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Eis & Licht

Lux Interna * God Is Not Dead For The Birds (cd 2007 eis & licht)

Some seven years ago, before Myspace or even cd-demos, I read about this new American band (on a website). The demo contains both neofolk and more electronic experiments and was alright (my review of 24/8/00 is still up here somewhere). The band was signed by Eis & Licht, usually not the most innovating neofolk label and my interest in the genre went down, so I didn’t really follow Lux Interna anymore. Last Wave Gotik Treffen I saw their nice show in the Anker, a more mature and poppy approach with nice songs containing cello and violin too, so I looked their cds on the internet and downloaded them. “Absence And Plenum” (2002) is a rather typical neofolk album and not very good, “Ignis Mutat Res” (2004) also starts in this vein, but becomes much better in the second half, so I guessed I might just order the new album and see if the progress continued. The new album seems to leave behind the neofolk origins a bit and didn’t follow the more poppy sound that most neofolk bands have turned to, but more focus is put on the cello and violin and the sound reminds me often of the German band Chamber (or l’Orchestre De Chambre Noire, see reviews), especially also because of the vocals. Whereas Chamber gives even more room to the classical influences, so much that I have described their music as “chamber music”, Lux Interna keeps holding the acoustic guitar and vocals (male and female) on the forefront, but the musical structure and atmosphere can no longer be really described as “neofolk”. Another difference between the two bands is that Lux Interna has left the music modest and melancholic, while Chamber also had some light-footed songs. “God Is Not Dead For The Birds” has become a nice album, not really groundbreaking, but also not slavely following the path that the scene sets out. Furthermore it is well-contructed and well-recorded so all in all a nice listening experience.
Links: Lux Interna, Eis & Licht Tonträger

Von Thronstahl * Sturmzeit (10″ ?? eis & licht tonträger)

This band was new to me until very recently. I was attended to it by mr. D. and then I noticed a cd in a distribution catalogue. I haven’t been able to get that cd, but I did find an older 10″. I don’t know when exactly it was released, so I left the year open. I also don’t know if this 10″ is well available, but as soon as I laid my hands on the cd, I’ll review that one for your purchase.
Von Thronstahl was said to be a neo-folk band and extremely right-wing which would bring problems with his performance at the Wave-Gotik Treffen in Leipzig Germany. He did play I heard, but I also heard that this performance consisted of playing the cd for a large part. Anyway, the Sturmzeit 10″ doesn’t bring as much neo-folk as I expected. That isn’t too bad, because the neo-folk song that is on it, isn’t really that good. What is very good are the extremely militant industrial tracks. The whole second site of this piece of vinyl is a brilliant and dark industrial track with heavy drumming and samples.
I wonder what the cd will sounds like. I hope to be able to let you know soon.

Sonne Hagal * Sinnreger (10″ 2000 eis & licht tonträger)

Just when I thought that all these Eis & Licht releases started to sound too similar, they release Sonne Hagal. A quick listen made me understand why there is such a rush on this 10″, so let’s start talking about the music.
After a few strange introductionary tones, Sonne Hagal starts with a cover of a song that the band Ernte contributed to the 1994 compilation “Im Blutfeuer”. This song is called “Sonnenwende” and SH’s version sounds pretty nice. Next up is a nice song with violin, guitar and a rough beat. The last song of side A is an atmospheric neo-folk song and I noticed that the lyrics are again in English. Side B brings the biggest surprises. An electric guitar in the first song and nice male/female singing over soundscapes in the second. The end also has a funny joke, because the 10″ keeps repeating a sound, but the player doesn’t take off the arm (or is this my player?).
Another notible point is that the only runes present are to say what is side A and B.
A very nice release by Eislicht!

Scivias * …And You Shall Fear Death Not (cd 2000 eis & licht tonträger)

Long announced and often delayed, the debut cd of the Hungarian band Scivias. I was told that this was not the typical Eislicht release and that the cd was not very folky, but more industrial. Well, I think the cd is pretty folky and doesn’t have much to do with industrial myself!
The music is quite avantgardistic, sometimes folky and sometimes a bit more electronic, often with Hungarian spoken vocals (lyrics printed in English in the booklet). Even though the cd is dedicated to the Japanese culture, I don’t hear much that reminds me about that country in the music. Actually, what Scivias reminds me most of is Actus, which music sounds quite similar to me.
I don’t particularly like the cd, but there are a few wonderfull moments and the rest is… alright.

