v/a * Cavalcare La Tigra – Julius Evola: Centenary (compilation cd 1999)

A compilation dedicated to the Italian philosopher Julius Evola with the following acts:
Von Thronstahl (this track sounds like an old version of “Under The Mask Of Humanity” on the cd), Orplid (nice tranquil neo-folk), Blood Axis (“Herjafather” you all know it from “Blòt” by now), Alraune (an eerie minimalistic song), Camerata Mediolanense (in their known bombastic medievalish style), Lonsai Maikov (atmospheric), Allerseelen (a very nice mysterious industrial track with a beautiful title, “Gletscherlicht”), Ain Soph (boring neo-folk), Waldteufel (a nice folky song) and a very long track of Scivias.
Most songs are alright.

v/a * Audacia Imperat! (12″ 2002 öktagön)

It was a long wait for this not-too-great compilation. First edition is a picture 12″ and a normal 12″. Rumours say that the cd-version will come afterall, but with different bands/tracks. Anyway, after having been postphoned countless times, I got the picture lp version in my hands this week. What we get is new versions of old tracks by Of The Wand And The Moon, Von Thronstahl and Dies Natalis and all three aren’t too great and of course we already know the Von Thronstahl track from his “E Pluribus Unum” cd. There are new tracks (or at least to me) by Tribe Of Circle (not too great, ambient-like), Spiritual Front (by far the best track from this lp, another crazy, folky experiment), Waldteufel (very strange), Kirlian Camera (a nice and long atmospheric track), The Days Of The Trumpet Call (sounding exactly like most of his other tracks) and Sonne Hagal (terrible). The last track to mention is one of a band that I didn’t have anything of: Cadaverous Condition. The bandname suggests a metal band. Musically we get a neo-folkish song with a vocalist that seems to be a deathmetal vocalist who doesn’t know whether to roar or to sing, awfull!
All in all not the most brilliant compilation of recent times.

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.

Turbund Sturmwerk * Sturmgeweiht (cd 2002 rabauken rec.)

I have known Turbund for a quite long time, that is to say, I got the debut-lp as soon as it came out, since I was in quite good contact with Loki in that time. That must have been somewhere late 1995/early 1996. The recordings on this cd are from 1992 though! I suppose I was still a metalhead in that time!! If I understand the booklet correctly, these are live-recordings of a concert that already then was plagued by antifa, but somehow did continue.
Anyway, I guess these are some of the earlier recordings of Turbund, so you may expect something more primitive than their more recent recordings. This is undoubtely true. What is also true is that Turbund shows that ever since the beginning they have had a strange and unique sound. The recordings on this cd are so strange, that they often become irritating, but here and there lean towards brilliance. It is more noisy than on the the full-lengths and there are more samples. A very nice document of old times, but a large part of the 45 minutes as by far not as brilliant as the lp and the “Weltenbrand” cd. BUT, the last track did make it to the lp and there is an early version (?) of “Orkan Im Haar” ( from the 7″). Strange that the picture of the original cover isn’t in the booklet (see Turbund webpage).

Turbund Sturmwerk * Weltenbrand (cd 1999 loki)

In 1996 this strange German industrial act debuted with an lp on L.O.K.I.-Foundation. I believe it was the first full-length on that label back then. Soon Turbund reached some kind of a cult-status in the alternative industrial scene. They were compared to the (then still upcoming) American Blood Axis, even though the music isn’t really similar.
Anyhow, in 1997 there was a no-so-interesting 7″ and last year the debut was re-released on cd. Now there’s Weltenbrand. It’s still an odd form of industrial. It’s very melodic, sometimes orchestral, but also rather harsch at times. Sometimes there’s singing, but at other times Turbund can be pretty militant as well. Always there’s this mystical atmosphere around the music which is unlike anything else that I know.
Also again there’s a lot of (German) text in the booklet, which is the carrying of the philosophical part of this project.
I like this quite a lot and anyone into tranquil industrials might too.
This review was written when the lp came out, way before there was Gangleri.nl

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…!

The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud * Mass For The Dead (bootleg 2cd 2001) -> L.A.A.

