artist: V.A.
release: Forseti lebt
format: CD
year of release: 2006
label: Noltex
duration: 50:53

This CD is released for the benefit of Forseti-frontman Andreas Ritter, who suffered a heart failure in early 2005 and still has health problems because of it. A noble cause, obviously, and I was very much looking forward to this release, since I'm a big fan of Forseti, and because a lot of good artists contribute to it. The result, however, was very disappointing. Sure, there's a couple of good songs, but many artists couldn't convince me, and I expected something more of some of the 'bigger' artists in the neofolk scene.

The first track is a nice one by Sonne Hagal. Normally, I find their music a bit contrived, but this song is actually pretty good. On the other hand, the Sonnentau song is just bad, on account of the sugar-sweet, New Age-ish piano melody. B'eirth (In Gowan Ring, Birch Book) has one of the best songs on this album. It has beautiful lyrics, and compared to his other projects, "Watch the Water Spill" is a bit darker. :Of the Wand and the Moon: really disappointed me. I'm used to better things from Kim Larsen than this stale song with samples. The guitar melody would work better if Kim actually sang, but like this it's kind of boring. Death in June did live up to my expectations, with both "Rocking Horse Night" and the excellent Sol Invictus cover "Death of the West". Waldteufel's track is OK, but I'm not very fond of the male choir in the chorus. Lux Interna has an up-tempo song with a nice melody, but sadly the vocals didn't really appeal to me. And then we arrive at the absolute worst point of the album: Northman. This song is truly a shameless, badly executed rip-off of Kveldssanger-era Ulver. To top it off, we're 'treated' to an American 'Viking' speech. This band is clearly not interesting. Fire + Ice disappointed me, because I'm used to better songs than this uninspired one, with a wimpy violin in the chorus. "Deutsche Sonnwend" by Darkwood is an excellent track. Very catchy, with good vocals: a great, dark folk song. The last track, "Traumpfad" by Primus Inter Pares is, sadly, an irritating one, with an organ, samples and cheesy 'papapa' vocals.

As far as I'm concerned, only Death in June, Darkwood and B’eirth really come with good songs. The other ones vary in quality between decent and just plain bad. Of course, you could buy this CD to support one of the best current neofolk artists, and for the few good songs that this album has. But, as a whole, this album is only interesting for hardened neofolkers who like everything that's released in the scene.

D.M.K.
Tracks:

1. Sonne Hagal – Song at the Well (4:36)
2. Sonnentau – Dein Garten Blüht Noch (4:33)
3. B’Eirth – Watch the Water Spill (6:36)
4. :Of the Wand and the Moon: - JA BOGA NE VIDEU! (4:58)
5. Death in June – Rocking Horse Night (3:03)
6. Waldteufel – Blühe Mein Herz (3:12)
7. Lux Interna – The Disciple Song (6:54)
8. Northman – Son of the North (4:23)
9. Death in June – Death of the West (1:52)
10. Fire + Ice – Napoleon on St. Helena (3:54)
11. Darkwood – Deutsche Sonnwend (3:07)
12. Primus Inter Pares – Traumpfad (3:45)