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heavenly voices

Angelic Foe ‎* Mother Of Abominations (cd 2015)

Angelic Foe is half of the late Arcana. I did not know Angelic Foe, but Annmari Thim and Cristian Ellingsen did release an album before. On Prikosovenie, which is fitting, because Thim’s singing remind of the “heavenly voices” type of music of times past. The vocals remind of sToa.

There are other comparisons for Angelic Foe. In the more tranquil moments the music reminds me of music released on the Hyperium label. There is also a lot of drumming which brings memories to In The Nursery. Arcana itself does not make a strange comparison either, but Angelic Foe is (even) more pompous. Speaking of Arcana, Peter Bjärgo mastered the album and Cecilia Bjärgo made the cover photo.

“Mother Of Abominations” is a nice album to jump back in time a little with bombastic, orchestral tunes with soprano vocals.

Links: Angelic Foe, Equilibrium Music

Jocelyn Montgomery with David Lynch * Lux Vivens (1998 polygram)

David Lynch has made a lot more music than I knew. Yesterday I wrote a little about a new classical soundscape cd and some jazz(rock) releases, later I ran into this album. “Lux Vivens” is the music of the mystic Hildegard von Bingen which Jocelyn Montgomery apparently sings a lot. For this release David Lynch made the background music which in line of most releases that I review I would call “dark ambient” and “soundscapes” and Montgomery’s opera voice would be “heavenly voices”. There is also a little bit of “noise” and here and there a guitar. I am positivily surprised by this album. The “low” (Lynch does not think this album is “dark” since “dark could imply evil”) threatening sound goes wonderfully with the eerie voice of Montgomery. A very enjoyable album!

v/a * Riefenstahl (compilation 2cd 1999 vaws)

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.

v/a * Immortal Legends (2cd 2000 arborlon music)

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.

v/a * Gloria Victis Vae Victis (cd 2005 war office propaganda)

In a magnificent wooden package comes this WOP compilation with 20 tracks. Most of the bands are the established, but smaller bands (like Der Arbeiter, Rukkanor or Omnicore), other bands are (a bit) bigger (Belborn, Pazival, Toroidh, Karjalan Sissit, HERR), but no ‘top sellers’. The new names to me are Out of Sight (a nice weird ‘industrial’ track), Ait! (industrial), Krepulec (ambient industrial) and Vishudda Kali (what kind of music is this?). All tracks but the Karjalan one are new to me and the biggest surprise is already the opener. I know Cawatana as just another unimaginable neofolk band, but here we have a very martial and loud industrial track. Not brilliant maybe, but certainly surprising. For the rest mostly industrial music, some Parzival weirdness and more tranquil sounds towards the end. A nice compilation in a magnificent package (too bad that cutbacks had to be made on the booklet), limted to 111 copies (very special version) and 777 copies. Sold out from the label, but some distros seem to have copies left.

v/a * Flowers Made Of Snow (2cd 2004 cold meat industry)

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!

v/a * Cantara (compilation cd 1999 angelwings)

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.

Nova * Utopica Musa (cd 2001 cruel moon)

I don’t know what it is. Did Cold Meat get overexcited by the success of the Italian Ataraxia that they started searching for more Italian ‘medieval’ bands for their sublabel Cruel Moon? I already wasn’t too happy with the “Night Thoughts” cd of Gothica (2000), but this Nova cd really is far below the level that we may expect from Cold Meat. “Utopica Musa” contains some gothic sounds (electronic music with some guitar) with female vocals which are in the best moments alright. Totally unexciting and really nothing for Cold Meat. Also the booklet is very primitive, which seems to become a Cold Meat trading mark……..

Der Feuerkreiner * La ‘Nvidia (12″ 2004 neuropa records)

Neuropa is a relatively new label from Belgium. This 12″ is already their 8th release though. However the bandname is German (and I haven’t been able to find out what it means!), Der Feuerkreiner comes from Italy. This 12″ has four tracks. Side A opens with a very nice piece in a ‘forgotten style’: heavenly voices, but then with quite a bit of drumming. Side B opens with the title track which is a traditional folksong, but the twist Der Feuerkreiner gave to it, will please anyone who likes Gae Bolg; the track is very bombastic with a lot of drumming, yet folky. Then we have two “Mondendinge”n which are a bit too monotous ambient-like tracks. Especially in two tracks a very nice and original band.