DER BLUTHARSCH - When did wonderland end ? - CD/DVD & LP - 12 tracks - HauRuck! - 2005

After a few delays at the pressing plant, the new album from Der Blutharsch is out at last. Over the years Albin has gradually transformed the solo-project of the beginnings into a fully-fledged rock band by adding more members to the line-up. This album can be considered as a collective work of Albin (vocals, drums, percussions, harp, harmonium, piano, synths and programming), Martyna (vocals, drums and percussions) Bain Wolfkind (vocals, guitar, drums) and Jörg B. (guitar and bass); aided by Paola Andrea Riascos (Terroritmo - vocals), Christine K. (Graumahd - clarinet, Matt Howden (Sieben - violin), Alessio B. (Varunna - cello), Didi Bruckmeyer (Fuckhead - vocals) and Douglas P. (DIJ - lyrics). "When did wonderland end?" has long been announced as a rock album, and the cover makes this quite clear: our four bad-ass rock'n'roll desperados look more like a reincarnation of Gay Bickers On Acid than extras for a war film.

This presentation may not sound very über-martial at all for those who still have in mind the military-chic aesthetics of Albin's early works. "When did wonderland end?" continues in the same vein as the previous two albums, leaving far behind the martial industrial anthems of the past. The traditional electronics and heavy percussions are still present, but they are more in the background as most of the album-tracks are propelled by heavy, slow pulsing basslines and effect-laden choppy guitars. Add to this some doom-ridden vocals and you have the perfect formula for good old goth rock… Some tracks (#3, #4, #8 & #9 in particular) even bring to mind the very early Sisters Of Mercy (i.e. in 1984, when they were actually good) with Bain sounding very convincing in his Andrew Eldritch cameo. Nonetheless, all the songs have a strong identity that makes them sound distinctly Der Blutharschian (even the Death In June cover (#6) or the take on Ain Soph (#12)), which gives you the impression that this album sounds more complete and focused than the two previous opuses.

Der Blutharsch (death) rock 'n' roll stars... now that should set some minds boggling.

Recommended, of course.

Ian C.
Winter 2006

"When did wonderland end?" comes in two formats: a limited (3000 copies) deluxe CD that comes with a DVD containing the video clip of track #8 and a limited (555 copies) LP on black or red vinyl.


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