21. Apr. 2011, 11:01

After much pestering, I've relented. Hope you folks are happy. Here is my Best In Neofolk / Martial Industrial / Etc. 2010 list. I've refrained from writing reviews for this material, as I just couldn’t be bothered this year. My apologies.

Those who are actually interested, feel free to comment, criticize, and suggest any albums that you may have heard that I might have missed in neofolk, martial, neoclassical, dark ambient, or power electronic genres. Also, I encourage readers to post their Best of 2010 lists as well. There are so many things out there these days that I know I missed a great multitude of things.

I'm open to any listening suggestions!

Also, if you are interested in other genres of music aside from those covered in this journal, feel free to visit my other journal entries covering the Best of Heavy Metal (link) and Indie / Misc. (link) in 2010.

Enjoy! :-]

+ Best In Neofolk / Martial Industrial / Neoclassical / Etc. +

1.)Adam Hurst - "Elegy"

Hurst’s seventh release marks a departure from the drone-grounded, solo modal improv of those performances and his recent CD outings. He overdubs spare piano accompaniment that allows a richer harmonic language, more through-composed moments, and, notwithstanding a couple of cuts (e.g. “Radiance”) laced with Middle Eastern rhythms and drone, a more European classical sound meets the old Windham Hill melodic acoustic style. As track titles such as “Elegy,” “Absence” and “Lament” suggest, the prevailing mood is melancholy, sometimes mournfully so, exploiting the instrument’s dark qualities. Others range from dramatic (“Summoning”) to plaintive (“Fragments”) to pensive (“View from Within”), all riding memorable, song-like melodies. The consistently somber mood across Hurst’s 15 concise tracks makes it easy to bask in the haunting atmosphere, ideally next to a fireplace on a stormy night at the coast.

The cinematic feel of Hurst’s moody music is no accident. “My biggest goal through music is to create evocative, introspective sounds which can accompany dream states,” he says. “I want the listener to have visual experiences.” It’s music best listened to with your eyes closed and heart open.

- Source: Brett Campbell (www.wweek.com)

For fans of: :10:, Julia Kent, Nightpray, Corde Oblique, In a Mindset, Indignant Senility.
Homepage: www.adamhurststudio.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/adamhurststudio

2.)Árstíðir - Árstíðir (late ’09 pick)

The music of Árstíðir is a rare mix that is at the same time simple and complex. Their songs are easy to fall in love with, yet it mixes influences from classical music, progressive rock, country and Icelandic folk music. The band consists of distinguished players known from various bands and various genres in the Reykjavíkian sound-scape.

Aside from their trademark vocal harmonies, it is Árstíðir’s instrumentation that set them apart, effusing a warm tide of resonant acoustic and baritone guitars, virtuosic piano, and melismatic strings. The result is an unusually wide sound spectrum, further emphasized by the impressive vocal range of all six members. Árstíðir’s music is easy to fall in love with yet mixed with diverse influences such as progressive rock, indie, classical music, country and Icelandic folk music.

- Source: www.arstidir.com

For fans of: Laudanum Forest, Rökkurró, Neutral, Forseti, Harvest Rain, Nick Castro & The Poison Tree, Marissa Nadler.
Homepage: www.arstidir.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/arstidir

3.)Lisa Gerrard & Marcello De Francisci – “Departum"

Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner singer/composer Lisa Gerrard (Dead Can Dance) and film composer Marcello De Francisci have joined forces to bring you their first collaborative album work titled Departum. The two hit it off and felt so good working together they decided to do another project on their own terms. The result is probably the best work Lisa has done since Dead Can Dance dissolved. Soundscapes, echoing chasms, haunting vocals, eastern tribal influences, it's all the stuff that made Dead Can Dance work with a bit of a different flavor. Quietly spiritual, yet not new agey, the record nonetheless feels like a healing. Lisa's voice is as amazing as ever. I think this record proves she does better when she's collaborating with someone.

On Departum, these collections of pieces are filled with lyrical soundscapes, which have been orchestrated with vocal chants, cimbalom, guitars, percussion, modern instruments and orchestra. An effort that took two years in the making moreover a collective journey inspired by ancient world cultures (Mesopotamia, Europe & Asia).

- Source: philohagen.com

For fans of: Dead Can Dance, Brendan Perry, Irfan, Rajna, Love Is Colder Than Death, Azam Ali.
Homepage: www.lisagerrard.com
Lisa Gerrard MySpace: www.myspace.com/lisagerrard
Marcello De Francisci MySpace: www.myspace.com/marcellodefrancisci

4.)Donis - "Kas tave šaukia..."

A solid follow up of Donis' Bite Lingo album, emphasizing Lithuanian historical war folklore to a new level, presenting ancient songs with impressive modern post-folk arrangements and various traditional instruments. Singer Rasa Serra with her tremendous voice is on the top here. The album is dedicated to 600 years anniversary of the Great Žalgiris (Grunwald 1410) battle.

Track By Track Synopsis:

01. Where War Wages
Instrumental track.

02. Who Calls You? (original title Žalio vario)
Ancient ritual game of funeral (registered in 1984).
During the ritual, people sing: Who calls you?
“What do you want, sirs?”
“We want a man!"
”Oh, who will open the gate?”
“We will open the gate…”

Passing the gate represents passing from this world into the beyond.

03. Forth, Home...
Carry me, my horse, forth, home...

04. I Woke Up Early
A song of farewell (registered in 1828). An old mother cries and wails over her young son leaving for the war. The young soldier cries saying that he has no siblings who could see him off.

05. Dove’s Song
Military and love song (registered in 1938). This particularly lyrical song has very well-expressed motifs of strong emotional ties in the family. Parents and siblings cry over the soldier who left, look for him everywhere but cannot find him. But the girl finds him in Vilnius town and he promises to marry her.

06. Must Go to War (original title Oi, šėriau šėriau)
Leaving for war song (registered in 1960). While feeding the horse, the boy receives a letter brought by a cuckoo inviting him to war. As he is leaving, he is sad about his girl, hopes to return from war and marry her.

