Der Blutharsch's Psychedelic Farewell

Posted by Aaron Detroit, November 18, 2009 02:30pm | Post a Comment

Austrian apocalyptic-industrial collective Der Blutharsch have just released their follow-up to last year’s The Philosopher’s Stone. The appropriately titled, Flying High!, reaches a peak in the bad-trip psychedelic heights the group began maneuvering towards on 2005’s When Did Wonderland End? (which remains the group’s most accessible album to-date). High’s CD slipcover uncharacteristically features a tongue-in-cheek photo of a presumably hallucinogenic, heart-shaped cake with the album’s title written in blue icing - preemptively answering the question one might ask upon first listen of this disc: “What kind of drugs are these people on?!?”

Der Blutharsch began as a one-man project featuring only Vienna-based Albin Julius just prior to leaving the medieval/ritual duo, The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud, in 1999. Over the last decade, Der Blutharsch sojourned through phases of dark-ambient, post-Industrial, martial-industrial, and neo-folk collaborations with Death In June’s Douglas P. before settling into the gloomy apocalyptic-rock the now-expanded-to-a-4 member group plays. Julius has caught a lot of flack over the years for his various aesthetic and stylistic choices, from the Laibach-like controversy caused by critiques over military-related artwork and samples to angering fans over his apparent all-together abandonment of martial-industrial, a genre he is often credited with helping found. Julius, seemingly unfazed by any of this, has delivered one of the strongest albums in his discography. This means the band will end on a “high” note, now that Julius has announced that this will be the last Der Blutharsch album of new material as he plans to retire the name and move on to other projects.

For Flying High!, Julius is again joined by his wife Marthynna, Australian singer/songwriter Bain Wolfkind (who brings his usual Outlaw charm to the LP), and Graumahd’s Jörg B., who have all been mainstay members since Wonderland. The line-up has had the benefit of touring together extensively since 2005, a likely reason that High is the most seamless and cohesive of the band’s “rock n’ roll” triptych. The album opens with a standard Blutharsch pulsating and buzzing dark-ambient track that would not have been completely misplaced on early releases. However, soon enough the new era is heralded in with druggy organ and Eastern guitar flourishes on the album’s (sometimes 10 minute plus!) death-rock dirges and Krautrock-influenced space-outs (Albin's likely been listening to some Guru Guru). The stand-out track amongst the 9 here is the album’s 11-minute centerpiece (as with all Der Blutharsch releases, all songs here are untitled) which features a haunting vocal by Patrick Leagas (Death In June/ Sixth Comm), who gorgeously croons the album’s mantra: “Just You and I/ Flying High…”

A thick, dense, murky and trippy affair, Flying High! possibly establishes yet another Julius-created genre: Psychedelic Death-Rock. Amoeba Music Hollywood has import copies of Flying High! on CD and very LIMITED quantities of the (pricey-but-so-worth-it) GORGEOUS foil-blocked, gatefold, heavy-weight Double LP!

Week of November 18 - Amoeba Hollywood's Top Ten Goth/Industrial Best Sellers:

1. Cold Cave Love Comes Close (Reissue) [Matador]
2. Bauhaus In The Flat Field – Omnibus Edition [4AD]
3. Bauhaus Mask – Omnibus Edition [4AD]
4. Assemblage 23 Compass [Metropolis]
5. Der Blutharsch Flying High! [WKN]
6. Lustmord Beyond [Vaultworks]
7. Psyclon Nine We The Fallen [Metropolis]
8. Habitat Code Gray [Self-Released]
9. Rome Flowers From Exile [Trisol]
10. Emilie Autumn Opheliac – Deluxe Edition [End]

Week of November 18 - Amoeba Hollywood's Featured New Releases:

Kaniba Death Songs CD [Autumn Wind]
Amazing final release from dark-ambient/drone project Kaniba. Industrialised Dark Ambient/Drone-form tracks inspired by Appalachian murder ballads and traditional death-folk.

Rabia Sorda Noise Diary CD [Out Of Line]
Noise Diary
is the second outing from HOCICO front-shouter Erk Aicrag's solo project. A Harsh Electroclash/Cyberpunk hybrid that sounds more versatile and melodic yet still aggressive and powerful with massive production from mixing desk wizard John Fryer.

Sopor Aeternus The Goat …and Other Reanimated Bodies Region-Free Import PAL DVD
[Apocalyptic Vision]
The collected videos on this DVD offer just a further small key to open another small door in the fascinating, beautiful and morbid world of the transgendered, self-proclaimed “Goddess” Anna-Varney’s (AKA Sopor Aeternus). Baroque darkwave.


Habitat Code Gray CD [Self-Released]
A highly recommended, extremely limited release of 100(!) copies by L.A. dark and esoteric noisemeisters/soundscapists Habitat. Fans of Coil and Cyclobe should jump at this gorgeous sophomore release from one of Los Angeles's most promising and unique acts!

Coming Soon....

Death In June Symbols And Clouds - Euro Cross Commemorative edition  LIMITED to 1000 2CD Soap Stone Package [NERUS] 
Similar to the Brown Book Commerative Edition. Available early December.

Throbbing Gristle Gristleism Limited Edition Box [Industrial ]
Industrial Records Ltd. are pleased to announce the birth of GRISTLEISM, the newest member of the Throbbing Gristle family. Bastard offspring of now-famous ambient loop player the Buddha Machine, GRISTLEISM is part industrial sound machine, part noise instrument. Featuring 13 original and uncompromising loops, GRISTLEISM delivers a mix of signature TG experimental noise, industrial drone, and classic melodies and rhythms. Available in three colors—black, chrome and red—the palm-sized unit (size: w67mm x h69mm x d35mm) features a built-in speaker, volume control, pitch-shift control and loop selector switch. Available early December.

Relevant Tags

Cold Cave (12), Flying High (1), Psychedelia (19), Der Blutharsch (4), Death In June (3), Bain Wolfkind (2), Industrial (26), Goth (44), Amoeba Music Hollywood (104), Krautrock (9)