Neue Deutsche Härte

Neue Deutsche Härte (German for "New German Hardness", abbrev: NDH) is a subgenre of rock music that developed in Germany during the mid-1990s. Alluding to the style of Neue Deutsche Welle, the term was coined by the music press after the 1995 release of Rammstein's album Herzeleid.[2]


Neue Deutsche Härte describes a crossover style that is influenced by Neue Deutsche Welle, alternative metal and groove metal combining it with elements from electro-industrial and techno.[2] The lyrics are generally in German. NDH uses the basic setup of instruments for metal: electric guitar, bass guitar, drums and vocals, along with keyboard, synthesizers, samples and sometimes additional percussion. Emphasis is on a demonstration of predominance, by over-pronouncing certain syllables and letters (such as the uvular or alveolar trill). The vocals are thus dominantly presenting in deep, male, and clean voice.[2] Some bands use screaming and death growls, which is also common, being heard in certain songs by Oomph!, Rammstein, Joachim Witt, Megaherz and Eisbrecher. NDH imagery is often strongly masculine and militaristic. Guitars are tuned low, usually to drop D or drop C, and are generally heavily distorted.


The rudiments of the NDH style were established by Oomph! on their seminal second album, Sperm (1994), and by Rammstein with their first album Herzeleid (1995). In those days, Oomph!'s biggest influence were groove metal bands such as Prong, Pantera and Sepultura.[3] Rammstein, who take inspiration from a wide array of bands including Depeche Mode and Ministry, is the style's most famous and successful practitioner. NDH is especially successful in continental Europe; Rammstein have sold nearly four million records in Germany,[4] while accumulating gold and platinum records in Austria,[5] Belgium,[6] the Czech Republic,[7] Denmark,[8] the Netherlands,[9] Norway,[10] Poland,[11][12] Romania,[13] Sweden,[14] Switzerland,[15] and Finland.

Oomph! achieved a gold record for their 2004 "Augen auf!" single in Austria and Germany.[16][4] Eisbrecher's 2004 self-titled debut album entered at No. 13 on the Deutschen Alternative Top 20 Chart, while the group's second album (Antikörper) reached the No. 85 position on the German main chart.[17][18] Other NDH groups include: Hanzel und Gretyl, L’âme Immortelle, Unheilig, and others.

Cultural influence

In 2011, comic and musician Bill Bailey parodied the Neue Deutsche Härte style by releasing a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair in the style of Rammstein.[19] The lyrics are translated verbatim and mostly do not make sense in German.[20]



  1. "GMDB :: Articles :: Neue Deutsche Härte".
  2. Schmidt, Axel; Neumann-Braun, Klaus (2008) [First published 2004]. Die Welt der Gothics: Spielräume düster konnotierter Transzendenz [The World of the Gothics: Leeways of Darkly Connoted Transcendency] (in German) (2nd ed.). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften / GWV Fachverlage GmbH. pp. 269–270. ISBN 978-3-531-15880-8. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
  3. Uwe Rothhämel: Interview with Oomph! In: New Life Soundmagazine, Issue 5/94, Page 7, May 1994
  4. "Gold/Platin Datenbank durchsuchen". Die deutschen Phonoverbände. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  5. "Gold und Platin Datenbank". IFPI Austria, Verband der Österreichischen Musik Wirstchaft. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  6. "Belgium Database". Charts français. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  7. "TIMELINE: October 28, 2005". RAMMSTEIN :: News. Archived from the original on August 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  8. "Guld og platin". IFPI Danmark – Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  9. "Goud/Platina Muziek". nvpi. Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  10. "SØK I TROFÉER". IFPI Norsk platebransje. Archived from the original on 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  11. "Platinium certification awards". Związek Producentów Audio-Video. Archived from the original on November 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  12. "Gold certification awards". Związek Producentów Audio-Video. Archived from the original on November 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  13. "Rammstein au primit Discul de Platina inainte de concertul din Romania". Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  14. "GULD & PLATINA – År 2004". IFPI. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  15. "Search for: Rammstein". The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  16. "Gold und Platin Datenbank". IFPI Austria, Verband der Österreichischen Musik Wirstchaft. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  17. "Former MEGAHERZ Duo Launch EISBRECHER". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 2004-05-24. Retrieved 2007-08-24.
  18. "EISBRECHER: 'Antikörper' Enters German Chart At No. 85". 2006-11-02. Retrieved 2007-08-24.
  19. "Scarborough Fair (Rammstein Style)". Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  20. "The Continuous/Progressive Aspect - German for English Speakers". Retrieved 23 Jul 2019.
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