07. Young Brother of Three Sisters
Brother’s farewell song (registered apprx. in 1963). The key motifs of preparing the boy for war are expressed concisely and quietly in the song: one sister dresses her brother, the other saddles up the horse, while the third lifts the gate and sees him off. The brother never returns as he is killed in the war. The horse brings the message about his demise.

08. Black Raven
Dying soldier’s song (registered in 1936). The song conveys the motif of death and wedding. The dying soldier asks the raven to fly to his home town and spread the news that he got married: his bride is the small bullet piercing his heart.

09. Father Raises
Soldier’s fate song (registered apprx. in 1949). The first part conveys the preparations for leaving for war and parting with the family, while the second one describes the soldier’s fate in the war, the cruelties of battles and the deaths of soldiers.

10. Sighing Oaks (original title Ir atlėkė žąsų pulkas)
A song about the soldier’s service in Prussian army (registered in 1919). The opening image relates to the mythical image: a covey of geese bring the message about the soldier’s death. The song stresses a difficult life of a soldier and the gloomy loneliness of the widowed bride.

11. Oh, Brother Brother
Leaving for war song (registered in 1962). A young boy asks his brother to saddle up the horse as he has to go to war. The refrain oh how nice and fine our army is grants some playfulness and optimism to the song.

12. Run, My Dear Horse
Instrumental track.

- Source: www.dangus.net
Information about songs prepared by Irena Nakienė.
Translation by Ugnė Vitkutė.

For fans of: Vilkduja, Donatas Bielkauskas, Oro!Oro!, Roma Amor, Anapilis.
Homepage: www.donis.lt
MySpace: www.myspace.com/donatasbielkauskas

5.)Allerseelen – “Rauhe Schale”

After a series of luxurious vinyl reissues of the older and deleted discography, the new Allerseelen studio album is ready to be served. Gerhard proceeds in the direction taken withHallstatt, departing from the radiant and Mediterranean atmospheres widely explored on the acclaimed Venezia and Abenteurliches Herz some ten years ago, to move back onto dark and industrial-contaminated territories, never forgetting, however, the primal folk elements always present in the band's sound. Rauhe Schale contains brand-new songs, as well as some reworking of old classics, such as "Sturmlied", "Ob Auch Mein Herz So Funkelt" and "Kamerad" (here titled "Rauhnachtkamerad"), the latter particularly interesting thanks to the addition of female backing vocals.

There's varitey in the sound all through the album, equally subdivided into ballad-like moments, with acoustic instruments and a traditional approach ("Die Klänge", "Jede Welle", the crepuscular "Die Sehnsucht Aber Bleibt", the agile "Niemandsland"), heavier and noisier experimental parts, with samples and industrial soundscapes ("Diese Nähe Ist Gefahr", the disquieting "Die Berge Werden Leer Sein", "Herbstlied"), electro-dancey epics (the reprise of "Sturmlied", "Dein Herz Schlägt Aufwärts"), and surprising e-guitar driven tunes ("Wo Ist Das Leben", "Rauhnachtsalz", "Ruhig Blut"). The swift and melancholic instrumental piano "Schlussbild" appropriately closes this interesting collection, that shows once again Gerhard's creativity and will to experiment the different possible variations of what he himself baptized "industrial folklore" a while ago.

- Source: Simon V. (www.filthforge.org)

For fans of: Der Blutharsch, Blood Axis, Leger Des Heils, Sturmpercht, Werkraum.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/allerseelen

6.)Funerary Call - "Dark Waters Stirred"

It is a rare and most priviledged occasion when one happens upon a ritual as foreboding as the recent release from Funerary Call, Dark Waters Stirred. Minimal yet textured, the six tracks that make up Dark Waters Stirred contain some of the most smothering atmosphere to be found in extreme music. Woe to all who dare gaze upon the Dark Waters . . . for what is seen depends largely on who is looking as well as what they most fear.

“With Curse” opens the wound, the portal, the eye. Patient as a winter’s night, “With Curse” has a tonality that sounds like a distorted dream and a feel like a sluggish nightmare. The lights blink from far away as you are flown through the dark sky, landing at once in the middle of a black sea where an ancient ceremony awaits. The droning drums to “Words of Power” call you closer to the fire, burning your straining eyes. The shadows continue to grow long as the faces of those around you contort into horrendous laughter of decadent delight. This is what sensory deprivation would sound like if it made so much as a whisper.

One of the most appealing things about Dark Waters Stirred is how personal it can become. The only words present (accompanied by one of the most haunting violins I have ever heard) are spoken, the verses taken from the Book of Revelation. This allows each listener to create his or her own proverbial Frankenstein’s Monster from the album’s anatomy of crude sound. No bullshit political lyrics, no profane chants to Satan — you are allowed to draw your own conclusions and therefore, are also forced to find your own way out of the ever-maddening maze.

The production of this album is also top notch. Any fool can make noise and call it art, just as any artist can hear noise and call it foolish; however, it takes an artist with genuine talent, such as Funerary Call, to create something as moving and personally penetrating as Dark Waters Stirred.

- Source: forbidden-magazine.com

For fans of: Herbst9, Nordvargr, Blood Box, Sistrenatus, Archon Satani.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/funerarycall

7.)Rome - "Nos Chants Perdus"

The 5th full length of Rome (the 2nd released on Trisol) sounds to me like their most intimate album thus far. The duo Jerome Reuter (Luxemburg) and Patrick Damiani (Germany) got some fame by their neo-folk and apocalyptic approach, but 5 years after their debut we can no longer speak about this kind of music. There are for sure some reminiscences running through the work, but Nos Chants Perdus comes closer to some real ‘chanson’. An instrument like the accordion reminds me of the street musicians of Paris and that has nothing to do with the neo-folk style. The lyrics remain the strongest element referring to the early years of the band. Paying some attention for the brilliant “La Rose Et La Hache” you’ll have to admit that Rome has considerably evolved. This is a brilliant and moody song dominated by the accordion play. Another essential cut is “Les Iles Noires”. It’s a masterpiece that will appeal for the fans of Nick Cave (on his most moody songs).

