Apr 1 2010, 1:50

Hey folks. You've arrived at a countdown of my fave releases in the neofolk, martial industrial, neoclassical, and dark ambient genres. It's impossible to hear everything, so if you have any thoughts, criticism, or most importantly - albums you'd like to share with me that aren't mentioned here, I implore you to leave a comment.

Also, if you are interested in other genres of music aside from those covered in this journal, feel free to visit my other journal entries covering the best of Heavy Metal / Hard Rock and Indie / Electronic / Etc. in 2009.

Enjoy. :-]

+ Neofolk / Neoclassical / Martial / Dark Ambient +

1.)Rome - "Flowers From Exile"

It is hard to believe that Rome was founded in Luxembourg just four short years ago in 2005. Since then, they have recorded and released some of the most critically acclaimed, innovative, and absolutely enduring succession of brilliant albums not only in the neofolk genre, but in any music genre. In fact, I cannot think of any other artist or musical group that has released such quality material in such a short period of time. Upon its release, Flowers From Exile, almost predictably, was a lock for my favorite album of the year in the category of this Best of 2009 list, and quite possibly my favorite release in any genre over the last year and a half. Stylistically, it is similar to previous releases in that the complexity of the arrangements are bombastic and militaristic, yet bittersweet and emotional, all reaching crescendo’s of an epic nature on nearly every track. Perhaps because of the themes on the release, the atmosphere and approach on the album is decidedly more neofolk-esque, leaving behind many of the more martial tendencies found on prior releases. Flowers From Exile certainly possesses an almost neo-gothic atmosphere, and could appeal to fans of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Spiritual Front, Death in June, and Lux Interna. Simply put, for any music fan that isn’t either uninformed or elitist, there is something on this record for you and everyone else. Rome is in a class above virtually every other artist in any genre, and I’ve given up wondering if their next release will meet my expectations because they continue to effortlessly exceed them. Brilliant album and band.

For fans of: Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Spiritual Front, Dernière Volonté, H.E.R.R., Blood Axis.
Homepage: http://romepage.eu/
MySpace: www.myspace.com/romecmi

2.)Corde Oblique - "Stones of Naples"

Like Rome before them, Ricardo Prencipe’s masterwork release with Corde Oblique showcases a group of musicians that are exceeding expectations in virtually every way. Italy’s Corde Oblique are arguably the single best neoclassical / folk group recording music today. Like Volontà D'arte before, their new magnum opus contains a diverse array of world music aspects, folkloric styles, flawless acoustics, elaborate and brilliantly performed vocals and accompaniments, creating a modern folk tour de force. Stones of Naples is clearly very Euro-centric, and there isn’t any other artist in the neoclassical or folk genres that are writing such beautifully composed music coalescing such a diverse and harmonious coexistence of styles. Wonderful release.

For fans of: Argine, Lupercalia, Ashram, Edo Notarloberti, Camerata Mediolanense, Luigi Rubino.
Homepage: www.cordeoblique.com/
MySpace: www.myspace.com/cordeobliqueunofficial

3.)Der Blaue Reiter - "Nuclear Sun"

With only their third release, Der Blaue Reiter has established themselves as an absolutely fantastic band in the neoclassical/ambient/industrial underground. While their prior two releases were outstanding, Nuclear Sun reached new heights in the quality and poignancy of the tragic conveyance of sound that this band uses to transport you to an entirely other world. Conceptually based on the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, the band effectively recorded a melancholic and yet moving narrative that is as bleak, hopeless, and despondent as it is bittersweet. Utilizing a beautiful array of classically-tinged orchestrations melding seamlessly with ambient passages, distressing and anxious samples, together with forebodingly evocative vocals, Nuclear Sun is a complete success. Der Blaue Reiter just keep getting better. Check this one out, you won’t be sorry.

