In Extremo launched its attempted American conquest in Pennsauken, New Jersey at the annual March Metal Meltdown. Amid oceans of denim and leather, the band introduced its blend of bagpipes and guitars to the U.S.
It wasn't always big riffs and pyro for the band. As recently as 1997, In Extremo was performing acoustic medieval music.
In Extremo eventally decided to punch up its sound, adding metal trappings like chugging guitars and thundering drums to the mix. The band also lived things up with a live show that featured sword fights, fire breathing, and dancing bagpipers.
This oddball blend of Viking songs, metal riffs, and pyrotechnics earned the band top ten success in Germany, but in New Jersey, In Extremo was another unknown name among the 150 acts on the bill. To complicate matters, fire codes prevented the band from rolling out the flashier elements of its stage show.
Armed only with their instruments, the band set out among the headbangers to win
over its first American fans and claimed a small corner of New Jersey in the process.
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