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Rasthof Dachau‎ * … Das Andere Licht (cd 2012)

Rasthof Dachau, I have known the name for decades, but I never really listened to them. This is partly because of the project’s name. I am not much interested in WWII but I do know tht Dachau was one of the two German extermination camps (the other one was Auswitz) and to call it a ‘resting place’ (Rasthof) gives me a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Perhaps it was not meant to refer to the camp or it did and the shock value works too well for me, but that is why it took a couple of decades to try out the music. Later I heard music of this project without knowing what it was. Great, dark ‘ambient noise’ with aggressive vocals, so in the end I decided to set out and investigate the project. You cannot listen to extreme music without extreme humour, right?
It proves not too easy to find Dachau material. Most of it has long been sold out. In the Cold Spring mail order I found this limited compilation (350 copies) with material from 1999 to 2002. Unfortunately there is not too much of the noise side of this project. Some tracks are more dark ambient, other tracks old style industrial. There are a couple of very good tracks to be found, especially the great dark noise opening track called “Exitus”.
Rasthof Dachau is a project for people who like noise music, but not of the unstructured, chaotic type. People like me! But you might have to live with the fact that some people have an even harscher sense of humour as yourself!
Link: Steinklang

Dead Man’s Hill * Spirits (cd 2010)

Dead Man’s Hill has an impressive discography, but I do not have all that much material of them. The In Slaughter Natives-like sound mixed with more bombastic martial elements sometimes works out very well, but often not all that much. Besides, DMH tends to keep sounding the same all the time and the same goes for “Spirits”. Pompous, orchestrated industrial with highly distorted vocals is what you expect and also what you get. The music is alright, but this album does not seem to have any real peaks. When you like DMH, you will like the new album and you know what to expect.
Links: Dead Man’s Hill, Steinklang Industries

Le Testament De La Lumière * Echoes Out Of Time (cd 2010)

Some seven years ago I reviewed the demo of this project. I was aware that this demo later got a regular release, but not until now did I notice that the band slightly changed it’s name going from lights to light. Seven years ago “sounds like Der Blutharsch” was still a selling-line and however Le Testament indeed has some martial edges, the music was more ambient than industrial. Actually, the same can be said about this new album. “Echoes Out Of Time” starts with minimalistic and monotous soundscapes with a bit of drumming, but towards the end the music becomes more industrial with here and there a touch of noise. I am still not particularly impressed by the old style, the last few tracks are alright. Overall this album is not really convincing, but perhaps you happen to enjoy ‘martial ambient’.
Link: Steinklang

A Challenge Of Honour * No Way Out (cd 2008 steinklang)

No Way OutWith each new release of ACOH I ask myself whether or not I have to buy it. Most of the older material did not survive the years and most newer material is not too good. I am afraid that for “No Way Out” the same goes. Steinklang says that this release presents a new side of the project “the album would be best described as a pure Neo(Pop)Folk album with many Neoclassical and some Martial elements”. Well, the sound has changed a bit indeed. There seem to be some wave influences and more poppy drumming, but “many neoclassical and some martial elements”? I am afraid that I have to describe the sound and softly poppy and slighly cheesy and however I admire Peter for again leaving the obvious path, his musical taste (or efforts) drift away from mine.
Links: ACOH, Steinklang

Tormentum vs Thorofon * Steinklang Industries Festival (dvd 2007 steinklang)

Tormentum vs. ThorofonMurpey’s Law caused some delay to this release, but I finally got my copy yesterday. In the series of DVDs with reports of the shows at the October 2004 Steinklang festival in Vienna/Wien, this is the second. Here we have to rhythmical industrial/noise projects. Tormentum is not too great, only a few nice tracks in their 41 minutes. The sound-quality is not too good either, the right speaker sounds really flat and no, that is not caused by my equipment. Thorofon is more interesting in every way. The sound quality is much better (fortunately), the visuals are more interesting (two persons on stage and they even walk around, plus they include a woman and that helps too), the music is more interesting. It is no This Summer Suicide, but Thorofon showed both their old fashioned noise side and the more rhythmical sound. 52 minutes, not such a bad deal!
Links: Thorofon, Steinklang

v/a * Steinklang Industries IV (cd 2008 steinklang)

