Saltatio Mortis

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Saltatio Mortis
Saltatio Mortis, 2013
Saltatio Mortis, 2013
General information
origin Karlsruhe , Germany
Genre (s) Music of the medieval scene , medieval rock , folk rock , folk punk , punk rock
founding 2000
Founding members
Jörg Roth (Alea the Modest)
Electric guitar , bagpipes, acoustic guitar , shawm
Dominik Pawlat (Dominor the Filigree) (until 2006)
Electric bass , bagpipes, shawm, mandola , harp , keyboard
Holger Becker (Die Fackel) (until 2006)
Bagpipes, shawm
Gunter Kopf (Falk Irmenfried von Hasen-Mümmelstein)
Bagpipes, shawm, guitar, percussion , programming
Marc Sattel (Affliction of the Disagreed) (until 2006)
Kai Rodenberger (Thoron Barrel Fire) (until 2009)
Drums , davul , percussion
Timo Gleichmann (Lasterbalk the Blasphemous)
Florian Lacina (Magister Flux) (until 2010)
Current occupation
Singing, bagpipes, shawm, guitar, jaw harp, didgeridoo
Jörg Roth (Alea the Modest)
Bagpipes, shawm, hurdy-gurdy , singing
Gunter Kopf (Falk Irmenfried von Hasen-Mümmelstein)
Drums, percussion, davul
Timo Gleichmann (Lasterbalk the Blasphemous)
Bagpipes, Shawm, Uilleann Pipes , Low Whistle , Binioù
Christian Sparfeldt (El Silbador) (since 2006)
Electric bass, Chapman Stick
Frank Heim (brother Frank) (since 2007)
Drums, percussion, keyboard, guitar, vocals
Jan S. Mischon (Jean Méchant, der Tambour) (since 2009)
Bagpipes, shawm, whistles , piano
Robin Biesenbach (Luzi Das L) (since 2011)
Guitar, Irish bouzouki , vocals
Till Grohe (Till Promill) (since 2012)
former members
Drums, percussion
Volker Schick (Mr. Schmitt) (2004–2007)
Guitar, lute , cister
Michael Reinbacher (Mik El Angelo) (2006-2007)
Shawms, bagpipes, tin & low whistle, fiddle , vocals
Bastian Brenner (Cordoban the Playful) (2006–2009)
Guitar, Irish bouzouki, bassoon , triangle
Michael Kaufmann (Mr. Dr. B. Samoel) (2007–2012)

Mortis ( Latin for Totentanz is) a German medieval rock - band . One of the band's motto is "If you dance, you don't die."


Jörg Roth at the Rockharz Open Air 2019
Gunter Kopf on the Rockharz 2016
Frank Heim at the Rockharz 2019

The band was founded in 2000 on the Ronneburg and started out as a street music band. Of the seven members of the original line-up, singer Jörg Roth (Alea the Modest), drummer Timo Gleichmann (Lasterbalk the Blasphemous) and hurdy-gurdy player Gunter Kopf (Falk von Hasen-Mümmelstein) are still there today. Initially, the band performed on medieval markets and as a street music band. The band is still active today, in addition to their rock appearances in clubs and at festivals at all kinds of medieval events such as Gisbert Hiller's Medieval Fantasy Spectaculum .

As a street music band, the band recorded their first album Tavernakel in 2001 . This was initially only intended to be able to sell it at the medieval Gotland festival Medeltidsveckan in Visby / Sweden in order to be able to pay the travel expenses. After the experiences with the first CD and in collaboration with Lutz Demmler, the second album Das Second Face was created in 2002, initially intended as an experiment, and found a music label in Napalm Records that released the band's first modern album on September 2, 2002. From then on, all of the band's medieval albums were released on the band's own label and all modern albums were first released on Napalm Records and later on Universal Music .

The album The Second Face brought the band a notoriety across all scenes. With the medieval album Heptessenz (April 2, 2003) and the rock album Awakening (January 26, 2004) they established themselves in the music of the medieval scene . This was followed on January 31, 2005 by the medieval live album Manufactum and on August 29, 2005 by the rock album Des Königs Henker . On the latter album, the band deals with topics such as humanism, freedom and human dignity. The use of these themes increased and became a trademark of the band. With the album Des Königs Henker , the band began to develop their rocking style and since then has refrained from using electronic components. The titles from the electronic era were also later rewritten as rock songs.

In October 2006 Dominik Pawlat, Mark Sattel and Holger Becker left the band. In the next two years, the band reoriented themselves in terms of personnel and content, played more rock appearances at festivals and presented on August 31, 2007 with the rock album Aus der Asche, the groundbreaking and up to this point most successful album in the band's history. Nevertheless, Saltatio Mortis value their roots and continue to play acoustically in medieval markets and as street musicians.

