Unheilig [ˈʊnhaɪ̯lɪç] (German for "Unholy") was a German band that featured a variety of influences including various pop and electronic styles as well as harder, nihilistic hard rock. The band was founded in 1999 and principally consists of singer Bernd Heinrich "Der Graf" Graf along with various musical partners. He has been accompanied for live shows with musicians Christoph "Licky" Termühlen, Henning Verlage, and Martin "Potti" Potthoff. The group's debut, Phosphor, came out in 2000.

Bernd Heinrich Graf – "Der Graf"
Bernd Heinrich Graf – "Der Graf"
Background information
OriginAachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Years active1999–2016[2]
Four Rock Entertainment
Nilaihah (North America)
MembersBernd Heinrich Graf
Henning Verlage
Christoph Termühlen
Martin Potthoff


Early years (1999–2009)Edit

Bernd Heinrich "Der Graf (The Count)" Graf founded Unheilig in 1999 with Grant Stevens (writer of "Everlasting Friends", a song featured in a German television commercial for Holsten Pilsener beer) and José Alvarez-Brill (Wolfsheim, Joachim Witt, De/Vision).

Their first single "Sage Ja!" (Say Yes!) was released on Bloodline Records in 1999. It entered the Deutsche Alternative Charts and became popular in night clubs. In February 2001 Unheilig's debut album "Phosphor" was published in Europe.

Over the next few months, the band guested at major festivals and open-air events in Germany (Zillo Open Air, Wave-Gotik-Treffen Leipzig, Doomsday Festival, Woodstage Festival) before taking a break from live work to write and produce the Christmas album Frohes Fest (Merry Christmas) released in 2002 and the third album Das 2. Gebot (The 2nd Commandment).

In February 2003, the band toured eleven European cities as support to L'Âme Immortelle, and played songs from the album Das 2. Gebot.

Directly after the tour, the EP “Schutzengel” (Guardian Angel) was released, including four previously unreleased tracks. The band played in festivals during the summer. The M'era Luna Festival was one of the highlights for the band and the fans. Der Graf produced remixes for Absurd Minds, Terminal Choice and other bands and produced a song for the Xbox game Project Gotham Racing 2. Then the band started recording the album “Zelluloid”.

Zelluloid was released on 23 February 2004, and at the same time, the band toured with Terminal Choice. A fan vote organised by Unheilig chose the tracks for the EP Freiheit, released 18 October 2004.

Unheilig played more concerts in 2004 than any previous year. A live album Gastspiel was released on 31 January 2005. Six weeks before release of their DVD “Kopfkino” A mainstream music television channel (VIVA Plus) broadcast an Unheilig song video for the first time – the video of "Freiheit".

The album “Moderne Zeiten” (Modern Times) was released on 20 January 2006. The theme of the album is dreams.

During 2007 the band played a small number of festivals including Wacken Open Air, Amphi festival and Burgrock Altena festival.

In 2008, Unheilig released the album “Puppenspiel”.[3] It entered the Media Control Charts at number 13.

In 2008 they played at the (M'era Luna, Zita-Rock, Wave-Gotik-Treffen and Castle Rock) festivals. Later the band released their second DVD titled "Vorhang auf" ("Curtain Up").

In 2009 the band performed at the Amphi Festival, Summer Breeze Open Air and the Rockharz Open Air festivals.

On 3 July 2009, the albums Phosphor, Frohes Fest, Das 2. Gebot, Zelluloid and Moderne Zeiten were released with new artwork and remastered audio. The Limited Edition versions of the albums that included extra songs were not re-released.

Große Freiheit and Lichter der Stadt (2009–2013)Edit

On 7 December 2009, the official Unheilig website received a major redesign to reflect the upcoming release of Große Freiheit, including a three-minute trailer showcasing Der Graf with a suitcase playing "Das Meer", the very first song off the new album.

On 14 January 2010, the first music video for their first single "Geboren um zu leben" (Born to Live) was posted on Unheilig's webpage. The single "Geboren um zu leben" was released on 29 January 2010 and debuted on the Media Control Charts at number two. The single also peaked on the Austrian Singles Chart at number eight.

