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.
The new Von Thronstahl is again released by the guys themselves and can seemingly also only obtained by the guys themselves. But no worries, I had my copy within the week. It comes in a luxery digipack with strange collages all over and with a poster and old and new adds. Again pinpointing current happenings, Von Thronstahl named their album “War, holy war!?”.
Musically there is quite something to say. The sound is by far not as dark as on the first releases, but that is a line that we could already hear on previous releases. Often the sound is obviously Von Thronstahl, but overall the guys keep reminding me of Forthcoming Fire. Several tracks are slightly ‘gothic’, here and there technoish sounds and even there are Forthcoming vocals in one track. No neofolk anymore, but of course there are some tranquil orchestral tracks to be found. Most tracks are slighly uptempo and sometimes a bit bombastic, but again, not as bombastic as on earlier cds. Also the music, like the cover is often a collage of sounds, quite like the “Re-turn…” album. Minor point, a “We Walked In Line” cover, but the Blood Axis cover is a lot better.
I doubt Von Thronstahl will ever top their first cd for me, but still this is a very nice album. <12/7/03><3>
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.
This is another “mittelalter, barock, gothic” compilation series by Nova Tekk. The other has only two volumes which are both reviewed in these pages. Because I already feared that the Aeternas and Miroques would be more or less the same, I never bougth a Miroque. When I saw that Blood Axis was on this one -though- I figured I might want to give it a try.
So when I got this cd I immediately checked to see what medieval song Blood Axis contributed, but (as was to be expected) it was an old song and not even a new version, but directly taken from the “Mysteria Mythrae” compilation. Many of you will now know that the featured song is the magnificent “Lord Of Ages”.
The rest then. As I also expected I know most of the bands from the Aeterna compilations. The largest part of this cd is real medieval music and not the neo-medieval kind of stuff that is often produced by bands from the gothic scene. Also just as the Aeternas, the level of the music is definately agreeable, which makes this a nice compilation to listen to. Around the end there are four really shitty songs though (17-20).
When you don’t have any of the mentioned Nova Tekk compilations and you wonder about medieval music, both traditional and from the gothic scene, you can buy any of the five Miroques or two Aeternas for a really descent compilation (I take that the other four Miroques are also good as a change). There is instrumental music, vocal, choirs and of course a lot of flutes and bagpipes. Don’t expect exclusive songs, but you can look forward to known and unknown bands either or not from the gothic scene.
After two of the cds there isn’t much new anymore, so I don’t think you will read another volume reviewed in these pages, not even when Blood Axis is on it. I like this music a lot, but when compilations even start to sound alike….
This is the third cd that is compiled by Thomas Wacker of the German Black Magazine. The first two has as theme “The Dark Ages” and now all tracks are about “Immortal Legends”. This cd features 26 bands that can roughly be divided into three groups.
The first group are industrial/ambient/ritual/soundscape bands. The names here are Ildfrost, Axon Neuron / Vagwa, White, Dream Into Dust, This Morn Omnia feat. Yasnaia, Profane Grace, The Sword Volcano Complex, Psychonaut, 4th Sign Of The Apocalypse, The Unquiet Void, Anima In Fiamme, Ah Cama-Sotz and Heid.
Further we have folky bands, being: Darkwood, Pilori, Remora, Orchis, Dawn & Dusk Entwined and …The Soil Bleeds Black.
And the rest are mostly bands somewhere in between the previous two groups or atmospheric or gothic of sound: That Summer & Rainier Lericolais, Bleeding Like Mine, Hollenfurt, The Machine In The Garden, In Winter Bleeding, Stay Frightened and Nothvs Filivs Mortis.
Unfortunately most tracks aren’t really that good, with the exeption of 4th Sign Of The Apocalypse with a very brilliant and strange track. Further the contribution of Nothvs Filivs Mortis is different than I expected (hoped), but surprisingly and strangely quite nice.