A few other songs are more evasive for the musical content and I here especially think to “L’Assassin” and “Sous La Dague” while being more dramatic for their lyrical content. “Un Adieu A La Folie” is already a bit different, reminding to the gothic-wave style of Diary of Dreams. No doubt about it, next to the intimate character of this release it’s also the most diversified album to date. This is maybe because of the songs that have been brought together in 5 parts.

Another particularity of this album can be found in some songs sung in English, but achieved with French lyrics. It reflects the cold poetry of Rome while still creating a duality with the music. It all sounds like a symbolic fight between a ‘warmer’ and ‘happier’ music and the ‘desperate’ lyrical style. Several guest musicians have contributed to this opus injecting some piano, violin, cello and other instruments. The acoustic instruments create a very authentic impression dominated by a deep emotional content. Nos Chants Perdu (“Our Lost Chants”) brings despair (lyrics) and happiness (music) together creating the most accomplished work of Rome to date!

- Source: www.side-line.com

For fans of: Triarii, Of the Wand and the Moon, Rose Rovine e Amanti, TriORE.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/romecmi

8.)Der Arbeiter - "Holzwege"

Six years after its debut album Reflejos del Sol was released by Divine Comedy, Der Arbeiter is back with a new album inspired and dedicated to the Chilean writer Miguel Serrano. Holzwege contains ten songs that form a balance from neo-folk with Mediterranean influences (for instance: the melodies used for the acoustic guitar parts) to electronic arrangements. This musical blend, along with the melancholic atmosphere, creates a cinematic effect where industrial and ambient martial influences meet electronic folk and passionate acoustic instrumentals. Along with nine original songs, you'll find "Wo Die Wilden Kerle Wohnen ", originally written by Gerhard Hallstatt (of Allerseelen) for the 7" compilation of the same title ("Where The Brutes Dwell" is an ancient Germanic fairy tale and on that 7" and many different bands have recorded their musical version of it).

The ten songs conceptually inspired by the work of Chilean writer Miguel Serrano, and his conception of Minne ("a love at once illicit and morally elevating, passionate and disciplined, humiliating and exalting, human and transcendent"). In musical terms, Holzwege is an alchemical mix of electro-folk with a slight Mediterranean taste, which gives it a unique and distinctive sound that moves away from the well known clichés of the neofolk-martial scene. An original and inspiring work, made in Chile, arising from the ruins.

-Source: www.coldspring.co.uk

For fans of: Storm of Capricorn, Horologium, Oda Relicta, Le Lendemain, Rukkanor, Medusa’s Spell.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/derarbeiter

9.)March of Heroes - "Liberation"

Mit Liberation gebärt uns Romain L. nach einiger Zeit der Stille nun den zweiten Teil der angekündigten Trilogie, welcher den Hörer abermals auf Schlachtfelder von erschreckender Intensität geleitet.

Mit diesem Rundling geht der Musiker dabei den bereits auf dem Vorwerk eingeschlagenen Weg konsequent weiter, sprich martialische Kost, die da mit allerlei Samples verfeinert wird. Bereits der längere Opener vereint jene Elemente recht gekonnt, was zwar auch auf "Liberation (Part II)" zutrifft, wobei diese Darbietung allerdings eine recht lange und unauffällige Anlaufzeit birgt. Entschädigt wird man dafür mit einer atmosphärischen Tastenmelodie, die noch sehr lange nachhallt. Auffallend auf dem Album ist der mittlerweile recht hohe Anteil an Sprachsamples, der dieses stark prägt, was zwar nicht schlecht sein muss, in vorliegendem Fall aber aufgrund der mitunter langen Darbietungen das Gesamte etwas in die Länge gezogen wirken lässt. Und da wären wir beim Salz in der Suppe.

Titel wie "Motherland Calls" klingen vielversprechend, vermögen mich aber aufgrund der nicht wirklich variablen Umsetzung kaum auf Dauer zu fesseln. Wenn der Musiker zudem etwas mehr Pepp und vor allem Bombast einbringen würde, wäre das sicherlich schon mal ein guter Ansatz. Somit hat es hier mitunter vielmehr den Anschein, dass das Augenmerk eher auf die Samples, als auf die Musik gelegt wurde. Wenn die Musik dann somit zum schmückenden Beiwerk degradiert wird, begeistert mich das nicht wirklich. Dies verleiht dem Ganzen mitunter einen gar ambienten Charakter, wobei March Of Heroes aber dennoch im Industrial verankert bleiben.

Am Ende ist Liberation etwas schwächer als das Debüt ausgefallen, erscheint mir dies komplett betrachtet doch schon recht monoton. Die Nähe des Schlachtfelds nur mit Gefechtsgetümmel umzusetzen reicht mir in der heutigen Zeit einfach nicht mehr aus, da gibt es mittlerweile weit bessere Formationen. Man wird sehen, was die Zukunft bringt.

-Ursprung: www.necroweb.de

For fans of: Arditi, Pantheon Legio Musica, Arditi, Across the Rubicon, Die Weisse Rose, Phragments. MySpace: www.myspace.com/marchofheroes

10.)Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat – "Hewers Of Wood and Drawers Of Water"

You can never judge a book by it's cover and a name like Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat proves it. It sounds like a band with humor and that might actually still be the case but there is nothing funny about their, or actually, his music. Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat is a one man project led by Belgian Stef Irritant, who uses guest musicians on most of his albums. He plays dark and sober folk similar, in style and quality, to Woven Hand. The folk is also mixed with rock, country and even some drone influences.

Be it clean electrics or acoustics, all the songs are based around vocals and guitar. The songs on this album range from small songs with just guitar and vocals (Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water), to songs that have some percussion added (Harrow) and songs that feature a full band (Taking the Auspices), but don't expect any uptempo folk/rock songs on this album. All the tempo's on this album are slow and sludgy, which is something that really fits the sober mood set by the voice of Stef.

