My introduction to the music of the German outfit Die Apokalyptischen Reiter took place when attending a renowned German summer festival many moons ago – a time when I was not quite ready to understand where these guys were coming from musically.

I mean, singing in German is something you can get away with when your native country just so happens to be the biggest metal market in the world but how do three minute pieces of music which combine Folk, Goth and Melodic Death Metal elements become attractive to someone like myself who’s not a native person and not prone to consume large amounts of alcohol while enjoying music?

I began listening to the band’s latest album “Tief.Tiefer” in hope of finding an answer to that very question.

Contrary to previous studio releases “Tief.Tiefer” is a two disc affair which finds the band grouping together compositions according to the style of music performed and the choice of instruments used.

What I soon realised, much to my surprise, is that notwithstanding the obvious linguistic barrier in existence, the twenty new compositions that the members of Die Apokalyptischen Reiter are presenting us with here are quite accessible and fairly enjoyable affairs.

Of course, in an album as musically diverse as this, it is one’s personal musical preferences which will determine which songs deserve an extra mention but there is enough flair and variety here to satisfy fans of every genre.

The first disc entitled “Tief” contains the band’s heaviest riff-driven material and opening modern Metal piece “Freiheit Gleichheit Brüderlichkeit” offers enough clues in what you should expect from the band.

While I was not particularly blown away by either the Goth sounding “Wir” nor the rhythmical guitar chords of “Die Wahrheit” I did appreciate the funky bass tunes of “Was Bleibt Bin Ich” and particularly enjoyed the emotional piano melodies of “Ein Vöglein”.

In “Tiefer”, the second disc on offer, the band goes acoustic on us – a very good idea indeed as the combination of simple acoustic chords and soulful bass in songs like the opener “Die Zeit” works very well indeed.

Once again, variety is the key word here, as manifested by how well the simplistic guitar harmonies of a song like “Der Weg” combine with the piano and string instrumental arrangements of “Terra Nola” – a song which concludes the second part of this truly intriguing album.

I am quite please that I was given the chance to listen and review “Tief.Tiefer” because I feel that, through this experience, I have discovered a few things about myself and the way I perceive and enjoy music these days.

Though it will take a lot more effort on the part of the members of Die Apokalyptischen Reiter to get me to wear one of their t-shirts and declare myself a devoted fan, I will now find it much easier to listen to one of their albums when in the right mood.  A surprisingly enjoyable release.

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