Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Various - Hopes Die in Winter (2005)

Between 1917 and 1951, in Europe, the staggering number of 54,6 millions Europeans had to leave their homelands or were forcibly displaced. Hopes die in Winter is devoted to them, refugees and victims of indiscriminate dislocation. An excellent theme of choice for this very international compilation, where each band contribute 3 tracks.
It lifts off quietly with some dark ambient sounds and a spoken word by Troy Southgate, the man behind La Rose Noire and Synthesis website, then builds up into a very beautiful martial neoclassical piece, with cellos, snare drums and all the bombastic symphonic qualities typical of the Dutch/British project H.E.R.R., quite simply one of the very best names these days, musically as well as aesthestically or intellectually.
Der Arbeiter (who appeared first on Wir rufen deine Wölfe, the wonderful compilation dedicated to Friedrich Hielscher, on Allerseelen own label Aorta) is a new name coming from the other side of the world: Chile, not exactly the kind of place where you'd expect this kind of music to flourish. But like Allerseelen, Der Arbeiter manages to mix technology and tradition; electronic beats and soft, warm atmospheres, danceable melodic tunes with a ritual feel, Spanish and English languages.
Storm of Capricorn is a French band walking into Dernière Volonté footsteps, but not always as convincingly. Un Dernier Souffle is good though, starting with the mandatory WWII samples about German surrender in an atmosphere of infinite sadness, then turning into a great marching tune with good male/female vocals (and lyrics, by the way).
Ghosts of Breslau (from Breslau, nowadays Wroclaw, Poland) close this collection with 4 ambient tracks, full of ghosts and memories.
One quick word about the amazing packaging: limited to 170 copies, it comes in an A5 fold-out package, including several photographies, a Polish poem, a Leon Degrelle citation and a stalk of wheat (a nice touch I hadn't seen since the seminal "Östenbräun" box by LJDLP/DI6). This is already a cult release, so don't hesitate too long if you manage to find a copy.

Review taken from SoleilNoir.

01 - H.E.R.R. - Hopes Die in Winter
02 - H.E.R.R. - Fifteen Tokens
03 - H.E.R.R. - Fruhlings Erwachen
04 - Der Arbeiter - La Virgen de los Hielos
05 - Der Arbeiter - Lichtgeburt
06 - Der Arbeiter - El Hijo del Viudo
07 - Storm of Capricorn - Un Dernier Exode
08 - Storm of Capricorn - Un Dernier Refuge
09 - Storm of Capricorn - Un Dernier Suffle
10 - Ghosts of Breslau - Train in the Fog
11 - Ghosts of Breslau - Dig Your Own Graves
12 - Ghosts of Breslau - Lullaby
13 - Ghosts of Breslau - The Beauty and the Nightmare

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