For fans of: Der Feuerkreiner, A Challenge of Honour, Across the Rubicon, March of Heroes, RUKKANOR, Les Joyaux de la Princesse.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/derblauereitermusic

4.)Neun Welten - "Destrunken"

After having waiting patiently for three long years for a new album following their excellent 2006 offering Vergessene Pfade, Neun Welten did not disappoint. Essentially, this is a band that is able to achieve everything that the neofolk genre is built upon, and meld it with a decidedly passionate respect for mythology, mysticism, the mysteries of nature and the natural world. Musically, Neun Welten excel at coalescing the most emotive elements of folk and classical music, utilizing acoustic guitar, flute, clarinet, piano, violins, and a variety of other instruments all melting into a tranquil harmony of male and female vocals. All the while, their music is, at times, quietly dark, unassuming, and positively unpredictable. As one of the finest neofolk releases of the year, fans of Dornenreich, Empyrium, The Green Man, The Moon and the Nightspirit, Sol Invictus, and the acoustic elements of October Falls should acquire this record immediately if they haven’t already.

For fans of: Nest, Neutral, October Falls, Vàli, Tenhi, Forseti, Empyrium, Nebelung, Sonne Hagal.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/neunwelten

5.)Von Thronstahl - "Germanium Metallicum"

Purveyors of the martial industrial genre, Von Thronstahl have achieved yet another masterwork of neoclassical and post-industrial greatness with Germanium Metallicum. While the evolution of the band has been decidedly positive since the brilliant Sacrificare album, stylistically they have lost none of their bombastic martial tendencies, vivid and organic orchestral visions of nationalism and independence, nor the memorable force and clarity with which they convey their aural and sonic Pan-European vision. As with all of their releases, Germanium Metallicum is an absolute orthodoxy of superiority and excellence in the aforementioned genres. My only complaint is that it runs a bit long, but otherwise, this is an outstanding record.

For fans of: The Days Of The Trumpet, Forthcoming Fire, Krepulec, Allerseelen, Leger Des Heils.
Homepage: www.vonthronstahl.de
MySpace: www.myspace.com/vonthronstahlgermany

6.)Die Weisse Rose - "A Martyrium Of White Roses"

Great debut!

Over the course of a plethora of concerts over the last several years, Die Weisse Rose has cultivated an ample conclave of followers and fans, and they placate those unlucky ones who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing their live performance with their martial/neofolk/experimental debut A Martyrium Of White Roses. A bleak and at times diabolical patchwork of film samples, marches, field recordings, lush orchestral instrumentations and a captivating array of horns, synth, and rhythmic percussion, this is an intense and intricate debut release. Conceptually, there are a myriad of diverse sounds that adjoin with the musicianship creating a wartime ambiance that is as impressive as it is disquieting. Throughout A Martyrium Of White Roses there is a multifaceted reverberation of sounds, such as machinery, falling rain, the voices of women and children, German radio waves, and finally the sonic maelstrom of war with the explosive shrapnel of artillery. Few releases in 2009 were able to create such an aural environment that transports the listen so effectively to another state of mind. This is an exceedingly impressive debut.

For fans of: Barbarossa Umtrunk, Wappenbund, Storm of Capricorn, :Golgatha:, Luftwaffe.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/dieweisserose

7.)TriORE - "Three Hours"

Great debut!

The collaboration between Triarii and Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, two of the greatest bands in the neofolk/martial industrial genres, first occurred in 2006 on Triarii’s brilliant masterwork Pièce Héroique on the superb track “Roses 4 Rome,” featuring Tomas Pettersson as guest vocalist. Three years later, a collaboration between Christian Erdmann of Triarii and Pettersson of ORE was inevitable and TriORE was ultimately born. As a symbiosis and synthesis of both bands, Three Hours finds each of these men pushing beyond the musical boundaries of their normal projects while still embracing the embodiment of all that is exceptional from the unification of their creativity. Martial and apocalyptic orchestrations such as “No Tears Are Shed For You And Me” and “Fires Burn, Like Fires Do” showcase a clear Triarii influence while ORE’s distinctive and epic neofolk methodology is heard in tracks like “The Missing Hour,” and the excellent “Europa’s Dream.” Followers of either of the two projects that melded into one should absolutely seek Three Hours out as it is one of the better martial industrial / apocalyptic neofolk releases of 2009.

