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Drape Excrement / Söldnergeist * Black Rider (cd 2006 steinklang)

I have been in doubt whether or not to buy this album. I read that it is rereleased material, but the booklet doesn’t say from when the recordings are. I have a 1999 split cd of Drape Excrement with Catharsis which is nice, but nothing like Söldnergeist. Since Söldnergeist is on the album, I decided to order it afterall. Well, all music is by Drape Excrement and the first half of them are reworked by Söldnergeist. The style is dark ambient and noisy ambient, but the sound mostly remains that of Drape Excrement and not that of Söldnergeist. The result is nice, but not smashing.
link: Steinklang

Leiche Rustikal * Rudra (12” 2003 steinklang) & Impuls (cd 2004 steinklang)

The Austrian Steinklang label/distro has a sell-out over overstock of their own releases, but also some items in their distribution. “Rudra” was the debut full-lengthof this German industrial act. It contains harsch noise and some industrial and is not too good in my opinion. Things got a lot better with their debut cd though! “Impuls” contains extremely low frequencies, very dark ambient soundscapes, noise, pulsating rhythms and here and there more ‘danceable’ industrial with even technoish beats. “Impuls” is a strong, original and very enjoyable album.

Horologium / Foundation Hope / Project Winter / Artefactum * Pere Lachaise (cd 2006 steinklang / divine comedy)

There should have been a new Horologium cd by now, two actually, a new one and one with old material. For some reason the cds do not arrive at the distros, so I suppose they are delayed. Then I saw this split cd at a stand at the Coph Nia concert in Arnhem last weekend, so I thought it would be a good item to fill the gap. Unfortunately the Horologium tracks are rather cheap. Foundation Hope makes quite minimalistic ambient (with some orchestral influences) which is alright, but not groundbreaking. Project Winter has a bit of a LOKI-sound and their tracks are the most interesting of this cd. Artefactum makes dark ambient that sometimes touches to noise, their tracks are quite enjoyable. “Pere Lachaise” is not a boring cd, but not a great one either. I remain in wait for the new Horologium material.

Dresden ’45 * Breath On Me (7” 2003 steinklang) & Archiv 1993 – 1999 (cd der elfentanz)

Dresden ’45 is one of these names singing around, but for the rest unknown to me. The Steinklang sellout gave me the opportunity to listen to some material. The 7” brings harsch and chaotic noise, not really my thing. I don’t know if the archive is ordered chronologically, but it opens with rather cheesy dark music in the vein of those black metal sideprojects of about the same time. But the tracks get better, going to more industrial and eventually power electronics in style. There are some nice tracks on this cd, but overall Dresden ’45 does not convince me.

A Challenge Of Honour * Monuments (12″ 2005 steinklang industries)

From the early days of this Dutch act, I’ve been following ACOH and I have most of the early material. Then it seemed to get a bit silent around mr. Savelkoul, but also some more very limited releases have been made available on various small labels. (This 12″ comes in 500 copies which are relatively many.) This makes it hard to keep up. Besides, ACOH experiments with its own sound. This is good of course, but doesn’t always result in something that I like a lot. The early releases where mostly orchestral bombast, then followed more dark industrial / ambient releases which are still very enjoyable. I am not too fond of the neofolk elements. This time ACOH sticked to a more tranquil pace with nice orchestral tracks, a terrible ‘poppy’ track, but also a very nice neofolkish song and a wonderfull dark orchestral track towards the end.
The (like this 12″) long delayed “Seven Samurais” cd seems to be available, so I suppose I will have my copy soon. I wonder what that one will sound like. Always a surprise! <4/6/05><3>