Lyrically this is very poetic album. Just look at the title, he could have just called it lumberjacks and waterboys. Those poetic lyrics go really well with the hint of moaning and complaint that is always present in the vocals. The style of the vocals isn't typically folk, so don't expect that country twang. Think Woven Hand, a British accent and I even hear a little Killing Joke every now and then.

Even though most of the songs are based around vocals and guitars, the guitars the aren't very up front in the mix. The production is very based around the mood the songs set and all the instruments have their equal place in it. So when that organ comes in at the end of Harrow you can hear it really well. The vocals are very present in the mix though, but isn't a problem cause his voice sets the mood for a lot of songs. So if you like your folk a bit darker or you are a metalhead who just wants to hear something different, try this record.

- Source: sputnikmusic.com

For fans of: Nature and Organisation, Sieben, In Gowan Ring, Sol Invictus, Hexvessel.
Homepage: www.kraak.net/kattengat
MySpace: www.myspace.com/kisstheanusofablackcat

11.)Phelios - "Astral Unity"

This is the 3rd full length from the German ambient project Phelios and the very first release on the excellent Malignant Records. According to me this label, with its roster has become very representative for qualitative dark ambient music. Astral Unity is a banging piece of ambient music dominated by hard drones. It sounds quite bombastic and the echoing drones are like the foreplay of an apocalypse. We get 7 heavy pieces, which from start on bring the listener into devotion. The drones have been put beneath cold cellar atmospheres, which can become very visual like. “Deadspace” is a very representative track for the visual strength of this opus.

The “Origin” track is even accentuating the imaginary nightmare vision. This track sounds like a real cataclysm. This is ambient terror! But the real surprise of this album comes at the end. We here are like walking on total new grounds, like discovering an unknown ambient dimension. Just imagine a cool, cold ambient cut being worked out with some kind of acid bleeps on top. This is quite undone, but I can assure you that it works pretty well! I can’t affirm that an entire album in this style would be good, but this way of ending the album took me by surprise! Phelios is one more band to discover on Malignant Records!

- Source: www.side-line.com

For fans of: Verhören, Svartsinn, Kammarheit, New Risen Throne, Inade, False Mirror, Terra Sancta, Vestigial.
Homepage: www.phelios.de
MySpace: www.myspace.com/phelios

12.)Les Fragments De La Nuit - "Demain C'Etait Hier"

Ombeline Chardes (violin) and Michel Villar (piano) received a very good response after the release of Musique Du Crépuscule in 2008. This French duo gained experience in the writing of soundtrack music, and that’s an explicit element we can find back on Demain, C’Etait Hier (“Tomorrow, It Was Yesterday”).

Dark cinematographic compositions clearly inspired by neo-classical music invite the listener to join the enigmatic world of this band. The first part is definitely dark and dramatic sounding. “Cyclogenese” therefore reminds me a bit of Sergei Prokofiev, which I think is a rather good reference. The dramatic character progressively evolves towards a more melancholic feeling appearing on “Cyrius B”. This song perfectly reflects their source of inspiration leading us towards the radiance of stars with the dark forces lurking in the night… which brings us again to their band name (The Fragments Of The Night).

“Soupir” is a noticeable track reminding me of the music from the movies based on the work of Jane Austen (like “Senses And Sensibility”, “Pride and Prejudice”). The global atmosphere finally becomes mystical on “Les Canons Du Ciel”. The mystical touch was accentuated by the chants appearing on this song. I personally preferred the debut CD, but this French band remains an experience in their genre. It will appeal to the fans of the Prikosnovénie label (and Equilibrium Music as well).

- Source: www.side-line.com

For fans of: Edo Notarloberti, Luigi Rubino, Ashram, Hexperos, Ataraxia.
Homepage: www.lesfragmentsdelanuit.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/lesfragmentsdelanuit

13.)Across the Rubicon - "Who Doesn’t Listen To The Song Will Hear The Storm"

Ein interessantes Artwort lässt hier auf ein martialisches Feuerwerk ganz in der Tradition des Vorläufers hoffen, und dennoch bleibt man mit dieser Veröffentlichung leider etwas hinter den gesteckten Erwartungen zurück. Mit dem Debüt "Elegy" konnte man mit Across The Rubicon erstmals in der Welt des martialischen Industrial für Aufsehen sorgen. Deftiges Schlagwerk und der entsprechende Bombast waren prägende Elemente des Stils dieser Formation. Seitdem ist die Zeit jedoch nicht stehen geblieben, wie man eben auch an dem neuesten Auswurf "Who Doesn't Listen To The Song, Will Hear The Storm" bemerkt.

Im Vergleich zu "Elegy" wirkt man spürbar gezähmter, der Bombast wurde etwas zurück geschraubt und auffallend auf diesem Album ist der Sprachgesang, der bei einigen Stücken zum Vorschein kommt. Eine Neuerung in der Stilistik von Across The Rubicon, die dem Ganzen aber auch gar nicht einmal schlecht steht. Ansonsten sind die Zutaten eigentlich die gleichen geblieben, sprich gelegentliche Sprachsamples und eine martialische Grundstimmung mit diversen Beigaben aus dem Bereich der Neoklassik sind es, die das Bild auf "Who Doesn't Listen To The Song, Will Hear The Storm" prägen.