For fans of: Triarii, Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, Dawn & Dusk Entwined, Pantheon Legio Musica, Puissance, Of the Wand and the Moon.
Homepage: http://triore.de/
MySpace: www.myspace.com/triore

8.)Dead Man's Hill - "Via Occulta"

Over the course of several albums, Dead Man’s Hill has significantly improved, becoming one of the best bands in the martial industrial genre. With their newest offering, Dead Man’s Hill transports the listener into an ambient journey rich with unusual orchestral arrangements, bombastic walls of sound in the vein of In Slaughter Natives, and a ritualistic meets industrial atmosphere that compels repeat listens of Via Occulta. In a way, even within the confines of their own musical genre, Dead Man’s Hill seems solitary and alone due to the way they combine the sonic ingredients that teeter on the edge of chaos, while still retaining a malevolent and dark ambient nature. Via Occulta is an excellent release that I strongly recommend to fans of the genre.

For fans of: Pimentola, Horologium, Zr 19.84, Cold Fusion, Phragments, Argentum, The Protagonist.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/deadmanshill

9.)IANVA - "Italia Ultimo Atto"

Un lavoro di bellezza, splendore, e il genio! Questo è tutto da dire.

For fans of: Varunna, Calle Della Morte, Roma Amor, Orplid, AIT!, Ô Paradis, Fire + Ice.
Homepage: www.illevriero.it/ianva/index-e.asp
MySpace: www.myspace.com/ianva

10.)Darkwood - "Ins Dunkle Land"

Simply put, Darkwood are one of the most important and professional acts in the neofolk scene. Ins Dunkle Land, like most Darkwood releases, coalesces the time-honored staples of the neofolk/martial genre with an darkly experimental finesse that channels elements of despondency, nostalgia, wartime struggle, and a perfected melancholic reflective ambiance. While their newest album does not deviate much from the tradition of excellence that made Notwendfeuer and Herbstgewölk such memorable albums, Ins Dunkle Land is yet another stunning chapter in the essential Darkwood discography.

For fans of: Werkraum, Waldteufel, Sturmpercht, Sol Invictus, Strength Through Joy, Falkenstein.
Homepage: www.darkwood.de/
MySpace: www.myspace.com/heidenvolk

11.)Tethrippon - "Tethrippon"

Great debut!

In the deceased language of Ancient Greek, the term Tethrippon denotes Apollyon’s flaming chariot, which – according to Hellenic mythology – he used to traverse the sky – the same chariot that his son, Phaeton, unsuccessfully attempted to control, resulting in a series of catastrophes that culminated in the explosion of Zeus’ rage. Obviously hailing from Greece, the duo known as Tethrippon flawlessly produce a smorgasbord of pummeling martial drums, soaring melodies and terrific vocals – all sung in the native tongue of their ancient forefathers - breathing new life into the Ancient Greek language. Part Dernière Volonté and Death in June, the epic continuity that Tethrippon achieved can be heard on brilliant tracks (titles are in Ancient Greek, with included English translation) such as “Mother Nature’s Hymn,” “Fire Holder,” and “A Prayer To The Sun.” This is a brilliant debut from a band that will almost assuredly be synonymous with quality for years to come in the neofolk/martial genre.

For fans of: Àrnica, Shattered Hand, Trinithos, Sala delle Colonne, Von Liebenfels, Ich Hatt' Einen Kameraden, Alle Sagen Ja.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/tethrippon

12.)Atomtrakt - "Nuklearchetyp"

Utterly bleak post-apocalyptic martial industrial / dark ambient band Atomtrakt return in 2009 with the minimalist dirge of Nuklearchetyp. This is not a release that every fan of the dark ambient or martial industrial genre will enjoy. Atomtrakt create a disharmonic veil of hopeless ambiance that to many, may seem redundant or boresome. However, it is the stark and emotive simplicity in the instrumentation that generates an atmosphere of desperation and doom-laden decay that Atomtrakt mastermind Christian Ziegler has perfected so well. While at times decidedly more dark ambient rather than espousing the militant carnage emblematic of the martial industrial genre, Nuklearchetyp is among the most desolate and sincere records of an austere nature that I had the pleasure of hearing in 2009.

