FOLKSTORM - Sweden - CD - 11 Tracks - Cold Spring - 2004
I have lost track of the number of records released by Nordvargr under his various guises, but apparently I can't be the only one as this Folkstorm studio album was only recently discovered in Cold Spring's archives. Those expecting martial industrial anthems with thundering vocals may be in for a bit of a surprise as the 11 tracks on this album are in a much harsher, brutal vein. A relentless pounding of grinding noises, crushing beats and distorted vocals that, for a non-fan like me, can seem a bit monotonous at times. Although I can easily imagine that this can be a musical delight for the noise aficionados...
Released as a limited edition of 1500 copies "Sweden" should be the final epitaph of this now-defunct project.
Ian C.
Contacts : Nordvargr - Cold Spring

KLIMPEREI - La tordeuse à bandes obliques - CD - 28 Tracks - Eclipsis/Absurd - 2004
Released to mark the first anniversary of the label owners' daughter, this CD compiles 28 unreleased or obscure songs taken from the archives of this particularly discreet French toy music project. Toy piano, children's instruments, strange sounds, weird vocals are subtlety combined on these bizarre and surrealist nursery rhymes and ditties. Although it could be seen as another addition to the recent craze of child-related releases, this CD does however offer something different to the rest as it actually contains music that could effectively be used to awaken a young child's musical sensibilities.
A release that should have a particular appeal for all our readers who have or intend to have children one day, although it can also be appreciated by the non-procreators too...
"La tordeuse à bandes obliques" is presented in a pink circular fold-out cover, limited to 500 copies.
Ian C.
Contacts : Klimperei - Eclipsis

LEGER DES HEILS - Himmlische Feuer - CD - 9 tracks - Eis & Licht - 2004
Released last December on Eis & Licht, 'Himmlische Feuer' is the new material of the German act Leger des Heils. Although I was not really convinced by their early works as well as the Chinese compilation gathering rare and unreleased tracks, I must admit that this new album is quite pleasant to listen to. The compositions still have an electronic base... mixed with acoustic instruments, German lyrics inspired by Romanticism, neoclassical melodies, martial drums... The male vocals (even if they could be difficultly considered as a highpoint of the band) are even a bit more assured than in the past... The atmosphere created by these nine songs varies from epic moment to quiet passages.
One can just regret that they don't offer a few more tracks in the vein of 'Mondnacht'... a catchy militaro pop song, indispensable to all fine DJs set.
The cd comes in a digipack and is limited to 900 copies.
Nathalie F.
Contacts : Leger des Heils - Eis & Licht

VON THRONSTAHL - Imperium Internum - CD - 14 Tracks - Cold Spring - 2004
No need to present the controversial German epic martial act Von Thronstahl. This CD is the repress of their first album, originally released by Cold Spring in 2000, presented in a digipak.
The music, strongly inspired by Laibach, Blood Axis and Turbund Sturmwerk, is a blueprint of the martial symphonic genre. All the classic ingredients are inside; historical speeches, bombastic percussions, rousing symphonic passages, nostalgic acoustic guitars, etc... Although not exactly original music wise, this album clearly shows the project's capacity to blend all these elements into strong, solemn and dynamic hymns to past grandeur. A recipe that has often been copied, but rarely equalled since. A must have for all the trendies in uniform...
Ian C.
Contacts : Von Thronstahl - Cold Spring