Bereits beim ersten Durchlauf schaffen es Stücke wie "Glory, Disillusionment And Despair" oder "Here Dead We Lie", sich aus der Masse etwas abzuheben, was mit an der jeweiligen Melodiegebung liegt. Natürlich ist der Gesamteindruck dabei abermals recht bedrohlich und eine musikalische Ähnlichkeit zu Puissance ist da auch durchaus gegeben und nicht von der Hand zu weisen. Trotzdem, am Ende zählt "Who Doesn't Listen To The Song, Will Hear The Storm" zu jener Kategorie von Werken, wo man immer jederzeit denkt, jetzt passiert etwas, nun kommt ein Kracher. Man sollte ja bekanntlich nie die Hoffnung aufgeben, hier wartet man jedoch vergeblich auf einen Höhepunkt. Ansonsten ist der Silberling inhaltlich ein ansprechender Auswurf geworden, der zwar solides Handwerk birgt, aber definitiv nichts Neues oder gar Weiterentwicklung vorweisen kann. Da bleibt nur noch zu hoffen, dass Across The Rubicon in Zukunft nicht den gleichen Fehler wie die einst so mächtigen Puissance machen und komplett an Biss verlieren.

- Ursprung: www.necroweb.de

For fans of: Alle Sagen Ja, Argentum, Sturmovik, In Slaughter Natives, Puissance, Kraft Front, Tethrippon, Sophia, Krępulec, L’Effet C’Est Moi.

14.)Sinweldi - "Acta Fabula Est"

Hilarious and amusing review:

Frankreich – ein Land voller Extreme, woher Albert Sinweldi , der Europagegner, Nationalist, Vichy Getreue und Musiker stammt, welcher mit Acta Fabula Est eine außergewöhnliche Vereini- gung aus Martial Pop, Rock & (Cold) Wave beschert, die von der ersten bis zur letzten Sekunde “zündet“!

Experten wie Albert Sinweldi finden sich natürlich auf Manufakturen wie SkullLine wieder, deren Anspruch nicht daran liegt den Political Correctnes Preis einzuheimsen, sondern adäquate Musik für eine stetig wachsende Fangemeinde aufzulegen, weshalb “Acta Fabula Est” in einer (“Groß”-) Auflage von 150 Exemplaren das Licht der Welt erblickt.

Über den Inhalt von Acta Fabula möchte man am Liebsten die Augen verschließen, aber der stolze Franzose bewegt sich derart weit ab der Mitte & setzt dem unbedeutenden Schriftsteller & Journalist Robert Brasillach (1909 – 1945), der sich als Verräter am französischen Vaterland einen Namen machte & dafür (zu Recht!) Exekution fand, ein Denkmal, das es jedem halbwegs geschichtsbewußten Menschen die Zornesröte ins Gesicht treibt!

Ja, und dann wäre da noch der Titel Acta Fabula Est, der wörtlich “Das Geschehene ist eine Fabel” bedeutet und wie folgt Auslegung findet: “Vorbei ist vorbei” – Herr Albert Sinweldi täte gut daran nicht Geschichtsverklärung (in Form von unangebrachter Heldenverehrung) zu betreiben, sondern die Realität zu blicken, wo unter dem Strich ausschließlich negative Punkte beim Rückblick auf das dunkelste Kapitel der Deutschen Geschichte bleiben.

Gegenüber dem untragbaren Inhalt steht eine musikalische Glanzleistung, die Cold Wave der Marke Clair Obscur mit Rock Identitario a la 270bis verknüpft, woraus sich einige tanzbare Passagen ergeben, welche das Geschehen dominieren & durch den Einsatz von zum Teil (bestimmt) strittigen Tonsamples Akzentuierung findet. Gefallen mag, dass Albert Sinweldi einige Frauenstimmen (Agnese P. & Letzte Ausfahrt Leben) integrierte, die dem “Ganzen” einen besonderen Charme verleihen (und für totale Vereinnahmung sorgen).

Innerhalb des musikalischen (hier liegt die Betonung) Gesamtkunstwerks existieren eigentlich nur Anspieltipps, woraus vor allem die Tracks ‘Der Mensch ist nur ein Tier (feat. Letzte Ausfahrt Leben)’, ‘Europe Jeunesse Revolution’ & ‘Honneur’ hervorstechen, wo Albert Sinweldi entweder die Gitarre auspackt oder Frauen (mit ihrem Gesang) ins Spiel kommen!

Fazit: Musikalisch brillant, hingegen inhaltlich untragbar, dürfte die richtige Beschreibung von “Acta Fabula Est” von Albert Sinweldi sein, der in seinen Kreisen bestimmt auf großen Anklang stößt, aber ansonsten definitiv keine Rolle spielt!

- Ursprung: kulturterrorismus.de

For fans of: Front Sonore, Nebel, Letzte Ausfahrt, Barbarossa Umtrunk, Eternity, Craft, Ante Bellum, Militia Dei, The Days of the Trumpet Call.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/sinweldi

15.)Nebelkorona - "Tannenhochforst"

Nebelkorona releases Tannenhochforst four years after their last album the rather lengly titled Reminiszenzen An Das Morgenrot / Relikte Des Abendrotes. The seven tracks on offer here add up to 41 minutes of deeply emotional neo folk that ranges from romantic music to dramatic lamentations. Tannenhochforst is a perfect, dark and wintry album for the fans of nostalgic neofolk music.

The album opens with "Morgenstunden", a touching ballad that begins with a clean, painful melody and a warm, comforting singing. The music is bittersweet and filled with a notion of nostalgia that will grow as the album progresses. The third track, "Sonnenhall" manifests this sense of nostalgia with a sorrowful piano playing, darker vocals and dramatic atmosphere. "Dezemberabend", the fourth track, finds them returning to the mellow and touching music they had opened the album with. Next up is "Waldzauber", which is even more laid back, yet sinister sounding track. The album maintains this emotional turmoil throughout, which keeps the album very dramatic without tiring the listeners.

Fans of romantic Neo folk will find this album a gem that should not be missed. Tannenhochforst should easily please those who look for a mellow music that hides a sting within it.

- Source: www.musiquemachine.com

For fans of: Vannvidd, A Cloud in Circle, Wojnar, Artesia, Nachtreich, Frozenthia Depresis, Birch Book, Nhor, Procer Veneficus.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/nebelkoronaofficial

16.)Nihil Novi Sub Sole - "Jupiter Temple"

This is a martial industrial act and a solo project of Marco Kehren singer and guitarist of the now disbanded Dutch depressive doomsters Deinonychus. With a name like Jupiter Temple and the Latin name of the band this is a history lesson that should take you back to Rome, a place where wars were frequent and bloody and the Emperors/dictators in the extreme. However, as I look into things and the varied samples suggest, this is not all about one fixed period of time but it’s “conceptually built around the terror and fear men had to suffer during many wars.”

