Cold Spring

Von Thronstahl / HERR / Kriegsfall-U * Instruo Vestra Pro Pugna! (12″ 2005 cold spring)

The Brittish label Cold Spring has been around for 15 years which was celebrated with a small festival late last year and now this special 12 has been released, limited to 500 copies. On side A is a long track by Von Thronstahl, the other two bands have half of side B. None of the tracks are very good… Von Thronstahl (pig headed as they are) come with a strange sound collage consisting of a twice told tale (through eachother) with some kind of music towards the end. I do like it when a band tries to do something new, but of course I can’t always like the result. This track is better than some of the other soundcollages that Von Thronstahl has made, but I prefer them making music. Then to the Dutch band HERR. They made some kind of neofolkish song with awfull vocals and an accordion. Then Kriegsfall-U have a nice dark industrial track, but nothing compared to their album. Exclusive tracks by three great bands, but unfortunately not really their best material. <14/1/06><2>

Von Thronstahl * Imperium Internum (cd 2000 cold spring)

And here we have the cd of Von Thronstahl. It sounds different from what I expected. There isn’t as much industrial on this cd as on the 10″. (that I reviewed earlier), but there isn’t more folk on it either! So what kind of music is there on this cd? Well, most of the music is very orchestral. The first five songs are like that, at times fairly dark and with some militant touches (marchdrums). A few voices and samples to complete things. It sounds pretty good too. The songs become a bit more industrial with every track, which results in a total industrial track number six. After that there is a shorter and different version from the magnificent ‘Sturmzeit’ track from the 10″.
Then it’s time for the first folky sounds in the form of “Heimaterde, Mutterboden, Vaterland” (Native Soil, Mother Country, Fatherland). Then two more orchestral tracks and a new version of “Turn The Centuries”, which was the only folky track on the 10″. It sounds a lot more orchestral this time.
A piece of industrial and two tranquil songs close the row.
Yes, that’s a lot of tracks. It’s 14 in total spanning a time of about an hour. Because the songs aren’t too long, it doesn’t matter that not all are totally brilliant. But overall this cd is really, really good!
I think this cd will particularly appeal to people who like ‘mystical industrial’ bands like Turbund Sturmwerk, Der Blutharsch and Blood Axis. Those who enjoy experimental folk sounds, might give it a try as well.


Cold Spring sent me review copies two long anounced rereleases of this controversial band. I heard about this band just before the 2000 Wave Gotik Treffen, but missed their ‘performance’ at the chaotic festival. I did get the 10″ and on 19/7/00 I reviewed this cd. Reading this review again, it seems that there weren’t a whole lot of bands with this kind of sound in those times. I really liked the cd and I still do. It is still one of my favourite albums with music going from soft neofolk to harsch industrial, but mostly music with a very orchestral and martial sound. Many readers of these pages will already have this cd I think, but for those who have been waiting and waiting in order to be able to lay their hands on a copy, now is your change! The rerelease comes in a digipack whereas the first edition was a normal jewel case. Musically I didn’t find any differences, but the booklet is slightly different. There are no lyrics in the new edition.

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.

Death In June / Von Thronstahl / The Days Of The Trumpet Call / Folkstorm vs MZ.412 * Steel Night 29/11/01 (4cd 2003 cold spring)

This box is a registration of the first evening of the “Stigma festival” in London end november 2001. I’ve travelled to this little festival (see my report here) and I was surprised that after all this time a release dedicated to it comes out. A strange release by the way. Douglas P. asked if he could open the night with an accoustic set. A nice surprise, which you can hear here. The official and original fourth act, Nocturne from Germany, does not have a disc in this box though and I don’t know why. Another thing is that in two years time you would say that the recordings could have been polished through and through. Nothing is less true! It seems as if the recordings are taken from the microphones instead of directly from the PA. Especially in TDOTTC and Folkstorm you can hear the audience talking loud and clear. Further the sound is quite flat in most cases and for example Von Thronstahls ‘soundcheck’ in the middle of the show isn’t cut out. When you’ve been there, you know the situation, but ‘new listeners’ will see no advantage in it I guess.

