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v/a * Riefenstahl (compilation 2cd 1999 vaws)

As far as I know the second compilation by Vaws dedicated to ‘controversial’ artists (see Thorak below). This time Leni Riefenstahl, filmmaker, photographist, dancer (in younger years), etc.
A nice orchestral opener by Voxus Imp. is followed by a tranquil industrial track of Von Thronstahl. Then Vaticans Children are up with an alright industrial track after which we hear some magnificent orchestral tunes of Forthcoming Fire and also a great track by Allerseelen. Less interesting songs of Nothwende, DIJ/Kapo bring us to a few guitar sounds. First a horrible track by Ruckgrat (pre-Orplid), a nice technoish track with guitar samples by Forthcoming Fire, a horrible dark ambient/industrial track with guitar samples by Nothwende. Then soft industrial by Preussak (another project of Josef K.) which is not too good. Neither is the atmospheric track of Andromeda Complex. Lady Domino has a nice track with a pulsating beat, gregorian samples and singing and the worst track of this compilation is for Projekt Blauland with a gothic song. Then Von Thronstahl with a funny technoish track and Josef goes even more techno with Preussak after that. Another horrible gothic song by PP?, again a no good track by Andromeda Complex, Tombstone with some boring dark ambient and Swirling Swasticas with a lousy industrial track.
This compilation starts off alright, but ends badly.

v/a * Hopes Die In Winter (cd 2005 beast of prey)

Four young bands that I did know, but not because I have much of their music. H.E.R.R. from the Netherlands opens with a few nice tracks, spoken words with orchestral music. Then follows Der Arbeiter with their typical ‘dance folk’ style, repetitive music with folky influences and dance-beats, at times reminding of Allerseelen. Then Storm of Capricorn is up with martial ambient and the last band is Ghosts Of Breslau with some tranquil tones. I especially like the first two bands, the other two are alright. The cd is released by the small label Beast Of Prey, comes in a simple, but nice package, but is limited to only 107 copies so be quick! <24/8/05><3>

Parzival * Anathema Maranatha (cd 1999 euphonious records)

Here is one to test your imagination. First, the singer of Rammstein starts to sing, not only in German, but also in Latin, Gregorian even sometimes. He does this accompanied by heroic medieval music and the rhythms are sometimes drumming and sometimes techno rhythms. If this description allows you to form something in your head with this sound, you are pretty close to what Parzival sounds like. This is really weird shit, but it is very funny and definitely original. In a way you can say that it is a mix between Gaë Bolg and Enigma and I definitely never heard anything like this. I believe this is a side-project of Of The Wand And The Moon, but I can’t find anything about that in the booklet.
Unfortunately this cd is very short (34 min) and it is also older than I thought. Who cares? As long as the music is alright!

Ostara * Immaculate Destruction (2cd 2005 trisol)

It is funny. I learned about Ostara when Richard Leviathan sent me an email when the first cd was released. I found Strength Through Joy just alright, so I hadn’t heard “Secret Homeland” yet. When I did, I didn’t like it, too progressive or something. The album proved to be one of the few that grew on me. Usually I immediately hear if I like something, “Secret Homeland” became a good album after various rounds in my player. Then there were “Whispers To The Soul” (2001) and “Kingdom Gone” (2002) which are the best Ostara recordings in my opinion. With “Ultima Thule” the progressive and folky neofolk sound (which has already set new standards for the scene) was replaced for a more poprock oriented style. I like the album, but I already expected that this was probabaly the last Ostara album that I would enjoy. When “Immaculate Destruction” was released, I listened to a few mp3-snippets and decided that this album is not for me. Now I have the whole album and my conclusion stays. The first cd contains rather straightforward poprock, the second cd is a bit more experimental, but still not too much of my liking. u

Hoer * TV-Nation (cd 2000 dildo action records)

