Bethlehem is a dark metal band from Grevenbroich, Germany, formed in 1991 by Jürgen Bartsch and Kläus Matton. Before begetting Bethlehem, Bartsch and Matton used to play in a German thrash metal band called Morbid Vision. Much of the themes in their lyrics revolve around sickness, morbidity, suicide, death and madness that may to some extent be personal to the band, though they are very difficult to understand even for German speakers because they make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Rainer Landfermann, also known from the German death metal band Pavor, achieved legendary fame for his vocal work on Dictius te necare (Latin: You must kill yourself) and Alles Tot. In 1998, Bethlehem collaborated on the soundtrack for the American movie Gummo with the tracks Schuld Uns'res Knöch'rigen Faltpferd's and Verschleierte Irreligiösität. On Sardonischer Untergang im Zeichen irreligiöser Darbietung, Landfermann was replaced by Marco Kehren from the band Deinonychus, Guido Meyer de Voltaire (Aardvarks) in turn replaced Kehren on Schatten aus der Alexanderwelt and Mein Weg. With Schatten aus der Alexander Welt the band altered their style and abandoned the black and death-doom influences that made up their personal and distinguished style, favouring a more Neue Deutsche Härte (New German Hardness) and electronic approach. Bethlehem faced censorship and was even banned from playing in some German cities. It started when Matton gave one copy of their first demo to a 14 year-old boy....

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