For fans of: Vinterriket, Frozenthia Depresis, Northaunt, Kreuzweg Ost, Stahlwerk 9, Predella Avant, Die Macht, Kammarheit.
Homepage: www.atomtrakt.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/atomtraktofficial

13.)Sinweldi - "L'Homme Au Coeur de Fer"

Great debut!

Brilliant and innovative in a variety of ways, Sinweldi is a relatively young act that needs to be heard before anything you read might sway or imprint upon you an initial impression of the band prior to actually hearing the outstanding L’Homme Au Coeur de Fer. Sinweldi is definitely an act to keep your eye on in the future. I implore you to give them a listen without delay. Superb album, and one that I am likely to grow fonder of over time and repeated listens.

For fans of: Gabe Unruh, L'Horrible Passion, Nihil Novi Sub Sole, TSIDMZ, Les Affres de la Mort, Schutzstaffel, Durch Heer Und Kraft, Ryr, Ritual Front.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/sinweldi

14.)Opus Nigrum - "Journey In The Dark"

Great debut!

Journey In The Dark from the reasonably unknown Spanish act Opus Nigrum was a pleasant surprise for me. Arriving on the scene virtually out of thin air, they were able to produce eleven tracks that comprise an amalgamation of sounds and styles. Journey In The Dark is a densely woven neofolk debut comprised of rich textual layers of ritualistic passages that invoke the darkest and most mysterious elements of the human psyche. The album, based on three stages in the alchemical philosophy – Nigredo, Albedo, and Rubdo, also succeeds in generating an abundance of ambitious neoclassical cresendo’s that carry the listener into a ominous and dramatic atmosphere of war, envy, desire and death. Journey In The Dark was an excellent debut from this promising Spanish act, and I look forward to any work they might complete in the future.

For fans of: Dark Sanctuary, Arcana, All My Faith Lost ..., Narsilion, Love Is Colder Than Death, Ataraxia.
Homepage: http://opusnigrum.es/
MySpace: www.myspace.com/opusnigrumusic

15.)Treha Sektori - "Sorieh"

Great debut!

As the supreme encapsulation of dark ambient sickness, Sorieh was arguably the single most disquieting and cinematic work of ambient musicianship in 2009. A forebodingly eccentric, yet oppressive and desperate ambiance on Sorieh summons all that is beautiful and captivating about decay, bereavement, and the inevitable collapse of human civilization. While the sound Treha Sektori achieves is solely their own, fans of Desiderii Marginis, Kammarheit, Coil, Pimentola, Karjalan Sissit, Toroidh, Northaunt, and Atrium Cerceri should certainly check this utterly desolate release out.

For fans of: Peter Bjärgö & Gustaf Hildebrand, Atrium Carceri, New Risen Throne, Nordvargr, Vestigial, raison d'être.
MySpace: www.myspace.com/trehasekt

And now...