Chorals and sombre tones and Teutonic samples lead us into the depressing sound of sorrowful “Nihil Novi Sub Sole,” the drum beat rattles in a military two-step and this slow march if anything resembles a walk to the gallows. Having been in Bethlehem, Marco is well versed in injecting suicidal pathos into his music and this is no exception, there is little in the way of jubilation here, only loss. “To Enslave And Destroy’” is quick to emphasize this with crying greeting the harsh tones of the music, which is restrained to a slow delivery and sounds like the musical equivalent one may expect from incarceration in a Nazi death camp. At times this is quite like a soundtrack, although I can hardly imagine it being for a particularly pleasant movie as track titles like “Walking Over Mother Disease” illustrate. Horns play a part here and with their mourning tone herald the destruction of nations and the crumbling of empires. The drumming may also have picked up a pace but this is still very bleak stuff indeed.

It’s only on this listen without any distraction that I realized just how depressing this is, the atmosphere it dramatically purports is really evocative. This is not music to suggest to someone who is looking for a quick pick me up as it effortlessly flows around the spirits of the dead, the hopelessness of war and the misery of the multitudes affected by it. If you’re looking for something poignant and unsettling this certainly hits the mark. Once this finishes it kind of demands a two minute silence to reflect on what you have just listened to and if you have one handy, laying a wreath in honor of the war dead in front of the stereo is not exactly a preposterous idea.

- Source: www.metalteamuk.net

For fans of: Signa Inferre, Liyr, Ierophania, Sturmast, Kulturkrieg, Ryr, Die Macht, Bunkergeist, Fasci Di Combattimento.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/nihilnovisubsoleofficial

17.)Atomtrakt - "Sperrstelle Nordost"

Two years after the highly acclaimed Nuklearchetyp album the mighty Atomtrakt are finally back with a new release which is entitled Sperrstelle Nordost. Without exaggerating, this new opus will set new standards in the Apocalyptic / Martial Industrial scene: Words like “bombastic”, “martial”, “heroic” or “militant” definitely need to be re-defined. The atmosphere of Sperrstelle Nordost is threatening and cold. It leads the listener back to times of war (WW II and Cold War) and truly hits like an atomic bomb. Cold, heroic and atmospheric synthesizer layers are mixed with bombastic drums and military war-like rhythm patterns. The vocals on the new record vary from dark and clean to distorted and threatening. Sperrstelle Nordost is a conceptual album dealing with the situation of Switzerland in the 2nd world war / cold war. “Sperrstelle Nordost” is an area in Switzerland which was of national importance for the entire country during times of war.

The overall sound of the album is powerful and quite bombastic – it spreads a superior and mighty atmosphere rarely heard before. The lyrics deal with fears, death, decay and ambiguity. When listening to this sophisticated album, you can find yourself at the border fighting for your country. The album itself never gets boring. This is due to the variety of songs and themes. The sporadic use of acoustic guitars sounds very interesting and even brings the songs to another level. The last track of the album (“Trauermarsch”) has a pretty psychedelic touch and sounds like soldiers walking through deserted and snow-covered battlefields.

- Source: www.steinklang-records.at

For fans of: Westwind, Larrnakh, Arbeit, Cold Fusion, Ghosts of Breslau, Karjalan Sissit, Atrium Carceri, All Hail The Transcending Ghost, Ich Hatt’ Einen Kameraden.
Homepage: www.atomtrakt.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/atomtraktofficial

18.)Dead Man’s Hill - "Spirits"

Bart Piette continues to appears to be the Belgian reincarnation of In Slaughter Natives. I’m always a bit skeptical when projects start to be prolific, which often leads them into poorly inspired releases. Dead Man’s Hill seems to be an exception to the rule and the latest album even confirms a growing maturity in writing. I especially noticed some evolution in sound on Spirits.

The main source of influence appears to be In Slaughter Natives, and a handful of other similar bands. There are several similarities in the symphonic sound, arrangements and use of chants. The chants are like a sacred choir, which often sounds like an extra instrument rather than real vocals. All elements together give birth to a quite bombastic and sometimes cinematographic style. On tracks like “And The Spirits Of Nature”, “Traveling With The Spirits” and “The Curse II” Bart Piette demonstrates all his exceptional writing skills.

The compositions are elaborated and achieve numerous crescendos until gaining an apocalyptic climax. Electronics, guitar parts, chants and some vocals by Bart Piette melt together in a very efficient dark ambient and doom-industrial opus. The addition of real vocals has become a kind of trademark for this project and even if I wasn’t always that convinced I know have to admit it all sounds in harmony with the overall production.

- Source: www.side-line.com

For fans of: Toroidh, Bleiburg, Kazeria, The Protagonist, Wappenbund, Stahlwerk 9, H.E.R.R., Pimentola, Deutsch Nepal.
Homepage: www.bugscrawlingoutofpeople.com/deadmanshill/
MySpace: www.myspace.com/deadmanshill

19.)Dementia Ad Vitam - "De Gaïa, Le Poison ..."

Dementia Ad Vitam, "madness for life" or "eternal lunacy" in Latin, is a French unheralded dark neoclassical band that plays a deeply spiritual and overall beautiful music; easily the closest thing to the mighty Elend's creation this reviewer remembers hearing. Not as unsettling and nerve-wracking as Elend's early recordings, but nonetheless esoteric, ethereal and brooding. Dementia Ad Vitam's music is much more personal, subdued and intimate: it leans heavily on piano interludes, violins and acoustic guitars; the vocalist's shrieks are kept to a minimum, but when he wakes up from his dormant half-whispered vocal treatment, his voice transforms into something not quite human, a creature from the pits of hell itself. But these moments are rare on this recording.

