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military pop

Dernière Volonté * Devant Le Miroir (cd 2006 hau ruck!)

In my opinion the term “military pop” mostly refers to this French act. Catchy music with a military touch. This new album was eagerly awaited and three years after the last real cd (between those two compilations with old material), finally here it is. The first time I listened to “Devant le Miroir”, I was a bit surprised. I expected a poppy sound, maybe even more than on “Les Blessures de l’Ombre”, but this new album is on the edge of ‘cheesyness’ at times. A few plays further I got a bit used to the Christmas bells and 80’ies music lines and the album proves to be another nice one. I don’t think that this new cd is better than “Les Blessures…”, but it sure aint a bad one either.

Dernière Volonté * Les Blessures de l’Ombre (cd 2003 hau ruck!)

It has been three years since “Le Feu Sacré” appeared on the same label. A very nice soft and slightly militant industrial cd which I still play quite frequently. Since then there have been a few magnificent compilation contributions and a while ago I got to see this Frenchman live on stage in Belgium together with Un Défi d’Honneur (also reviewed). A lot of great new tracks which even prove not to be all on this 60 minute-cd! I suppose that there are also compilations with Dernière that I don’t have then…
Anyway, this cd is even more accessible than the debut. Softer songs, more catchy melodies, more singing. I am definately not disappointed! There are a few tracks that aren’t too good (and which sound a bit like the very early Der Blutharsch recordings), but most tracks are really superb.

Dernière Volonté/Novy Svet * El Continent!/Mon Mercenaire! (7″ 2002 hau ruck!)

I love DV. The “Le Feu Sacré” cd is wonderfull and the compilation contributions that came afterwards are even better. Novy Svet, well, I think they are funny here and there, but I don’t like their crazy music too much. But since I missed the first DV 7″ I didn’t want to miss this one too. This 7″ is not as much a split cd in the sense of one track per band, but two tracks recorded together. The result is a mix between the music of both bands that sounds pretty nice! Just try to imagine a mix between these two acts and decide whether you want to get this 7″. I like it quite a bit.

Der Blutharsch * When Did Wonderland End (cd+dvd 2005 wkn)

However much I enjoy the militant and bombastic sound of Der Blutharsch, it was about time for something new. So, Der Blutharsch became a quartet instead of a duo, attracted a couple of guest musicians and vocalists and left the ‘postindustrial’ sound for a more ‘rocky’ one. I have heard the cd a few times now and I think I don’t like the new style as much as the old, but like I said, I am glad that the new cd isn’t just another too typical Der Blutharsch album. Not that the sound changed drastically by the way. If you take the last few albums and listen to the minor progression, this new cd is a bigger step forward. Both electric and acoustic guitars have been added with which I am not always too happy with, but most of the tracks are still enjoyable. It seems that Bain Wolfkind (Novo Homo) has had some influence on the style, but essentially the sound is still Der Blutharsch, but more eh… poppy? (by lack of a better description.)
In a way there are a few tracktitles this time too. One track is obviously the title song, track 6 is a new version of “Frost Flowers” from the DIJ album “Take Care And Control” and the DVD has a videoclip of a track called “So Bring Your Iron Rain Down Upon Me” which is also on the cd. The clip -by the way- is nice, but not as funny as on “Time Is Thee Enemy!”.
Overall I would say that you may have to get used to the album and maybe you will hear the Der Blutharsch sound and like it, but maybe you may think it to be too different for your taste. As for me -like I said- I am glad about the progression, but time will tell if I am happy with the new sound. One thing is certain, there are a couple of great tracks on the album that I liked immediately. Minor points, the album is again very short and within these 45 minutes there is empty space for an awfull ‘ghost track’.

Der Blutharsch * Time Is Thee Enemy! (picture 7″ 2004 wkn)

Another one-sided picture 7″ that is only sold at concerts. I was in Waregem (Belgium) last saturday (1 may) in the same place where I bought the very first Der Blutharsch 12″ at a TMLHBAC concert 7 years ago. Not stuffed with people like earlier Der Blutharsch shows this time, but still enough audience in The Steeple. Novo Homo started the evening with a strange performance, Deutsch Nepal continued with a better version of the show that he wanted to give in Groningen a couple of weeks ago. Then Der Blutharsch entered the stage with four people, playing old tracks, news tracks and tracks that I didn’t know. I don’t believe that the song on this 7″ was one of them though. This 7″ has a rather folky, sung track and is quite enjoyable. No idea how you should get it, but I suggest just go to one of the shows or wait for it to appear on Ebay.