Große Freiheit was released on 19 February 2010 under Vertigo Records part of Universal Records, with a tour following immediately.[4] The new album would then go on to peak in the Media Control Charts at number 1, in Austria at number 2 and in Switzerland at number 3. The band performed at the Greenfield Festival in Switzerland on 12 June.

The second single "Für immer" was released on 21 May & Peaked in the German Charts at No. 17.

Große Freiheit would break records as the longest staying No. 1 album on the German Media Control Charts, staying at No. 1 for 23 non-consecutive weeks. This beats the old record set by Herbert Grönemeyer in 1988 with the album Ö, which stayed at No. 1 for 14 weeks.

The third single "Unter deiner Flagge" was released on 24 September 2010 and peaked in the German charts at No. 13. On 1 October the band performed the song Unter Deiner Flagge at the Bundesvision Song Contest held at Max-Schmeling-Halle, as a result they won the contest, beating other acts like (Silly, Ich + Ich, Blumentopf) among others.

Winterland was released on 19 November 2010 as a fourth single from Große Freiheit, as it was also a part of the "Große Freiheit (Winter Edition)" as a separate CD containing remixes. The single would then become Unheilig's third top ten single in Germany, peaking at No. 4.

On 25 March 2011 Unheilig was nominated for five ECHO Awards (Best Video National for Geboren um zu leben, ECHO Radio, Most Successful Production Team, Best National Rock/Alternative Group and Album of the Year for Große Freiheit), eventually winning three.

On 16 February 2011, Unheilig announced they were writing new material for their upcoming 8th album Lichter der Stadt (City Lights), which will be a concept album. On 2 December the band announced that the first single from Lichter der Stadt, So wie du warst, will be released on 24 February 2012 while the album itself will be released 16 March 2012.[5] The second single Lichter der Stadt was released on 30 March 2012.

The third single "Wie wir waren" was released on 31 August 2012. Unheilig will be releasing "Lichter Der Stadt: Winter Edition" on 23 November 2012. This new edition will feature the newly released song "Stark".

On 18 January 2013 Unheilig released a 7CD Audiobiography titled Als Musik meine Sprache wurde. The CD comes with 6 CD's full of "Der Grafs" musical journey from his earlier beginnings all the way up to his success with Große Freiheit and Lichter Der Stadt. The 7th CD is complete with 13 songs from his beginning days including Human Nations.

Alles Hat Seine Zeit, Gipfelstürmer, Ein Letzte Mal Tour and final album (2014–2016)Edit

The band released their first "best of" album titled Alles Hat Seine Zeit on 14 March 2014. The album debuted on the Media Control charts at number 2, the Austrian albums chart at number 3 and the Swiss albums chart at number 5.

At the Rock the Ring Festival in Switzerland in June 2014 Unheilig played "Goldrausch", a track from their then-upcoming album Gipfelstürmer. The first single from the album, "Zeit Zu Gehen", was released on 31 October.

The album Gipfelstürmer was released on 12 December 2014 and became the band's third consecutive album to reach number one on the Media Control Charts in Germany. The album also peaked at number two on the Swiss albums chart. Unheilig then went on tour to promote the new album, beginning 6 April 6, 2015 in Vienna, Austria at the Vienna Stadthalle and concluding on 20 February 2016 in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland at the Bodensee Arena.

The band released a DVD entitled MTV Unplugged: Unter Dampf – Ohne Strom on 12 December 2015. The DVD would go on to earn the band an Echo Award nomination for Best Rock Band/Pop National in 2016.

Unheilig embarked on their final tour as a band on 13 May, which finished on 10 September 2016 at the RheinEnergieStadion. Megaherz, Staubkind, "Be One", Schandmaul and Megazwei were all supporting acts during the Ein Letzte Mal Tournee.

Unheilig announced on 2 August 2016 that they would release their final album, Von Mensch Zu Mensch, on 4 November 2016. The first single from the album, also titled "Von Mensch Zu Mensch", was released on 2 August. The second single "Ich würd' dich gern Besuchen" was released on 9 September. The third single, "Mein Leben ist die Freiheit", was released on 7 October.

Post 2016Edit

Von Mensch Zu Mensch was nominated for Best Pop National at the 2017 ECHO Awards.