+ Neofolk / Neoclassical / Martial / Dark Ambient Honorable Mentions +

Aeterna - New Dawn
All Hail The Transcending Ghost - All Hail The Transcending Ghost
Arditi & Signa Inferre - Statues of Gods & Invictis Victi Victuri
Atrium Carceri - Phrenitis
Birch Book - Vol III - A Hand Full of Days
Bloody Woods - Colour
Brighter Death Now - Breaking Down Nihil
Current 93 - Anok Pe Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain
Disciplina de Exterminio - Guerilla Cultural Postmoderna
Eldar - Sapere Aude
Espers - III
Falkenstein - Kraftort
Fasci Di Combattimento - Nihilism
Folkstorm - Ortodox
Hannu - Hintergarten
Ierophania - Heliogabalus
Ignis Vrbis Mithrae - Sacrae Romanae Origines
Im Einsatz - Alerte en pays neutre
In Ruin - Heaven Wept
Karjalan Sissit - Fucking Whore Society
Karl Sanders - Saurian Exorcisms
Kazeria - Credo Nostrum
Klammheim - Heimwarts
Kriegsturm - Eternity
L'Effet C'Est Moi - Les Voix De L'Apocalypse
Les Mort Skin - Provocative Aesthetics ('08, grandfathered in...)
Ludovico Einaudi - Nightbook
Luigi Rubino - A Theme For The Moon
Maninkari - "Un Souffle De Voix"
Militia Dei - In Nomine Patris Et Filii Et Spiritus Sancti
Navicon Torture Technologies - The Gospels Of The Gash
Nebelkorona - Des Nachts In Tristen Nebel
Nurse With Wound - The Survelliance Lounge
Horologium & Oda Relicta - Saint George & The Dragon
Ô Paradis & elli Riehl - Initium Dolorum
Peter Bjärgö - A Wave Of Bitterness
Pilori – Until The Day Dawn
Raison d'Etre - The Stains Of The Embodied Sacrifice
Roma Amor - Femmina
Rose Rovine e Amanti - Demian
Schutzstaffel - Der Krieg Unserer Zeit
Sect - Imperative
Seelenlicht - Love And Murder
Snow Lark on the Temple Mt. Doom - Guardian Or Avenger ('08, w/e)
Solanaceae - Solanaceae
Subaudition - Light On The Path
Svalbard - Pahonya
Sylvain Chauveau - Touching Down Lightly
Tears of Othila - Renaissance!
Thunderwheel - Credo
Tony Wakeford - Not All of Me Will Die
Toroidh - Eine Kleine Marschmusik
23 Trublion 23 - Cheval Pyromane
Vae Victus - Suffering To The Conquered
Vestigial - Solar
Wardruna - Runaljod - Gap Var Ginnunga
Whisper Room - Birch White
Wyrdstone - Cuffern

Fin ~*
Commenti accettati
Italy, Die Militarmusik, Heathen Harvest
Commenti in sospeso
neofolk, Martial Industrial, Owl


  • DreadfulYgg

    Most of these seem very interesting. I have so much music to listen to. =(

    Apr 1 2010, 4:02
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    There are worse problems to be sure! ;-)

    Apr 1 2010, 4:05
  • ReginaMarziale

    Wow it's really an exhaustive list! I really appreciate Sinweldi, a new but really interesting project. What about Art Abscon's ? I loved the free sample ep Spektral Magik. http://www.myspace.com/artabscon

    Apr 1 2010, 10:11
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ ReginaMarziale: Thank you for the comment! I haven't heard Art Abscon, I'll be checking out that free sample ep! :-)

    Apr 1 2010, 10:30
  • ReginaMarziale

    I recommend also Sturmpercht with the album Schattenlieder and Dannagoischd with the album Emm Dichda Ondrholz. Check on www.steinklang-records.at

    Apr 1 2010, 11:28
  • cell_44

    I can only agree here completely, it`s my fav genre after all ;p

    Apr 1 2010, 12:32
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ ReginaMarziale: Yes! I need to hear the new Sturmpercht still, but I haven't ever heard of the artist Dannagoischd. I'll remedy that. Thanks again! :-] @ Front-Sonore: Thanks! I didn't even know there was a Front-Sonore release in 2009.

    Apr 1 2010, 19:43
  • Mutilashawn

    Wow 2009 was incredibly productive for this genre!!! Hats off to the net labels that put out tons of great bands! Much to our bliss I'm sure. A lot I haven't heard (of) here and I can't wait to get into some of this. You must have one hell of a record collection my friend! The only thing I don't see here was H.E.R.R.'s newest ... granted they are a very acquired taste.

    Apr 2 2010, 18:32
  • Totenwacht

    As a member of the band, I am able to offer the members of this groub to buy the Klammheim - Heimwärts album for only 10€ + shipping within europe. Just contact me, if you have any questions.

    Apr 2 2010, 18:37
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Mutilashawn: H.E.R.R. are a very acquired taste and unfortunately for me, I have yet to acquire a taste for them. I thought that I would really enjoy the new album because of the concept and themes involved, but for some reason it just didn't click with me. Maybe I'll give it another try. Thanks for commenting though! Btw, I mentioned your band in my metal journal. ;-]

    Apr 2 2010, 20:12
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Totenwacht: Thank you for the info! That's a great deal that I am going to take you up on in the near future. Fans of the neofolk genre should definitely hear Klammheim. [i]Heimwärts[/i] was absolutely fantastic!

