19 November 2004 -  at Endstation - WINTERTHUR - CH


 review  by dalia di giacomo 

- all photos © by Stefan Vogelaar

The public use of these photos  is strictly prohibited without written permission






Interview with  Der Graf

Unheilig. Unholy. Der Graf. The Count (or earl?). We will never know his name. But, thanks to this tasteful nice evening, we definitely know for sure that Unheilig is an intelligent expression of Gothic. In the awesome, atmospheric, dark frame of the venue Endstation in Winterthur (one of the most beautiful venues i have seen till now - really perfect for Black and Gothic), Unheilig's lyrics resound full of deep and introspective motifs, while the secret fascination of the music is giving us feelings of nostalgia, of sadness but also feelings of hope . I'm very thankful to my dear English friend Ann of the Say Just Words fanzine for letting arouse my interest to Zelluloid and Unheilig too. She has taken a flight to Switzerland expressly for this concert. I think that it was well worth: that ambiance of typical old German nostalgia of the twenties which Unheilig can evoke, the meeting and interview with such a great personality and the visit to the absolutely dark, aesthetic, friendly Endstation is a highly pleasurable flash of emotion.



UNHEILIG            unheilig                  


This evening is dedicated to Unheilg only: no other bands will perform. Accompanied by his keyboardist and his guitarist from Texas, "our" gothic and German "Graf" takes the stage shortly before 23:00. The intro is the symbol of Zelluloid, the noise of a movie projector: the short track Die Filmrolle. And then Zauberer starts off with much intensity:"...du bist nicht mehr mein Wort, du bist nicht mehr mein Stolz..." (you are no longer my word, you are no longer my proud). The audience is so attentive, already nearly mesmerized. You understand immediately that der Graf attracts like a magnet. White shirt, tie, fingernails coloured in black and a ghostly surreal gaze filtered through lenses that are more impressive than all those that Marilyn Manson could ever wear, Der Graf "creates" a vampiric obscure personality with simplicity. Very likely, his theatricality, his ideas and his visions are everything that matters in the show. being into Death and Black i am used to more infernal voices but i must tell that the vocals of the Count are appealing, pleasing, deep, touching, and, above all, natural, not adulterated. 

The next song presented is Willst du mich (do you want me?), always from the album Zelluloid, an uptempo with many Oomph! -similarities. Live too, you realize that Unheilig's music present many convergences with other artists (who influenced whom?) of the Gothic/Industrial area. But actually everything sounds so personal and so focalized on the "physical" capacities to hold the stage in a measured gentle hystrionic way, that you don't care to make comparisons, though Oomph!, the "new" more gothic Rammstein, and even Falco, can be clearly detected here and there. Gothic-Industrial/Paradise Lost-ian sounds can be also included, especially in the background soundscape. Concerning Rammstein, Oomph! and Falco (R.I.P.) we should not forget that it's the German school, that shares the same historical and cultural heritage where the influences are reciprocal and complementary. 


Der Graf greets the audience and asks "ich hoffe ihr seid gut drauf!" (i hope you're ok and have fun!).  Emotions erupt with the third song that appears to be one of the essential and dominant moments of the whole concert: Auf zum Mond (let's go to the moon), one of the most passionate tracks of Zelluloid. Unheilig, like a modern Nosferatu, suffers and enjoys, ascends and soars, damned, but honored by the hope. To the moon, we fly together with him. Towards an imaginary sidereal horizon. We taste the freedom to be like we are, and compassion. The audience is pleased, hypnotized. The moon- dream fades with charme into a song extracted from the CD "Das 2. Gebot" : Jetzt noch nicht, characterized by a certain Rammstein proceeding. And finally Freiheit (freedom) is then announced with these words: Der nächste Song ist ganz wichtig! (the next song is very important!). Important cause we speak about freedom and freedom is priceless. Cadenced and atmospheric, it makes the people dance. The response of the spectators is always very appreciative. Intense are also songs like Hört mein Wort, Maschine, Gib mir mehr (gimme more- more blood maybe?), Eva, Sage Ja!, being Sage ja! one of the first songs composed by Unheilig. Particularly sorrowful the sad "fairy tale" Herz aus Eis, the unhappy story of a "snowman". Finally, as last track of this setlist , Himmelherz takes it all: a verse almost spoken à la Falco is combined with a melody which is  leading us to a sophisticated American taste . The sweet notes of the leading guitar become stronger in volume, giving to the song a bit of different look (and a more American one actually) if compared with the album version. The delicate female backing vocals are maintained as base. Is this the vision of a new world? Was the past the heaven? Will new borders stay in front of us?. In fact i  am convinced that every song was put there like a step of a journey, the movie of Unheilig's life and career seems to me  a kind of journey . A nostalgic travel from the older times to new horizons. Sincere long applauses reward an awesome elegant concert, full of good taste. Still mesmerized we remind Unheilig's words said before the encore, just after the presentation of his keyboardist (who provided also some good backing vocals) and guitarist Nicky:  he said "Ich bin euer Graf". 

"Freiheit ich will nicht leise sein
Freiheit ich will noch lauter schreien

intro Die Filmrolle
Willst du mich
Auf zum Mond
Jetzt noch nicht
Gib mir mehr
Hört mein Wort
Sage ja!
Komm zu mir
Siehe in mein Gesicht!
Herz aus Eis


dalia di giacomo    


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Ann, der Graf, Dalia  interview with Unheilig


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