Bassist Frank Heim (brother Frank) has been a permanent member of the band since 2007, but had played with the band since December 2006. Bastian Brenner (Cordoban der Verspielte, bagpipes) and Michael Reinbacher (Mik el Angelo, guitar) also joined the band. In February 2009 the band was temporarily reduced to a sextet. Thoron Barrell and Cordoban the Playful left the band. But in the same year Jan Mischon (Jean Méchant, drums and percussion) joined the band, who was also the drummer of the band Abandoned .

On August 28th, 2009 the album Wer Wind sæt was released, which continued the rock style. After the first week of sales, it reached number ten on the German album charts . The album features the song Salome , a duet by Jörg Roth with Doro Pesch . After three rock albums, Manufactum II , a live album with purely acoustic medieval market music, was released on April 30, 2010 . In the same year the band and Florian Lacina (Magister Flux, pyrotechnics and design) separated. On April 1, 2011 the DVD Wild and Frei was released from the anniversary concert recorded in Wuppertal on October 15, 2010, at which, in addition to the former members Bastian Brenner and Kai Rodenberger, guest musicians such as Doro Pesch, Eric Fish and “Dr. Pest “( The Horsemen of the Apocalypse ) participated. Robin Biesenbach (Luzi das L, bagpipes), who was a member of the Schelmish band until the end of 2010, has been supporting the band at their acoustic and rock shows since April 2011 . On September 2, 2011, the album Sturm auf Paradies was released.

Michael Kaufmann left the band in November 2012. Till Grohe (Till Promill), who previously played in the bands Supernova Plasmajets , Someone Else and Sensles, took up the position of guitarist. On April 5, the band released Manufactum III, a live album with purely acoustic medieval market music. On August 16, 2013, the album Das Schwarze IxI was released, which entered the German album charts at number 1. On December 13, 2013, the Blu-ray Provocatio was released with a three-hour show that was recorded at the Medieval Fantasy Spectaculum in Hamburg-Öjendorf.

On August 14, 2015, the album Zirkus Zeitgeist was released , which also entered the German album charts at number 1. For the album, the band was awarded the gold record in August 2018 . On November 27, 2015, the acoustic album Zirkus Zeitgeist - Without electricity and plug was released. On April 1, 2016, Zirkus Zeitgeist - Live aus der Große Freiheit , a complete concert recording on DVD and CD, was released. On June 17, 2016 Licht und Schatten - Best of 2000-2014 including three new songs was released as a (Mediabook) double CD (audio CD), which entered the German album charts at number 8. In the same year the band was also nominated for the Echo music award.

On August 17, 2018, the album Brot und Spiele was released , which - like the two previous studio albums - entered the German album charts at number 1. For this purpose, the videos “Big Dreams” and “Brunhild” were published in advance. On March 22, 2019, the band released the album Brot und Spiele - Klassik & Krawall , which contains the songs of Brot und Spiele in new arrangements and instrumentations with classical instruments. The box also contains recordings of a concert by the band on November 3, 2018 in the Oberhausen turbine hall.


The style can be described as medieval rock or folk rock. The texts are devoted to criticizing the authorities and emphasizing ideal values. Saltatio Mortis use both traditional instrumentation and rock influences in their music. Originally electronic rhythms were also represented, similar to the band Tanzwut . In terms of content, I mainly use my own texts. There are only a few traditional texts on the rock albums. After The King's Executioner , an album with medieval rock From the Ashes was released again in 2007 .

In addition, the band plays acoustic concerts of the so-called market music in loose succession . The inspiration for this are their concert albums Manufactum (2005), Manufactum II (2010) and Manufactum III (2013) as well as the concert DVD Provocatio - Live on the Medieval Market (2013).

Political commitment

Although Saltatio Mortis is a medieval rock band, the band's lyrics aren't just about medieval themes; rather, the band's political commitment often finds its way into the lyrics. For example, Fiat Lux from the album Sturm auf Paradies is an anti-nuclear power song in medieval imagery. In the album Wer Wind sät the band criticizes the (increasing) immaturity and nepotism in the present time, in the form of their song Manus Manum Lavat ( Eng . One hand washes the other). Saltatio Mortis published an open letter in connection with their 2013 song Growth Above All . In this they criticize, among other things, the striving of the economy to maximize profits and the unjust distribution of income in Germany. In this song they deliberately used the first verse of the German song “to make a new hymn out of the old hymn, a hymn that will hopefully lead us into a more just and fairer world”. With this stylistic device, the band wanted to encourage people to think and act. At the same time, they point out that they are "a resolute opponent of any right-wing, German-national thought". In the song Augen zu they used the melody and structure of the well-known Horst Wessel song in order to criticize in a particularly clear way the dwindling public expression of opinion, especially against right-wing tendencies (see also Spiral of Silence ). In the album Bread and Games , in the song Worried Citizens , the band denounced the influence of social media on public discussion and the phenomenon that the actual literal meaning of the concerned citizen, namely someone who cares for the community of the state, has been lost, because the term was hijacked by the right. Saltatio Mortis supports Sea Shepherd and calls on their fans to support this or other aid organizations.