    Apr 2 2010, 20:14
  • Mutilashawn

    Killer bro thanks for that!

    Apr 3 2010, 4:06
  • JJM1

    I honestly didn't pay much attention to these genres in 2009 and I guess all in all I'm just more into metal these days than I've ever been. Of course I did hear a few of these albums and most of them I enjoyed. I see some old favs like Darkwood and Neun Welten released new albums too. I guess I'll have to check those out soon.

    Apr 3 2010, 23:39
  • JJM1

    Hmm.... that reminds me. Check out, Stroszek - Life Failures made Music. Side project of Claudio Alcara (Frostmoon Eclipse). A very good release.

    Apr 3 2010, 23:58
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @Mutilashawn: No prob. :-] @ JJM1: It has been somewhat of a metal renaissance for me as well, and I've been enjoying a lot of releases far more than I was 2-3 years ago when I had to struggle just to find something that I enjoyed. I'd have to say that I probably listen to neofolk/martial and metal almost equally, with metal probably gaining a bit of an edge because there is so much to choose from. If you end up listening to any of the releases not on my list or outside of Neun Welten or Darkwood, let me know what you thought.

    Apr 3 2010, 23:59
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @JJM1: I actually think I've heard Stroszek, because I remember reading about a side-project of Frostmoon Eclipse and then visiting their MySpace. I just never acquired the album, but I'll remedy that now. You'd think I would have done this months ago, being a huge Frostmoon Eclipse fan. This is why I need people to remind me of some things. ;-]

    Apr 4 2010, 0:01
  • balthcat

    I was curious about Sinweldi when I first saw him on a torrent site... unfortunately this was one of the first results I found on Google: http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=659530

    Apr 4 2010, 9:09
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Balthcat: Thanks for the comment. I suppose whether or not you listen to a band like this depends on how you feel about the band(s) political subscriptions. I listen to many bands who have 'questionable' ties to various political ideologies...but that doesn't keep me from enjoying their music. Take from that what you want. ;-] That said, did you hear anything in 2009 that I may have missed in the aforementioned genres for this journal entry?

    Apr 4 2010, 10:05
  • balthcat

    I'm sure it won't surprise you from our compatibility that I keep listening to most of them anyway. I do, however, feel it's important that it be known. That is the cost of free speech after all :) I've been really lazy when it comes to exploring new material. I think it comes from having been at a campus radio station for a while, where people mail you 200-300 CDs a month and you don't have to work to explore. I should be reading Heathen Harvest at the very least! A torrent site I'm on just went Freeleech and the albums I snatched this weekend are probably more new music than I've been exposed to a year waiting for me. Everything I can think of that I've seen from 2009 is either in your Top 10 or in your honourable mentions.

    Apr 4 2010, 11:34
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ Balthcat: "I do, however, feel it's important that it be known. That is the cost of free speech after all " - I wholeheartedly agree. I remember working at a campus radio, but I never received that many CD's a month! Then again, I was short of discriminated against and given an incredibly late (or early, depending on your perspective) show slot because of the material I aired. ;-) Well, I hope you enjoy some of the records you were able to acquire and hopefully purchase a few of them if you can - someday - since you are probably like me and have some sort of tuition costs to pay / repay / etc. ;-]

    Apr 4 2010, 11:50
  • JJM1

    Definitely give Stroszek a shot. Very good band.

    Apr 7 2010, 6:05
  • bpmfront

    Hello, thanks for the support to Disciplina de Exterminio; to be included in the Honorable Mentions list with all that great and top-notch artists its very positive. Its add a plus of energy and strentgh to make more and better things. Regards from Argentina.

    Apr 11 2010, 4:44
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @BPMFront: No problem! Thanks for the comment!

    Apr 11 2010, 7:00
  • CordeOblique


    Apr 13 2010, 8:50
  • Coffinwood_Mill

    @ CordeOblique: And cheers to you and all of the musicians you work with creating the brilliant and beautiful sounds found on every Corde Oblique masterpiece!

    Apr 13 2010, 15:37
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