Album ReviewsReviews

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: discogs.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)