ambient

v/a * Hermann Hendrich (cd 2002)

Waiting for the Breker compilation of Vaws (which is said to be available) you can get this tribute to another German sculptor. I hadn’t seen it coming and I don’t think I had heard of Hendrich before this cd. Anyway, the line-up was promising enough to order this cd, but the result is very disappointing. Besides a few very well-known bands (Belborn, Trumpet Call, Thronstahl, Waldteufel), there are some quite-known bands (The Sword Volcano Complex, Shining Vril) and a bunch of bands that I didn’t know (Freiheitsgeist, Sturmkind, Gandolfs Gedanken, Carpe-Diem, Elke Rohling). There is a bit too much guitar on this compilation (even leaning towards metal/rock at times) and most tracks are awfull. A good thing -though- is that the Belborn track is a very nice opener, the Trumpet Call isn’t too typical and there is a totally unique (in sound, but also previously unavailable) track of Von Thronstahl to be heard (together with one from the first cd).
So, it’s upto you if you decide to buy this compilation.

v/a * Gloria Victis Vae Victis (cd 2005 war office propaganda)

In a magnificent wooden package comes this WOP compilation with 20 tracks. Most of the bands are the established, but smaller bands (like Der Arbeiter, Rukkanor or Omnicore), other bands are (a bit) bigger (Belborn, Pazival, Toroidh, Karjalan Sissit, HERR), but no ‘top sellers’. The new names to me are Out of Sight (a nice weird ‘industrial’ track), Ait! (industrial), Krepulec (ambient industrial) and Vishudda Kali (what kind of music is this?). All tracks but the Karjalan one are new to me and the biggest surprise is already the opener. I know Cawatana as just another unimaginable neofolk band, but here we have a very martial and loud industrial track. Not brilliant maybe, but certainly surprising. For the rest mostly industrial music, some Parzival weirdness and more tranquil sounds towards the end. A nice compilation in a magnificent package (too bad that cutbacks had to be made on the booklet), limted to 111 copies (very special version) and 777 copies. Sold out from the label, but some distros seem to have copies left.

v/a * Flowers Made Of Snow (2cd 2004 cold meat industry)

Traditionally every 10th CMI release is a compilation and they are always eagerly expected. Even though it was a long wait since the last compilation while the ‘normal’ releases come like a flood, “Flowers Made Of Snow” lives up to the tradition. It features old and new bands, has mostly exclusive tracks, looks wonderfull and has a high level of musical quality. Apparently CMI wants to push its boundaries of the typical CMI concept. There are bands who are not even from Scandinavia, let alone Sweden and there is more folky music again. Here you get a good overview of the old and new CMI. Bands such as Ordo, ISN, BDN are present, but also new names such as Olen’K, All My Faith Lost…, The Last Hour, Apatheia, Hesperos and Sibellian. Definately a must-buy for old and new listeners!

v/a * Chamber (cd 2002 cold spring records)

This “Cold Spring Records sampler” is a 80 minute cd with Ignis Fatuus (alright neoclassical), Folkstorm (good industrial/ambient), Mark Snow (nice neoclassical), Laibach (strange old industrial), Endura (too monotous ambient), Novatron (too monotous ambient), Band of Pain (again too monotous ambient), Benedikt Prayer (a piano track), Schloss Tegal (good dark industrial), Von Thronstahl (a version of “Mitternachtsberg” that I already had), Toroidh (industrial), Sleep Research Facility (industrial), The Days Of The Trumpet Call (a nice track that sounds a bit too much like Von Thronstahl), Kerovnian (nice, but a bit too monotous ambient) and the best for last: A Challenge Of Honour (nice orchestral version of “Havamal”). All in all a nice compilation with a few acts that I didn’t know yet.

Umbra * Ater (cd 1999 fluttering dragon)

After releasing the first cd of Ontario Blue (a solo project of Stephen Pennick of Endura), Fluttering Dragon seems to be growing quickly.This time the label releases a cd of an industrial project from their own country: Poland. I guess it’s the first cd of Umbra and I must say it’s surprisingly good!
The opening reminds of the first Ildfrost cd (94 cold meat industry), but soon the resemblances are greater to the cd of Aghast (95 cold meat industry). The same haunting female vocal effects and stretched-up sounds. The rest of the cd keeps bringing remembrances to both bands, but not as strong as in the first track.
Overall Umbra brings some mystical piece of industrial with female vocals, either whispered, spoken, sung or with effects. Often it’s very ambient, but sometimes there’re orchestal influences (piano, violin) and the last track is even a magnificent piece of dark orchestral music (with male vocals by the way).
The package looks really good too, but the cover and logo reminds a bit too much of a metal band to me…
Oh, for those interested, this cd is mixed by Fredrik Söderlund of Puissance, Setherial, etc., etc., etc.

