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Old Europa Cafe

Folkstorm – Nihil Total (2019)

The productive Henrik Björkk releases material under a variety of names. Folkstorm is one of them. This project has been around for over two decades.

Quite a few Folkstorm releases are made available by Old Europa Cafe, as is “Nihil Total”. A nice digipack, limited to 300 copies.

Folkstorm is one of Björkk’s harsher projects. “Nihil Total” goes from death industrial to noise and back. Aggressive vocals, brutal rhythms. The tracks are more varied than on many death industrial releases, which is not surprising coming from Björkk.

Probably to add to the aggressive sound, the lyrics make that the project could have been name F**kstorm for this release, which is a bit of a down point to me.

Not all tracks are brilliant, but most are great. If you like aggressive industrial, you could give the latest Folkstorm a shot.

Links: Folkstorm, Old Europa Cafe

ᚾᛟᚢ ᛁᛁ // ᚦᛟᚦ ᚷᛁᚷ ‎– Alpha Ænigma (cd 2018)

The collaboration of Nordvargr and TxRxP on Nordvargr’s “Metempsychosis” is excellent. For “Alpha Ænigma” the two again stepped into the studio together.

The album consists of four long tracks, making a total time of a little under an hour. The style is pretty dark ambient soundscapes and you may guess it: a bit too soundscapishy for me. The album is alright, but not much more than that. The package is great though. An A5 sized digipack, a DVD case so to say.

Links: Nordvargr, Trepaneringsritualen

ANTIchildLEAGUE ‎* The Son (cd 2014)

I do not think I had head of this one-girl-project before I noticed the name on the WGT 2014 schedule. I also thought that I listened to some music which went from noise to digicore. The show was mostly brutal, industrial noise with Gaya Donadio’s screamed vocals. There was variety in the music. Some tracks were more industrial, others downright noise. The album is not as harsch as the show was and perhaps the energetic show provided a surprise effect, but the album is less interesting as the performance in the Moritzbastei. “The Son” is still a weird industrial album and I do not know all that many female industrial projects so perhaps you do not either. The combination could be a reason to check out this album.
Links: Antichildleague, Old Europa Café

Luftwaffe ‎* Dissension (cd 2013)

I have told the story countless times. Before there was Myspace there was and unsigned bands freely presented their music there. This is where I discovered Luftwaffe somewhere in the late 1990’ies. It took many years before the band finally got the recognition they deserved with their (still) highly original combination of NON-like industrial and neofolk’n’roll; not the cheesy kind of neofolk, but energetic neofolk. Luftwaffe was a duo who used a lot of guest musicians. Now the duo split, one half continues under the monicker Et Nihil and “Dissension” is Luftwaffe’s goodbye album.
Most material sounds new to me, or at least, so far unreleased. There is relatively much neofolk and the music is not as good the last two albums, but “Dissension” is another wonderfull album of this American band.
Links: Luftwaffe, Old Europa Cafe

Roma Amor * Occhi Neri (cd 2012)

The third album of Roma Amor is less cabaratesk dramatic as the previous albums. Most songs are soft and (by lack of a better word) folky. The style remains the 1950’ies type of French chansons, but there is only one great heartbreaker (“Mon Amour”). The other songs are more subdued. The album is still quite beautiful, but I like the previous two better.
Links: Roma Amor, Old Europa Cafe

Nordvargr * Enter Nordvargr (2cd 2002)

I do not have a whole lot of material of mr. Nordvargr. He has made music that I like under monickers such as MZ.412 or Folkstorm, but he has made much more music that I do not like, also under the named monickers. Now I could get a cheap 2cd from Steinklang with a variety of projects of the man, so I decided to give it a try. CD1 contains tracks “From the Folkstorm archives”, which can be old tracks, unreleased tracks, alternative versions or live recordings. One track “…was not included on the “Victory of death” album due to its provocative use of old German speeches.” The larger part is the chaotic kind of noise, the kind that I do not really like. However Nordvargr uses a lot of low frequencies and sometimes industrial rhythms (elements that I often do appreciate) the first cd is mostly not for me. On the second cd we have “Nordvargr with friends”. The music is more varried, but still there is a lot of harsch noise. Worthy of mention are the technoish track under the monicker “D.I.N.” and a weird punksong as “Lorv”. There are some other names that I never heard of, but again I am afraid that most tracks are not meant for my ears…
Links: Nordvargr, Old Europa Cafe

Luftwaffe * Ere I Perish (cd 2010)

One of my favourite bands comes with a new album. Four years after the magnificent “Event Nihilisti” comes “Ere I Perish”. Again the band goes from industrial to (neo)folk and back, everything with their very own rock’n’roll’ish style. Nihilistic lyrics and music combined with sometimes dark, sometimes catchy songs and strange experimentations, Luftwaffe the way I like them. “Ere I Perish” is again an album that grows on me. The first part is mostly pretty dark, the latter half more folky, but in both styles, the tracks are again very interesting and original. Yep, Luftwaffe created another album that will find its way to my player frequently.
Links: Luftwaffe, Old Europa Café

Roma Amor * Femmina (cd 2009)

Last year Roma Amor released a nice untitled debut album. They describe their style as “folk / neo-cabaret” which is a good description. Slightly reminding of Edith Piaff, Roma Amor has an enigmatic singer and nice, smooth music which is also very nice to see/hear live. This second album is quite the same as the debut, just as good, no change in style or really new elements. So, again nice and I guess you should get it when you liked the debut.
Links: Roma Amor, Old Europa Café

A Challenge Of Honour * Leonidas (cd 2009)

Leonidas“Leonidas” is again an orchestral release of the Dutch A Challenge Of Honour. The music is quite soft, slightly bombastic and (march)drumming is added and this time does not have the poppy sound of the previous album that I reviewed. 45 Minutes which are (I am afraid I have to say it again) not really boring, but not particularly good either.
Links: A Challenge Of Honour, Old Europa Café

Roma Amor * s/t (cd 2008)

Roma AmorIt is funny how the scene works and I am happy to hear that something new and different pops up every now and then. However, new and different? Roma Amor has a theatrical/cabaretesk sound and there are more bands who experiment with that. Actually there even more bands who have done so in the past. Over ten years ago, the French band Eros Necropsique used it in their gothic rock sound, but did not Nick Cave also do something like that? Anyway, in a scene with “neofolk” and (martial) industrial sounds this may seem a little lightfooted, but since some Hau Ruck! releases no longer, so there is plenty of room for a band such as Roma Amor. This band sounds like it comes from some 1950’ies theatre and even though this may not be exactly my cup of tea, this is nice music to play every now and then when I want something different.
Links: Roma Amor, OEC