Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK



Sturmpercht - Geister Im Waldgebirg

Sturmpercht together with fellow kindred spirits Allerseelen, Waldteufel, Sangre Cavallum and Waldteufel who guest here, slot nicely into the micro-scene of contemporary traditionalists that also includes fellow travellers such as Changes, Blood Axis and O Paradis. Their Pagan inspired spirited music dovetails nicely with traditional folk music but in a manner whereby they embrace technology and an experimental approach. Geister Im Waldgebirg is an earthy collection of 17 songs with its roots in the dense European forests of their Alpine homeland, with tales of the inhabitants, an assortment of strange people and creepy animals. The snow drenched sleeve depicts two figures draped in heavy furs and ugly masks.

Geister Im Waldgebirg is a raw and emotive release drenched in thick Germanic accents; spoken, sung and chanted. On initial listen it's perhaps difficult to penetrate but once you succumb to their singular world it's a joyous release. It's a heartening and refreshing listen with a heady concoction of traditional song, mountain ballads, and psychedelic folk - courtesy of the acoustic guitarwork of Axel Frank, who leads the psychedlic folk outfit Werkraum.

Where do you start on this rich and varied release? There's a stirring reappraisal of 'Wir Rufen Deine Wölfe' (from the Gerhard curated compilation of the same name), and like 'Kaiser Karl' its bristles with rousing guitars and rolling drums. 'Der Knabe Im Moor', is pure frosted psychedelic folk, while the folk guitars and flute of 'Durch Berg und Tal' and 'Im Jahreswandel' are redolent of Werkraum performing on a mountainside somewhere. It even recalls some Current 93 from around the time of Thunder Perfect Mind. The dreamy orchestration of 'Riesenbrüder' (with vocals by Waldteufel's Markus Wolff) and 'Sterbelied' with its intricate guitar work and sparse glockenspiel slow the pace somewhat while 'Allerseelenreigen' with its pumping accordion and, in particular, 'Was Rauschet und Was Brauset' with a hi-hat rhythm offer something of an Alpine knees-up.

Allerseelen are represented with 'I Bin Da Woid' with their trademark looped rhythm and bass, overlayen with acoustic guitar and Gerhard's assured delivery. Waldteufel offer the mountain melancholy of 'Bergsturz' with its accordion, accompanied by guitar and flute with Markus Wolff's stern German vocal delivery. The rural music of Sturmpercht as found on Geister Im Waldgebirg has an obvious affinity with Heimliches Deutschland, the first album of völk music from Waldteufel.

The festive music that bookends Geister Im Waldgebirg almost acts as an entrance and exit point to the singular world of Sturmpercht. Despite my initial reservations Geister Im Waldgebirg has revealed itself to be an earnest and passionate release that acts as a perfect accompaniment to these cold, dark winter evenings and one that I've certainly warmed to. For more information go to www.geocities.com/ahnstern or www.steinklang-records.at