Ostara * Kingdom Gone (cd 2002 eis & licht tonträger)

I don’t buy most neofolk cds, but of course there are also bands that I do like and Ostara is one of them. If you follow the band a little, you will already have 5 of the 12 tracks of this cd, which is a bit of a pitty. “Kingdom Gone” opens with the brilliant “Bavaria” that we of course already got from the page. “Hammer Of Ages” is new and nice. “The Trees March North” was already available on the 10″. “March Of The Rising Sun” is an experimental ‘industrial’ track showing that Ostara means to continue to push the boundaries of the genre. Songs 5 and 7 (“Overworld” and “Never Weep”) were already available on the picture 7″ and 10″ and also 10. “Divine Wind” comes from the “Whispers To The Soul” 10″. The new songs 6. “Sword Of Reverie”, 9. “Life’s Symmetry” and 11. “Transsylvania” are very beautiful (especially the last), quite melancholic actually. And speaking of pushing boundaries, 8. “Talenokai” is some kind of techno/trance like track that is nice, but a bit too long. The closer is a slightly darker track “Kingdom Gone”. Overall resulting in a wonderfull cd of almost an hour.
The back had the well-known photo of Richard Leviathan and Timothy Jenn, but Leviathan will continue Ostara alone with guest musicians.

Ostara * Whispers To The Soul (10″ 2001 eis & licht tonträger)

Ostara joined the ranks of Eislicht who now release this 10″ which was originally supposed to be a mcd on World Serpent.
Side A contains all known songs, both Never Weep and Overworld from the picture 7″ (also reviewed somewhere) and The Trees March North which has been available as mp3 from the band’s webpage for a while. All three very poppy neo-folk songs going a few steps further than the first Ostara cd of a while back. Side B opens with a strange experimental track and then we get two live songs. The end of the 10″ proves that there is also a dark side to Ostara…… Get a copy if you can!

Orplid * Barbarossa (10” 2000 eis & licht tonträger)

After some problems with the printers of the cover, here is finally the new release of Orplid. A 10” that has to be played on 45 rpm with a long track on each side. Both songs are dedicated to the German language and culture and both are so to say poem on music. On side A the lyrics are so to say ‘screamed’ over minimal music and around the end when the song runs out of text there is some victorious music with fierce drumming. Side B has more spoken word accompanied by drumming. It took me a few times before I started to like “Barbarossa”, but I am again very happy with the music of Orplid. When oh when will they release another full-length?

Orplid * Geheiligd Sei Der Tote Name (mcd 1999 eis und licht tonträger)

The German Orplid really amazed me last year with their outrageous debut cd. A magnificent blend between neo-folk music and industrial in a way I hadn’t heard before. After that debut came an okay 10″ and now a new mcd. 5 Songs, 20 minutes in the unique Orplid style. There’re acoustic guitars, double male vocals (no female this time), orchestral themes and industrial passages. Neither the 10″ nor this mcd reach the level of the cd, but I guess that’s partly caused by the lengths.

Orplid * s/t (cd 1998 eis & licht tonträger / 2000 prophecy productions)

Yesterday I was taping a few Orplid releases and I thought that it is actually a shame that one of my all time favourite albums didn’t have a review in Sententia, especially because it was re-released a while back, which should have given me a reason to review it anyway. But at least Orplid did already got a place on my page while another brilliant band hasn’t: Blood Axis. The good news is that a new Blood Axis album is anounced by Tesco and the classic debut cd from 1995 (Chthulhu / Storm) which was already rereleased by Misanthrope, will be available again on Tesco in a remix, so I guess also Blood Axis will be here some time soon.
But back to Orplid. I have had my copy since it was just out and Eis & Licht was a small and rather unknown label. I was totally smashed by the music of Orplid and they re-awoke my interest in dark neo-folk music which obviously was out there. Orplid plays tranquil neo-folk with very nice male and female vocals, extremely dark neo-folk with industrial and totally industrial tracks and in a way I hadn’t heard before. Maybe you can compare this with Ordo Equilibrio, but don’t expect Orplid to sound the same (actually they are better in my opinion). Fortunately everybody is again available to get their hands on this masterpiece. Orplid also has a brilliant mcd on Eislicht called “Geheiligt Sie Der Toten Name” and an outrageous 10″ “Das Schicksal”. In a few weeks the new 10″ “Barbarossa” will be out. Whenever you are able to buy yourself an Orplid item, don’t hesitate, because “NIEMAND IS BESSER ALS ORPLID”!!

Of The Wand And The Moon * Midnight Will (10″ 2000 eis & licht tonträger)

The first time I heard of this band, was when they released their debut cd. I think this 10″ came after that and there is also a 7″ on Hau Ruck! Even though the cd was very melancholic and atmosperheric, this 10″ is quite different in style. “Midnight Will” opens with a quite typical neo-folk song and the second track is a not too good soundscape. Face B opens with a ‘guitar-scapes’ track with drumming, but also this track is not too good. The second track of face B is quite good and also is the last song. Both are neo-folk songs, but the second track is slightly uptempo and the last one is slower again. Never does OTWATM sound as melancholic as there wonderfull cd. A new direction of the band?