Der Blutharsch * Time Is Thee Enemy! (cd 2004 wkn)

Quite a while after the vinyl version follows the cd. Again only 45 minutes including silence for a ghost-track. A sticker on the plastic promising a video-clip, so now I have an idea why I got the cdr with video a while ago. Too bad, though, since I can’t play the video on “Time…” neither on my dvd player (which plays anything) nor on my computer!! Hopefully the video is the same, so at least I already had it…
To the music then. “Time…” is a natural follower of “Fire Danger Season”. The music is a bit less militant, there is more humour, more cheerfullness, more singing and more guest-musicians. Most tracks are again very enjoyable and Herr Julius proves that he does not want to keep doing exactly the same. Still this cd is not better than the previous and does not really come near “The Track…” or “The Pleasures…”. I can asure you that when you like Der Blutharsch, you will not be disappointed, but do not expect a masterpiece.

Der Blutharsch * video cd (vcd 2004 wkn)

Herr Julius sent me a copy of this strange promo cd with a pack of cards and a poster. I don’t know if it is for sale and since I don’t have the new album yet, I don’t know if this is ‘the MTV-version’ of one of the tracks of “Time Is Thee Enemy”, so I can’t give you too much information. Anyway, the cd contains an *.mpg file of only 61.164 kB, so I suppose it will be available on the internet soon. It is a 3’10” track with a funny bombastic and ‘metalish’ sound. An amusing track for sure. The videoclip -then- shows a party of Der Blutharsch fans. It plays in some kind of hall with people with in uniforms having dinner. Amusing are all the Der Blutharsch goodies. All bowls, glasses, plates, cloths, flags, etc. have Der Blutharsch logos or texts. The clip is nicely silly with drunk people and references to vampire and 50’ies films.

Der Blutharsch * When All Else Fails! (cd 2001 wkn/tesco)

The new full-length of Der Blutharsch comes as a digipack and as a double 10″. The album opens with a boring intro, but is followed by a very nice track. Herr Julius had some company this time which resulted in some variation to previous albums. There are female vocals and guest male vocals. Actually, there are vocals in almost every track. The music isn’t as militant as before, but still in the bombastic Der Blutharsch style. Just imagine the sung tracks of before with guest vocals and you have a pretty good idea of this 50 minute album. Maybe not as good as “The Pleasures…” or “The Track…”, but still a pretty good album with a couple of very nice tracks.
And have a look at the new WKN page, but be patient, since it is very slow!

Der Blutharsch * The Pleasures Received In Pain (cd 1999 wkn)

Yes ladies and gentlemen, there is a new cd by Der Blutharsch. People who have been reading these pages for some more time, will know that this is half of the magnificent (but deceased) duo The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud. Listening to “The Pleasures Received In Pain” it becomes very clear that this man also pulled the strings in The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud. While previous releases of Der Blutharsch were very industrial, this new cd is pretty dark folk industrial, like the later material of TMLHBAC.
The cd opens with a single violin and then some dark ambient. The second track is a truely magnicent track in the good old TMLHBAC vein, only the vocals are male here. The third track is a bit more militant sounding with singing, a bit as what we know from the first cd. I wouldn’t have blinked twice if I had found the following track on a cd of TMLHBAC. The next one is a totally brilliant dark orchestral industrial track with vocals. This kind of music is quite typical for Der Blutharsch, but also reminds a a bit of the early works of In Slaughter Natives. The cd remains pretty dark after this, with some softer and heavier parts and to the end a bit more folky again. The cd closes off with a long and not too good ambient track. There are remarkably many samples on this cd and it isn’t entirely like the debut. Of course there is no need for that when a cd has brilliants pieces as “The Pleasures…” has!
Between the debut and this cd, there have been several Der Blutharsch releases. A mcd/video-box, a mcd, a live-mcd, vinyls and such. All extremely expensive, limited and not even that good. The two full-lenghts have been brilliant and as Albin continues to grow in this way, he might really fill the gap that fell with the demise of The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud. (7/3/00)

Dernière Volonté * Commemoration (2cd 2004 hau ruck!)

A nicely packed double cd with old and unreleased material of this great French act. The first cd starts with an old 7” on Hau Ruck! and this old material is surely not as good as the newer. Further you get other 7”’s, compilation tracks and unreleased material (but not the brilliant Der Blutharsch cover from “Fire Danger Season”). Most of the music comes quite close to ‘the Dernière standard’, which means: pretty good. Also you get to hear another side of Dernière, a more industrial side. About half of the tracks are the accessible soft melodic tracks with singing, but there is also harscher material to be heard. Two cds for the price of one makes this a good buy.