Within the genre in which the undersigned still feels most at home, neofolk indeed, the name and track record of Allerseelen can be called a steadfast certainty.
At the time of its 30th anniversary, the project of the charismatic Austrian Gerhard Hallstatt still managed to attach great importance to relevance with the rock-solid Chairete Daimones.
Not only was Gerhard kind enough to gift us this album along with his two predecessors (Terra Incognita (2015) and Dunkelgraue Lieder (2017)) (-Hallstatt had already noticed that his releases were under the Dark Entries radar flown), we also saw some common features in the totality of the three albums and it started to look like a trilogy in which the term ‘le nouveau Allerseelen est arrivée!’ to add more force, was gladly put in the mouth.
A punch that hit me so hard that I immediately contacted Allerseelen for a place on the Trouwfest poster. In one way I would also add AimA, the Italian singer (see also Les Jumeaux Discordants) who provided her services to several songs on Chairete Daimones. A collaboration that clearly left you wanting more, because after this some older Allerseelen songs were dusted off and sung again by the impressive singer. Impressive indeed, take my word for it that this lady has a voice that you must have heard as a fan of the broad gothic genre.
Allerseelen may have been mainly Hallstatt’s project in the past, supplemented with numerous individual guests, but nowadays we can more and more speak of a real group. This was also apparent when Allerseelen agreed to participate in Trouwfest and announced that he would be performing with veteran Christien Havranek on drums, Marcel P. (bass) and AimA (vocals).
Unfortunately the party couldn’t go on, you know why. Our festival was also canceled the following year and we can only hope that the year 2022 will be more favorable to us in that regard. But that I will bring Allerseelen to Belgium again after a long time, that is a certainty that is more credible than all the measures that keep getting stuck in the wheels.
Although never gone away, Allerseelen was reborn in 2020 already working on the previously released Requiem (1989) on tape and added Frühgeschichte II (other early tapes from the same year (Schwartzer Rab, Autdaruta and Lacrima Christi) to this reworking). were also refreshed in this series).
Morgenröte, the 1988 debut proper, does not fall into this series and also shows remarkable differences from previous reissues.
First of all, these are shortened versions of the original cassette, which only take up half of the album.
To show that this mainly concerns a performance of the pimped Allerseelen version, we conclude from the fact that the Morgenröte material is preceded by ten new/rerecorded songs.
“Willst Du meine Löwin sein”, asks Hallstatt in the opening number. When the Italian AimA eagerly cries out for the new version of Allerseelen classic ‘Tanzt Die Orange’ (the original can be found on the album Venezia (2001) and also got a place on the Looking For Europe box, until today still just about the audio bible for every neofolk enthusiast) he seems to have found his lioness.
This conclusion turns out to be completely correct when hearing the other three songs with AimA on the microphone. For example, ‘Flamme’, a text by Nietzsche, has been set to music. The swinging song that reminds us of the 1920s (which, in contrast to a hundred years later, were indeed ‘roaring’) is known with the ghostly vocals of AimA and the pumping bass of Marcel P. (see also Dark Entries darlings Miel Noir) two remarkable jammers in the total picture, in terms of originality it can already count. The role of Marcel cannot be minimized in the reborn version of Allerseelen either. The renewed tandem, together with its solid bass playing, takes the songs one by one to a new dimension. ‘Jede Welle’ also distinguishes itself thanks to this wonderful interplay. Due to the aforementioned bass playing and the very gothic-like voice of AimA, Allerseelen should gradually be able to tap into a wider audience. Agree, their name also rings bells outside neofolk circles, but the fact remains that despite the very varied discography Allerseelen had to rely mainly on this niche.
Finally, Hallstatt wrote ‘Tjo Tjo Tjo Di Ri’ for Sturmpercht, the imaginative Austrian group of which he himself is a part. Both the title and the music of the song may sound jolly, but the content is less so. At least we think so. We’re not quite sure what to think about the text in which the protagonist spends the night trying to remove a black spot on a girl’s white belly. Since Sturmpercht is in the game, we suspect that this is some kind of Austrian legend.
In addition to AimA, another singer can make her appearance. Estella Plunkett, or Marcel P.’s girlfriend, already did that in the past at Allerseelen and can do it again during ‘Knistern’.
Her echoing vocals together with the sounds of the songs provide a psychedelic effect. It sounds completely different from what her Italian colleague brings, but this multitude of influences and executed ideas means that Allerseelen should be able to perform at the highest level for many more years.
As far as literary references are concerned, you have come to the right place with this European superpower (Austria-Germany-Italy-Netherlands) as usual. Hallstatt For ‘Musa’, for example, found inspiration in both Goethe and Ezra Pound.
To the text of ‘Film Kriss. As Wärs Das Letzte Mal’ we hear that this is a DAF cover. A tribute to Gabi Delgado, who passed away last year, who leaves the beats for what they are. If you are still waiting for some solid rhythm, there is the Phobos Reactor remix of ‘Dolce Vita’.
The new Allerseelen immediately drops a business card to impress you with these ten (!!) extra songs. Because indeed, the true purpose of this album (the re-release of Morgenröte) has yet to come.
The original tape was the actual debut for Allerseelen and was therefore released in 1988. Just like the Requiem that follows and also discussed here, you get to hear the primal version of Allerseelen that is instrumental, ambient and ritual in nature. By neatly placing this primary next to the brand new version of Allerseelen on 1 album, you immediately get a nice picture of the evolution that has taken place after a career of more than thirty years. In Austria, too, standing still means going backwards, which is not the case at all as far as Allerseelen is concerned. A nice addition to the already very extensive Allerseelen discography. We still hope that our Trouwfest will finally be allowed to continue next year, because the poster we already had in store in 2019 is simply too good not to let go.
Gerhard receives reinforcement in many pieces by “Aima” whose voice does not make the songs softer, but rather more specific and demanding. I don’t know much about Aima, only that she is now apparently moving more firmly in the vicinity of All Souls’ Day and is (or was) going to play concerts with Gerhard. Unfortunately, for known reasons, this has not yet happened. At Discogs 3 albums of hers are listed, which are assigned to the genres Non-Music, Classical, Folk, World, & Country, Ambient and Dark Ambient. Well, what do you want to say? In any case, Aima’s voice goes well with the new song versions that were created in the last year of standstill.