Julian Cope presents Head Heritage


Released 2005 on Ahnstern
Reviewed by Eventyr, 06/09/2005ce

Allerseelen DoLP Sturmlieder

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Allerseelen DoLP Gotos=Kalanda

Allerseelen 7" Knospe


"Sturmlieder (Storm Songs) is the latest DoLP on the Austrian label Ahnstern. I got it some days from the distributor Ajna in Oregon. As I consider all Allerseelen publications as some kind of travels, I will start the description of this magical mystery tour with the dark green cover showing a strange wooden sculpture surrounded by runes close to a hidden lake somewhere in the mountains. The lake looks very Austrian but the liner notes state that the photo was taken close to the volcano Mount St. Helens, obviously during the Pacific Westcoast tour of Allerseelen in 2003 with their live concerts in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. Side I, which contains six brand-new songs, starts with WIR TRAGEN EIN LICHT, a powerful song with violent violins and a very beautiful, breath-taking melody which is dedicated to John Balance, the late singer of Coil. A strange requiem song without lyrics, almost too rhythmic for a funeral - but John Balance would probably have liked this for his last journey! In some way this song reminds of Eastern Europe, maybe of Poland where one of the last Coil concerts took place. Somewhere in the web I read that Allerseelen sometimes perform this song on stage with a human skull on stage. The next song VINO E CUORE has a completely different mood. It is almost a blues, some piano, some splinters of classic music, very slow and dark with the beautiful voice by an Italian girl named Gaya Donadio. Very sexy! Obviously a song about wine and love. A wonderful composition and a perfect soundtrack for a evening, relaxing at home with a good glass of Californian or Italian wine. It would be great to understand the words. But maybe it is better this way, as words that I do not understand allow more space for imagination. The next track is called ALLERSEELEN, like the band, almost a dancefloor song with guitars and ravens and violins. In some way these recordings appear in a similar vein like magnificent classics like Current 93´s Thunder Perfect Mind and Einsturzende Neubauten´s Zeichnungen des Patienten O.T. WACHOLDERWEG is powerful and again very rhythmic, so it is not surprising that Allerseelen, their friends and also their enemies consider this music as ammunition! Music as ammunition: This was also the title of a lengthy interview that Allerseelen gave to the American book Tyr II published last year by Ultra in Atlanta, Georgia. Already all the unreleased songs make the purchase of this double lp worthwile. HERBSTLIED, a song about the fall, again with violins and strange mandoline sounds. Some of the noises that Gerhard uses are familiar from the very early cassettes like Autdaruta and Schwartzer Rab which were also released on the Allerseelen DoLPs Heimliche Welt and Archaische Arbeiten by Ahnstern. So strange music, dark pop, sentimental, bitter, beautiful! It is easy to fall in love with this dark beauty, it is so seductive, with all its strange loops it has a very hypnotic quality. In some way it is sweet and bitter like medicine, poppy tea. It also reminds me in some way of Coil´s Horse Rotorvator and Psychic TV´s Dreams Less Sweet. LIEBE, the last one of the unreleased songs, even features some metal guitars, melted into one another with violins and industrial sounds. This song has again a strange Eastern Europe atmosphere. The other three sides of this lengthy DoLP contain the songs of the sold out Allerseelen Sturmlieder CD. Side II starts with HEILIGES BLUT - feedback noises, industrial noises, developing in a strange industrial rock song with a strong, almost brutal rhythm, a heavily distorted bass. Maybe many Allerseelen works are so hypnotic because they are constructed in a very simple and spartanic way. The voice of the singer was more aggressive in the past than it is now. The strong rhythm and the bass have a very energetic effect on the heart. It is really ammunition, it is like adrenaline or an acoustic amphetamine evolving from of the black vinyl. STORM starts with the noises of wind, then a bitter sweet violin enters the reign of the song. Again a very catchy rhythm and this time English, hard to understand lyrics by Andreas, another Austrian musician. The bass almost like an electric guitar, strange effects on the voice. The volcano lake on the cover fits well with the music on this album - the music is volcanic like magma inside an apparent dormant volcano, yet it contains at the same time the beauty and also hidden danger of the dark water of the lake - the violins at the end of the song, are they before or after the volcanic eruption!? TRAUMLIED - another very simple song with whispered voices, a strange slow motion rhythm with some piano and flutes, the right atmosphere for my Californian wine or also poppy tea. Having sold my Sturmlieder CD copy some years ago, I am glad to own these recordings again which were digitally remastered. This song fits well with the volcano lake, a hidden voice somewhere close to the water, close to the woods, whispering words about dreams. Side III starts more threatening with DUNKELGRAUE STILLE, reminding in its atmosphere of WWII, ashes, darkness, a menace somewhere. The wooden sculpture on the cover of the Sturmlieder double lp was burnt to ashes in October, 1944. What happened to it? I feel like waiting somewhere in a bunker or cellar for the end of the air-raids, for a utopy named peace.. It is bunker music. There is something strange about the throbbing rhythms of Allerseelen, either it is their speed or something else in the formula of this music! IN STAHLGEWITTERN: Very industrial storms of flames, of steel, again very catchy, no words, some noises reminding again of air planes, hypnotic and menacing. STURMLIED, storm song, the now well-known Allerseelen track based on lyrics by the German poetess Ricarda Huch who probably also spent a lot of time in a bunker or at least in a stormy and violent period of time, starts again with stormy noises and strange sounds that could be gongs or feedbacks treated with various electronic devices, at the same time brutal and beautiful as the theatre of cruelty by Antonin Artaud. An industrial rhythm and again a very simple bass, cruel and effective. This is the first Allerseelen song featuring Ostara, a girl singing in German, the former singer of Allerseelen who seems no longer to be a member of the band. The song ends very apocalyptic. A lot of the music of Allerseelen has a very apocalyptic quality. SEHNSUCHT, the first German word I learnt through the famous song by Einsturzende Neubauten, is basically just one loop, a very monotonous, hypnotic and seductive violin or cello, maybe recorded backwards. It is the final track on side III. Side IV starts with LEICHENFARBNE DÄMMERUNG - cruel feedbacks, distorted guitars, a solemn voice obviously being aware of some forthcoming apocalypse, flutes. A soundtrack for the showdown. But then the song gets another direction with a more serene rhythm. Some of the Allerseelen songs are really long which makes it easier to enter the underworld of their music. Some, like WINTERSONNENWENDE, might be too long. Wolves and a bass guitar, maybe some bone flutes and a sound between an organ and guitar feedback, some time later a very powerful beat on kettle-drums. HEIMAT, homeland, is more silent with its remote violins, the noise of rain, the thunderstorm, the sparse acoustic guitars.. Is the rain really on the vinyl!? Or do I hear in my bunker an actual thunderstorm from the outer world? Are the air-raids over? Is it the rain of spring in Nyja-Jorvik?

It would be great to see Allerseelen one day live at the coast of a volcano lake or even in Nyja-Jorvik. Maybe this dream will become true in the near future."

This is a page from the diary of the bunker poetess Gudrun Ordskvidur, Nyja-Jorvik, March 2nd, 2005, 9:53 p.m.

"All art is at one surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril." (Oscar Wilde, Dorian Grey)



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