Der Blutharsch - _Der Sieg des Lichtes ist des Lebens Heil!_
(Wir Kapitulieren Niemals / Tesco, 2005)
by: Nikola Shahpazov (8.5 out of 10)
It is hardly disputable that Albin Julius and his Der Blutharsch project have become a significant influence in the field of neo-folk and martial industrial. Indeed, when it comes to totalitarian aesthetics combined with Wagnerian bombast, things can hardly get better than 1998's mighty _Der Sieg des Lichtes ist des Lebens Heil!_. This re-release is most welcome, not only because of its outstanding quality, but mainly because of the fact that most WKN albums are usually limited in number.

This is Der Blutharsch both at its best and at its most accessible, a landmark of the genre that Herr Julius helped define and expand. _Der Sieg des Lichtes..._ displays a notable leaning towards a dark ambient sound, a possible leftover from his work on The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud. Still, don't go looking for medieval mysticism here, but for an extensive amount of hypnotic, slowly developing musical landscapes, occasional melody and sampled speeches.

The album starts off with an awkward Finnish version of every Wehrmacht soldier's favourite "Lili Marlen", then plunges into the flowing sounds of an organ, only to erupt minutes later into a stormy display of martial industrial. Track "III" captures some of the best Der Blutharsch moments ever: a military speech, triumphant symphonic samples and marching songs mingle together in one staggeringly epic piece of almost leviathan proportions. The rest of the album continues to rely heavily on dark ambient plus melody and the inevitable sounds of crowds roaring and party functionaries in their ecstatic moments of speech. An album comparable in its authentic take on totalitarian art only to Laibach's _NATO_ and Von Thronstahl's _Bellum, Sacrum Bellum!?_.


(article published 16/1/2006)

3/11/2008 N Shahpazov 5 Der Blutharsch - The Philosopher's Stone
2/24/2007 N Shahpazov 5 Der Blutharsch - Live in Copenhagen
3/15/2006 N Shahpazov 7 Der Blutharsch - When Did Wonderland End?
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