Unstille (‘Unpeace’) manages to bring this combination of brutality, melody and melancholy to a sublime level. All the elements that characterize the style of Der Weg in their self-titled album are also present in Unstille but with an excellent production, increased awareness and maturity, and last but not least, while they used a drum programming on the previous album, here there is a human drummer, and that makes a big difference. The sound is clean and polished, but above all also very powerful. The songs are long and structurally complicated; all of the musicians of this band prove to have a high level of technical mastery of their respective instruments, and from this point of view a special mention goes to the drummer himself Tobias Schuler.
The music of Der Weg is characterized by several overlapping guitar lines, thus creating a very melodic and melancholic atmosphere; these sad, melancholic melodies are often played fast, and then the atmosphere gains an even more dramatic, gripping, and engaging effect.
Sadness also characterizes the music of another German band, Agrypnie, who is, however, more post-black, while Der Weg einer Freieit is more genuinely black and their music is pure melody. Der Weg has managed to create a very personal and original style, but by using only traditional elements derived from different genres of extreme metal, above all black metal and death-doom: they do not use keyboards, unless the bare minimum in some intros and stuff like this, nor clean vocals, nor choruses, nor bizarre instruments, nor pop or post-rock inserts (in the manner of for example Alcest), nor folk tarantellas (like say Finntroll or other folk stuff like that). Their sound is not as cold as that of the Norwegian bands, but maybe it is more powerful, it is a Teutonic sound.
First of all I point out the first song “Zeichen” (‘Signs’) which is simply amazing and gives one gooseflesh: it begins with magnificent, atmospheric keyboard chords and then the explosion of a very fast riff, and then it continues by sublimely alternating arpeggios, fast parts and slow parts. Great credit goes to singer Tobias Jaschinsky who screams very intensely, thus managing to enthral the listener yet more. “Zeichen” lasts twelve minutes and is followed by “Lichtmensch” (‘Man of Light’), much shorter, only five minutes, very fast and powerful, with breathless blast beats up to minutes 3:50 where the calm after the storm starts, with a slower and atmospheric part and a wonderfully poignant melody. There is also an instrumental song “Nachtsam” (‘Nightly’).
The texts are in German and some titles such as Unstille, “Lichtmensch”, “Nachtsam” are neologisms or unusual compounds and are very difficult to translate, so my translations may be incorrect or misleading. The lyrics are very philosophical and poetic and express a sense of emptiness and loss, by depicting a faceless mankind: “Welt ohne Gesicht / Mensch ohne Gemüt” (‘World without a face / Man without a soul’), quoted from “Zerfall” (‘Decay’). The underlying theme is death, which implies fading, loss, transience. ‘Transience’, i.e. “Vergängnis”, is also the title of the fifth song; “Zu grunde” (‘At the Bottom’) contains two wonderful and in this regard very significant verses: “Unverdrossen, unermüdlich / Säen wir Leben, ernten doch den Tod” (‘Undaunted, tirelessly / We sow life , but reap death’).
Summarizing, Unstille is perhaps the most beautiful black metal album released in 2012.
Unstille was released on June 29, 2012 through Viva Hate Records. The name “Der Weg einer Freiheit” means ‘The Path of Freedom’.
1. “Zeichen” 12:27
2. “Lichtmensch” 05:02
3. “Nachtsam” 05:53
4. “Zu Grunde” 04:42
5. “Vergängnis” 07:57
6. “Zerfall” 10:23
Nikita Kamprad - guitar, bass
Tobias Jaschinsky - vocals
Tobias Schuler - drums