I am sorry for the band and the label, but just as with the recently released mini-cd “Emerald” I can only say that for me “As Bright As A Thousand Stars” is yet another Arcana album. The music is soft and atmospheric and reminds of Dead Can Dance more than once. I must say that in some tracks Peter’s vocals sound better to me than sometimes, he sings less forced, I am not sure what it is. Musically there is nothing new under the sun so I guess this new album is mostly for people who have been fans of Arcana for some time.
Links: Arcana, Cyclic Law
This second solo album of Peter Bjärgö (Arcana, Sophia) is a melancholic, orchestral album. It reminds me a lot of Arcana. There is a lot of focus on Bjärgö’s voice, there is guitar and orchestrations. 7 Tracks that span 40 minutes. In the early days of Arcana, I was gripped by Pettersson’s (as his last name was before he got married) music. Arcana soon started to sound too much the same to me, but then he came with Sophia. The later albums of Arcana that I heard are good, but not really my thing. The same I can see of “The Architecture Of Melancholy”. The music is certainly good, but does not ‘work’ for me. People who are gripped by Bjärgö’s music will undoubtely love this new album.
Links: Peter Bjärgö, Cyclic Law
The new ORE is not released on CMI?? For the rest it is ORE like we know them. This mcd opens with two versions of the title track and it sounds like… ORE. Then there are two new versions of old songs. “Reaping The Fallen, The Second Harvest” lets us hear what happened in in the style since 1995 and “Who Stole The Song” is a new version of a more recent track. As always, nice, but nothing too special.
Links: Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Out Of Line
First released as a 12″, then as a picture 12″ and upcoming on cd and cd+dvd comes the new album of ORE. This album immediately sounds a bit different from earlier achievements. The sound is softer, more melancholic, the guitar loops are almost gone (or with effects). After a few listenings, the album still does not really work for me. It is a bit too soft and the crazy, bombastic, industrial, martial, etc. elements all seem to be lost and we are left with atmospheric music with male and female vocals. Perhaps musically “Onani” is a step forward. There are no longer the obvious looped samples and repetitions, but it seems that this had to give away to the atmosphere somewhat. Maybe I have to listen to this album some more before things start to fall in their place.
Links: Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Cold Meat Industry
I was just wondering if Arcana would finally have found a way up or kept doing the same thing. They kept doing the same thing… “Raspail” is another soft orchestral release and Peter seems to keep trying to sound like Brendan Perry (and the music reminds of Dead Can Dance too too often). The first tracks are the most interesting, but after a while Arcana starts sounding like themselves again too much. “Raspail” is not a bad album, but it simply does not work for me anymore.
Links: Arcana, Kalinkaland Records
David Lynch has made a lot more music than I knew. Yesterday I wrote a little about a new classical soundscape cd and some jazz(rock) releases, later I ran into this album. “Lux Vivens” is the music of the mystic Hildegard von Bingen which Jocelyn Montgomery apparently sings a lot. For this release David Lynch made the background music which in line of most releases that I review I would call “dark ambient” and “soundscapes” and Montgomery’s opera voice would be “heavenly voices”. There is also a little bit of “noise” and here and there a guitar. I am positivily surprised by this album. The “low” (Lynch does not think this album is “dark” since “dark could imply evil”) threatening sound goes wonderfully with the eerie voice of Montgomery. A very enjoyable album!
According to the label this album “is easily one of the most anticipated records in the neofolk underground scene”. Well, Der Feuerkreiner is a nice band that mixes different kinds of music to their own style, doing that well too, but the selling-line is a little overdone in my opinion. The releases that I already have are very enjoyable, but I do not play them too often. “Unsere Zeit” brings no news in the style of this Italian band. Female vocals sometimes making almost “heavenly voices” music in combination with soft orchestrations, to follow by some harsch and distorted industrial with clear sounds, lots of drumming and bombast. Listening to the new album, the style seems to have been polished a bit and comes out better than before making “Unsere Zeit” a good new album, but without surprises.
Links: Der Feuerkreiner, Neuropa Records
Two bands that I find allright, but not great. I do not think I would have bought this cd if it was just a split album, but because this is actually the result of a joint recording, I was interested enough to give this album a try. “Sang Graal” turned out to be a nice album, going from moody ambient soundscapes to more bombastic and martial pieces, folky and orchestral tones and of course ‘ritual’ sounds, because that is an element in both the projects’ sounds. The sounds of the bands go well together and they made a good balance resulting in an album sounding between both of them.
Links: :Golgatha:, Dawn & Dusk Entwined, Cold Meat Industry.
For their hundreth release The Old Europa Café label has released a 7-cd compilation with a track of each band and project they have been involved in during the years. However looking around the internet it seems like the bands are featured alphabetically, this is not the case, the cds are ordered somewhat thematically / according to style. “Somewhat” I say, since it is not completely that there are industrial and folk cds, there is some overlap. That is only for the better, the compiler of the cds has a rather good ear for things. In the beginning I had the idea that there are alternally more industrial and more folky cds, but this is not entirely true. The compilation opens with a cd with mostly not too extreme noise, a nice cd. Then follows a cd with more (neo)folky music, but not the too typical sounds of a compilation that I reviewed a few days ago. Then we have cds with power electronics and the extreme, chaotic style that isn’t mine, but also more old industrial things, strange experimental soundscape music and more of an old neofolk cd that I find awfull (Ain Soph, that sort of bands). Having heard the whole thing, my temporary conclusion is that the first cds are the most interesting and towards the end are some cds that I will probably never play. I think that four out of seven cds are enough of my taste to put in the player every now and then, so the “price/quality balance” is not that bad.
We didn’t put limits to the sound stiles, so here you can really hear all the sounds of the Industrial sub-culture featured on OEC !
This is a sure thing and it would be utterly impossible if everybody would love everything on this “mammoth compilation”, but I guess that for people who like the better stuff from the scene, there will be plenty to enjoy on “The Old Europa Café”.
I am afraid that Stormfågel is one of those new projects that make me conclude that not every new CMI release is a ‘must buy’. In 2005 the band released their first cd on CMI (after a release by themselves) called “Den Nalkende Stormen”. This is a rather boring atmospheric album with singing and appears to use folk music melodies here and there. A couple of months ago the new album saw the light of day. “Ett Berg Av Fasa” is better than “Den Nalkende Stormen” but far from a masterpiece. It seems that some real instruments have been added to the sound and also more folky melodies, samples and orchestrations. Unfortunately the improvement is only marginal. Tracks 3 and 4 are quite nice, but the awfull track from the “All My Dead Friends” compilation (the only track that I skip when playing this compilation) is on the new album too (6) and the rest doesn’t really rise above a level of dullness. Let us just say that the music of Stormfågel is not my taste.
Links: Stormfågel, Cold Meat Industry