Category Archives: neo classical

Arcana * Emerald (mcd 2012)

In the early days (1996) I loved Arcana, as everybody seemed to do. Then after a few releases everything kept sounding the same and especially when the vocals became ‘lyricless’ I lost interest. I heard a release every now and then and this time it is this 3 track, 13 minutes mini-cd that reached me. In the opening track Peter does not use his usual way of singing and the track is very nice. Then in the second track we are still presented soothing orchestrations and the vocals of the Bjärgö’s and it still sounds nice, but it just does not work for me. In track three, Cecilia tries a more operatic approach over a piano and soft orchestrations. Again, not for me… I am sure that people who do like Arcana (still) will also love this new mcd, but for me the magic has gone a long time ago. Oh well, what can one say about musical taste?
Links: Arcana, Cyclic Law
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iNsCissorS * Mnemosyne & Structure of Time (cd 2011)

Zoharum uses the term “cinematic ambient” to describe the music of iNScissorS, but as the cover already suggests (to me at least), the sound is more neoclassical / orchestral, but indeed there are also ambient elements to the sound. The album is a concept album telling the story of the Hellenic goddess of memory. The cd mostly comes accross as a soundtrack with soft (neo)classical music and eerie singing. The album is definately interesting, but I find myself losing my attention every now and then when the music remains the same too long. Soon after some soothing rhythm sets in and I like things better again. Definately an album that I have to hear a few times more before I can form a definate opinion.
Links: iNsCissorS, Zoharum
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A Wake A Week * Little Black Cloud (cd 2009)

Little Black CloudI noticed this title on a distro’s list and it was mostly that strange bandname that caught my attention. What might be even stranger is that this album was released on a label that appears to be a more technoish label (three “dubstep” compilations for example). A Wake A Week has nothing to do with techno though. The music is very slow and rather heavy orchestral music which is mostly very sad, but sometimes pretty dark. On the background you can hear all kinds of samples and sometimes there are for example drones or some noisy sound, but the majority of the music are the orchestrations. I think this will appeal to people who like The Protagonist for example. An original sound, well executed, a very nice surprise!
Links: A Wake A Week, Spectral Liquid
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Der Blaue Reiter * Nuclear Sun – Chronicle Of A Nuclear Disaster (2009)

Nuclear Sun - Chronicle Of A Nuclear DisasterI thought that Der Blaue Reiter was one of these popular orchestral martial projects and I never really listened to them. Actually the sound of this project is more mature than just some drumming over orchestrations with speech-samples. Der Blaue Reiter is more of a neoclassical project with here and there a martial track. Some tracks are very melancholic, others are more bombastic and martial. It is not that “Nuclear Sun” is a masterpiece, but much better than I expected and much better structured too.
Links: Der Blaue Reiter, Ars Musica Diffundere
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H.E.R.R. * XII Caesars (cd 2009)

XII CaesarsTwo Dutch reviews today. Two times soft orchestral music too. “XII Caesars” has the style of “Vondel’s Lucifer” (and I apparently missed the previous album), which means that it is not as bombastic and martial as the earlier material, but still a bit. The orchestrations are nice, the vocals as well, yep, HERR makes some fine music.
Links: H.E.R.R., Cold Spring

Nosens * The Final Step (2009)

The Final StepThe band sent me an email to ask if I wanted to review their free download album. Nosens make soundtrack-like orchestral / neo-classical music. The half hour album starts with a nice track reminding of Clint Mansell. Then follow some experimental classical soundscape tracks that are not too much of my liking, but the prelast track is again a bit darker and the last one quite bombastic. No masterpiece, but it is free, so it does not hurt to give this release a try if you like orchestral tunes.
Links: Nosens, Lomeanor, Wildness Records
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v/a * Swarm (2cd 2006 cold spring records)

