WALDTEUFEL - Rauhnacht - MCD - 4 tracks - Terra Fria - 2005

'Rauhnacht' was originally released by the Portuguese label Terra Fria for the (unfortunately) aborted Waldteufel European tour that should have started in Sintra, last October. This mcd features four tracks, for a total length of almost 30 minutes, that explore the Wild Hunt and Twelve Nights folklore and myth. With the exception of 'Allerseelengebet' that was recorded last year at the occasion of the 'Language of the Wild Hunt' performance in a church in Portland, all tracks, based upon poems by German writers-poets, are exclusive to this release.

Rauhnacht opens with 'Allerseelengebet'... a song that begins with a strange introduction combining vinyl cracklings, male voice ordering sample, horns, whip sound and wild barking... that, obviously, evoke an atmosphere of hunting. Then, with horns only in the background, Markus Wolff's German spoken words fill the space and transport the listener to another time and space.
The second track 'In den Zwölften' is almost undistinguishable from the first... only announced by deep drones and soft percussions that augur a ritual passage... soon enhanced and guided by the sounds of a flute and Markus singing. A simple instrumental universe but that totally surrounds you... and a chorus that engraves deeply your musical memory.
The third track 'Hexe Hild' occurs brutally with primitive and pulsing percussions, a bewitched electric guitar... soon joined by strong vocals from Markus and an occasional accordion. A great expression of archaic and martial experimental folk/metal music and so lively and powerful that you could think it is a live recording.
The last piece, but also the longest, 'Ur-Odin' will probably sound as the most experimental composition... based upon field-recordings, organic and/or primitive ritual sounds, strange chantings in the background, distorted laughs and 'shamanic incantations', it simply transports the listener to the middle of the forest where (s)he will be part of a magical scene… whereas the sound of a military fanfare is coming and growing... until the sudden acclamations of a crowd that punctuate brilliantly this 'Rough Night'.

The mcd is limited to 500 copies and comes in the usual Terra Fria small dvd plastic case, including a 4-page booklet.

Highly recommended!

Nathalie F.
Autumn 2005

Waldteufel: www.waldteufel.net
Terra Fria: www.terra-fria.com