A compilation dedicated to North Korea with a whole range of interesting bands to be found on it. Putting the cd on I am very pleased to hear that Turbund Sturmwerk didn’t loose their touch afterall. Their latest tracks were not too great, but their “Reunification” is pretty damn good. It opens very loud with a bit of a Firsst Law sound and after a noisy middle Turbund falls back in known patterns, but overall I am happy with this wonderfull track. Lovers of harsch noise can enjoy themselves with Operation Cleansweep, Con-Dom and Genocide Organ. The track that Militia contributed is quite nice, but when we skip on to Ex.Order we hear another wonderfull “ambient noise” track with a great dark sound. The Grey Wolves tear our ears to shreds with their power electronics and to close off Anenzephalia put together a quite typical track with minimal noise and screamed vocals; not their best material, but not boring either. Overall “Juche” is mostly a compilation for people who like the harder side of electronic music and who had to wait for their favourite projects to finally release something new. “Juche” has a nice A5 package, produced in North Korea and is limited to a mere 15.000.000 copies, so hurry up!
The Eastern Front usually releases strange experimental cds, but this album of Phragments is a lot easier to describe. Dark ambient with beats and industrial elements, some orchestral and atmospheric influences, but also marchdrums and a flinch of noise. The cd is very nice, but here and there tracks tend to become a bit monotous. When the sound gets more industrial, things get more interesting and the short noise eruption is great. All in all “The Burning World” is a very nice album to listen to with ‘just fine’ and great parts, but an above average total for the field of dark ambient/industrial. The package is a simple, but well done very glossy three-folk A5 cover. Next up for our Israelian label is a compilation with an interesting line-up, but no Phragments.
links: Phragments, The Eastern Front
After the magnificent demo (2005) that contains the first tracks of this debut cd, I have eagerly awaited this album. The demo tracks are very dark and noisy with a threatening sound that suggests the coming a violent power-electronic outburst, but which never comes. The other tracks have a slightly different style. V and VI are more ambient noise tracks, while VII is a noise track with a marchdrum. The violent eruption finally does come at the end and VIII is a real power electronics track and IX a more martial and slightly bombastic noise track. More violence is anounced for the second album “Wrought Iron Railings” that will be released on the Propergol label Hermetique later this year. “Division One” is an instant classic in the power electronics field with great atmospheres, structured violence and wonderfully built-up tracks that will definately appeal to lovers of Propergol. One minor point is the length: 37 minutes…
Long ago CMI was a progressive label with all kinds of exciting music. This developed into ‘the CMI-style’ and however the label never really had one sound, my interest deminished a bit. Then CMI started to meddle a bit with already popular kinds of music, such as neofolk. Now it seems that Roger Karmanik is trying to get back to being (one of) the better labels from the scene. I adore Rome and in Pimentola from Finland, CMI has found a highly original and high-quality project with a very progressive release. It is almost impossible to describe Pimentola. The music goes from weird horror sounds with screamed and distorted vocals, to orchestral and bombastic industrial, from ‘jazz-ambient’ to almost Novy Svet-like passages. This album had to grow on my, but I love it.
-3/4/07- / -25/4/09-
Wrong Number is the new incarnation of Jérôme Nougaillon of Propergol, released on his own Hermetique label. However you immediately hear the similarities with Propergol, Wrong Number has a slightly different style. Jérôme himself compares this cd with the more ambient Propergol album Ground Proximity Warning System. It was also made in the same way with months of collecting samples. Wrong Number is indeed more ambient, more soundscapish even, but still in the Nougaillon way: dark, oppressive, impressive with a lot of layers and atmosphere. There are some noisy edges to this album, but nothing compared to the power electronic eruptions of Propergol. The cd contains long and slow tracks with stretched sounds and loads of samples. Here and there I find the style a bit too monotous or there are too many ‘small things’ happening (all kinds of sounds), so I don’t like Wrong Number as much as some of the Propergol albums. But again, if you like Propergol, noisy ambient or good soundscapes, I advise you to get one of the 471 copies of this well-packaged cd. And be sure to visit Hermetique.fr for sound-samples, a video-trailer, wallpapers, etc.
Some people, especially outsiders, think that our scene is one big pagan, anti-Christian bunch of (musical) extremists. Personally I always liked the fact that there is actually a multitude of convictions, ideas, ideologies, musical tastes, etc. This compilation seems to be a calling for listeners of our music to return to our Christian roots. The cd is pretty apologetic, sometimes even rather aggressively so. Kriegsfall-U has an aggressive track with as lyrics: “destroy all untrue and evil human” and in the accompanying booklet in which every artist can scribble some thoughts, Kriegsfall-U writes: “We offer this composition to Michael Moynihan, Thomas Petterson, Hendrik Nordvargr Björkk. Dead men, awake! You cannot play with Perdition.” Gregory Bardini writes against certain ideologies that can be found within the scene, including Evolaian and Guénonian and says: “I would want to point out that the more authentic neo-folk scene is forgetting our closest tradition: Christianity!”, it gets even better: “Why? Because of a lack of study, time, knowledge”. Personally I can only reply that I spend many hours a week reading and studying a variety of subjects. I have respect for the Christian faith, but I can only conclude that it isn’t mine. I don’t see the point in judging other peoples ideologies simply because they are different from your own. If this compilation would only have been a statement of Christian artists within our circles, I would have had the greatest respect. With this apologetic tone, this cd seems more like a fundamentalist Christian aim to reconvert the scene to one faith instead of allowing everyone to walk his/her own path.