The conclusion can only be that this is just another compilation that is not too good and which didn’t bring much surprises. A good point is that there are bands on that I didn’t yet know.
The package is pretty nice, an A5-booklet in which the bands tell why they choose a certain “immortal legend”, or tell the story of it.
I have wondered if I should get this lp for quite a while and eventually I did. Now I remember why I don’t buy that many compilations again and I guess I will be more carefull in the future… Not that there isn’t an interesting line-up here, but I hate it when a compilation is full of tracks that I already have. The bands that I didn’t know vary between boring and alright, but there is one point of light: I don’t believe I had the live version of Tempestra Noire’s song “The Outset For…”. The other bands are Nobody, Ataraxia, Ordeal, Neither/Neither World, Sisygambis, Dead Leaves Rising and Autumn.
Traditionally every 10th CMI release is a compilation and they are always eagerly expected. Even though it was a long wait since the last compilation while the ‘normal’ releases come like a flood, “Flowers Made Of Snow” lives up to the tradition. It features old and new bands, has mostly exclusive tracks, looks wonderfull and has a high level of musical quality. Apparently CMI wants to push its boundaries of the typical CMI concept. There are bands who are not even from Scandinavia, let alone Sweden and there is more folky music again. Here you get a good overview of the old and new CMI. Bands such as Ordo, ISN, BDN are present, but also new names such as Olen’K, All My Faith Lost…, The Last Hour, Apatheia, Hesperos and Sibellian. Definately a must-buy for old and new listeners!
Ah, a very nice compilation with known and unknown “neo classic & beautiful voices”. The bands here are: Ophelia’s Dream, Love Is Colder Than Death, Leitmotiv, Autumn, Clair Obsur, Avalist, Arcana, Ozymandias, End of Orgy, Jah Wobble, Jean-Christoph Grelier, Stoa, White Legion, Impressions of Winter, Elend and Raison D’Etre.
Some songs are exclusive, most are not. It’s a really good introduction to the atmospheric part of the gothic scene and in the vein of the Hyperium’s “Heavenly Voices” and “Neo-Classics” series.
Aeterna vol i was released at the very end of 1998 and volume two comes somewhat over a year later. The title is again “Aeterna mittelalter barock gothic compilation” which words I suppose you’ll understand even though they’re German. The back says again “Eine Reise in die musikalische Welt des Mittelalters” which I’ll translate for you, in case you don’t fully grab this. “A Journey in the musical world of the Middle Ages” and that’s exactly what this compilation is, more even than vol i actually, since that cd also had a few modern gothic tunes and vol ii is truely medieval. Even the word “neo-medieval” are not fit for the bands here and that’s something you rarely see in the gothic scene. The bands are unknown and a few better known. Most make a nice medieval kind of music, varying from dance/drink music to ‘gothic voices’ (church kind of singing) and everything in between. Some songs are more modern. All in all a good compilation to buy when you wonder about medieval music. I don’t like this one as much as the first volume, but still this is pretty nice, especially for a compilation. Apparently the label or distributor has more medieval cds, such as four “Miroque” compilations and “Cantara Magica vol. i”. I suppose these sounds are becoming more popular at last.
For link perposes, I’ll note the artists featured: Omi Wytars, Oswald, Die Streumer, Adaro, Vox, Galahad, Van Langen, Dies Natalis, Blackmore’s Night, Mediæval Bæbes, Ophelia’s Dream, Mothwing, Saltarello, Oxford Camerata, Hortus Musicus, Sarband, Carlos Peron & Peter Ehrlich and Hans-André Stamm.
Tempesta Noire is a very good upcoming folkband from Germany. So far they release three demos and two 7″s and they appeared on a handfull of compilations. The early releases where very folk-oriented, the later releases become more ‘poppy’ with every new disc. This also goes for “The Outset For…” which shows how poppy folkmusic can actually be. I don’t like this as much as I do the older releases, but it is still pretty good and I hope that this band will find a proper label to release a cd on soon.