt references to suicide and confronting photos, featuring a member injecting something into his arm and the dead body of their one-time singer Andreas Klassen. The latter is rumored to be a hoax, being a grainy picture showing a man resembling the "Dark Metal" era singer hanging by his neck from a ceiling rafter Fact|date=July 2007.


Albums and singles

* "Bethlehem" (Demo) (1992)
* "Thy Pale Dominion" (7"-Single) (1993)
* "Dark Metal" (1994, Red Stream Inc)
* "Dictius Te Necare" (1996, Red Stream Inc)
* " S.U.i.Z.i.D." (1998, Red Stream Inc)
* "Reflektionen aufs Sterben (1998, Red Stream Inc)"
* "Profane Fetmilch Lenzt Elf Krank" (7"-Single) (2000)
* "Schatten aus der Alexander Welt" (American Version, has only one CD) (2001, Red Stream Inc)
* "Schatten aus der Alexander Welt" (2001)
* "Suicide Radio" (2003, Red Stream Inc)
* "Mein Weg" (2004, Red Stream Inc)

Other publications and cooperations

* "Gummo (Soundtrack)" (1998)
* "Various Artists [Red Stream] - To Live Is Ever To Be In Danger" (1999)


Current members

* Marquis: Vocals
* Niklas "Kvarforth" Olsson: Vocals
* Herr Morbid: Guitars
* Olaf Eckhardt: Guitars
* Jürgen Bartsch: Bass, Electronics, Synths ("Mein Weg")
* Reiner Tiedemann: Electronics ("Schatten aus der Alexanderwelt"), Remixes ("Suicide Radio")
* Steve Wolz: Drums ("Profane Fetmilch Lenzt Elf Krank", "Schatten aus der Alexanderwelt", "Mein Weg")

Former members and cooperations

* Guido Meyer de Voltaire: Vocals (on "Schatten aus der Alexanderwelt", and "Mein Weg")
* Andreas Tekath: Session-Keyboards/Piano (on "Mein Weg")
* Klaus Matton: Electric Guitars (until "Profane Fetmilch Lenzt Elf Krank")
* Marco Kehren: Vocals (on "S.U.i.Z.i.D."; "Reflektionen aufs Sterben")
* Markus Lossen: Drums (on "S.U.i.Z.i.D."; "Reflektionen aufs Sterben")
* Cathrin Campen: Vocals (on "S.U.i.Z.i.D."; "Reflektionen aufs Sterben")
* Rainer Landfermann: Vocals (on "Dictius Te Necare")
* Steinhoff: Drums (until "S.U.i.Z.i.D.")
* Andreas Classen: Vocals (until "Dictius Te Necare")
* Oliver Schmidt: Session-Keyboards (on "Thy Pale Dominion")


External links

* [ interview with Bethlehem]

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