Grabsteinland II - Herrschaft der Vampire
Every now and then you find a band that just cant do wrong for you. I found that in Untoten. Ever since I was introduced to them by hearing Schwarze Messe, I just loved everything they released.
In 2003 Untoten released Grabsteinland the first part from the Grabsteinland trilogy. The second part, Die letzte Schlacht would follow, and end with a still nameless third release. Die letzte Schlacht became Herrschaft der Vampire and saw the light in November 2004.
For those of you who missed Grabsteinland: its a story dealing with all the things Untoten love to write about. Werewolves, vampires, ravens, graveyards, you know what I mean. After the first part of the trilogy, Untoten gave us the single Raben, to give a preview of the upcoming album.
The album takes off with Unvergessen, a strong song that lies on the same line as the song from the previous album. Raben follows, already known from the single. This is a really catchy Untoten song, and one that really describes the style from the album. Lichtbringer is a song that takes the music a step further. Its sound very powerful, a real rock song. But of course we still hear the Untoten sound, and thats not only because of Gretas voice. Greta Csatlós has a unique voice that she can use in different ways. Sweet, powerful, scary, she could do a whole role-play on her own! With the ballad Dein Platz she shows again how strong her voice is. Der kleine Töd gives us an insight in how Untoten found Der Letzte Schlacht as a title; the line is in the songs refrain. Die Rückkehr der Wölfe is a tragic ballad in the way only Untoten can make them. The melody is great, and with Gretas melancholic voice this song is one of my favourites on the album.
The follower is an instrumental intermezzo which leads us to the other half of the album, starting with Düstergruften. Als ich unter Wölfen schlief is a slower song again, and my favourite. Vocally, and musically this is pure perfection. Sturmvolk is a louder song, and has a scary feeling in it. The song is instrumental and could be used for an action movie where you see the bad side attacking the good ones. Ach du kalter Stern is a song that Greta whispers, which gives it a magical feeling. Tagdzauber (Traum) is one of the two instrumental closing songs. After a while a real metal sounding guitar riff appears, which makes this track rather experimental for the band. Hexenwald is the real outro, en returns melodies we still know from Grabsteinland I.
So, that was it. Grabsteinland II is finished. David A. Line and Greta Csatlós gave me what I expected it to be: a wonderful experience. Maybe its not fair for me to give a grade to this album: it is an Untoten album! Yet, I will do it. And not only because they are the most unique band I ever heard: no, I think that they grow with every release, and delivered their masterpiece so far with Herrschaft der Vampire. Cant wait for Grabsteinland III!
Schwarze Messe
After three releases Untoten were doing well in the German gothic scene back in 1999. Schwarze Messe just came out, and the album got some great responses by the press. Anno 2006, seven years and five albums further, Untoten grew from a small underground band to one of the biggest bands in their genre, and their latest line of albums (The Grabsteinland Trilogy) was an absolute masterpiece. Now its also time to look back to their cult-album Schwarze Messe.
Lilith gives the album an ominous start. Gretas voice sounds sad and fragile. Die Freudlose Gasse leads us to the second real track, Tanz der Hexen. A monotone beat leads Greta through the song, a song in which we hear her voice on the way we know it best. Its characteristic and powerful, but most importantly: unique. Desdemona is something I never heard before, and would do well in a horror movie!
Next up is another short track: Nekrolog, which introduces us to Black Blood, the most accessible track on the album. The acoustic guitars give the song a whole different sound then the others; the rhythm is monotone yet danceable. Gunshot Wounds follows: another short introduction track. The short songs between the real tracks are well done; they create a bridge from one song to the other, so that the tracks, which sound completely different from each other, become a whole.
Highlight, and most surprising track, must be Church of Littleton . A slow introduction leads to a heavy intermezzo, which flirts with the bands earlier attempt in making grindcore. Awesome song, which doesnt even starts to bore after a hundred times of listening. Seraphine is one of the saddest songs I ever heard. Greta uses her voice on yet another way, making it sound even more fragile and sad. Amazing. With moody Autumnal Equinox Untoten wrap up Schwarze Messe.
The best thing about Schwarze Messe is the variety of the tracks. None of the tracks sound the same, yet they all have the amazing dark and ominous feeling Untoten wanted to give the listeners. An absolute masterpiece, a well suited classic and definitely my favourite album ever.

@: , Die Untoten,