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Spiritual Front

Spiritual Front * Open Wounds (2cd 2013)

Spiritual Front presents a limited box with two cds, a book and a t-shirt, but the good news is: I can also listen to this album on Deezer. The first cd contains all new versions of old songs and I wonder is the band tries to please the old fans or scare the new. There is material all the way back to the debut and most songs remained close the originals, with the mumbling singing from “Songs For The Will”, the depressive sound of the first two albums and the sexually explicit lyrics. This first cd does show that the old material is still pretty damn good, but depressive. On the second cd Spiritual Front explores new paths. They did not continue the pop-direction of “Rotten Roma Casino” (fiew!), but whereas the first cd is quite neofolk, the second goes from Swans-like guitar-madness to beautiful chamber music to more experimental and instrumental tracks. Indeed, Spiritual Front just keeps doing what it wants without getting confused by the success of the more accessible albums. On this new album you get a variety of styles of music, not including a poppy one. Interesting for sure.
Link: Spiritual Front

Spiritual Front * Rotten Roma Casino (cd 2010)

The previous version of the review was based on the music alone. Today I finally got the CD/DVD release. It comes in a luxery double digipack (fourfold) with a double-sided poster and a ‘booklet’. In the artwork the band obviously presents itself as a boyband with photos of pretty boy Salvatori. The DVD contains an interview, two short films with Italian poetry (I think) and two videos. In the latter, the boyband-attitude is worked out even more. Homo-erotic imaginary, a dreamy looking Salvatori, but on the other hand, exposing his many (weird) tattoos (and of others). Indeed, Spiritual Front remains a band with a twitch. Now that “FSK ab 16 freigegeben” (in Germany they think this is suitable for 16+ only) is a bit overfanatic, but still. Meanwhile I got a bit used to the music. It is much more poppy than older material (yes that is possible) mixes a variety of styles and the sound is much cleaner too (which is not necessarily a good thing). The songs are catchy singalongs (lyrics of course included), sometimes more melancholic. RRC is a nice album, but I still prefer the previous “Armageddon Gigolo”.
Links: Spiritual Front, Trisol

Spiritual Front * Armageddon Gigolo (cd 2006 trisol)

Somewhere in June I ordered this cd, but something caused a long delay. Meanwhile I have seen the band live in Bochum (Germany), a good show, but in a too small venue with way to many people. Spiritual Front sounded more ‘poppy’ and indeed the same goes for the new album. I have always liked the fact that Spiritual Front do exactly what they want. From a strange kind of neofolk to a more melancholic sound with weird jazz-samples, amusing crazy sounds and now slightly more ‘poppy’. “Armageddon gigolo” is a magnificent album! Catchy melodies, bossanova and samba rhythms, Spanish sounds, a great string session (including Matt Howden), a melancholic undertone. Definitely more accessible than previous recordings and I am sure that the band with punch through to a larger audience. Still the sick sense of humour is present, ‘shocking’ artwork and lyrics (explicit sex and other taboos) (in a great digipack by the way), so the fans of old will probably not have to turn their backs. I don’t for sure! The ultimate “suicide pop” album! (13/9/06)

Spiritual Front * Nihilist Cocktails For Calypso Inferno (cd 2002 oktagön records/misty circles)

The second cd of this strange Italian band. It has been several years since the limited cd “Songs For The Will” which presented nice and original neo-folk and strange experiments. After two (that I know off) compilation contributions (Lichttauffe 2000 and Codreanu 2001) we are graced with the second cd in the form of “Nihilist Coctails For Calypso Inferno”.
This time the music is less “neo-folk”, but still with the original deep spoken vocals, melancholic tunes and strange short bits of music between the songs. This time these are a bit jazzy and sometimes with some strange technoish rhythms and most of the time not really irritating or boring.
The rest of the cd contains the two beautiful compilation contributions that I mentioned, melancholic songs and some more neo-folk like songs. Overall it may be not the greatest cd of all times, but Spiritual Front is definately a one-of-a-kind band presenting a cd that you can at least tell appart from other releases from the scene.

Spiritual Front * Song For The Will (cd 1999? misty circles / old europe cafe avs)

Spiritual Front contributed the best song to the Lichttauffe compilation that was released with the 2000 edition of the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig Germany. I didn’t know that they had a relatively old cd released then, but apparently the not very folky label Old Europe Cafe has seen potential in this Italian band a while back.
The cd is very short, only 32 minutes of which some 5 minutes blank for a ‘ghost-track’. The biggest part of the cd contains very nice and minimal neo-folk music with only vocals (in a mourning/talked manner), acoustic guitar and sometimes piano and some background sounds. There are often 50’ies samples to chear things up. All in all pretty good, but the ghost-track is something different, some noisy experiment that doesn’t really fit with the rest.

Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio / Spiritual Front * Satyriasis (cd 2005 cold meat industry)

On first sight these are not the first bands that I think about for releasing a split cd. On second hand, why not? Both bands make their own style of ‘neofolk’ (by lack of a better word), like ‘musical jokes’, make repetitive music and have something with sex. So the two bands decided to make a split cd. “Satyriasis” is only 35 minutes, the first and the last tracks are cooperations between the bands, the rest are tracks by the two bands alone. Not all new, but the styles of the bands go well together and this cd is certainly very enjoyable.

Naevus / Spiritual Front * Bedtime / Bathtime (picture 10″ 2005 old europa cafe)

Two ‘pigheaded’ (the Dutch expression says ‘ownway’ which I like better) on a nice picture 10″. I didn’t have anything of Naevus, so this split was a nice opportunity. Naevus opens with a too typical and rather boring neofolk track, but then follow two weird tracks that are more of my liking. Spiritual Front’s first song is a romantic atypical song in which I don’t even recognise the band. Then comes a great song with a piano background and a more typical song for the band. A nice release, but visually as ‘audially’. <14/4/06><3>