Die Toten Weg is the newest dish of darkwave/industrial served up by Fockewolf (who are, by the way, not from Germany, despite the somewhat misleading band/album name), with a recipe of syncopated drums, atmospheric waves of synthwork, and haunting female vocals.
The most distinctive aspect of Fockewolf's sound is the vocal talent of Severina Sol. Her voice drives most of the songs, and provides an extra dimension which can elevate a fairly run-of-the-mill song to excellence. There are a few tracks, such as Accidents with Scalpels, in which Wilhelm does the vocals instead, but these songs pale in comparison to the other songs. This is not to say that Wilhelm's vocals are incompetent, but certainly unspectacular compared to other vocalists in the genre (and he really does need to stick to shouting, as the few moments in which he attempts to actually sing fall flat). Mixing up the vocals may appeal to pleas for variety, but to not use Severina at all is unwise, as it overlooks the band's most effective musical tool.
Unfortunately, while the production and musicianship on this album is high quality, the sound tends to get homogeneous after a while. There are several particularly noteworthy tracks, like Nihilistic Automaton and Crematoria, but there is also a significant amount of filler songs, which retread the same ground already covered by the more standout tracks on the album. This release would have been far better if it were trimmed and released as an EP.
That being said, Die Toten Weg is still a worthy release, and shows that Fockewolf certainly has the ability to rise to the top of the industrial/darkwave genre; they only need to fine hone their skills somewhat. They are certainly worth a listen to any who are seeking more atmospheric darkwave/electrogoth music which still retains the hard edge of more some of the more aggressive bands in the EBM/industrial genre.
Post: Fockewolf, 1414 E Denny Way #7, Seattle, WA, 98122