It sure has been a cold spring so far, but fortunately the British label with this name comes with a heartwarming compilation. There are some famous bands, but also new names to me, especially on disc 1. The compilation opens with a heavy martial industrial track by Kreuzweg Ost, followed by ambient and industrial tracks (some pretty heavy) ending in the noise of Necropolis and Deadwood. The second disc begins with the new noise star Sistrenatus from Canada with an alternative version of track “IV” from the demo. Disc two is mostly dark droning noise in the beginning, but what are these terrible version of Von Thronstahl’s “Adoration, To Europe” and the poor track “At Dawn We Meet Our Maker” by A Challenge of Honour doing there? Also the last one may be a bit out of place, but “Stalingrad” by the Dutch band HERR is a nice track to close this compilation with. A compilation with old and new, good and bad tracks, but a good introduction to the Cold Spring label. read more

Letters From The Nuovo Europae :Neue Kultur Für Die Gulag-Massen: (magazine aug 2000)

Reviewing a magazine? Well, I was asked for that more than ones and since it actually fits the ‘dark music’ concept, why not? Still it is a little strange though. Several reviews from Sententia are used, I set up the internetpage, so it feels a bit like reviewing my own work. But, of course 90% of the work is done by Kommandant Dan Ghetu, so here we go.
The cover shows a very nice picture of a statue of Arno Breker (which was actually my choice…) and an impressive list of bands and organistations that are interviewed. To name a few: Von Thronstahl, Der Blutharsch, Tesco, Ain Soph, Cold Spring, Wutanes Heer, but there are a lot more. These names should give you an idea of the corner we can place the Letters in: euro-centric and militant folk and industrial. A slowly growing outcasted scene. Therefor you will also not be surprised to read some ‘strong ideology’ in these pages, so you better be not afraid of these.
Anyway, the interviews are at times pretty damn long, with original questions not only about the music, but about politics, culture, etc. To keep the magazine to agreeable proportions, the texts are printed very small, so you need a lot of light to read this. For my taste there are too many pictures to acompany the interviews, but the policy here is that there should also be something for the eye. The interviews are done by Dan Ghetu himself of course, but also by Matyunov Igor of Klek DVA and M. Magazine and Nihil from Klek DVA. The reviews are also by these three, “the mysterious FS from Switserland” and copied from the very pages you are reading now.
If you are interested in euro-centric music (which covers folk, but also ambient, industrial, noise, power electronics, etc.), this is a very good read and you might get a few nice surprises. Particularly nice to read are the interviews with Albin Julius (Der Blutharsch) and another with Elzbeth where you can read both versions of the split of The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud.
What I also found good to find out, is that even though most featured artists have a somehow similar worldview, all of them have very specific ideas themselves. From the extreme views of Josef K. of Von Thronstahl to the surprisingly moderate visions of Albin Julius.
Anyway, if you want a taster of the magazine, you can visit the webpage that we just put up last week. The printed version contains a lot more interviews and reviews (not to mention advertising of interesting labels!), so if you find the webpages interesting, you will definately need to buy the printed version as well.
A new issue is coming up, less music, more “Kultur”! read more

v/a * Il Sium E Il Vencul (lp 1999 sin organisation)

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. read more

v/a * Neo-Form 2 (online compilation 2006 neo-form) + v/a * Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense (online compilation 2006 neo-folk.it)

When the first online compilations were published by these two websites late 2004 and early 2005 it was in a way still new to offer music like this. A good way to get to know new bands though. More bands and websites started to release online compilations, but it is not really that this took a really high flight. After Ny Regret De Passe, Ad Perpetuam Gloriam and Neo-Form 1, I never really checked the websites where I found these compilations anymore. Recently for some reason I stumbled upon both and both proved to have new compilations available. In the case of Neoform, both old (Allerseelen, Tribe Of Circle, OTWATM) and many new bands. “Honi…” presents ‘two cds’ with mostly smaller or completely new bands. Like I said before, the website names suggest neofolk music, but obviously the websites are maintained by people who use this term to catch the whole scene. There is not much neofolk on the compilations, but more ambient, industrial, a bit of noise, military pop (but not as much as you may expect) and indeed, also a bit of neofolk. Both compilations are pretty good again, especially Neo-Form 2. Happy downloading! Oh, you may have to find software to unpack the files, but nothing that the internet can’t solve. <12/1/07><4> read more