Every once in a while I like to listen to old school goth rock (deathrock). A band I discovered this way is the Italian Horror Vacui.
The 2012 debut is “In Darkness Everything Will Be Alright” is -to my ears- still their best material, especially the title track.
After two more full lengths and a few minis, “Living For Nothing” has just been made available digitally (physical releases are forthcoming). 30 Minutes, eight tracks, so is this a mini or a full length?
The music is still typical for the band. One high pitched ‘gruftie’ guitar making the melodies and great ‘grave vocals’. Simple melodies, simple songs, just as goth rock is supposed to sound. Older material was slightly faster and (therefore) a bit more ‘catchy’, but again the more uptempo songs on “Living For Nothing” are enjoyable.
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>
I only knew Forthcoming Fire for being the pre-Von Thronstahl band. I had half a cd on tape, but was way too late to be able to order any of their albums. Years ago I found their albums on a Russian mp3 site, paid, but presumably illegal. FF makes gothic/wave, but as the band continued, but music became better, more technoish and a bit like what Von Thronstahl would sound like. Especially “Watching Rome Burn” (1999) is a magnificent album. Then there were problems with a major deal for Sony who complained about the politics of the band, the fact that they appeared on “Riefenstahl” and similar compilations and the band was dropped, dismantled and Von Thronstahl was formed. Apparently the band couldn’t just leave it like that and released two cds which I have never been able to buy anywhere (probably because of the label). Actually now that I ran into them on a P2P network, I am glad about that! Both the album and the mcd are boring and nothing like the FF of “Watching Rome Burn”. Slightly gothic of sound and in my opinion rather unimaginable. Oh well, at least I heard them now. u
I don’t know the whole/exact story of the ‘fall’ of Josef Klumb, but let me start with a few quotes from the Von Thronstahl interview in “Letters From The Nuovo Europae”. “I lost a lot. But I never sold my soul to the highpriests of dust. I lost a big deal with SONY MUSIC as a label mate of MICHAEL JACKSON. For some months I was in the great position to overflow all my enemies, in the position of becoming a rock star but they wanted me to say – sorry for knowing Werner Symanek, sorry for working on Riefenstahl and Thorak CDs, and sorry for all the the fascist believing I had, I want to be a good guy like the antifascists ….But I didn’t and that is how I became the fallen angel, thrown out of the rock-n-roll-heaven in which only “good” rock stars can shine.” And regarding the following line: “VON THRONSTAHL is not my way of revenge – it’s more the way of victory.” it seems most logical to conclude that is was Forthcoming Fire that was supposed to be the big band.
“But is Von Thronstahl the continuation of FF?”, you may ask. No, both bands appear on compilations such as “Thorak” and “Riefenstahl”, so these are two musical expressions of Josef K.
Listening to Forthcoming Fire you can hear a few similarities. Tracks like “Signal & Signs” and “Brennende Himmel” sound quite similar to Von Thronstahl at times. Also there is neo-folk on this cd (“Europa Calling” and “Outside Metropolis”), but the largest part of this cd doesn’t have all that much to do with (dark) folk or even industrial music.
FF has a lot of gothic influences, especially in the manner of singing. Also there is a lot of techno in the music. Especially the technoish tracks sound pretty good, but they are often interrupted by the no-very-good gothic parts. Some songs/parts are even simply horrid in my ears. But it is not only the Von Thronstahl like tracks that I do like, also for example “Open Fire!” and “Ernte Den Sturm” sound quite nice. Overall I am not too impressed by FF though.
This is the third release of this US goth act in 6 years. Those of you who are familiar with this band don’t need to be told that this duo is formed by William Faith (Christian Death, Shadow Project, Mephisto Walz) and Monica Richards (Strange Boutique). With the first two cds they gained much recognition for their splendid mix between gothic rock and folky/medieval tunes. However I’m no fond of gothic rock myself, I always adored this band.
On this third cd there’s less stress on the folky part of the band. Consequentally you’ll find more gothic rock on “Evidence…”, but Faith’s vocals are remarkebly absent, while he used to sing with the rock songs on the other cds. Of course there’s also a bit of folk here and acoustic songs, so nobody who likes the previous cd has to be started by these facts. As a matter of fact, this still is a damn good cd.
In a vague and distant path I was pretty fond of the music of Mortiis but this died away a bit when he was getting popular and the contact faded. However I suppose that I would still enjoy the music when I played it I had great fears for “The Smell Of Rain” after I read a review. Well, my fears were just. “The Smell Of Rain” doesn’t sound anything like the ‘old Mortiis’ anymore. As a matter of fact, this new cd sounds more like a gothic rock cd to me!! Mr Troll started to sing, there are guitars and only at the background you will heard the pompous sounds of days gone by. If you (used to) like Mortiis, be sure to listen to this one before you buy it. Fortunately I didn’t.