Studio albums

year Title
music label
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placementsTemplate: chart table / maintenance / without sources
(Year, title, music label , placements, weeks, awards, notes)
2001 Tavernakel
Eigenvertrieb / Napalm Records (re-release)
- - -
First published: May 28, 2001
2002 The second face of
Napalm Records
- - -
First published: September 2, 2002
2003 Heptessenz - Market Music of the Middle Ages
Saltatio Mortis Production
- - -
First published: April 2, 2003
2004 Awakening
Napalm Records
- - -
First published: January 26, 2004
2005 The King's Executioner
Napalm Records
DE54 (1 week)
- -
First published: August 29, 2005
2007 From the ashes of
Napalm Records
DE29 (2 weeks)
- -
First published: August 31, 2007
2009 Who wind sæt
Napalm Records
DE10 (4 weeks)
- -
First published: August 28, 2009
2011 Storming Paradise
Napalm Records
DE3 (5 weeks)
AT60 (1 week)
CH84 (1 week)
First published: September 2, 2011
2013 Das Schwarze IxI
Napalm Records
DE1 (5 weeks)
AT25 (1 week)
CH44 (1 week)
First published: August 16, 2013
2015 Zirkus Zeitgeist /
Zirkus Zeitgeist - Without electricity and plugs
Napalm Records / Vertigo Records ( Universal Music )

(23 weeks)DE
AT9 (2 weeks)
CH13 (3 weeks)
Initial release: August 14, 2015 (studio album)
Initial release: November 27, 2015 (acoustic album)
Sales: + 100,000
2018 Bread and Games /
Bread and Games - Klassik & Krawall
Vertigo Records (Universal Music)
DE1 (26 weeks)
AT8 (4 weeks)
CH6 (3 weeks)
First release: August 17th, 2018 (studio album)
First release: March 22nd, 2019 (classical and live album)


Most of the names of the band members appear in role-playing adventures of the fantasy role-playing game Das Schwarze Auge as non-player characters (NPC): Firun chooses and City of 1000 Eyes (from the anthology of Ehrenhändel and Circles of Damnation ), as well as the adventure volume The Year of Fire - Battle in the clouds . Lasterbalk the Blasphemous, Falk Irmenfried von Hasen-Mümmelstein and Cordoban the Playful lent their voices in the computer game Das Schwarze Auge: Drakensang NSCs.

In 2013 the art book Arteficium I was published for the album Das Schwarze IxI .

In 2014, Volume 1 of the comic book Saltatio Mortis - The Secret of the Black IXI: The Arch Chancellor appeared , in which the band members of Saltatio Mortis appear as comic characters in their stage clothes from the IXI tour.

The band has published the comic strip series SALTATIO MORTIS & COmic on their homepage since October 16, 2014 , the main characters of which are the band members.

In 2015 Sonic Seducer published the limited Saltatio Mortis Chronicle . It contains revised articles about the band that have been published in Sonic Seducer magazine since the band was founded, as well as new photo material.

Individual evidence

  1. Saltatio Mortis in the charts., accessed on December 14, 2013 .
  2. Our third star and a golden surprise. Saltatio Mortis, August 24, 2018, accessed August 25, 2018 .
  3. Open letter on the song Growth over Everything on Saltatio Mortis' website, accessed on May 9, 2018
  4. Saltatio Mortis on the criticism of their song Growth Above Everything on Saltatio Mortis' website, accessed May 9, 2018
  5. Kai Butterweck: Fear reigns here again. , August 12, 2015, accessed on September 14, 2015 .
  6. Frank: We support the Sea Shepherds! In: Saltatio Mortis. February 19, 2014, accessed on January 11, 2019 (German).
  7. Andre Linken: The Black Eye: Drakensang - medieval musicians take on speaking roles. GameStar .de, June 17, 2008, accessed December 2, 2015 .

Web links

Commons : Saltatio Mortis  - Collection of images, videos and audio files