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Allerseelen/Sangre Cavallum - Barco Do Vinho

Barco Do Vinho was originally scheduled to be a split single, but as the project inspired the acts Allerseelen and Sangre Cavallum so much it grew into a split CD with each of the heathen acts providing 4 tracks apiece celebrating the divine properties of wine, and the wine boats that carried the barrels of wine from the vineyards of Callaecia along the River Douro to the town of Porto. The sleeve is adorned with historic photographs of wine production in the area. In many ways Barco Do Vinho is as much a collaboration as a split disc, since Allerseelen's Gerhard appears on the tracks by the Northern Portuguese act Sangre Cavallum; while A. Rangel of Sangre Cavallum provides the voice to Allerseelen's opening track 'Ó Coração Meu'.

It sets the tone for the Allerseelen tracks with Rangel's accented voice set over looped acoustic sounds and rhythms, augmented by violins and accordion providing classical textures. 'Zauberblut' is a heady combination of looped rhythms and acoustic sounds cut with a soaring violin score with Gerhard delivering the words, based on a poem by the German mystic Alfred Schuler, in a sing-chant style. 'Zu Später Stunde' is underscored with a pulsating electronic beat, laced with melodic accordion drone, violin and the sound of lapping waves. It's a fine example of Gerhard's ability to fuse technology with acoustic instrumentation creating an electronic folk hybrid. The final track, 'In Vino Veritas' is vintage Allerseelen: robust martial rhythms, electronic textures and chants.

Sangre Cavallum's opening track is carried by an assortment of voices and acoustic instrumentation lightly sprinkled with ringing guitars lending their traditional folk a slight psychedelic touch. The following track, 'Cântaros d'Euforia', is much more traditional. Passages of massed singing, and spoken verse are interspersed with folk music performed on guitars, tin whistle, glockenspiel ending on a nice psychedelic swirl. 'Rabello' starts as an evocative soundpiece with a simple melody drawn from a mandolin, with a choir gently harmonising against the backdrop of the wine boats working on the river before becoming a folk ensemble piece. The final piece from Sangre Cavallum, 'Weinwalzer', is a jaunty waltz styled dance piece delivered in a Northern Portuguese style.

Barco Do Vinho is a richly evocative disparate collection of songs representing these acts well, and well worth investigating as Allerseelen and Sangre Cavallum are, quite rightly, creating something of a stir in weird folk circles. For more information go to www.geocities.com/ahnstern or www.steinklang-records.at