Judging by the lyrics, metal music is sometimes associated with aggression. Should they be sweetened up a bit with keywords such as “sweet,” “candy,” “honey,” or “sugar?” Well, not really, as these words are not as pink as we think they are. As cute as these words sound, probably generating an explosion of colors in our minds, one has to take their dark side into consideration too.

Consuming too much sugar translates into weight gain. It also means that one is at risk of developing heart disease, some types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. To highlight the dangers regarding sugar consumption, the German metal band Risen from Shadows decided to transform sugar-sweet pop songs into metal songs. They covered Baby Bash ft. Frankie J’s “Suga Suga” song, already covered by Robin Schulz in his hit “Sugar,” made a dark sugar-themed video and released it to mark World Diabetes Day (celebrated November 14th).

Enter “The Dark Side of Sugar,” a campaign underlining, in a very metal way, the adverse health effects of hidden sugar in food. United under the same goal are Mokoh Music Berlin, Simon&Paul, and the agencies Serviceplan Berlin and Mediaplus, with the support of the British non-profit organization Action on Sugar. All proceeds from the collaboration will be donated to the fight against diabetes. The beneficiary of the donations is diabetesDE — Deutsche Diabetes-Hilfe e.V. — which is not involved in the project in any other way than accepting financial support in their efforts to fight diabetes.

Myles Lord, Managing Creative Director, Serviceplan Berlin, says: “Music has always been a great way to reach people — music travels further and deeper than any advertising campaign ever could and ultimately becomes part of the culture. And with today’s platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, we have the incredible opportunity for the fans to engage and become part of the initiative. Through the ‘Dark Side of Sugar’ project, we aim to educate and inspire change to reduce harm. And empower people to help raise funds for charity, by simply pressing play on their favorite streaming platform.”

The Dark Side of Sugar comprises of dark sounding remakes with a mission to raise awareness about sugar consumption and the dangers related to this. The album takes sweet pop songs and gives them a dark, sour twist and will be available on all major streaming platforms. As of now, there are only two covers available, with the rest of the album planned for release at the end of 2020. But “Sugar” is not the first song on the list. Prior to this was “I Want Candy,” by Bow Wow Wow, which was released on Halloween. Pretty brutal, huh?

“No. It is not. Because sugar has an absolutely dangerous, dark side. Poor diet is a major contributor to serious and potentially fatal diseases such as type 2 diabetes. This is what we want to make clear with our music,” Marcel Neumann, Founder of Risen from Shadows, says.

The band’s music video for this song features motifs associated with this music genre such as pentagrams, skulls, crosses, or snakes but slightly “sweetened:” A pizza is cut following the line of a pentagram, a skull is covered in ketchup, and a cross-shaped granola bar is in flames. These sweet treats aren’t so delicious anymore…

“We were thrilled to support Serviceplan with this innovative campaign which aims to draw attention to where sugar is added unnecessarily to the food and drink we consume every day, often without us realizing. Action on Sugar has successfully created international awareness about the impact of excess sugar consumption on population health. As a result, some manufacturers and retailers have started to reduce sugar in their products and provide healthier options. But we still need more transparency in the food industry, better labeling, and improved products so we can all make informed choices,” Holly Gabriel, Registered Nutritionist at Action on Sugar, explains.

Risen from Shadows band came together last year, in November, with members thinking about initiating a side-project: The Dark Side of Sugar. With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading over the world, the members went into lockdown during which they worked on ten eerily dark reinterpretations of popular sugary songs.


Agency: Serviceplan Berlin

Global Chief Creative Officer, Serviceplan Group: Alex Schill

Managing Creative Director, Serviceplan Berlin: Myles Lord

Creative Director: Wenke Möller-Madhana

Art Director: Nils Frankenbach

Copywriter:  Frauke Ehlers

Account Director: Antonia Lüttringhaus

Production: Neverest

Music Production: Mokoh Music

Music Producers: Marcel Neumann & Stephan Mortiz

Film Production: Simon&Paul

Director: Carlo Oppermann

Executive Film Producer: Simon Fessler

Director of Photography: Klaus Kneist


Media: Mediaplus

Media Planner & Creative Media Manager:

Victoria Wissmann

Head of Media: Jochen Lenhard

Web Development:  hmmh multimediahaus AG

Head of Digital:  Dennis Wachter

Band Photographer:  Marco Justus Schöler

Making-of Videographer: Alex Schmutzler

Managing Partner: Benedikt Göttert

Stock Film Partner:  Shutterstock


Music Production: Mokoh Music

Music Producers: Marcel Neumann & Stephan Moritz


Film Production: Simon&Paul

Director: Carlo Oppermann

Photographer: Marco Justus Schöler