neofolk

A Challenge Of Honour * Wilhelm Gustloff (cd 2001 stahlklang audio)

This is a rerelease an of the earlier released promo-cdr “Wilhelm Gustloff”, but this time with additional tracks. The material for “Wilhelm Gustloff” was recorded together by Johan K. and Peter S. so this is the transition between when ACOH was still a soloproject of Johan K. (ger) to when it became a soloproject of Peter S. (nl). The “Gustloff” mcd was recorded in march/april 2001 and the additional tracks are only of Peter S. and were recorded in august/september 2001.
“Gustloff” tells the story of the ship with the name “Wilhelm Gustloff” that was shot down by a Russian submarine on 30 januari 1945. Samples are used from the 1959 movie “Nacht Fiel Über Gotenhafen” by Frank Wisbar. The music is not as bombastic as on the latest full-length cd “Only Stones Remain” (see elsewhere), but still ‘bombastic industrial’ so to say. The extra tracks are more orchestral and Peter also makes some neo-folkish music sometimes.
Anyway, again a very nice cd and again you have to be very quick. There are only 50 copies available and it seems that also “Only Stones Remain” is almost sold out. Be sure to get in contact with Peter quickly to see if there still are copies left for you. I can highly recommand both “Gustloff” and “Only Stones Remain” when you like ‘bombastic industrial’ (say, Dernière Volonté, Der Blutharsch, etc.). This one comes in a very funny package as well. <31/10/01><4>

Von Thronstahl * “Lichttauffe” Leipzig 2000 (7″ 2001 fasci-nation)

Fuel on the fire of the disaster around the 9th “Wave Gotik Treffen” in Leipzig in 2000. A festival that began like always with 30.000 ‘grufties’ in an Eastern German city. Pretty soon the mayor of Leipzig and the organisation ‘found out’ that there were bands sceduled with a questionable philosophy and Death In June and Von Thronstahl were the first to be forbidden. Still Von Thronstahl entered the stage and after 2 or 3 live tracks, they left and put on the upcoming cd “Imperium Internum”. After this Ostara played a fairly normal show. Anyway, more bands were forbidden, the organisation ran out of money and chaos was complete. Von Thronstahl was blamed for the nazi-controverse and fell from grace in the opinions of many people. Parts from newspapers about the “rechtsradikal Josef K.” are printed on the inlay of the 7″. The fact that the band decided to release the recordings of their forbidden concert will probably not heal wounds.
Personally I haven’t seen the show in Leipzig. I had just heard of Von Thronstahl before the festival and I had no idea that they were actually supposed to play before I got there. When I finally found the “Parkbühne” the band had just left the stage and also it was there that I heard about the controverse around Von Thronstahl and other bands. Also at the festival (a day earlier I believe) I bought my first Von Thronstahl record in the form of their “Sturmzeit” 10″. Later of course there were the cd and recently the second cd “E Pluribus Unum” which are also reviewed in these pages.
The 7″ contains the tracks “Mitternachtsberg” and “Heimat, Mutterboten, Vaterland”, is limited to 500 copies, available from Josef himself, Vaws, Cold Spring or IDM (“initiative identität durch musik”). Apparently the 7″ is dedicated to Archangel Michael who is proudly depicted on the front.
Inspite of all the controversy the music sounds very good in my ears, the sound-quality of the live recordings is agreeable and the package wonderfull. Late november I am going to see how controversial a Von Thronstahl show really is when they play in London. I expect that as usual things are blown way out of proportion and personally I may not agree with the band’s philosophy I still didn’t get offended or scared by this wonderfull musical project.

Of The Wand And The Moon * I Crave For You / In A Robe Of Fire (7″ 2001 prophecy productions)

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It was a nice show of mr. Larsson and friends yesterday in Bochum (ger). Too bad about the other two bands (Tenhi and Dornenreich unplugged) who bored the shit out of me. Of The Wand wasn’t even headliner…
Anyway, I didn’t have this 7″ yet, so I decided to buy it. It contains two tracks in alternative versions. I Crave For You this time with Matt Howden and In A Robe Of Fire this time without Matt Howden in contrary to the versions on the latest cd (see review elsewhere). However to be played at 33 rpm, this is a very short 7″. Only for collectors I guess.

