Album ReviewsReviews

Review: V.A. – Benefit for Animals in Need (2012)

artist: Various
release: Benefit for Animals in Need in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
format: Digital
year of release: 2012
label: None
duration: 2:47:18

The ASPCA helps lots of animals that were hurt and left homeless when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the US east coast this year. This digital compilation was put together by Tommy Anthony and his wife to support the ASPCA, and all its proceedings will go toward that organisation.

For a donation of $10 (or more), 34 artists will gift you with an exclusive track of theirs, adding up to almost three hours of music, so that tour of discovery alone should go a long way to ensure your support. That said, there’s a lot of content worth discovering here as well, curiously adding up quite close to an overview of genres that typified the goth scene around the turn of the millennium. As such, we find the whole spectrum from eighties-inspired goth rock to industrial, horror rock, electro, noise, darkwave, dark ambient, ethereal, neofolk and mediaeval influences.

An impression: Theologian, Heresiarch and Staalkracht all deliver strong tracks of rhythmic noise that round out the heaviest side of this compilation. Some artists cultivate an equally dark atmosphere, but take things a bit more calmly. We find this dark ambient approach represented nicely by the slightly insane Sophia track, as well as in the drones and echoing speeches of CHOAM. More great ambient work comes from Melankolia and The Implicit Order, who go as deep, but with the incorporation of brighter sound textures as well. If you’re looking for wavy, dark romantic tracks Peter Bjärgö and his Arcana have you covered. Out of numerous folky and acoustic tracks Saltarello’s “Nord-Vèlm” leaves the best impression with its smooth wedding of mediaeval music and electronic influences. Howling Larsons is a new project involving R. Loftiss (The Gray Field Recordings) and Alan Trench (Temple Music). Their track “A Ragged Ritual” is an estranging mix of spoken word, samples, and an organ background. A final mention goes to the new track by The Floating World, which starts in a familiar way, with soft flute melodies, but eventually ends up going down the Xenis Emputae Travelling Band path with a mounting guitar freakout. Quite nice!

This should be ample illustration for the variety contained in this collection, although of course the general atmosphere tends towards the dark and obscure. Not everything is extremely original or successful , but there are certainly enough interesting tracks here to justify a purchase in and of itself. Add to that the charity factor, and you’ve got some pretty good reasons to goth it up a little this winter, and support animal care at the same time. You can purchase the compilation here.

Reviewed by O.S.


1. ELDAR – Pacte De Sang (04:19)
2. Caroline Jago – Hope (04:19)
3. Arcana – Chant III (04:57)
4. ZandoZ Corp. – Ânima-Lâmina (07:03)
5. Veil of Blue – All In Vein (04:34)
6. Saltarello – Nord-Vèlm (04:17)
7. Tribes Of Medusa – Ahimsa (05:14)
8. Caisa – Vacker (02:22)
9. Angelic Foe – Love Lies Bleeding (03:47)
10. Star Industry – Sin (04:34)
11. The Cross Between – How Long (04:06)
12. Alice Moving Under Skies – Futile (05:03)
13. Monica Richards – We Go On (05:14)
14. Aythis – Phoenix (04:00)
15. Anzeigen – For Diana May, Our Angel Eternal (05:32)
16. The Floating World – Beyond the Hills (05:58)
17. Brotherhood – So Many Stars (05:02)
18. Purr Machine – Pretend To Understand (05:10)
19. Wakeford & Rosen – PussBag (03:06)
20. Sophia – Nu får du gapa i all evighet (04:01)
21. Heresiarch – Threshold (04:58)
22. CHOAM – To the Conquered End (05:22)
23. The Implicit Order – These Unseen Woods (05:33)
24. Peter Bjärgö – Horizon (05:01)
25. Staalkracht – There Is No Way To Happiness (06:29)
26. The Hare And The Moon – Crazy Man Michael (05:10)
27. Bleak – It’s a Shame About Mary (02:56)
28. Creepers – Daddy Death (03:10)
29. Mercy Inc. – The Poor The Sick The Uneducated (04:10)
30. Theologian – POLYDACTYL (06:01)
31. Melankolia – Monday’s Sorrow (11:04)
32. Howling Larsons – A Ragged Ritual (5:18)
33. Ivan – Cries of the Tortured (5:54)
34. Sighell – Scalar Fields (3:18)