v/a * Donec Ad Metam (online compilation 2cd 2007 neo-folk.it)

Here we have already the fourth online compilation by Neo-folk.it. Like with the previous editions you mostly get new bands with some smaller established bands and mostly a sound that does not fall under the term “neofolk”; however, the second ‘cd’ definately has a few neofolk songs. Also as with the previous compilations most tracks are nice, not groundbreaking, but nice to listen to and to discover some new bands. What I have always liked most about these series is that the sound usually is quite uncommon, not the easy copying kind of making music. Of course it is free, so I can say: click on the cover and happy downloading!
links: Neo-Folk.it

Rose Rovine e Amanti * Early And Unreleased Songs (cd 2007 the eastern front)

Here we have a cd full of “a small collection of old postcards” of Rose Rovine e Amanti. The tracks vary from silly experiments, to more ‘dance’ track, nice poppy (and bluesy?) neofolk songs and a not-too-good Von Thronstahl-like collection of sounds and samples. I particularly like the neofolky songs which have a nice atmosphere and an atypical sound. The cd is 42 minutes and as the title says, contains old and unreleased material (either completely new, or in an alternative version). There are some references to my own country. Two tracks are called “Holland Sea” and Theo van Gogh is on the cover.
links: Rose Rovine e Amanti, The Easten Front

Bleiburg * Way Of Crosses (cd 2007 the eastern front)

Of this strange, German band I earlier reviewed a cd on Cold Spring from the UK. This new cd is released by this much smaller label The Eastern Front from Israel, but the band surely fits on this label. Way Of Crosses opens with a nice martial neofolky track and continues with a two minimalistic tracks with dance rhythms with are either a bit dull or interesting as sounding new (and with a very amusing variation on the “Woher stammst du?” scene from Triumph Des Willens). Also there are of course the traditional (Russian?) songs, strange experimental soundscapes, some poppy and industrial tracks… You read it, this cd does not contain a single and predictable style of music, but an interesting collection of ideas and tracks of which most are interesting enough to get a copy of this nicely packages (but limited to 1000 copies) album.
link: The Eastern Front

Pimentola * Misantropolis (cd 2007 cold meat industry)

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-

Von Thronstahl * Re-turn Your Revolt Into Style! (cd box 2002 fasci-nation)

Three of my favourite bands released expensive boxes recently and I do not plan to buy them all. The Der Blutharsch 4cd is already pretty expensive, but in the leather bag unaffordable. Mostly material that I have (compilation contibutions which often aren’t Albin’s best material either) and remixes that I am not really interested in anyway,so Der Blutharsch had to be skipped. Then there is the Absinthe box by Blood Axis and Les Joyaux de la Princesse. Extremely interesting. The cd with two 10″s with remixes, live recordings from the Portugal concerts and as far as I understood also tracks from the exclusive cd that was only available to the few lucky ones that were at these concerts. Extremely expensive too so with pain in my heart I also let this box pass my nose. And then we have Von Thronstahl with a box that I couldn’t let get passed. First (and most) of all, all material is exclusive. Actually this is the only reason to get this box, because however it looks great, there isn’t really anything ‘extra’.
The box is 15x15x3cm with a glass-plate of 1 cm high in it where the disc is on, so this is a pretty heavy box! Further a highly informative 20-page booklet.
Both the title and the concept are very fitting for Von Thronstahl. “Revolt” most likely refers to Josef K.’s revolt against the political correct popindustry that let him down over his ideology. K. took the image of the neofolk/industrial scene to extremes, always taking three steps further accross the border than the rest. He definately took his fascism into an artistic style, not only musically, but also in the artwork, etc. This style he returns with this box by dedicating this cd to fascism in different forms of art with a booklet with pictures, paintings, excerpts from interviews with known and less-known artists, articles and own writings all showing the fascination of artists with fascist concepts. Still the ‘introduction’ says that all this has nothing to do with a glorification of a certain phase in history but to build a certain style and aesthetics.
And what do you get musically? Well, Josef and Raymond again didn’t come close to the level of the brilliant debut cd “Imperium Internum” but that is of course because this is again a compilation of tracks and not a concept-album. Still there are some very good tracks to be found, especially the more industrial ones in the beginning. Around the end are a few of the ‘collection of samples’ things (one of 30+ min!) which aren’t too great. Further the guys wanted to use different styles of “gothic”, so you will not only get industrial and neofolk, but also a bit of EBM-like things, gothic rock and the like, a bit “Forthcoming Fire”ish.
Anyway, many tracks are good, some are just fine and others are roundout boring. Overall a nice release. <23/7/02><3>

