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Eis & Licht

Leger des Heils * Precatio (10” 2000 eis & licht tonträger)

Using the name of a Dutch charity-organisation we have an Eislicht release that is not particularly folky.
I expected it to be more industrial, but that is not really the case either.
LdH mostly consists of symphonic music with drumming and in half of the songs singing.
Here and there a folky tune can be heard, but nowhere an acoustic guitar.
The music is quite tranquil and not too complicated. It all sounds alright, but not smashing to me.

Forseti * Jenzig (10″ 1999 eis & licht tonträger)

I got this one together with Dies Natalis (see review above). Limited to 550 copies and only a few left for sale from Eislicht.
Just as other Eislicht bands, Forseti appears on compilation cds, or to say, at least one, because there is a new version of the title track on Lichttauffe, which is also reviewed in these pages.
And again a very good release. The 10″ opens faster than we are used to of neo-folk bands. Other tracks are more at a ‘normal speed’, but also here the band has a sound of it’s own. Still there is the known acoustic guitar and drumming. Doesn’t this make you wonder how many tallented bands are out there, or would Eis & Licht have found them all by now?
I haven’t heard of full-length plans for this band. I do know that they perform live (if this is allowed), so I’m sure they have more songs than the 6 on this 10″.

Dies Natalis * Vom Gedanken Und Der Erinnerung (cd 2000)

It is always nice when a band releases a cd and immediately comes to present it in a club near you. Yesterday Dies Natalis gave a very nice show in Landgraaf and of course they were also selling the cd. A few comparisons between the performance and the cd.
However on stage the band presented some quite powerfull neo-folk music, the cd is mixed quite ‘thin’ and in most songs lack the powerfull drumming and vocals that the band on stage does have. Around the end of the cd there are two songs (10 and 11) which do have the sound that the band deserves.
The show started with mostly tranquil songs in the vein that we are familiar with through the 10″ that was released on Eis & Licht last year (and which is also reviewed in these pages). This is also the kind of music that is on this cd. Later in the show came rather bombastic and powerfull songs of which are only a few on the cd. I hope these kind of songs are new and will be available soon.
There is quite a big role for the keyboards, which in many parts are actually too simple and do not help the songs much in my opinion. Fortunately the band also proves that they can be helpfull in a few songs.
Two songs of the 10″ are also to be found on “Vom Gedanken…”. Undoubtely very helpfull for those who do not possess one of the 510 copies, but those who do have this 10″ would probably prefer new songs.
As it seems the cd is self-released in a digipack with a simple lay-out. I know it is available from Eis & Licht, so I suppose it will get the usual Eislicht distribution.
Overall I must conclude that the cd does have its moments, but to me it is mostly just another neo-folk cd. I hope a new cd will have the more powerfull songs on it. The band has been on stage for two hours or so, so they definately must have enough material to release a new cd in not too much time.

Dies Natalis * :Raunen: (10″ 1999 eis & licht tonträger)

Apparently Eis & Licht from Germany only releases the best of material. Somehow they are able to sign brilliant young neo-folk bands and good bands of people who have been longer working with this kind of music. Fact is that I haven’t heard an Eislicht release that isn’t good. Unfortunately I found that out a little late, so now I have to rush to collect all the Eislicht releases that I don’t have and because all releases are limited (vinyl mostly to some 500 copies), this is quite a task.
But, I’m glad that I still got a copy of this 10″. Eislicht has a handfull left, so if you’re quick, you might be able to get a copy yourself.
:Raunen: is (of course, I’d almost say) a great release. I expected more drumming, but in fact this is mostly pretty romantic neo-folk. Striking is that of three song, two are sung in English, which is something most young neo-folk bands seem to prefer not to do. This piece of vinyl has to be played on 45 rpm, so unfortunately it is rather short. The good news is that a full-length cd is planned for the end of this year.
Keep an eye on this great new band.
Oh, and to those who know this 10″, no I don’t have another version. I just like the picture on the back so much, that I combined the front and the back cover.

Camerata Mediolanense/Pavor Nocturnus * l’Alfiere (10″ 2001 eis & licht tonträger)

I was not at all happy with the latest cd of Camerata from Italy, while I do like their earlier albums. Still I wondered what they were upto this time, so I ordered this 10″ anyway. Fortunately I was not disappointed. Two rather short tracks of which one a good version of the the song that appears in a horrible live-version on the “The Pact …Flying Into The Face” compilation” (reviewed elsewhere). Both songs are pretty tranquil and drum-oriented.
On the other side a band that I didn’t know with the silliest of bandnames. The music is fortunately better. More electronic, atmospheric music with acoustic (?) drumming.