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)