With lyrics inspired by classical poetry and fusing seriously heavy progressive metal, huge proggy rock sounds and moments of melodic calm, it’s safe to say that German Dr. Baer are an intriguing proposition.
The Freiburg five-piece of Sebastian Heieck, Merwyn Christopher, Tim Welt, Alexander Bökelund and Daniel Espitia formed as music students. They began piecing together a sound that combines huge rock and metal riffs with epic progressive elements but is big on diversity, which they describe as “brutal ethno prog.”
To get a taste for exactly what we mean, the band just released epic 11-minute-long single The Day I Invented Rain. It begins with a slightly terrifying scream of “I am the spirit that’s alive” then drops into a big bouncy riff over lively drums, then the wild screamed vocals return over big bouncy riffs and stabbing high-pitched guitars.
The pace drops with almost spoken vocals over building guitars and rolling drums, which feeds into a funky stabby guitar riff that returns to the spoken vocals. The stabby riff returns then gives way to low-tuned repeating guitars that continue under a cool meandering solo. Just when you’re beginning to expect the unexpected, a saxophone appears out of nowhere. Nice.
Then repeating stabbing guitars give way to spoken vocals over building instrumentals, which give way to big atmospheric vocals and guitars answered by huge screamed vocals. Then huge fast-paced drums bring that section to an end and usher in a calm instrumental section that allows us to catch our breath.
That ends with a big piercing sound that drops into mellow, echoey vocals over a light guitar lick, then stabbing low-tuned guitars and huge screamed vocals suddenly increase the noise and speed. That suddenly drops back into the light vocals, which give way to a huge solo over low-tuned drawn-out guitars and big jumpy guitars over heavy vocals. They end on a big “uwah” throaty scream, before diving into heavy vocals and guitars that bring this huge track to a close.
Check it out here:
We had a chat with vocalist Sebi Heieck to find out more about this intriguing new band. Read on below…
GR: Who are Dr. Baer?
SH: “Dr. Bær is a German progressive metal band from Freiburg. We’re a group of music students and formed the band already some years ago. As well as the lineup, the musical style changed over the years.”
GR: You just released The Day I Invented Rain. Cool song title, and it sounds huge! What should people be expecting from the song?
SH: “The lyrics were written before the music and they are based on a short quote from Göthe’s Faust. From there the lyrics developed and I wanted to make them a huge story about the nature and essence of being human.
“The music then was written in quite a short time. We created an epic, meandering and diverse piece that meets the dark and heavy content of the lyrics.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
SH: “In a way, it sounds like the combination of Progessive Metal and world music with the influences from different other genres. Its complex, heavy, dark and huge.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
SH: “I mainly write about psychological issues and try to hide them in big, epic stories. The lyric writing is mainly influenced by classical poetry and I often include elements of different religions and cultures.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
SH: “Even if you don’t hear it too much, for me Creed is a huge influence because they’re basically the first rock band I listened to extensively. You find elements of different Progressive Rock and metal bands, mostly Tool and Meshuggah but we never felt like being too close to them sound-wise.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
SH: “We plan to release two more singles this year and produce a music video for one of them. Also we’re waiting for being able to play shows again. We’re in contact with many venues where we can play as soon as playing concerts is possible again.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
SH: “Listen to it! If you’re a hippie, a metalhead or whatever, you might enjoy it. We dont sound like the typical contemporary Prog Metal band and try to include listeners of different genres.”