is the much-anticipated follow up to 1997's "The Absolute Supper"
on Cold Meat Industry. The title "Flowers Made Of Snow" is taken
from Coph Nia's 'To Fix The Shadow'
The first track by Coph Nia is a weird one. I appreciate the well-known
Coph Nia neoclassical backing track but
lyrics are simplistic, in your face and well, a bit crass really. The
Protagonist returns with a dark, sinister orchestration 'The Sick
Rose' which is simply sublime; I really love the soundtrack nature,
reminiscent of his earlier CMI appearances - still one of my very favourite
CMI acts! In Slaughter Natives contribute a track with demonic vocals
as well as female operatics. The music is slow, steadily beating and includes
plucked strings and grating sounds - quite enthralling. Now begins my
least favourite parts of this compilation. With Olen'k, All My Faith Lost,
Ataraxia, Herperos and Apatheia especially, I must say I am thoroughly
unimpressed by the light, romantic neofolk contained herein. I am not
a fan of this type of music and prefer the rest of the album styles without
a doubt. The Last Hour inbetween is more of a gothic track with light
strings but Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio proves to be a saving grace on this
first CD. This is one of the best tracks I have heard from them in a while.
It's bombastic, sadistic and threatening with a hint of erotica: well
worth this CD alone. Sibelian is more of a dark Irish folk lamentation
than the previous neofolk mentioned before. This shows the darker side
of folk I prefer and stands out from the rest of the album. The final
track here by Sanctum is from their recent CMI album "Let's Eat"
and has real aggression with an industrial backdrop wandering into lighter
Desiderii Marginis lead us into the second CD with a dark and spacious
ambient track accompanied by clanks, grating and groans. Their recent
work has really impressed me and this is a fantastic addition. Raison
D'être's 'Moulding the Forlorn II' is an astoundingly beautiful,
swirling, forlorn piece, hitting all the right places musically for me.
Atrium Carceri's 'Impaled Butterfly' contains Japanese filmic
samples and is very much like a soundtrack with nice percussion. MZ.412
is a surprise inclusion as I thought Nordvargr was moving in a more electronica
direction these days. Nice to hear his nasty side make a comeback! Deep,
dark distorted electrics leads into fucking excellent rhythmic noise stimulation.
Now for some of Mr Karmanik himself! BDN's 'While You Sleep'
is as perverse as the title suggests. Dark, dirty rhythms and distorted
vocals reminding me of the days of Lille Roger. IRM's track is a slow,
rhythmic, noisy piece with a shouting vocals over. Kind of has the same
effect on me as the Coph Nia track. Next Deutsch Nepal slows us right
down with a spaced out, reverberating ambient track and very, very distorted
vocals. Guitars make an appearance and the vocals become prominent...this
is pure sleaze from Lina Baby Doll. Nacht was an act I thought would never
resurface but with a recent inclusion in another label compilation (which
I haven't heard yet) I was curious as to what she'd been up to. This isn't
a far cry from the days of Aghast's gothic whisperings. Reverb sets the
background to this disturbing track and Nacht's echoed voice makes sudden
appearances. This has to be the strangest track on the compilation and
one which I thorougly enjoyed. BSE's first appearance on CMI (according
to their site an album is in the pipeline) is a clanking, yet quiet piece.
Whispered female vocals feature throughout as well as strings. Sephiroth
add another quietly disturbing bow to FMOS's string. This really is a
fantastic, melancholic, orchestral piece to lull you to sleep - beautiful
stuff. Lastly we come to Skin Area. This breaks the silence with odd guitar
distortion and electronic samples. Not keen on this track, especially
the moans and screeching guitars near the end.
Overall I think this is less superior to "The Absolute Supper"
which, to my mind, will always be the ultimate CMI compilation. I would
have liked to have seen more inclusion of harsher acts that have appeared
on CMI since "The Absolute Supper" but think this sampler really
shows the lighter direction CMI is moving in, or, some may argue, returning
to. The second CD is absolutely essential on its own, so search this out