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6 Comm - Like Stukas Angels Fall

Patrick Leagas has such a varied career from his early punk group Runners From 84, through his years with the first formation of Death In June. After leaving Death In June he reappeared as Sixth Comm, collaborated with Rune Mistress Freya Aswynn on the acclaimed Fruits of Ygdrassil album. Sixth Comm was put on hold in 1990 while he concentrated his energies on Mother Destruction, the pagan dance project fronted by his then wife Amodali. In 2006 Sixth Comm re-emerged as 6 Comm with the impressive double CD set Headless / Let The Moon Speak.

Like Stukas Angels Fall revisits some of his recordings with Death In June and his early recordings as Sixth Comm together with some variations on tracks from Headless / Let The Moon Speak, with two tracks that only ever appeared on cassette. So although a retrospective from 1984 - 1990 these are relatively new recordings recorded between 2007 and 2009.

Once again Patrick revisits his work with Death In June from the Nada! period, occassionally adding new lyrical verses. 'Will To War' resurrects 'The Torture Garden' with Patrick's pained voice nestled amongst ecclesiastal chanting and sombre slabs of keyboard with flourishes of tumbling timpani drum rolls. 'Salerno Carousel' updates 'Carousel' with a new vocal section over the electro beats and syncopated drum rhythms. The new version of 'The Calling' under the title 'Pipes of Gold' remains faithful to the original with electro beats and electro claps intact.

Patrick's early work released under the name Sixth Comm stays relatively faithful to his contributions to Death In June. The stuttered electronics of 'Foretell the Blood Flows' with its discordant bugle sounds and barrage of percussion including cymbal crashes and snare drum rolls is impressive to those enamoured with Nada!-era Death In June. 'The Winter Sadness' with its dark and moody keyboards and sombre piano chords is particularly fine gothic melancholia.

'Nothing Life' remains as good as ever. This version builds beautifully from sombre church organ, through quietly pulsating electro beats and light acoustic guitar strum into a powerful piece slightly reminiscent of 'The Calling' from Death In June's 'She Said Destroy' release. The inclusion of hand drums and melodica provides a nice transition to his current work.

What's interesting about these earlier tracks is the sense of futility and utter hopelessness that these songs suggest. The lyrics are littered with references to "A nothing life" or "so this is life, waste, corruption and lies". It's hardly surprising then that Patrick Leagas disillusioned with music disappeared for some time. And given the references to war (The Will to War' or "my brothers in war") he undertook a brief stint as an army reservist.

Two tracks previously only available on cassette act as the missing link between the old and new material. 'Shake The Fear' is a powerful piece of industrial experimentation, with pounding electro squelch and a sort of treated air raid siren sound. With his commanding voice carrying the song it's a cross between Mark Stewart and Scott Walker. Much more accessible is 'Sow The Wind' with its harpsichord strings given added depth with sweeping strings, flutters of bells and flourishes of martial drum rolls.

Patrick Leagas resurrected Six Comm in 2006 with the double CD set Headless / Let The Moon Speak and a number of tracks appear here in a modified form. Amidst the fluttering percussion of 'Wake Up The World' his voice positively soars over a subtle blend of chimes, atmospheric keyboard and light guitar touches. 'Death Illusion', a reworking of 'Like a Death in June', is a moment of restrained beauty with its soft melodic keys over a restrained backdrop of hand drums, hand bells and finger chimes. 'Tentoflimblessmothers', a reworking of 'Let The Moon Speak', is all eastern pipes and complex drum patterns. His choice of instrumentation may be surprising but it's as if his travels in Afghanistan have left a lasting impression on his current music.

Leagas possesses a unique and distinctive melodic voice. It's a rich, pain-filled voice with distinctive phrasing, emphasising individual words and blossoming into a powerful baritone. His voice takes centre stage on the early Sixth Comm track 'Kirato e Sonfelte' through spoken and booming passages over atmospheric gothic keyboards. There's a vulnerability to his voice on the more recent 'Swayling Illusion' where it takes on an almost baritone soprano quality. Here his voice remains almost unaccompanied except for a slight beat, later on expanding to include bells and an accordion type melody.

Despite his occasional work with other groups such as Golgotha, While Angels Watch and soon Der Blutharsch, Leagas doesn't appear to be someone who listens to neo-folk nor much music at all. His current work doesn't appear to be influenced by his supposed contemporaries, preferring to exist within his own self-imposed vacuum. In a compulsion online interview he joked that he was a darkwave pop industrialist crooning harbringer of doom! Which as you can tell from Like Stukas Angels Fall is only half the story.

Like Stukas Angels Fall chart the progression of Patrick Leagas from Death In June to his current incarnation of 6 Comm. The original Sixth Comm releases will remain out-of-print and Like Stukas Angels Fall, and a forthcoming release, show you where he's been and where he's currently at. For whatever reasons Patrick Leagas never received the recognition he deserved for his post-Death In June work. The breadth of work on Like Stukas Angels Fall will delight and surprise you and should easily help redress the balance. Recommended. Like Stukas Angels Fall is only available online from www.hagshadow.net