VARIOUS ARTISTS: SCONTRUM ACT V
CDR: War Office Propaganda WOP 20 [2005]


Barbarossa Umtrunk
Souvenir De Guerre
L'effonrement Du Present
Umtrunk La Prophetie

Bunkkeriorkestrei
Arvet Eivat Osaa Valehdella
Lei Jona 32%
Tuonen Sonaatti

Larrnakh
Vorkhaathorg
Duplex Veritas
Anaritah Maedum

Make something unusual and highly desirable and collectors will come a running. Collectors can’t help it. It’s a completist mentality that makes them what they are. This compulsive need to have every piece of work released within their grubby hands no matter the cost. I know. I am one. ‘My names Al and I’m a collector’ I would say if Collectors Anonymous existed. Record labels play on people like me. War Office Propaganda certainly do. They release ever impressive items and I can’t resist. Stuff the car tax as long as I get what I want. Who needs food when the latest limited edition to complete the set has just been released. Debt. Fuck it. I’ll risk being blacklisted for that precious CD. I’m not the only one you know. There are hundreds of thousands of us throughout the world all specialising in our own little niches. Which is where the Scontrum series comes in. I saw the first volume of this ongoing set being ready for release and deeply craved it. That feeling a collector gets that can’t be erased from the head. Want it. Need it. Must get it. Must get them all. Don’t care what it takes. Need, need, need. And so I did as my heart desired. Fuck the sensible bit of my head. Ignore that. Time to worry about consequences comes later. So here I sit with the fifth release and smile because I have them all. Mine all mine. Precious, precious releases. All five of them. Which is where you may just have a slight problem…

To understand my feelings you have to first look at what makes the Scontrum series so desirable. The music and, more importantly, the packaging. Every entry in the series comes housed in between two wooden A5 sized plates with a photograph stuck on the inside and held together with a paper seal. A work of art to say the least. Then of course there’s the music. Act 1: Cold Fusion / Schwadron, Act 2: Totenhaus / Nawia / Spirits of the River, Act 3: Stahlwerk 9 / Cold Fusion / Krepulec, Act 4: Marching Runes / Ghost Of Breslau /Rukkanor and lastly Act 5: Barbarossa Umtrunk / Bunkkeriorkestrei / Larrnakh. The act Barbarossa Umtrunk are French and deliver three tracks of martial Industrial in the vein of Derniere Volonte. All rousing drum rolls, and symphonic cataclysmic tunes over French vocals. Bunkkeriorkestrei are Finnish who are reminiscent of early Laibach crossed Von Thronstahl with in their approach. Their three tracks are stunning and full of emotion and gritty verve. Lastly Larrnakh complete the set with more bombastic pomp and ceremony with touches of neo folk akin to DIJ. Amazing overall.

The music is as always impressive. There hasn’t been a dull track in the series yet and the nine tracks on here are excellent examples of the type of music WOP are now so famous for. Collectors will, though, buy this release no matter what music is on them. For that is what we do. Having seriously fantastic music is a bonus. I’ve reviewed this release with my own copy. Which is where the sting in the tail comes in. If you’re a first timer to the series this will hurt. If you manage to grab a copy prepare yourself for the worst. For once you’ve touched this packaging. Feel the smoothness of the wood grain on your fingertips. Then played and fallen for the music. You’ll want the previous four acts. Compulsion will drive you. But they have long since sold out. Gone forever. You’ll search in vein. Fingers will be crossed and hopes dashed in return. We the deserving have snapped them up. You have my sympathy. Time to cry your eyes out… but be safe in the knowledge that at least I’m happy. That should ease your pain a little. We who collect pity you.

ANM

[War Office Propaganda]

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