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Sect * Imperative (cd 2009)

“Imperative” might not be a masterpiece, but it is a nice album. “Sect” creates music with orchestral samples that are usually very fast, cut and looped. This makes the music cheerfull in a way. There is drumming and marchdrums in most tracks, but I would not call this album “martial”. Besides the orchestrations there is usually nothing to hear. Just a few tracks have vocal(sample)s or speech samples.
Links: Sect, Rage In Eden

NDE * Krieg Blut Ehre Asche (cd 2009)

Yet another project of Dead Man’s Hill, Alle Sagen Ja, Eisengrau, etc. NDE makes a mix between black metal, martial industrial, bombastic orchestrations and noise. The result is a heavy pompous sound with distorted screamed vocals and raging guitars. Quite extreme, quite original, not alway quite good. There are some nice orchestral noisy tracks, but as soon as the guitars set in, I loose my interest. I think this album will appeal to people who like the later sound of Karjalan Sissit with the noisy orchestrations and screamed vocals, but then with guitars added.
Links: NDE, Cold Spring

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

Horologium * Le Paradis Des Chasseurs (2008)

Le Paradis Des ChasseursI remember why I stopped following Horologium. “Le Paradis Des Chausseurs” not only is another release built with looped classical music and opera samples (not too well done either), but also almost entirely exists of tracks that I already had and I do not own all Horologium’s releases. Nope, not my thing.
Links: Horologium, Twilight Records

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

A Challenge Of Honour * Leonidas (cd 2009)

Leonidas“Leonidas” is again an orchestral release of the Dutch A Challenge Of Honour. The music is quite soft, slightly bombastic and (march)drumming is added and this time does not have the poppy sound of the previous album that I reviewed. 45 Minutes which are (I am afraid I have to say it again) not really boring, but not particularly good either.
Links: A Challenge Of Honour, Old Europa Café

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

Von Thronstahl * Germanium Metallicum (cd 2009)

Germanium MetallicumIn an exquisite digipack comes the new album of Von Thronstahl. This controversial band will amplify the opinions about them with this pretty political release. A “musical terrorists network” was founded (with a funny “wanted” leaflet in the middle of the booklet) and the quotes and lyrics that come with each track are clear enough (but can of course still be either fuel or water depending on your own ideas). 19 Tracks seemingly going over most of Von Thronstahl’s musical history with orchestral tracks, marchdrums (fierce of subtle), rocksongs, neofolk and a lot of martial bombast, but also the more sound-collage oriented tracks. Especially the first part of the album is very good with a variety of good tracks and songs with of course a load of samples. The overall length is 70 minutes. For people worrying about the musical direction of the band: the way the songs are created may remind of “Bellum, Sacrum Bellum?!”, but sound does not really. On the other hand, neither is the sound as dark as on the early releases (which I guess will not be topped anymore). “Germanium Metallicum” is a real Von Thronstahl album and like all of the others, it is pretty good too.
Links: Von Thronstahl, Trutzburg Thule, Cold Spring

Arditi * Omne Ensis Impera (cd 2008 equilibrium)

Omne Ensis ImperaI have not really followed Arditi. I remember that they sounded like Puissance when the name changed and however that might not be boring, it is not the kind of music that I listen to a lot. Actually expecting still a pompous orchestral industrial sound, I listened to “Omne Ensis Impera”, but the sound has gone much more in the neoclassical direction. Arditi still sounds quite bombastic at times, but nothing like the old days; the orchestral violence is replaced for well structured dark orchestral music. There may be drumming and marchdrums, but this does not sound like your average martial industrial project. “Omne Ensis Impera” might not be a masterpiece, but I am positively surprised by the new direction of Arditi and I will listen to this album a few times for before I make my final decision. For the moment I rate this album thus:

Links: Arditi, Equilibrium Music

Arcana * Raspail (cd 2008 kalinkaland)

RaspailI was just wondering if Arcana would finally have found a way up or kept doing the same thing. They kept doing the same thing… “Raspail” is another soft orchestral release and Peter seems to keep trying to sound like Brendan Perry (and the music reminds of Dead Can Dance too too often). The first tracks are the most interesting, but after a while Arcana starts sounding like themselves again too much. “Raspail” is not a bad album, but it simply does not work for me anymore.
Links: Arcana, Kalinkaland Records