Unheilig will release a new best of album titled Best of Vol.2 – Pures Gold on 6 October 2017.

Despite Der Graf's retirement, Unheilig will continue as a band without him. Unheilig are scheduled to go on a small tour in April and May, 2018 with just Henning, Potti and Licky.

Band membersEdit

  • Bernd "Der Graf" Heinrich Graf – vocals, programming (1999–2016)
  • Henning Verlage – keyboards, programming (1999–present)
  • Christoph "Licky" Tremühlen – guitars (1999–present)
  • Martin "Potti" Potthoff – live drums & percussion (2009–present)

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2010 Bambi Pop National Unheilig Won
2010 Comet Award Best Artist Unheilig Nominated
2010 Comet Award Best Newcomer Unheilig Nominated
2010 Comet Award Best German Act Unheilig Nominated
2010 ARD Live Song Of The Year Geboren um zu leben Nominated
2010 1Live Krone Award Best Song "Geboren um zu Leben" Nominated
2010 1Live Krone Award Best Album Große Freiheit Nominated
2011 Diva Award Artist of the Year 2010 Unheilig Won
2011 Diva Award Best Single & Album 2010 "Geboren um zu Leben" & Große Freiheit Won
2011 ECHO Award Best Video National "Geboren um zu Leben" Nominated
2011 ECHO Award Echo Radio Unheilig Nominated
2011 ECHO Award Most Successful Production Team Unheilig Won
2011 ECHO Award Best National Rock/Alternative Group Unheilig Won
2011 ECHO Award Album of the Year 2010 Große Freiheit Won
2011 Swiss Music Award Best Breakout International Unheilig Won
2011 Rainbow Radio Band Award National Band 2010 Unheilig Won
2011 Comet Award Best Artist Unheilig Nominated
2011 Comet Award Best Song "Geboren um zu Leben" Won
2012 Prg Lea Award Indoor/Arena Tour of the Year Unheilig Nominated
2012 Video Champions Award Best Personality Der Graf Won
2013 Goldene Camera Beste Musik National Der Graf Won
2013 Echo Award Bestes Video National Wie wir waren Nominated
2013 Echo Award Album of the Year Lichter Der Stadt Nominated
2013 Echo Award Best Rock/Alternative National Unheilig Won
2013 Echo Award Best Music DVD Production Lichter Der Stadt Live Nominated
2013 Echo Award Best National Producer Der Graf Nominated
2013 Echo Award Best National Act Unheilig Won



Studio albumsEdit

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
2001 Phosphor
2002 Frohes Fest 57
2003 Das 2. Gebot
2004 Zelluloid
2006 Moderne Zeiten 76
2008 Puppenspiel 13
2010 Große Freiheit 1 1 3
2012 Lichter der Stadt 1 1 1
  • BVMI: 9× Gold[9]
  • IFPI AUT: 2× Platinum[10]
  • IFPI SWI: Platinum[11]
2014 Gipfelstürmer 1 3 2
  • BVMI: 5× Gold[9]
  • IFPI AUT: Platinum[10]
2016 Von Mensch zu Mensch 1 4 3
  • BVMI: Platinum[9]

Live albumsEdit

Year Title Chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
2005 Gastspiel
2006 Goldene Zeiten
2008 Puppenspiel Live Vorhang auf! 29
2010 Große Freiheit Live 1 8
2012 Lichter Der Stadt Live
2015 Gipfelstürmer Live
MTV Unplugged Unter Dampf – Ohne Strom 2 10 8
  • BVMI: Platinum[9]


