• A lack of consistency - A review of Die apokalyptischen Reiter's "Tief / Tiefer"

    Die apokalyptischen Reiter - Tief / Tiefer

    Die apokalyptischen Reiter offered this double-album before they went on their current hiatus. This release tries to be a diverisfied compilation of the band's numerous facets and feels like a weird greatest hits release with new and old songs. The eleven new tunes on the first disc Tief represent the band's rock and metal side side while the second disc Tiefer is an experimental acoustic record with only two new tracks and seven re-arranged versions of old classics. The digibook offers an additional artbook with underwater pictures of the band members and different animals of the sea.

    This double-record is overall a rather mixed bag with a few outstanding tunes, several solid but exchangebale tracks and a handful of fillers. One issue I have with this release are Fuchs' vocals. In certain songs, he pronounces syllables exaggeratedly and rolls the r as if he was trying to copy Rammstein's Till Lindemann. The most horrible example for this is probably the vapid piano ballad "Ein Vöglein" that focuses entirely on this horrid vocal efforts. Ironically, his pronounciation in other songs is satisfactory and natural as in the relaxed acoustic ballad "Die Zeit".

    Another problem is the band's overambitious diversty. Usually I like when a band experiments a lot but Tief is lacking focus. The band wants to convince at playing numerous genres but often fails to succeed. The first disc offers everything from sinister industrial metal like the poignant opener "Freiheit, Gleichheit, Brüderlichkeit" over psychedelic alternative rock like the smooth "Ein leichtes Mädchen" to the gothic ballad with Neue Deutsche Härte inspiration "Es wird Nacht". Tracks like "Wir" even vary between alternative rock, industrial death metal and gothic rock in just three minutes and go everywhere and nowhere at the same time. These versatile tunes aren't bad on their own but rarely work in the context of this album.

    The second disc Tiefer has a better flow due to its acoustic concept but is also quite controversial. This album reminds me a lot of Helloween's anniversary record Unarmed. Tiefer includes a few solid ideas like the danceable big band version of "Friede sei mit dir", the disturbing and elegiac arrangement of "Der Wahnsinn" that sounds like the soundtrack of an old black and white horror movie or the uplifting and highly commercial Schlager version of "Flieg, mein Herz" with dominant piano and string passages that is saved by a short jazzy middle part with vivid percussive elements. To be honest though, most of the reworked versions can't mess with the original tunes despite one or two exceptions. They are interesting to listen to for those who are familiar with the band's classics once or twice but that's it.

    In the end, this double-album manages to be creative, diversified and entertaining and is worth to be rediscovered once or twice a year. On the other side, the band's lack of consistency is at times frustrating and the song writing is not as gripping as on some of the band's earlier outputs. This album includes awesome tunes like "Die Welt ist tief" and "Terra Nola", average tracks like "Was bleibt bin ich" and "Die Leidenschaft" and fillers like "Wo es dich gibt" and "Das Paradies" . My final verdict is that faithful collectors and open-minded new fans could give this release a try. Occasional fans, supporters of the band's early years or those who are expecting a powerful metal record should stay away from this.

    Final verdict: 70%

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