But let me also say a few things about the music. There are famous and small artists. Most tracks are tranquil and alright. The artists are Von Thronstahl (this was to be expected, Josef also was behind this compilation), The Days Of The Trumpet Call, Rose Rovine E Amanti, Parzival, Kriegsfall-U, Lonsai Maikov (with a metal track), Gregory Bardini, Oda Relicta, Zebaoth (a nice Sophia-like track), Thorn-Agram, Kayno Yesno Slonce, Hidden Place and Militia, but beware, this is not Militia from Belgium, but a side-project of Magnifiqat from Italy).
Nice try, a bit too overly fanatic in intention, musically agreeable.
After a cd on Somnambulant Corpse (2002), Hermetique (2005), Post Scriptvm have found their way to Tesco, the ultimate industrial label. The new album is much less dark than the previous album, but can still be catagorized as “dark soundscapes”. Post Scriptvm again created a nice atmosphere and a very nice cd to play on the background while reading. I think I like “Marginal Existence” (the second album) better, but I better make my final judgement when I have played both of them after eachother a few times.
The Brittish label Cold Spring has been around for 15 years which was celebrated with a small festival late last year and now this special 12 has been released, limited to 500 copies. On side A is a long track by Von Thronstahl, the other two bands have half of side B. None of the tracks are very good… Von Thronstahl (pig headed as they are) come with a strange sound collage consisting of a twice told tale (through eachother) with some kind of music towards the end. I do like it when a band tries to do something new, but of course I can’t always like the result. This track is better than some of the other soundcollages that Von Thronstahl has made, but I prefer them making music. Then to the Dutch band HERR. They made some kind of neofolkish song with awfull vocals and an accordion. Then Kriegsfall-U have a nice dark industrial track, but nothing compared to their album. Exclusive tracks by three great bands, but unfortunately not really their best material. <14/1/06><2>
And here we have the cd of Von Thronstahl. It sounds different from what I expected. There isn’t as much industrial on this cd as on the 10″. (that I reviewed earlier), but there isn’t more folk on it either! So what kind of music is there on this cd? Well, most of the music is very orchestral. The first five songs are like that, at times fairly dark and with some militant touches (marchdrums). A few voices and samples to complete things. It sounds pretty good too. The songs become a bit more industrial with every track, which results in a total industrial track number six. After that there is a shorter and different version from the magnificent ‘Sturmzeit’ track from the 10″.
Then it’s time for the first folky sounds in the form of “Heimaterde, Mutterboden, Vaterland” (Native Soil, Mother Country, Fatherland). Then two more orchestral tracks and a new version of “Turn The Centuries”, which was the only folky track on the 10″. It sounds a lot more orchestral this time.
A piece of industrial and two tranquil songs close the row.
Yes, that’s a lot of tracks. It’s 14 in total spanning a time of about an hour. Because the songs aren’t too long, it doesn’t matter that not all are totally brilliant. But overall this cd is really, really good!
I think this cd will particularly appeal to people who like ‘mystical industrial’ bands like Turbund Sturmwerk, Der Blutharsch and Blood Axis. Those who enjoy experimental folk sounds, might give it a try as well.
Cold Spring sent me review copies two long anounced rereleases of this controversial band. I heard about this band just before the 2000 Wave Gotik Treffen, but missed their ‘performance’ at the chaotic festival. I did get the 10″ and on 19/7/00 I reviewed this cd. Reading this review again, it seems that there weren’t a whole lot of bands with this kind of sound in those times. I really liked the cd and I still do. It is still one of my favourite albums with music going from soft neofolk to harsch industrial, but mostly music with a very orchestral and martial sound. Many readers of these pages will already have this cd I think, but for those who have been waiting and waiting in order to be able to lay their hands on a copy, now is your change! The rerelease comes in a digipack whereas the first edition was a normal jewel case. Musically I didn’t find any differences, but the booklet is slightly different. There are no lyrics in the new edition.
This band was new to me until very recently. I was attended to it by mr. D. and then I noticed a cd in a distribution catalogue. I haven’t been able to get that cd, but I did find an older 10″. I don’t know when exactly it was released, so I left the year open. I also don’t know if this 10″ is well available, but as soon as I laid my hands on the cd, I’ll review that one for your purchase.
Von Thronstahl was said to be a neo-folk band and extremely right-wing which would bring problems with his performance at the Wave-Gotik Treffen in Leipzig Germany. He did play I heard, but I also heard that this performance consisted of playing the cd for a large part. Anyway, the Sturmzeit 10″ doesn’t bring as much neo-folk as I expected. That isn’t too bad, because the neo-folk song that is on it, isn’t really that good. What is very good are the extremely militant industrial tracks. The whole second site of this piece of vinyl is a brilliant and dark industrial track with heavy drumming and samples.
I wonder what the cd will sounds like. I hope to be able to let you know soon.