Steinklang IVThose of you who follow these pages will already know that I find the musical current called “neofolk” has been in a downwards spiral for quite a few years. There was an interesting thing when some bands started to experiment with poppy sounds, but after a short trend, also these poppy influences have already been removed. Judging the second half of the fourth Steinklang label compilation, “neofolk” is back to its minimalistic, unimaginable and boring sound. Unfortunately it seems that also kindred musical currents seem to have been infected by the virus of dullness, since the “industrial / noise / electronic” tracks of the first half of this cd are pretty boring as well. Besides a few good moments, this new compilation is an awfull compilation, a downwards trail since number II (I don’t have the first). There are a whole bunch of bands that I didn’t know or that I only knew by name, but this obviously was for the better. So now I wonder: does this compilation represent the poor state of the scene or is it another omen that I am growing away from it?

Institution D.O.L. * Instructions For Modern Weakniks (cd 2007 steinklang industries)

I didn’t really know Institution D.O.L. I thought that they were one of these old power electronics projects and never tried to hear some of their music. A while ago this project would play somewhere around. I haven’t been there, but I did listen to some of the music on their Myspace and the like and figured I might try an album some time. Tesco describes the album as “noise pop” and since I happen to enjoy the Haus Arafna, November Növelet, Thorofon, etc. development in industrial music, I ordered Institution D.O.L.’s latest album. “Weakniks” for a large part lives up to my expectations of before, since it contains extreme noise terror with screamed vocals and little structure, but there is also more ‘ambient noise’, loud industrial and other extreme sounds. These harsch tracks are interchanged with ambient, danceble tracks and even real songs . One of two tracks may remind a bit of Haus Arafna, but for the most part, Institution D.O.L. have a style of their own which varries from power electronics to “noise pop” and strange experiments.
Links: Institution D.O.L., Steinklang Records

Operation Julmond vs Wappenbund * Steinklang Industries Festival (dvd 2006 steinklang)

This is the first DVD in a series of eight with ‘view and sound’ of the Steinklang festival of October 2004. The first half hour is for Operation Julmond, a not too appealing noise show, neither visually nor musically. The images and sound is good though, so watching the show it no punishment. Of Wappenbund I may have had too high expectations, but their hour on this DVD isn’t that interesting at all. The sound is by far not as good as with Operation Julmond, the music is mostly nothing compared the to albums and the show isn’t too appealing either. For both shows go that they have been filmed with several cameras and the montage is very well done. For the rest, this DVD is just live footage of industrial shows. They were probably better when you were there.
link: Steinklang Records

Stahlwerk9 * Revolution Of The Antichrist (cd 2007 steinklang)

I have been in doubt whether or not to buy this album. I have some Stahlwerk9 tracks here and there, some are nice, some are not. “R.O.T.A.” proves to be a rather monotous dark ambient tracks with here and there some orchestral sounds or an industrial tone. I am not too fond of it all. The packaging is a lot better though. “R.O.T.A.” comes in a 7″ size package with a card with a painting for each track, and then I even got the cheap version, because there is also a box! But like I said, musically just not too interesting monotous dark ambient.
Stahlwerk9, Steinklang

v/a * Steinklang Industries III (compilation cd 2007 steinklang records)

Steinklang again offers a cheap compilation with tracks of their own and befriended releases. III is not as II a double cd. The first half of the cd is filled with industrial, dark ambient and a violent noise track of Dissecting Table, the second cd with neofolk and other folky sounds. Just as with the previous two issues of the compilation there are some very good tracks here and especially bands that were new to me, so that is always nice.
links: Steinklang