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The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud * Ad 18-8-1997 (bootleg)

I don’t usually buy bootlegs, especially not when they reach prices such as the L.A.A. bootleg (see review elsewhere). This one is on the Cold Spring mailorder list for the price of a normal cd and comes in two versions, a silver on brown packaging and a bronze on grey packaging. There is 36 minutes of music which is supposedly recorded at the 1997 Wave Gotik Treffen (which is always in May, so 18/8/97 must be the release date or so). The sound quality is not too great, all tracks are well-known and the length is a bit short too (it sounds like have a show). The packaging is nice though, a larger flat ‘promo’ package with a smaller one inside. The front you can see on the right, the back of the outer cover says “The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud” and “ad 18-8-1997”. The small cover has the same image as the outer, but slightly different and this time the back says “Der Tage, als die Pest zum Treffen kam” (“the day the plague came to the gathering”). Undoubtely neither Elzbeth nor Albin have approved this release and yet it is available from ‘regular channels’. It does almost complete my TMLHBAC collection though and I must say that it was good to get something new of the best band ever in my hands, even when it is something illegal…

v/a * The Fossil Dungeon (cd 2000 memento mori)

Dark Age Productions (DAP) was ‘founded’ to make the Cernunnos’ Woods demos look more “official”. This man now runs the Battle Helm heavy metal magazine for which I do the alternative pages When three demos had seen the light of day (94/95/96) “Bard Algol Eriboas” decided to release the demo of another band “Under Crushing Wings” (usa 96) which was more or less the start of DAP growing into a label. Then a folkrock band caught Bard’s ear and he urged the band to go for a more medieval approach and two …The Soil Bleeds Black demos were released. Two of the three members of this band (the Riddick twins) proved to be active music makers who also ran a tape label of their own called “7th Key Creations” that for example released the early Equitant demos (known for playing in the metalband Absu). Later the Riddicks and Bard decided to work together and more later sir Prosciptor MacGovern (also of Absu) joined the ranks and DAP from then on consisted of three “Towers”.
The three towers more of less independantly released their material under the DAP banner and still all releases were limited to about 100 copies in most cases. Of the 20 releases before the split of the towers, I only miss two items. The full discography is (with all other information) in the booklet of The Fossil Dungeon.
Somewhere in 1996 Cernunnos’ Woods was asked by the Swedish cultlabel for a cd on a to be founded sublabel “Cruel Moon International”. Roger Karmanik also showed interest in …The Soil Bleeds Black (in my ears always the best DAP act). Things didn’t exacly go as planned.
In 1996 DAP released a red double 12” of Prosciptor called “The Venus Bellona”. This would be released on cd by Cruel Moon being the third DAP act on CMI. CMI not only released the cd, but also a vinyl version that more or less made the DAP vinyl superfluous. Other problems caused the third act (Prosciptor) being the first Cruel Moon release, the second act (TSBB) the second and Cernunnos’ Woods was released after two long years. Plans for an Equitant on CMI were never carried out.
Profane Grace also became quite well-known, but more in the dark industrial scene, releasing cds on the same label who made this compilation possible (and for who Michael Riddick does the artwork).
As you probably know …The Soil Bleeds Black was the fastest rising star of the DAP firmanent. After the cd on CMI, they released two cds on Draenor Productions (a sublabel of Napalm Records from Austria) and now they are on the notorious World Serpent label.
The tracks on “The Fossil Dungeon” as mostly taken directly from the mastertapes for the demos. 4 Tracks are exclusive, Cernunnos’ Woods, Profane Grace, Prosciptor and …The Soil Bleeds Black. The music ranges from medieval, to atmospheric and extremely dark ritual industrial.
Because of the ‘strange’ and mostly pretty good music, DAP was called the “American CMI”. After several years of activity, changing interests, quarrels and maybe a lack of things to be released, caused the demise of DAP. The second Prosciptor cd “The Serpentine Has Risen” was released after the break-up by Prosciptor himself. “The Fossil Dungeon” may be regarded as DAP 022, the final release of the label.
The Riddicks have plans to continue DAP as a new sublabel of CMI under the name… The Fossil Dungeon.

v/a * Miroque vol. v (cd 2000 nova tekk)

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….

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 * Eisteddfod (compilation cd 1999 cynfeirdd)

Fortunately I’ve been able to still get a copy of this cultsampler. This review is meant more as referance than as suggested buying.
The cd opens with a not too good track of Der Blutharsch (see cds reviewed elsewhere) and continues with a brilliant song of Gae Bolg and The Church of Fand, Scivias, a band that I knew from the Mysteria Mythrae compilation and who recently contributed a song to the Lichttauffe compilation (also reviewed in these pages). Then two bands that I didn’t yet know: Tor Lundvall (Sol Invictus layout-artist) with an orchestral ambient track and Skald with an alright folky song with female vocals. Next up are That Summer (rather gothic sounding folky music), Argine (a bit Current 93 like song), l’Orchestra Noir (an orchestral side project of Sol Invictus), Tragos Adein (medieval/folk music with female vocals), The Soul That Creates (orchestral, quite nice) and then a brilliant track of a band that I never heard off: Omne Datum Optimum. I think this band is of the Cynfeirdd people themselves. The song opens with nice atmospheric ambient and goes over in a great marchingmusic like song with marchdrums, a flute and heavy beats. The pre-last band is Hollenfurt that I already knew from Immortal Legends (see review). On this compilation their contribution is very atmospheric. The last track is a long one of the brilliant Spanish act Nothvs Filivs Mortis. Great and haunting dark ambient this time. Also see other compilation reviews for this band.
All in all a nice compilation with some promising bands that I didn’t know yet and new or different tracks from band that I did know.

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.

v/a * Aeterna vol ii (cd 2000 credo)

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.

The Soil Bleeds Black * Mirror Of The Middle Ages (cd 2003 the fossil dungeon)

It has been almost two years (may 2002) that I reviewed the LP version of the album. The cd version was to follow in the summer of that year on World Serpent, but apparently things didn’t go as planned. A year after the lp (april 02 and 03) the cd was released by the Riddick twins’ own Fossil Dungeon label. Because I (like others?) expected that the cd would be the same as the lp, I never got it. Well, this isn’t really true! The cd not only has slightly different artwork, but also some tracks have been replaced. Therefor after all this time I can recommand this cd to anyone who like the neo-medieval music of this American band afterall. Read the other review in the archive for more info.