CD: Cold Meat Industry CMI149 [2005]

Anyám édesanyám
A vicei temetöbe
Man will always be a man
Holy sleep
A jó lovás katonának
A poison tree
Elmegyek, elmegyek, hosszú utra megyek
These woods are ancient

Eva Mag, a Hungarian chatelaine to Bluebeard's castle (Torture Chamber, et al), and Andreas Neidhardt, axe-wielding pagan of Swedish forests immemorial, comprise Stormfågel, one of Cold Meat Industry's newest offerings, and deliver a full length album that finds a umbrageous return to earlier, piebald folk-industrial commingling than the recent ethereal Projekt-like releases from the Swedish label.

Ostensibly Stormfagel‚s introductory track misdirects the listener with a deceptive foray into the dark woods of European neoclassical byways, yet his relatively short album shares more in common with label-mate acts like Ordo Equilibrio, Coph Nia, and Sanctum than the dulcet haunts of more pure neofolk mien. A histrionic bombast ritualizes most tracks, raiment hoary and fresh. Eva's voice ululates and recites as if from some religious missal to sparse and dolorous strings metered by martial beats while Andreas performs decaying perorations backed to the samples of war and grave nursery rhyme melody and ghosting tintinnabulation. The tracks segue nicely between the vocal fronting of each and at times intertwine in duet as Eva lifts the minatory storm clouds that Andreas gravels but never to the light, her recitatives tragic and lamenting. The orchestration is firmly ground in classical instruments, with a variety of strings, flutes and martial percussion being the predominant melody and meter, yet the compositions are enjoyable divagations, reminiscent of Dernier Volonté's threnodic marches. The recordings are thankfully not low-fi, that would have consigned Stormfågel to the cheap bin, but well produced and as diverse track to track as the thematic and melodic elements, but being mastered by Peter Andersson could you expect anything but?

The album is presented in a gatefold digipak, sans booklet, aesthetically arranged in verdant colours of deepest forest lineated with floral patina with a tasteful nouveau metal inset nestling sepia toned photography on the front cover.


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