When I saw this release among someones files, I was unhappily surprised. I always thought that I own everything that TMLHBAC released. I never heard of this 2cd and a short search on the internet learned that this is a bootleg. This 2cd and an “l.a.a. studio” circulate in P2P networks and I badly wanted to get copies. Alzbeth has made a lengthy statement about this bootleg. It has but little to do with TMLHBAC, but actually contains two recordings of the pre-TMLHBAC band “L.A.A.” (the “l.a.a. studio” is cd 2 of “Mass For The Dead”), which are listed as “demo” and “studio”, but according to Alzbeth it is actually a studio recording and a tape recording. The bootleg is sold for ridiculous prices, so I don’t think that the band mind much that this material is now available from the internet. They of course object against the fact that this material was (re)released without their permission, but even more so that it is sold as TMLHBAC” material. But, as a big admirer of TMLHBAC I am very happy to have ran into this material. It is definately interesting and shows me how TMLHBAC developed. “L.A.A.” was Alzbeth, Julius and Andy, who later formed Vatican Children. The second cd (which should be listened first in my opinion) contains rather punky (electro punk to punkrock) material with guitar and Elzbeth’s vocals. The last song reminds of “Wanna Be Your Dog” of The Stooges by the way. The first cd opens with a long and weird soundscape that reminds of the first TMLHBAC album. The same goes for some of the other tracks, but there are also more guitar-oriented ‘punky’ tracks here. This first cd has a good sound and a few very nice tracks in which Elzbeth sounds a lot like Sinéad O’ Conner. Here and there are glimpses of elements to be found in later material, but the concept and especially the lyrics are rather.. ehm… simple. All in all very interesting material for the TMLHBAC fan and no need to search for Ebay for the bootleg now anymore. u

The Coffinshakers * We Are The Undead (lp 1999 primitive art records)

Some people have thought that The Coffinshakers were a joke. This was mainly because of their highly unusual kind of music in the dark scene: country! Fact is though, that I’ve got a demo from them which is already from as far back as 95 and I believe that was their second or third recording. That they still exist today, should prove to everyone that they’re definately not a joke. However this lp should have been released almost two years ago (as a cd), I’m glad that it’s finally available. As long as I know the band I’ve been captured by their totally insane combination of country music and vampiric lyrics. Some 7″s have been made available by Primitive Art and now there’s an lp which is limited to 666 copies, so I’m afraid “We Are The Undead” is not going to give The Coffinshakers much of a name. But everyone who isn’t afraid of rock’n’roll country music should try to get his/her hand on this marvelous lp. I don’t like it as much as I do the demo and 7″s, but that may be caused because the surprise is gone for me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like this lp, it’s still truly something completely different in my collection and I sure do see the fun of it. Buy this lp with the four cool dudes on the cover!

Sturmpercht * Der Marsch der Wampelerreiter / Viel volle Becher klangen (7″ 2005 percht)

I only knew Sturmpercht by reputation, but this is the first of several releases that I was able to lay my hands on. I love their image based on the (in this case) Austrian ‘Perchten’ tradition. We also have these masked figures in the area where I live, but this forgotten tradition was almost lost. Sturmpercht makes totally weird and silly folky music with vocals reminding a bit of Markus Wolff and Mark Riddick, but Sturmpercht is from Austria and not from USA (right?). Actually the music is also between Waldteufel and The Soil Bleeds Black… A very funny release with a great concept.

Spiritual Front * Nihilist Cocktails For Calypso Inferno (cd 2002 oktagön records/misty circles)

The second cd of this strange Italian band. It has been several years since the limited cd “Songs For The Will” which presented nice and original neo-folk and strange experiments. After two (that I know off) compilation contributions (Lichttauffe 2000 and Codreanu 2001) we are graced with the second cd in the form of “Nihilist Coctails For Calypso Inferno”.
This time the music is less “neo-folk”, but still with the original deep spoken vocals, melancholic tunes and strange short bits of music between the songs. This time these are a bit jazzy and sometimes with some strange technoish rhythms and most of the time not really irritating or boring.
The rest of the cd contains the two beautiful compilation contributions that I mentioned, melancholic songs and some more neo-folk like songs. Overall it may be not the greatest cd of all times, but Spiritual Front is definately a one-of-a-kind band presenting a cd that you can at least tell appart from other releases from the scene.