Victoria * Homo Rattus (7″ 2001 erebus odora)

Yes I know this review is very late, but it took me a while to get myself one of the 800 copies of this 7″. For those also looking for it, I just got my copy from Tesco, so you may want to try them as well. It is said there is a new 800-copies-7″ coming up.
To the few who don’t know Victoria, I can say that this is a project by the male halves of Arcana and ORE, released by Peter Pettersson (Arcana/Sophia) on his own Erebus Odora label. Side A is a nice ORE-like song called “This Carnival Of Light” but the best reason to buy this 7″ is a crazy jazz/bossanova/60’ies song on side B called “Like Rats Rattus Rattus”.
But don’t worry if you are not able to find a copy, the “Like Rats” song can be downloaded as mp3 from the Erebus Odora site. <13/4/02><4>

Vargtimmen * The Bait (mcd 2005 gazoline)

Jérôme Nougaillon is Propergol, Hermetique, Sea-Green Series and… Vargtimmen and Gazoline. This 3″ cd comes in a superb package. The box has the size of a bank card, put in a slipcase and the cd has been cut to fit in the little box (I think this is how you can get your electronic visiting-card). There is one track on the cd of 6:29 minutes. Clear samples (guitar, orchestrations) with weird soundscapes and samples. Musically not great, but original the least. Again a reference to a film in the project’s name, Vargtimmen (‘time of wolves’) is a film from 1968.

v/a * Wo Die Wilden Kerle Wohnen (compilation 7″ 2000 rauhnacht)

I was so fortunate to run into a copy of this 7″-compilation that will soon become (or already is) a collectors item. I believe it was sold out in notime, so this review is more informational than to urge you to obtain it.
I believe this compilation vinyl was released by Albin Julius of Der Blutharsch/WKN. Der Blutharsch is at least one of the bands on it and he contributed a nice, but rather ‘un Der Blutharsch’ sound, which is somewhat noisy. On the same side as Der Blutharsch we find Nový Svêt (actually this ^ above the e must be upside down), which is a Vienna based industrial act that I didn’t know yet. It seems that they have one cd out and a new one will be released later this year by mr. Julius on his Hau Ruck sublabel. This actually is the best track of the compilation. On the other side we find Allerseelen, with a strange and not too good track and the last band is Allgrena, also a band that I didn’t know, but their ambient track isn’t too good either.
A strange cover, a strange title, no information whatsoever in the package, so all in all mostly a product for collectors who have all the background information. Two new bands to keep an eye on though.

v/a * Wir Rufen Deine Wölfe (cd 2004 aorta)

Mr. Kadmon of Allerseelen/Ahnstern/Aorta asked 17 bands to make an impression of the same poem of Friedrich Hielscher. Most of the time you get (neo)folky or medieval music and there are a few industrial tracks to be found. As far as I know all material has not (yet) been released outside this compilation. The idea is very original and challenging and after several rounds in my player, I still haven’t made up my mind how I like the fact that all songs have the same lyrics. One or two bands use translations, but the majority sings the same. Musically this compilation surely isn’t disappointing, especially thinking of the fact that most music is neofolk. Particularly nice are the opening song of Der Arbeiter, Lady Morphia, Turbund, Blood Axis (folky) and Riharc Smiles. And now you also see that you get both well-known and less-known acts. For more information about Hielscher and the compilation to the the Aorta site.

v/a * Thorak (compilation cd 1998 vaws)

The first Vaws compilation in this ‘series’ (await the Breker compilation some time soon) is dedicated to the sculpturist Joseph Thorak and is so far definately the least interesting one.
However the orchestral track in the beginning (Stalingrad, The Protagonist, Von Thronstahl, The Days Of The Trumpet Call and Forthcoming Fire) are nice to very nice, the following industrial contributions (Karceral Flesh, Ecodalia, Skrol, Egoades, Turbund Sturmwerk and Source Direct) aren’t very good with the exception of Turbund and then some horrible gothic of Near Death Experience and Siela, followed by two neo-folk songs of Death In June (“Kameradschaft” the only neo-folk song from “Take Care And Control”) and Andromeda Complex.
Only agreeable for the first 1/3.