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Triarii * Muse In Arms (cd 2008 eternal soul)

Muse In ArmsMy reviews of the previous two Triarii albums are very critical and it would be easy to be the same about this new one. “Muse In Arms” sounds like it has been recorded during the same sessions as “Pièce Héroique” (2006), it sounds almost completely the same. I have never given Triarii points for originality, he tends to either sound like other projects or like himself, but you know what?, from the vast stream of bombastic industrial and martial music, it is only Triarii that I still put in the player every now and then. The previous albums are more consistent in sound and level of quality than for example Sophia or Karjalan Sissit and the style has better survived the years than Wappenbund or A Challenge of Honour. “Muse In Arms” is again built of sampled classical music and opera, layered with martial drumming, making a bombastic piece of orchestal and martial music. With vocals here and there, simple but effective melodies, Triarii manages to work on my mood. A magnificent track such as “Europa” (are the lyrics as dubious as I think to hear?) will most likely still “make me go whoo” in a couple of years. Even when the martial orchestral sound is almost dead and I rarely play it these days, “Muse In Arms” is a good album to ‘relive old times’ every now and then. A sound (and lyrics?) that will disturb some people, but who gives a damn? I don’t know if Triarii has a message and actually I don’t care, the music makes me feel glorious and victorious just like many years ago a few industrial projects managed to do. Again perhaps not the most original album, but a great one and highly suggested to people who want to get a great new piece of martial music.
Links: Triarii, Eternal Soul

v/a * …Where Tattered Clouds Are Stranding (2cd 2008 the eastern front)

The Eastern Front has released a very nice double cd compilation with a whole range of famous bands on the first cd, most of them not from their own label. Cd 1 (“Grief”) has bands such as the resurrected Belborn, Cold Fusion, Cawatana, Kammer Sieben and Horologium and includes a cooperation between H.E.R.R. and Von Tronstahl. Most tracks are bombastic and militant, sometimes more orchestral, sometimes more neofolky and in most cases quite enjoyable. The second cd (“Birth of Psyche”) has mostly more minimalistic and ambient tracks from Artefactum, Rose Rovine, Shining Vril, Bisclaveret and a range of projects that are new to me. This cd surely isn’t bad, but less interesting than the first cd, but the projects Wach and Sitra Ahra offer a nice surprise. Both cds have a running time of well over an hour, so you get what you pay for! The simple but very nice booklet looks good, like we get used to from this label and also the limited amount of 1000 copies goes for this compilation. I noticed that it is available from about every descent mailorder, so it shouldn’t be too hard to lay your hands on a copy.
Link: The Eastern Front

Arkane * Enraptured Serene Mesmerism (cd 2008 seduction prod.)

However the band’s Myspace names this album its debut, a little over five years ago, I reviewed an album of theirs, released on The Fossil Dungeon. This “Arcana Elitism” opens with a pompous orchestral track and continues with more tranquil and monotous tracks. Reading my review of the time, I think I was somewhat impressed by the album. When playing “Enraptured Serene Mesmerism” it appears to me that the music is a little too monotous and repetative and on playing the earlier album again, I can say the same of most of the tracks on it. Arkane (or xArkanex) makes soft orchestral music with (looped) orchestral samples. There are (wordless) female vocals on some tracks and male recitations on some others, but the music remains quite the same. All in all the music isn’t really bad, but more might have happened in it in my opinion. The earlier album was more varried in better in my ears. “Enraptured Serene Mesmerism” seems to be self-released, so I guess you have to visit the band’s Myspace to find out how to get a copy.
Link: Arkane

Across The Rubicon * Elegy (cd 2007 rage in eden)ii

I already listened to a few tracks on the band’s Myspace when I reviewed the Cold Fusion album. The review of that album just as well applies to “Elegy”. Regardless of the development in the scene, ATR just made a bombastic, orchestral, martial industrial album as if we were five years back in time. Just like with Cold Fusion, the sound is not brilliant or original, but really not bad at all and certainly not boring. I guess these two albums are for people who still long for this sound and I must say, it doesn’t hurt to play an album like this once in a while and when new ones are released every now and then, I don’t have to play the same albums all the time.
Links: Across The Rubicon, Rage In Eden Records

A Challenge Of Honour / Der Feuerkreiner * Iberia 2007 (cd 2007 dagaz music)

I used to follow ACOH quite fanatically, but recently I miss most of Peter’s releases. What I do hear does not always sound too great. Of Der Feuerkreiner I have the first “La ‘Nvidia” vinyl and the first cd. It is a nice band with an original sound and some nice tracks here and there. When I saw this split I decided to get it and find out what these two projects are upto nowadays. ACOH opens with a statement against the occupation of Tibet (very good) and continues with “Arabian Tradition”, a rather easy-to-listen track. The next track comes from the “Verdun 1916” album which I don’t have and has the older ACOH sound with orchestral samples and a slightly military touch. The next track comes from “Monuments” which I do have, but I don’t recognise the track. It is also more accessible, but quite minimalistic and not too good.
Der Feuerkreiner contributed three tracks, the first of which is called “Dioniso”, a melodic and orchestral piece with a nice rhythm and a nice sound. “Moderne Landschaft” is more of an industrial track and was recorded live in Bologna. The sound and the track are not too good. The last track of this album is another live version of “Nein!”, but a much lesser version than the one on the “Ny Regret…” online compilation.
Besides a few nice tracks, this 30 minutes cd is quite disappointing…
Links: A Challenge Of Honour, Der Feuerkreiner, Dagaz Music

