I saw this release on the Tesco mailing list. A luxery box in different versions. Apparently the band was not content enough with the “Return Your Revolt” box. I have got this 7″ size box with a cd on a glass-plate. This time the cd is put on a mirror and the box is a very luxery jewlery-like case with a hinge and furnished interior. The box is very expensive (I paid E 45,- for it), especially when you know that besides a booklet there are no extras and even more especially when you notice that inside the booklet a normal release of the same cd is announced on Cold Spring! Nothing I can do about that anymore and I at least got myself one of the 500 beautiful boxes. The music is this time very minimalistic neofolk, with only here and there some orchestrations or a harder tone. The band even made a neofolk version of “Walked In Line”. The songs are alright, but not groundbreaking. I prefer the dark and oppressive sound of the early releases, but I don’t think that there is a chance that the band will return to that. At least there are no lengthy collections of samples on this album, such as on “Return Your Revolt”, so the 72 minute length is completely filled with music. Not bad, but nothing special, besides the expensive package. If you are just in for the music, you might wait for the Cold Spring version. If you can’t wait and/or want to get yourself a Von Thronstahl jewlery box, I got mine from Tesco.
The new Von Thronstahl is again released by the guys themselves and can seemingly also only obtained by the guys themselves. But no worries, I had my copy within the week. It comes in a luxery digipack with strange collages all over and with a poster and old and new adds. Again pinpointing current happenings, Von Thronstahl named their album “War, holy war!?”.
Musically there is quite something to say. The sound is by far not as dark as on the first releases, but that is a line that we could already hear on previous releases. Often the sound is obviously Von Thronstahl, but overall the guys keep reminding me of Forthcoming Fire. Several tracks are slightly ‘gothic’, here and there technoish sounds and even there are Forthcoming vocals in one track. No neofolk anymore, but of course there are some tranquil orchestral tracks to be found. Most tracks are slighly uptempo and sometimes a bit bombastic, but again, not as bombastic as on earlier cds. Also the music, like the cover is often a collage of sounds, quite like the “Re-turn…” album. Minor point, a “We Walked In Line” cover, but the Blood Axis cover is a lot better.
I doubt Von Thronstahl will ever top their first cd for me, but still this is a very nice album. <12/7/03><3>
Three of my favourite bands released expensive boxes recently and I do not plan to buy them all. The Der Blutharsch 4cd is already pretty expensive, but in the leather bag unaffordable. Mostly material that I have (compilation contibutions which often aren’t Albin’s best material either) and remixes that I am not really interested in anyway,so Der Blutharsch had to be skipped. Then there is the Absinthe box by Blood Axis and Les Joyaux de la Princesse. Extremely interesting. The cd with two 10″s with remixes, live recordings from the Portugal concerts and as far as I understood also tracks from the exclusive cd that was only available to the few lucky ones that were at these concerts. Extremely expensive too so with pain in my heart I also let this box pass my nose. And then we have Von Thronstahl with a box that I couldn’t let get passed. First (and most) of all, all material is exclusive. Actually this is the only reason to get this box, because however it looks great, there isn’t really anything ‘extra’.
The box is 15x15x3cm with a glass-plate of 1 cm high in it where the disc is on, so this is a pretty heavy box! Further a highly informative 20-page booklet.
Both the title and the concept are very fitting for Von Thronstahl. “Revolt” most likely refers to Josef K.’s revolt against the political correct popindustry that let him down over his ideology. K. took the image of the neofolk/industrial scene to extremes, always taking three steps further accross the border than the rest. He definately took his fascism into an artistic style, not only musically, but also in the artwork, etc. This style he returns with this box by dedicating this cd to fascism in different forms of art with a booklet with pictures, paintings, excerpts from interviews with known and less-known artists, articles and own writings all showing the fascination of artists with fascist concepts. Still the ‘introduction’ says that all this has nothing to do with a glorification of a certain phase in history but to build a certain style and aesthetics.
And what do you get musically? Well, Josef and Raymond again didn’t come close to the level of the brilliant debut cd “Imperium Internum” but that is of course because this is again a compilation of tracks and not a concept-album. Still there are some very good tracks to be found, especially the more industrial ones in the beginning. Around the end are a few of the ‘collection of samples’ things (one of 30+ min!) which aren’t too great. Further the guys wanted to use different styles of “gothic”, so you will not only get industrial and neofolk, but also a bit of EBM-like things, gothic rock and the like, a bit “Forthcoming Fire”ish.
Anyway, many tracks are good, some are just fine and others are roundout boring. Overall a nice release. <23/7/02><3>
Fuel on the fire of the disaster around the 9th “Wave Gotik Treffen” in Leipzig in 2000. A festival that began like always with 30.000 ‘grufties’ in an Eastern German city. Pretty soon the mayor of Leipzig and the organisation ‘found out’ that there were bands sceduled with a questionable philosophy and Death In June and Von Thronstahl were the first to be forbidden. Still Von Thronstahl entered the stage and after 2 or 3 live tracks, they left and put on the upcoming cd “Imperium Internum”. After this Ostara played a fairly normal show. Anyway, more bands were forbidden, the organisation ran out of money and chaos was complete. Von Thronstahl was blamed for the nazi-controverse and fell from grace in the opinions of many people. Parts from newspapers about the “rechtsradikal Josef K.” are printed on the inlay of the 7″. The fact that the band decided to release the recordings of their forbidden concert will probably not heal wounds.
Personally I haven’t seen the show in Leipzig. I had just heard of Von Thronstahl before the festival and I had no idea that they were actually supposed to play before I got there. When I finally found the “Parkbühne” the band had just left the stage and also it was there that I heard about the controverse around Von Thronstahl and other bands. Also at the festival (a day earlier I believe) I bought my first Von Thronstahl record in the form of their “Sturmzeit” 10″. Later of course there were the cd and recently the second cd “E Pluribus Unum” which are also reviewed in these pages.
The 7″ contains the tracks “Mitternachtsberg” and “Heimat, Mutterboten, Vaterland”, is limited to 500 copies, available from Josef himself, Vaws, Cold Spring or IDM (“initiative identität durch musik”). Apparently the 7″ is dedicated to Archangel Michael who is proudly depicted on the front.
Inspite of all the controversy the music sounds very good in my ears, the sound-quality of the live recordings is agreeable and the package wonderfull. Late november I am going to see how controversial a Von Thronstahl show really is when they play in London. I expect that as usual things are blown way out of proportion and personally I may not agree with the band’s philosophy I still didn’t get offended or scared by this wonderfull musical project.