Tor Lundvall * Empty City (cd 2006 strange fortune)

A new album of the multi-artist Tor Lundvall. Of course the cover-painting and other artwork are by the man himself. The music is more dark ambient than the other album (“Last Light” 2005) that I reviewed. Slighty ‘CMI’ish’ this time. Rather monotous, but not boring, tranquil with slow rhythms and stretched sounds. Not too much to say about it. “Empty City” is just a nice, moody album.

Tor Lundvall * Last Light (cd 2005 strange fortune)

I knew Tor Lundvall mostly because of his art and one track on the Cynfeirdd compilation. Now his latest cd is released by the American label Strange Fortune who where so kind to send me a copy. Lundvall’s music can be described as “ambient music”. Not monotous soundscapes, but tranquil and moody music accompanied by Lundvall’s voice. The music makes a nice atmosphere, so do Lundvall’s paintings, because he of course took care of the artwork himself. A cd for lovers of moody atmospheres.

The Sword Volcano Complex * Phosphorescent (cd 2002 triumvirate)

The latest release in a series of Triumvirate releases is of a band that I had one track off. The package is definately the nicest so far and the first with a barcode. The cd has no less than 16 tracks which are all strange compilations of melodies, samples and noises. The result is a cd with nice ambient-like tracks which are relatively melodious sometimes, but other tracks are too experimental, unstructured and less interesting. Most material is good enough to justify the purchase and since the cd is 65 minutes anyway…!

Phallus Dei * Osmose – Pontifex Maximus Revisited (cd 2004 dark vinyl)

Phallus Dei made industrial when I hadn’t even heard of this music and they used to be very productive but have always been well-known. After several years of silence, they returned with a new album a while ago and here we have remixes of old tracks that are eight years after they were made released on Dark Vinyl records. Those of you who know Phallus Dei need no introduction to this cd, but maybe the remark that things may sound just a little bit more ‘modern’. Then to the few who do not know Phallus Dei, you will get (of course) an old style industrial, but varying from fairly monotous ambient-like tracks to more danceble experiences. Of course I can’t forget to mention the orchestral and sometimes very bombastic sound of some tracks. Personally I like some of the tracks, while I like others less, just like before.

Peter Andersson * Perception Multiplied, Multiplicity Unified (cd 2001 cold meat industry)

“The manifold of Peter Andersson” says the cover of the beautiful discboxslider. This is some introductionary cd to Peter Andersson who most of you will know for being Raison D’Être. I knew Peter had a whole bunch of other projects. Of some I had only heard, of others I have most or all releases. All projects are brought together on this cd. The best part is that all tracks are (fairly) recently recorded and so far unreleased. You will get 58 minutes for 9 tracks opening with a good and heavy industrial/noise track of Stratvm Terror. Next up is Peter’s most famous musical outlet itself with nice track. Then follows a very ambient track of Atomine Elektrine which is usually more a trance/dance like project; I don’t like this track too much. Next up is Cataclyst, which was a one time event split-act with the female half of Institut, an atmospheric track whereas it used to be more industrial. More noise under the monicker Panzar and then another more well-known name being Necrophorus; on the cds this is very tranquil and minimal ambient and so it sounds on “Perception Multiplied…”. Then a project that I hadn’t heard off until now; “Bocksholm” is a collaboration with the other Peter Andersson that has been releasing his material on CMI and who grew up in the same city (better known as Lina Baby Doll) and is a noisy piece of industrial. Then Svasti-Ayanam is up with a not so rhythmical/tribal track as in days gone by. The last project is Peter’s oldest project called “Grismannen” which is a strange sounding track.
Overall inspite of all different projects and often different kinds of music, quite a nice cd and peak into the mind of one of the best known and oldest CMI artist.