Horologium * The World Is Not Enough (cd 2007 neuropa records)

I am afraid that I have vastly over-estimated this Polish project. My first encounter was “The Fire Sermon”, a very nice ‘ambient noise’ album with an original sound. After that I bought some of the limited releases which mostly consist of some orchestral music build of classical music samples which sometimes sounds nice, but are mostly just making something of somebody else’s work. Unfortunately the same goes again for “The World…”. This time the sound is a bit more bombastic and here and there martial, but still the music remains a collage of samples and nowhere comes to the level of “The Fire Sermon” and not at all regarding style. Too bad, after a flying start Horologium seems to become just another project in the scene. The album is not horrible, but if you asked me, I would advice to spend your money on something else.
links: Horologium, Neuropa

Rome * Confessions d’un Voleur d’Ames (cd 2007 cold meat industry)

Rome from Luxembourg has delighted us with a magnificent mcd and a brilliant full-length and only months later there is a new album, again on CMI. I hope this tempo will not continue and lead to overkill. “Confessions” is again a masterpiece. It is slightly different in style, but still ‘very much Rome’. The bombastic and orchestral opener may appeal to the lovers of the popular martial industrial style, but again the cd is very tranquil and melancholic. Just on a few occasions you will get something more industrial. Actually, this new cd is more tranquil with accoustic guitar and singing than on the previous releases. Besides this you will hear ambient, wave-like sounds, industrial, orchestrations and here and there a martial tone (especially in the background samples). Rome as a concept is carefully put together with a great ear and eye for details. The music is multi-layered with a lot of things happening on the background. This care also shows during live-performances where a beautiful film is projected on the background which goes perfectly with the songs and the lyrics. If you like the previous releases, you will also like “Confessions”. As a personal note I have to add that the previous releases (which I have put on one disc and always play as one thing) have more songs that really give me gooseflesh and work on my emotion, so in this regard “Confessions” may be a little less good than “Berlin” and “Nera”. Maybe this is because the novelty is gone, I cannot tell. In any case, do not expect popular martial and orchestral industrial, but a very personal, intimate and melancholic release with brilliantly built-up songs.

Thorn Agram * Ar Dievu (10” 2004 ars benevola mater)

I have known this bands since long before they ever released something and when they did, I missed it for some reason. I ran into this release on a P2P network, but wanted to get a copy myself. Equilibrium Music from Portugal still have a few, so… “Ar Dievu” contains music that -as often- has to be described as orchestral and sometimes martial music with neofolk and industrial elements. Not too original you may say, but this project sure has its own style which is very interesting and the recording is very good. This surely is a classic and I only got to know it more than two years after its release… <27/3/07><4>

Venetian Snares * Rossz Csillag Alatt Született (2cd/cd 2005 planet-mu)

Aaron Funk was in Hungary and you will know. The title means something like ‘It was born under a bad star’. When I heard about this album I downloaded the teasers from the label’s site. 2 Mins of every track was enough for me to write a review, but also to make me decide to get a copy of the album. Venetian Snares is known to most people for his extremely experimental and most of all loud “breakcore”. On the latest album you will get (live) orchestrations with ‘intelligent dance music’ on the background. Strange and nice, but not entirely original. Fuckarma did somthing similar and I also have a Fuckstörung track in this vein. But still, Venetian Snares is a bit harder than the other two and a whole album makes a nice diversity between my usual kinds of music. From orchestral music to fucked-up Aphex Twin techno. Visit the label’s site for a teaser.

Von Thronstahl * Mutter Der Schmertzen (mcd+cdr 2006 der angriff)

It is hard to keep up with the guys from Von Thronstahl. They don’t release too many things and when they do, these releases are very limited and/or released on a small label and/or not available from most mailorders. Here we have a mcd limited to 350 copies, but there is also a version with an extra mcdr and this version is limited to 150 copies. The mcd contains new versions of “Europa Calling”, “Adoration to Europa” and “Mutter der Schmertzen”, a cover-version of Death In June’s “Runes and Men” and “The Leader’s Daughter”, the Russion national anthem. The tracks are alright. The extra mcdr opens with a better “Runes and Men”, followed by a track that begins as a typical Von Thronstahl track with voice-samples and keyboard orchestrations, but this track goes over in a cheesy ‘dance’ track. Both versions of “Bellum Sacrum Bellum” do not come near the original version and the electro-track “The Great Brittish Betrayal” is amusing, but not too good. Concluding I might say that Von Thronstahl come with one of their experimental, small releases, while their ‘bigger releases’ are usually better. Of course this limited release is nice for collectors though.