Von Thronstahl * E Pluribus Unum (cd 2001 cold spring)

This is the second cd of Von Thronstahl. “E Pluribus Unum” contains contributions to compilation cds and other rare material, which I actually find a bit cheap for a second cd. On the other hand, it makes up for 64 minutes and there is also material that I didn’t have, so… What you will find are the contributions to Riefenstahl, Cavalcare La Tigra, Thorak, Audacia Imperat, Za Dom Spremni, the upcoming Iron Guard / Cordreanu compilation, Judas Kiss magazine compilation and some compilation of the Russian RWCDistribution. Further live in Leipzig, the 10″ and some re-works. All in all mostly unknown to me or different from what I already had. Of course most material is quite old, some tracks even sound more like Forthcoming Fire than Von Thronstahl. Also there is no coherence between the songs, but still this is a very nice cd. I am very curious about new material.

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The second cd of Von Thronstahl (which I first reviewed on 29/9/01) contains hard-to-get material. Compilation contributions, the 10″, etc. The material is a bit older and not all is as good as on the first cd. Still this is a very good album that has now been made available again in a digipack. Beside the packing and the order of the pages in the booklet (nothing left out this time), this new edition is completely the same. Dark industrial, ‘neofolk’, orchestal tunes, martial tracks and at the end a long compilation of ‘traditional music’. Again available for those who missed it.

Aurum Nostrum/Sonne Hagal * Sinister Practices In Bright Sunshine (lp 2001 ring tor elementarer klangkunst)

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This is the first time that I hear Aurum Nostrum, since their previous lp on the same label passed me somehow. I understood that it was a drum-oriented neo-folk band, but the four songs on this lp are just tranquil neo-folk with not much drumming and not too special or good either. Also the Sonne Hagal songs are fairly traditional, but with some ‘other’ elements like we may expect after the 10″ on Eislicht. Anyway, both sides are alright, but nothing smashing.

A Challenge Of Honour * Only Stones Remain (cd 2001 divine comedy)

Strange history of the band. First ACOH was a German named Johan König, who got to know Peter S. of Above The Ruins / Materialschlacht, who eventually released the “The Right Place” demo on his Stahlklang Audio label. Later Johan and Peter made some music together and now ACOH is only Peter S. This definately did do anything wrong to the music though! The demo is alright. I haven’t heard the cd-r “Wilhelm Gustloff” (which will be rereleased) yet, but this cd is actually pretty good. Martial industrial reminding a bit of Dernière Volonté sometimes, but mostly sounding very original. Pretty simple, sometimes orchestral, sometimes folky and with a few magnificent tracks. Including two tracks from the demo “Only Stones Remain” is a 52 minute cd with 11 tracks. Plans and contracts for future releases are already there and I am very curious what the future for ACOH will bring! <29/9/01><4>

v/a * On The Brink Of Infinity (cd 1999 chthonic streams)

Here we have a very descent compilation cd from the label of Derek Rush. You will find known and unknown bands, but all in an mysterious and/or neo-folkish style. The bands featured are Howden/Wakeford (neo-classical folky music), Empyrium (dark orchestal), Arcane Art (orchestal), Anima In Fiamme (classical), Funerary Call (dark ambient/ industrial), Nothvs Filivs Mortis (dark ambient), Kerovnian (dark ambient), Gruntsplatter (noise), 15 Delights Of Dionysius (“soundsourcing bones”), 4th Sign Of The Apocalypse (dark industrial), Dream Into Dust (dark industrial) and Backworld (neo-folk). Most tracks are really good and there sure is some original stuff on this compilation. It is deffinately a lot better than most compilations that I have!