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
2000 "Sage Ja!" Phosphor
2001 "Komm zu mir"
2003 "Maschine" Das 2. Gebot
2006 "Ich will leben"
(feat. Project Pitchfork)
Goldene Zeiten
2008 "An deiner Seite" 49 Puppenspiel
2010 "Geboren um zu leben" 2 8 13 13
  • GER: 2× Platinum[9]
  • SWI: Platinum[11]
Große Freiheit
"Für immer" 17 51 57
"Unter deiner Flagge" 9 29 38
"Winter" 4 6 64 21 Große Freiheit – Winter Edition
2012 "So wie du warst" 2 14 18 Lichter der Stadt
"Lichter der Stadt" 31
"Wie wir waren"
(featuring Andreas Bourani)
32 60
"Stark" 23 49 Lichter der Stadt: Winteredition
2014 "Als wär's das erste Mal" 10 38 56 Alles hat seine Zeit
"Wir sind alle wie eins" 29
"Zeit zu gehen" 6 16 8 Gipfelstürmer
2015 "Mein Berg"
"Glück auf das Leben"
2016 "Von Mensch Zu Mensch" Von Mensch Zu Mensch
"Ich würd' dich gern Besuchen
"Mein Leben ist Die Freiheit"


  • 2002: Tannenbaum (As part of the Frohes Fest Limited Edition Release)
  • 2003: Schutzengel – (Limited to 2,222 copies)
  • 2004: Freiheit
  • 2006: Astronaut – (Limited to 4,444 copies)
  • 2008: Spiegelbild – (Limited to 3,333 copies)
  • 2010: Winterland Special – (As part of the Große Freiheit Winter Edition Release)
  • 2010: Zeitreise – (Limited Tenth Anniversary tour only release)
  • 2012: Lichtblicke – (Exclusive Lichter der Stadt tour CD)


  • 2005: Kopfkino – (Germany #75)
  • 2008: Vorhang auf – (Germany #3)
  • 2010: Sternstunde (Only available during the Große Freiheit tour)
  • 2010: Große Freiheit Live – (Germany No. 1, Gold[9])
  • 2012: Lichter Der Stadt Live
  • 2015: Unter Dampf-Ohne Strom

Music videosEdit

  • 2000: Sage Ja!
  • 2004: Freiheit
  • 2006: Astronaut
  • 2008: An deiner Seite
  • 2010: Geboren um zu leben
  • 2010: Für immer
  • 2010: Unter deiner Flagge
  • 2010: Winter
  • 2012: So wie du warst
  • 2012: Lichter der Stadt
  • 2012: Wie wir waren
  • 2012: Stark
  • 2014: Als wär's das erste Mal
  • 2014: Wir sind Alle wie Eins
  • 2014: Zeit Zu Gehen
  • 2015: Mein Berg
  • 2016: Mein leben ist die Freiheit
  • 2017: Der Himmel über Mir
  • 2017: Sonnentag

Other CDsEdit

  • 2008: Schattenspiel – (Limited to 3,333 copies)
  • 2013: Als Musik meine Sprache wurde – (A 7CD Audiobiography)
  • 2014: Alles Hat Seine Zeit – Best of 1999–2014 – (Ger:#2, AT:#3, CH:#5)
  • 2015: Gipfelkreuz (Exclusive Gipfelstürmer Tour CD)
  • 2016: Danke Ein Letzte Mal – Live (Exclusive Ein Letzte Mal Tour CD)
  • 2017: Best of Vol.2 – Pures Gold (Ger:#2, AT: No. 15, CH: #15)


  • 2009: Phosphor
  • 2009: Frohes Fest
  • 2009: Das 2. Gebot
  • 2009: Zelluloid
  • 2009: Moderne Zeiten
  • 2011: Kopfkino


  1. ^ True, Chris. "Unheilig. Biography". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  2. ^ ""Offener Brief" (open letter to fans) (in German)". Unheilig. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  3. ^ Unheilig to release ‘Puppenspiel’
  4. ^ "Unheilig announces title new album and tourdates – AlterNation". Alternation.eu. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
  5. ^ "UNHEILIG – News – LICHTER DER STADT ERSCHEINT IM MAeRZ". unheilig.com. Archived from the original on 5 December 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  6. ^ a b "German Albums Chart > Unheilig". Official Charts. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  7. ^ a b c "Discographie Unheilig". Austrian Charts. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Discographie Unheilig". Swiss Charts. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Unheilig)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  10. ^ a b c "Austrian certifications – Unheilig" (in German). IFPI Austria.
  11. ^ a b c "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Unheilig)". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  12. ^ "German singles". charts.de. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  13. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community". swisscharts.com. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Unheilig Album & Song Chart History | Billboard.com". billboard.com. Retrieved 6 November 2011.

External linksEdit