Hoer is a Dutch band that has excisted for almost 10 years, still this is only the second cd. “TV-Nation” was recorded at the singers home in about 6 months and presented in their “Bunker” homebase last month.
“TV-Nation” has become a pretty varied album with 10 tracks spanning 45 minutes. Distorted vocals, guitars and heavy industrial is what you can expect. However I’m not too crazy about guitars in industrial music, the industrial itself is interesting enough to keep my attention. Hoer mixes somehow classical guitar-based industrial with techno of several kinds. From slightly soft to extremely heavy “gabber” (or “gabba” for English speaking) beats with rave-sounds and they even have a drum and bass track. At other times the songs have more of a metal-structure with grind-like vocals. Sometimes there are even ‘metal-like keyboards’ (the opener may fool you for the first three minutes).
Anyway, I think I can recommand this cd to anyone who enjoys guitar-based industrial (Ministry, NIN, Clay People), but someone who isn’t afraid of some teknoid industrial sounds may like this as well.
The first album is partly available online when you click here. <13/10/00> <3>

Hagalaz’ Runedance * Volven (cd 2000 well of urd)

This is the second full-length of this Northern folkband. Further there have been a 7″ (97) and quite recently a mcd that has already been released in these pages. “Volven” opens with the same track as the Lichttauffe compilation (see review elsewhere) and this mostly sets the style for the cd. The music is mostly pretty tranquil folky music with “shamanistic drumming”, flutes, ‘Viking choirs’ (on the background), traditional sounding instruments and most prominently Andrea Haugen’s vocals. This time Andrea invited a whole group of (session) musicians and a wide range of instruments which surely did a lot of good to the sound of Hagalaz’ Runedance. The cd contains nice rhythmical tracks, atmospheric ones and only one with a modern sound (dance beats, electric guitar) which had better been left out.
All in all a very nice cd though. <12/8/00><4>

Hagalaz’ Runedance * Urd – That Which Was (mcd 1999 well of urd)

Hagalaz’ Runedance is the recent musical outlet of Andreas “Nebel” Haugen. In her Hagalaz group and newsletter she explores traditions of the North and the musical traditions of the North are explored in Hagalaz’ Runedance. This resulted in a very nice 7″ called “When The Trees Were Silent” (97) and the cd “The Winds That Sang Of Midgard’s Fate” (98), both on Elfenblut / Misanthrope. Really beautiful neo-folk music with triballic drumming, flutes and Andreas’ vocals. Now there’s this mcd on the Dutch label Well of Urd, which turns out to be nothing more (or less) than the metallabel Hammerheart. Anyway, “Urd-…” opens with two really good new songs in the true Hagalaz’ Runedance vein. Then we have three old songs in techno/dance remixes which sound like shit! Total desecration of the folky tones and even remixed in a very boring way!! A damn expensive mcd this was too, but this way it’s really expensive. So, tip of the day, if you want to hear good Norse folkmusic, buy the cd of Hagalaz’ Runedance, but leave this mcd where it is. <2>

Clint Mansell * music for the movie “Requiem For A Dream”, featuring Kronos Quartet (cd 2000 nosuch records)

This wonderfull movie is reviewed in the film-section and here we have the soundtrack. The music is composed by Clint Mansell. The classical parts are performed by the Kronos Quartet and further there are dance parts and minimal electronics to be heard. No samples from the movie itself. The cd has the same atmosphere as the movie. It begins fairly light, but as it continues, the music is getting more and more sad. I like the mix between classical music and dance-beats and overall the music is pretty nice, especially when you know the movie. <20/10/01> <3>

Anima Mundi * Another World II. (cd 1999 old europe cafe a.v.s.)

This Czech project has released a tape in 1997. This tape was made available by the deleted electro-label Crew Zine from the same country. “Somnium” already showed that Anima Mundi is not just an average atmospheric ambient act. Two years later a cd is released by the notorious Italian label Old Europe Cafe. Listening to “Another World II.” you’ll be surprised constantly. Anima Mundi is mostly compared to Raison D’Être, but there’s really not that much incommon between the two projects. Okay, also Anima Mundi makes both atmospheric and dark ambient and uses gregorian samples, but that’s about it. On this cd you’ll not only find ambient, but also industrial (both lighter and harscher), a little noise, but mostly striking: dance! At times you’ll even have the impression that you’re listening to some popular trance-ambient cd. Even a name like Enigma sometimes comes to my mind. But that’s not all. There’re also strange dance-like experiments and a lot of tribal drumming. Long samples with speaking, flutes and weird sounds to complete this strange soundscape. Even though not all tracks are equally brilliant, this cd is pretty damn good! <31/12/99><4>