v/a * Letters From The Front (cd 2006 the eastern front)

The Eastern Front from Israel is a relatively new label from Israel. With this release they literally turn the scene upside down. First: “”The Eastern Front” dedicates this tribute to their glorious grandmothers and grandfathers who fought with great valour as soldiers and officers in the Red Army and laboured selflessly in the Soviet rear during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945)”. An honour to those who “resisted the Nazi power” and “dedicated to 61 Anniversary of Victory in WWII”. A release investigating ‘the red side’ of WWII instead of the brown. Secondly. Whereas many releases include ‘Schlager’ songs for enjoyment and amusement, this compilation cd is almost completely filled with ‘Russian Schlager’ (of course this is a very bad term!). The cd alternates speeches (such as those of Stalin, Molotov and Levitan) with a great many songs from the period and only here and there are ‘songs from the scene’. The bands Silence & Strength, Westwind, Storm of Capricorn and Neon Rain mostly contributed tranquil, rather ambient, sometimes a little bit martial tracks, accompanying what I described before. I like the idea. The execution is rather well done too. Sometimes the 1940’ies songs tend to become too much, but when the Russian choirs set in, my attention is drawn back. The tracks of the four bands are not the greatest pieces performed in the scene, but they go very well with the traditional sounds and speeches. The compilation comes in a highly limited 244 edition with a magnificent cardboard ‘poster’ folded into a triangle. A wonderfull release for sure!

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