Review: V.A. - Mit Fester Hand - Allerseelenlieder (2011)


artist: Vari­ous Artists
release: Mit Fester Hand - Allerseelen­lieder
format: CD
year of release: 2011
label: Ahn­stern
dur­a­tion: 88:19

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

A com­pil­a­tion ded­ic­ated to the long-standing Aus­trian indus­trial pro­ject Allerseelen is a very under­stand­able thing, after over twenty years of activ­ity in the European under­ground. Draw­ing mostly from the rich roster of Steink­lang/Ahn­stern label artists, Mit Fester Hand presents an inter­est­ing over­view of Allerseelen work in vary­ing inter­pret­a­tions, though mostly within the neo­folk corner.

An indi­vidual treat­ment of all tracks on this com­pil­a­tion would be a bit too much, in my opin­ion, but there are cer­tainly quite a few tracks worth men­tion­ing on the CD. Not everything is very excit­ing, and the com­pil­a­tion has a rather unas­sum­ing take-off with a few aver­age tracks, but the over­all sound is con­stant and pleas­ant to listen to. In my opin­ion, things start to take off prop­erly with the organ-heavy ver­sion of  “Flamme” by Die Weisse Rose. The Blood Axis & San­gre Caval­lum ver­sion of “Sonne Golthi-Ade” is also very nice, par­tic­u­larly because of the organic folk sound, and the typ­ical medi­ter­ranean instru­ment­a­tion we can hear on other San­gre Caval­lum work. Lar­rnakh provide an atmo­spheric point of rest in the album with a great mix­ture of ambi­ent and folk styles. Àrnica in their turn impress me with a very stripped down folk style that feels very ritual and intim­ate. One of my favour­ite tracks must be the sur­pris­ing “Flama” by Der Arbeiter, a very well-flowing flamenco-inspired track. Also inter­est­ing - both kitschy and catchy - is the bom­bastic elec­tro of Der Feuerkreiner on “Feuersala­man­der”. The Svar­rogh ver­sion of “Hei­liges Blut” deserves men­tion too, not in the least because of its play­ful nod towards NON’s “Total War”. Clos­ing off the album is obvi­ously the title track in its Allerseelen ver­sion, a power­ful track with beat and mar­tial samples, ded­ic­ated to a rad­ical self-transformation. A pity that the Von Thron­s­tahl ver­sion of this track wasn’t included as well (released last year by Cold Spring on the Con­scriptum com­pil­a­tion) as it too provides a power­ful ver­sion of this song.

Though not everything on Mit Fester Hand is pure gold, I’d say it is a very hon­our­able trib­ute to Allerseelen and an import­ant part of any col­lec­tion of that band’s works, as well as an inter­est­ing release to check out for any­one in the European industrial/neofolk area.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1 Ernte – Santa San­gre (Jodorowsky Mix) (2:10)
2 Tyr-Kreis – Ernt­ing (3:34)
3 Haber­feld – Olle Lust Wui Ewigkeit (4:53)
4 Die Weisse Rose – Flamme (3:52)
5 Fanes – Sonne Golthi-Ade (4:14)
6 Sagit­tarius – Musa (4:31)
7 Scivias – Idun (4:04)
8 Fräk­mündt – Firn­föuskam­erad (4:08)
9 Hrefnesholt – Herbst­lied (5:34)
10 Ô Para­dis – Mar­qués De Púbol (4:45)
11 Blood Axis & San­gre Caval­lum – Sonne Golthi-Ade (3:51)
12 Stur­m­per­cht – Sturmlied (5:24)
13 Lar­rnakh – Knistern (4:30)
14 Àrnica – Foc De Sala­man­dra (5:11)
15 Klamm­heim – Allerseelen (5:23)
16 Der Arbeiter – Flama (4:53)
17 Der Feuerkreiner – Feuersala­man­der (5:05)
18 Cawatana – Alle Lust Will Ewigkeit (3:57)
19 Svar­rogh – Hei­liges Blut (4:40)
20 Allerseelen – Mit Fester Hand (3:40)

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