SONNE HAGAL - Tarja - 7" picture disc - 2 tracks - Divine Comedy Records - 2004

Released recently on the French label Divine Comedy, 'Tarja' is a magnificent 7" picture disc recorded by the well-established German neofolk band Sonne Hagal. Each side of the vinyl features a superb photo from the talented Danish photographic artist Peter Bengsten and indeed this artwork is enough to allow this record to stand out as a piece of art. Keep in mind that Peter Bengsten has also just designed the Sonne Hagal 'Helfahrt' reissue as well as the forthcoming Siderartica album... without forgetting the highly-awaited photographic book to be released later this year on Divine Comedy too.

Musically speaking, Sonne Hagal show a quite different facet of their talent. This time, it is not acoustic ballads in the neofolk vein, nor dark ambient compositions like those featuring on the split lp shared with Nerthus, but two atmospheric, melancholic and meditative tracks. The fine alchemy between melodies played by acoustic instruments (guitar, flute...), bass lines, ambient landscapes and a mysterious haunted male voice (reminiscent of John Balance especially on the 'Aud' side) works perfectly here.

This 7" was originally supposed to be released on the now-defunct American label LSDO... so, one can only be delighted that Divine Comedy have offered the opportunity to this record to see the light. It is also worth mentioning that this record is strictly limited to 500 copies and benefits of an excellent quality of pressing; two arguments that should fill all vinyl lovers with joy.

Highly recommended!

Nathalie F.
Summer 2004

Sonne Hagal:
Divine Comedy: