Unheilig - Lichter der Stadt

In the eighties I was a great fan of Die Neue Deutsche Welle which brought us bands like Nena, BAP, Spider Murphy Gang, Rheingold, Ideal, D.A.F., Falco, Trio and DŐF. Only a couple survived over the years and I stayed interested in BAP over the following years.

But since the start of die Neue Deutsche Härte it seems some good German bands are coming up. One of these bands is Unheilig. Formed in 1999 by Der Graf, Grant Stevens and Jose Alvarez-Brill (ex De/Vision). In 2001 they release their first album called Prosper. The group gradually develops a good sense of marketing, by, especially with their later albums, delivering different extracted versions, often limited, of their albums and singles. When Stevens and Alvarez-Brill leave the band Unheilig becomes a bandwagon project of varying composition, on which Der Graf depends his musical escapades. With their seventh album, Grosse Freiheit, Der Graf is able to build a bridge with the German public, whom embrace the album and send it, also because of the several different versions, to the top three of the German speaking charts.

So with Lichter der Stadt there were high expectations, which were completely lived up when just after releasing it, the album immediately turned number one in the German charts. The music of Unheilig best can be described as a mixture of Coldplay, U2, Within Tempation, Rammstein and Depeche Mode with the vocal parts of the Austrian singer Falco. Although the vocals of Der Graf, refer to him, they are much stronger and clearer. Synth-pop meets gothic and a variety of styles in between. Like a progressive mosaic in the literal sense of the word. Lichter der Stadt is a loose concept album, on which Der Graf describes the city in positive and negative matters. Opener Das Licht (intro) shows the bombastic orchestral keyboards which are well known by Within Tempation, over which Der Graf speaks his singing vocals. Following are some nice restrospects on past lives in, the very U2 alike, Wie wir waren (with Andreas Bourani), and the really beautiful Zeitreise (with Xavier Naidoo). The glorification of industrialization in the Rammstein alike Herzwerk and Feuerland and the unsure and questionable future on this turning planet in the Depeche Mode alike Das Leben ist schön. To glue the firm songs Der Graf puts in the progressive ballads So wie du warst and Ein großes Leben, the classical Unsterblich (mainly with piano and violins) and the rock ballad Vergessen.

Fans, who follow the band since the start, will probably call it a bow to commerce, but Unheilig delivers a great album with a strong mix of goosebumps songs and sensitive lyrics. It could well happen that Lichter der Stadt means the turning point of Unheilig, like it happened ten years ago with Within Temptations’ release of Mother Earth.

I already ordered my tickets for the Lichter der Stadt tour opening concert at Meppen on 30 June 2012.


Das Licht (intro)
So wie du warst
Tage wie Gold
Wie wir waren
Lichter der Stadt
Ein guter Weg
Ein grosses Leben
Brenne auf
Das Leben ist schön
Die Stadt (instrumental)

The extended two CD version contains the tracks of the tracklist plus a second cd with:

Brenne auf (demoversion)
Das Leben ist schön (demoversion)
So wie du warst (demoversion)
Ein grosses Leben (demoversion)
Ein guter Weg (demoversion)
Herzwerk (demoversion)
Wie wir waren (demoversion)
Unsterblich (demoversion)
Vergessen (demoversion)
Zeitreise (demoversion)

Luxe limited edition with, the above described, double cd, double dvd and an autographed picture of 50x50 cm of Der Graf. The double dvd, called Heimreise, is a registration of their closing concert of the Heimreise tour at the Festplatz vor der Bürgerhalle of Gronau on the third of September 2011, and contains the following tracks:

dvd 1:

Das Konzert

Das Meer
Ein guter Weg
Sage ja
Halt mich
An diener Seite
Grosse Freiheit
Brenne auf
Ich gehöre mir
Geboren um zu Leben

dvd 2:

Die Zugaben

Für Immer
Unter deine Flagge
Mein Sterne

Tourtagegebuch, 13 Folgen


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