Most of the time the drama is minimal, insidiously tranquil and malevolently quiet. The musical plot juggles between chamber music, quasi-classical minimalism and martial grandeur, pushed forward by militaristic rhythms: it lulls you, it disturbs you, it fascinates you; it does all these simultaneously. Anyone into quality neoclassical, martial-industrial or neofolk music, tinged with a bit of metal and a touch of electronica, would be a fool not to pick this modern masterpiece up. Remember, "De Gaia, le Poison..."! Indeed, a poison you'd want to inject into your rotten blood vessels again and yet again...

- Source: www.chroniclesofchaos.com

For fans of: Heaven Falls Hard, YWOLF, Autumn Tales, Devs in Vtervs, Momentum Mortis.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/dementiaadvitamband

20.)Haus Arafna - "You"

It has been a few years since the last Haus Arafna album was released. "Butterfly" was released in 2003. This album showed a shift from more old school power electronics to more evident classic minimal electronics. Now seven years later "You" is released. At first listening the album felt to me like shifted more towards a contemporary November Növelet sound. But I was mistaken... very much...

While November Növelet has gone synth pop in a very cold and dark way, Haus Arafna goes (again) for full terror impact on all your senses. Opening tracks 'Pain To Love' and 'You Don't Believe Me' maybe sound a bit like the side project November Növelet but then 'You' and 'Judas Kiss' are making sure you know what you are listening to.

These tracks and also a piece like 'Colony Colapse' are absolute there to attack your nerve system. Throbbing, ultra dark, aggressive electronic pulses are aimed at your brain and body with success. Haus Arafna is one of the few music projects around that really knows how to combine interesting sound sculptures with music that really touches you... or maybe hurts you... anyway if this music does not do anything with you... well... you must be dead already...

Some other tracks are disturbing due to their moody, desolate and misanthrophic feeling that surrounds you while listening. For example 'Today You Died' and 'Lucifer' are truly haunting pieces of electronic music. A masterpiece of sonic terror!!

- Source: www.enfant-terrible.nl

For fans of: November Növelet, Karl Runau, Brighter Death Now, Genocide Organ, Maska Genetik, Rasthof Dachau, Herz Jühning.
Homepage: www.hausarafna.de
MySpace: www.myspace.com/hausarafna

And now...

Ante Bellum - Siglo XIX
Apoptose - Bannwald
Arditi & Signa Inferre - Statues Of Gods / Invictis Victi
Area Bombardment - In Hoc Signo Vinces
Argine - Umori d'autunno (Il filo spinato e le bolle di sapone)
Art of Empathy - Posthuman Decadence
Asbaar - Corona Veli Aurei
Awen - The Bells Before Dawn
Bad Sector - Quaternion
Barbarossa Umtrunk - Agharti
Barbarossa Umtrunk - Wehrwolf Dharma
Birch Book - Tomorrow's Sun Will Rise The Same
Blood Axis - Born Again
Brendan Perry - Ark
Caerule Sanguis - Facing Infinity Without Flinching
Cult of Youth - Filthy Plumage In An Open Sea!
Current 93 - Baalstorm, Sing Omega
Dathura Suavolens - Averni
Death in June - Peaceful Snow
Dernière Volonté - Immortel
Dopedrone - Apokalupsis Eschaton
Drakh - Bethlehem
Duo Noir - Sintra
Einstürzende Neubauten - Strategies Against Architecture IV - 2002-2010
Eldar - Amesha Spentas
False Mirror - Derelict World
Fasci Di Combatimento & Dunkel Aesthetics - Der Krieg und Die Kameradschaft (2010)
Flores Funebres - A moment before nothingness
Forgotten Backyard - Cerulean Wasteland
Forgotten Backyard - La Nuit Eternelle
Fräkmündt - Urbarglieder
Goatvargr - Black Snow Epoch
Golgatha - Lovesongs From The Waste Land
Gnomonclast - Tempus Null
K100 - The Vault Of Apparitions
Kammerflimmer Kollektief - Wildling
Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat - Hewers Of Wood And Drawers Of Water
Kraft Front - Hammer Metaphysics of War
Larrnakh - Now Will You Believe?
Le Silence des Ruines - Le Silence des Ruines
Le Testament De La Lumière - Echoes Out of Time
Leger Des Heils - Ueber Liebe Leben Und Tod
Liyr - Fragments of Dust
Luftwaffe - Ere I Perish
Lycia - Fifth Sun
Max Richter - Infra
Moon Far Away - Minnesang
Nest (UK) - Retold
Non Dolet - Inner
Nordvargr - Resignation 2
Obereit - Сказки на Ночь
Oda Relicta - Holy Alliance
Of the Wand & the Moon - It's Like Dying On Christmas Day (2010) EP
Ólafur Arnalds - ...And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness
Opera Multi Steel - La Legende Dorée
Orchestra Noir - What If...
Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio - Songs 4 Hate And Devotion
Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio - Do Angels Never Cry And Heaven Never Fall EP
Pale Roses - Fear Of Dawn
Peter Andersson - Sculpturing Time Fragments
Phaenon - His Master's Voice
Phragments & Korinth - Mysteries Of The Greylands
Post Scriptvm - Grey Eminence
Profane Grace - Nocturnal Omniscience
Scarlet Youth - Goodbye Doesn't Mean I'm Gone
Schattenspiel - Schattenkrieger
Schattenspiel & Barbarossa Umtrunk - La Couronne De Glace
Sect - Babylon Rising
Simulacra - There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood
Skalpell - Nothing Important to Tell So Far
Sonne Hagal - Läuthner 2a
Spreu & Weizen (Official) - Gott erhalt's!
Stein - Haldor (2010)
Stormfågel - Eldvakt
Striider - Ostfront (2010) EP
Striider - Krieg II (2010)
Striider & Strydwolf - Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum (2010)
Sub Luna - Awake!
Svalbard - Heimkunft
The Third Eye Foundation - The Dark
Tholen - Neuropol
Troika - A White Rose For Eternity
Truart - Ich Glaube Das Nicht!
Voder - Fields
Von Thronstahl - Conscriptum
Westwind - Eliminate! Exterminate! Eradicate!
Woodland Choir - Serenity Rise

Fin ~*


  • DunkelAesthet

    thanks a lot for your big work!