So, what do you get? Inspite of the spectaculair descriptions you will read, this box is nothing more (but also nothing less) than a small box like TMLHBACs “The Smell Of Blood…” or Sopors “Songs From The Inverted Womb” (cd box size but slightly bigger). Inside are four slips with a disc in it and a small ‘poster’ with some live photos. The front cover is black with black letters.

DIJ has an 11 minute cd with 6 songs. Just Douglas with a guitar. There was almost no audience when DIJ played (even though the doors opened far too late), so the recordings are alright.
Von Thronstahl has a cd of a little over 50 minutes. They played tracks that were not yet released back then and different versions of known tracks. The recording is quite good.
The Days Of The Trumpet Call present their (to me) best material. In contraction to the normal releases there are some guitars and nice vocals which surely adds to the sound. As mentioned, the audience is too present and the sound is too flat. Short too, 16 minutes.
Folkstorm vs MZ.412 had a nice set which slowly builds up from dark industrial to extreme noise. Also here not too good sound and too present audience. The lenght here 42 minutes.

The price of this box is quite impressive, I paid E 40,- for these 2 hours of alright to nice recordings. Of course (again), I’ve been there, which makes this box a nice memory, but I don’t know if I should recommend this box to people who just like the bands presented. Should you consider buying it, be sure to be quick. There are 1500 copies, not extremely limited, but I suppose that with DIJ on it, it will sell out rapidly.

v/a * Chamber (cd 2002 cold spring records)

This “Cold Spring Records sampler” is a 80 minute cd with Ignis Fatuus (alright neoclassical), Folkstorm (good industrial/ambient), Mark Snow (nice neoclassical), Laibach (strange old industrial), Endura (too monotous ambient), Novatron (too monotous ambient), Band of Pain (again too monotous ambient), Benedikt Prayer (a piano track), Schloss Tegal (good dark industrial), Von Thronstahl (a version of “Mitternachtsberg” that I already had), Toroidh (industrial), Sleep Research Facility (industrial), The Days Of The Trumpet Call (a nice track that sounds a bit too much like Von Thronstahl), Kerovnian (nice, but a bit too monotous ambient) and the best for last: A Challenge Of Honour (nice orchestral version of “Havamal”). All in all a nice compilation with a few acts that I didn’t know yet.

Toll * Christ Knows (cd 2006 cold spring)

I think I am too young for this. When this LP was released in 1986, I was 10 years old. It is one of these old industrial things that in that time where probably groundbreaking and later became legendary. I may be wrong, but I think this legency probably lives more under contemporaries of this project, than under people who grew up with a more ‘modern’ style of industrial music. Anyway, repetative sounds, noisy edges, guitars and vocals. This remastered to modern-day sound-standards makes an album that is sometimes funny to hear, but may be more for archival reasons for industrial-fans a bit older than myself.

Neoterrik Research, the hidden history of Schloss Tegal (cd 2004 cold spring)

Old material for this classical dark industrial act. Remixes, unreleased material and hard-to-get vinyls are among the hidden history of Schloss Tegal. All in all 66 minutes of dark industrial, ambient, soundscapes and one noise-remix by Folkstorm. This band has been around for so long that people who know them, will get this new cd anyway. To give others an idea, think of slightly old-styled industrial, but then more ambient and pretty dark.

Rose Rovine E Amanti * Rituale Romanum (cd 2006 cold spring)

I have one of the tracks from this album on some online compilation (I think). For the rest I didn’t know this artist from Rome. Damiano Mercuri has his own, but Italian, style of (neo)folk music. He has very particular vocals that I don’t really like all the time. Also the songs go from awfull (2, 5), to alright (1, 4, 8, 9) , to good (3, 6, 7). There is a Von Thronstahl cover and Josef K. contributed to one track. An alright album, not completely my style, but fortunately not too typical of sound.

Remanence * Apparitions (cd 1999 cold spring)

I had never heard of this band before, so I can’t tell you much about them. Maybe only that Remanence excists of Brian McWilliams, John Phipps, Eric Berg, Carter Dewberry and Mike Rashid.
“Apparitions” may not sound like what you expect from Cold Spring. The cd opens very orchestal -almost neo-classical- and evolves towards a rhythmical kind of atmospheric music with orchestral influences. Here and there a voice can be heard, but mostly the music is instrumental. It all sounds pretty good as well, especially the first orchestral tracks.