Billed as Schandmaul's more exploratory album, Traumtänzer finds the band plying the same Middle Ages rock with minor, but enjoyable, signs of diversification. They still stick to a lighter sound than most other groups from Germany's thriving medieval folk/modern rock crossover scene, including pack leaders In Extremo and Subway to Sally, but crank it up a notch this time, for example on "Hexeneinmaleins," which actually plays like a Subway to Sally song, down to the old jester vocals. But even this tune features a Paganini-in-hell fiddle break, and elsewhere, they take care to make enough room for the folky instrumentation, which is to say woodwind and bagpipes get about as much of the spotlight as the guitar riffs. Granted, the rhythm section plays traditional rock, but the actual melodies play like folk songs in a reworked setting, not Rammstein with bagpipes, as is the case with In Extremo or Tanzwut. This means Schandmaul may be harder to get into than mainstream rock fare, but this is, after all, European folk-rock, so there's no point complaining. The record also ranges quite far geographically, with "Bis zum Morgengrauen" drawing from flamenco (in between the hard rock verses), "Assassine" having a Middle Eastern vibe, and "Pakt" being a polka. "Die Rosen," "Halt Mich," and "Mein Lied" are simply pop/rock ballads with precious little medieval slant to them, but they are good, sappy tunes that any tavern goer in old Hamburg would have appreciated when well in his cups. In general, however, Traumtänzer plays very cohesively, and if Schandmaul's hooks are more old-fashioned than many other medieval rockers', they also deserve bonus points for integrity.
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AllMusic Review by Alexey Eremenko