    21. Apr. 2011, 11:29
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ DunkelAesthet: Thanks Olgerd! ;-]

    21. Apr. 2011, 23:01
  • dus-tin

    I've only heard two albums from that entire post, I will work harder.

    23. Apr. 2011, 12:59
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ dus-tin: There is always time! Let me know if you ever need help finding anything.

    23. Apr. 2011, 13:07
  • Sigill23

    Impressive list with a lot of unexpected entries. Thanks for pointing out the number one, previously unknown to me !

    23. Apr. 2011, 14:54
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Sigill21: Thanks K! I apologize for the lack of power electronics albums btw. ;-]

    23. Apr. 2011, 20:04
  • JJM1

    Now here's a genre I completely ignored last year and I guess will probably continue to do so since my metal lust seems to dominate over all and everything these days. But, damn, I see even some of my true favorites in these genres released new albums, which I guess I'll probably have to look into eventually. I'll keep the list in mind if the mood strikes, who knows, heh.

    23. Apr. 2011, 21:45
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ JJM1: You should let the mood strike, it's worth it. ;-]

    23. Apr. 2011, 22:01
  • ReginaMarziale

    Wow, really impressive, thanks for your suggestions, there are things I even didn't know that were out. like Donis that I really appreciate. I'll immediately check.

    24. Apr. 2011, 10:24
  • cosmicdecay

    This is very good work and helpful!

    24. Apr. 2011, 12:30
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Regina: If you can, please let me know if I've forgotten anything, or at the very least let me know what your own fave's were! The Donis was incredible, I think you'll enjoy it. @ cosmicdecay: Thanks! Any fave releases from 2010 in the aforementioned genres?

    24. Apr. 2011, 19:37
  • Phaenon

    Thank you for mentioning "His Master's Voice". I'm glad you like it.

    24. Apr. 2011, 21:01
  • Sardoniscorn

    I strongly recommend IAM. - Bol. Easily my top ambient release of the year. You've got the neofolk and martial covered, but some more droney gloomy stuff I liked: Taphephobia - Access to a world of pain Tholen - Neuropol Procer Veneficus - How the Heather Moonlit Shivers Nihil Obstat - Antithesis Luasa Raelon - Vampyr: Light Of The Beast Machinefabriek - Daas But with dark ambient I guess i'm just too easy to please.

    25. Apr. 2011, 13:59

    Hey mate great work! Thanks alot for this journal.

    25. Apr. 2011, 17:45
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Phaenon: Thank you for the brilliant music.

    25. Apr. 2011, 18:38
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Sardoniscorn: More proof that it's impossible to hear everything, I haven't heard any music from the bands/releases you listed (Taphephobia, Tholen, Procer Veneficus, Nihil Obstat, Luasa Raelon). Although, I think I've heard something from Machinefabriek before in the past. When I'm in my dark ambient mood (and I'm in that mood often) I'll definitely be checking out some of these releases. Thanks again for the suggestions and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it, and you've provided a slew of new things for me to hear! @ Boia_Chi_Molla: Grazie per la lettura!

    25. Apr. 2011, 18:42
  • miki-7

    great work! thank you

    26. Apr. 2011, 17:57
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ miki-7: You're very welcome. Hope you were able to discover a few things. Did you have any fave releases from 2010?

    26. Apr. 2011, 18:56
  • ReginaMarziale

    What can I say...it's a great work. I 'll respectly add Arnica (Numancia), Art abscons ( Am Himmel with Feuer) , The Hare and the moon ( the grey malkin) . Donis are really good stuff and also "Les fragments de la nuit" are magnificent. I really advice listening.

    26. Apr. 2011, 20:36
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ ReginaMarziale: Thank you very much for your input and for commenting here! I've been wanting to hear that Arnica for quite sometime, I just haven't gotten around to finally hearing it yet. I didn't know that there was a new Art Abscons, and I've never heard anything from The Hare and the Moon so I'll be sure to check those releases out as well! If you can think of any others or just want to post about something that you're enjoying at the time, feel free! It's always enjoyable to discuss neofolk.

    26. Apr. 2011, 21:03
  • ReginaMarziale

    @Coffinwood_Mill : thanks so much for the kind words, I do my best to listen to all I can! I must notice that the genre had a drop in 2010, talking about the traditional neofolk bands in martial neofolk. Much more better I think for classic and folk sounds. There are lots of compilations and I'm really investigating all them to find out something original. One name: Lua Nigra. Check it out!

    27. Apr. 2011, 12:34
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Act_VII: Thanks for checking out the journal! Did you have any faves from 2010? @ ReginaMarziale: The genre did have somewhat of a drop, but then again, it is such a small collective of artists and musicians, that unless they release a new album every year, this is bound to happen. The ebb and tide of the genre is a welcome element as a listener though, because it forces you to discover new artists and helps you to truly appreciate the excellent records when they are released. I haven't heard Lua Nigra, I'll be checking them out asap!

    27. Apr. 2011, 19:48
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Act_VII: I hope you are able to discover some artists that you enjoy via my journals, and thank you for pointing out the mislabel, it's been corrected.

    28. Apr. 2011, 5:11
  • ReginaMarziale

    I have other suggestions for you :) First of all "Llyr" by Ataraxia , "Mr. Nightbird hates blueberries" by Albireon; Cult of Youth "Filthy Plumage In An Open Sea!"

    30. Apr. 2011, 9:17
  • ReginaMarziale

    Another: Rajna: Offering ( really good stuff) . There are others but I prefer talking about the best ones!

    30. Apr. 2011, 9:22
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