ANENZEPHALIA - Noehaem - CD - 8 tracks - Zaetraom / Tesco - 2004
'Noehaem' ('Newhome') is the new Anenzephalia material released by Tesco in collaboration with Zaetraom. It contains eight untitled parts. The album opens with an oppressive dark ambient track before leaving place to a more 'traditional' Anenzephalia work mixing distinctive voice with repetitive industrial hammerings, intense and loud rhythmic… Track III is just as suffocating! Beginning as an unstructured electronic assault, it is actually built on monotonous and slow percussion, noise layers… there is no place for hope here.
The rest of this opus is in the same vein, built upon dark ambient sound collages, disturbing noises, looped samples, power electronic constructions to depict a sick and hopeless atmosphere.
'Noehaem' should be a very appreciated piece for the listeners, bored with all those pale savourless Anenzephalia clones that pullulate nowadays. An opportunity to listen to the Original that should not be missed!
This highly recommended new material, is available in both CD and LP format.
Contact: Anenzephalia (at Tesco USA)
Distributed by Tesco
DER BLUTHARSCH - Time is thee enemy - LP - 12 tracks - WKN - 2004
I must admit that Time is thee enemy was the first Der Blutharsch-release ever to disappoint me. I even liked its predeccessor When all else fails! which had then been critized as being uninspired and mediocre, but this time, Der Blutharsch's music sounds lukewarm to me at best.
Decide for yourself!
Anyway, Time is thee enemy starts off nicely with a children's choir and Albin muttering the title-giving phrase over and over. Track II then already establishes your standard old-school military-Dampfwalzen-pop as you should expect from Der Blutharsch. Track IV, VII, IX are in a slower and more melancholic vain without being any more remarkable.
I found it heard to shake the feeling that everything sounded sort of unenthusiastic, at times even boring. Albin seems to have been improving his singing technique a bit since When all else fails! - at least he tries at times.
On the plus side, Track III, sung in Italian, is a witty discontinuity of the tiresome formula. Track XI sounds like a mixture of a martial rhythm and a 70ies' Italian girlie pop band and adds an unexpected exotic flair to the album.
Real highlights are few: Track V I probably like best, being melodic, danceable and rather opulent. Track VI strikes us with an eerie atmosphere installed by folky guitar, organ and a deep chorus. Track VIII, beginning with a childlike melody and then exploding into a very dynamic scenario, sounds very much like, and is, indeed, a contribution by Dernière Volonté.
Track X (In the hands of the master) is a complete failure, and maybe the single most embarrassing track I've ever heard from Der Blutharsch. Even if meant funny (I don't get it), it's just dull and a far cry from the use Blood Axis made of electric guitars and a more vile voice (Storms of Steel) on their classic album The Gospel of Inhumanity.
The album then comes to a highly unspectacular conclusion with the twelfth track which I personally find rather annoying.
Contact : Der Blutharsch
DR_1 - How Angels Fly on Burning Wings - CD - 7 tracks - Monkeyhouse Recordings - 2003
Third CD released by the Scotish label Monkeyhouse Recordings, 'How Angels Fly On Burning Wings' is also the debut recording of the drone/noise act DR_1.
Composed of seven tracks dealing mainly with atmospheric music, this 30 minute-long CD is an invitation to deep-space ambient. A subtil mix of soft melodies, drones, strange soundscapes... this very promising debut should appeal the listeners of atmospheric, relaxing, dreamy, immerging music...
The CD comes in an original red translucide slimcase including a sheet of metalic paper as minimal artwork.
Contact: Monkeyhouse Recordings
H.E.R.R. - Es regnet das Leben heraus (promo) - CDR - 3 tracks - Were Di! - 2004
H.E.R.R. (Heilige Europa! Römisches Reich) is a new martial neoclassic project from
Holland who should soon release their debut album on Were Di!, a new Belgian label. Those who appreciate strong epic
atmospheres full of heroism and glory shouldn't be disappointed by this project. Martial drums, bombastic percussions,
heroic classical samples and grave spoken word vocals abound on this preview. These three well-constructed tracks show
plenty of promise and one can only hope that the other tracks on 'Es regnet das Leben heraus' will be in the same vein.
Keep your eyes on this project...
Contacts: H.E.R.R. - Were Di!
NEITHER / NEITHER WORLD - She whispers - CD - 9 tracks - HauRuck! - 2003
This album from the American band Neither/Neither World will come as a surprise for the HauRuck! fan(atic)s.
Indeed, N/N W are a rawk band with a sound that fits in somewhere between Elysian Fields and Mazzy Star. Wendy Van Dusen
provides girlie-sounding vocals to nine, flawlessly played, lush rock songs. Nice, but far from sounding original,
exciting or deranged. The riffs have been heard a thousand times before and the song progressions are quite predictable.
The result is a generic, 'classic-sounding' indie-rock album that would make the joy of most NME readers.
What the iron sheep, who blind-buy all HR! releases, will make of this record is another question...
Contacts: Neither/Neither World - HauRuck!
PLANETALDOL - Grand Bois - 3" CD-R - 6 tracks - 3patttes records - 2003
Second release of the newborn French label 3patttes, 'Grand Bois' is the work of Anthony Colas, the person behind Planetaldol and the founder of the label. This new production follows two promising demos 'Hierba loca' and 'Astrol's kitchen' as well as 'Prolifere' (the collaboration between Planetaldol and Final Cut), the first release of 3patttes. Productions that were all reviewed on our pages in the past... Six tracks compose this new 20 minute-long CD-R. The music is a mix of dark ambient, organic, cold and depressive elements that create a very introspective atmosphere... especially 'La pierre pleureuse' and 'La chapelle morte' feature amongst the most oppressive and intriguing Planetaldol pieces so far...
This record, released last November, comes on a 3" format featuring a cover realised by Yi Kyong Hwa, and is limited to 63 copies. Amateurs of dark ambient should find interest in the listening of this new release and should follow closely the work of this talented experimental-ambient French act.
Contacts: Planetaldol - 3patttes records
WEIHAN - Galder - CD - 14 tracks - Cynfeirdd - 2004
'Galder' is the debut album of this Belgian neofolk duo. Weihan use acoustic and electric guitar, bass, keyboards, mouth-harp and special effects associated with whispered vocals in Flemish to create simple, raw sounding folk songs with strong traditional influences. The tranquil, drawn-out songs create a sad, desolate mood full of nostalgia that, after a while dissolves into in a monotonous blur of repetitive melodies. Although one could argue that this factor also contributes to the overall timeless feeling of the album.
All in all, this is a rather pleasant album that creates a nice atmosphere for those endless grey afternoons spent reading...
Contacts: Weihan - Cynfeirdd