Thursday, 25 June 2009

THE END OF ALL DREAMS







Band: WACH
Title: The End Of All Dreams
Format: CD release through Klangfeld Seuchentrieb Tonproduktion (Germany) in 2007, catalogue reference SEUCHE002. Release came in a "hand-made leather package" with a sash bearing the WACH seal in blood-red wax. Photos show the intact bag and opened contents. The last photo is a special promotional-only variant of the album made by Reverend Kim.
Edition: Release limited to only 30 hand-numbered pieces

Track Listing:
01 Welcome to the... 1.52
02 ...Freakshow 3.01
03 Wie Kalter Stein 5.22
04 Domination Desire 4.50
05 The Long Goodbye 6.21
06 Strange Kind of Evilness 5.03
07 Vortex 4 11.05
08 Kyrill 9.12

This 2007 release from WACH is, let me tell you, quite the thing to track down. Only 30 of these beauties were ever made (with their hand-stitched covers and wax seals) and it has taken Nazgul a significant amount of time to track down this one, #27 of the set, which has in fact only arrived this morning direct from those good folk at The Eastern Front in Israel (hails to Igor and Tanya). Nazgul was rather lucky though, as prior to finding one of the original releases - and to be honest, I was quite surprised to have done so as with only 30 available and sold-out at the label you'd imagine none would be up for grabs - Reverend Kim kindly provided me with a special promotional edition with dedicated disc (tres cool) and unique inlay.

As a result of acquiring this particular item, the HonourAndDarkness camera has gone into unprecedented overtime to show you the exceptional quality of the workmanship behind what will surely become the most collectable of WACH releases...?

Were you to point your browser towards the WACH MySpace pages (http://www.myspace.com/wachsein) you will notice that there are a number of reviews of this release already posted online. I've chosen a few choice extracts from a few of those, as much of what has been said is excellent critique in its own right and worth consideration:

" 'The End of All Dreams' is Wach’s second release and the follow up album to the mini CD "The Fear". Featuring eight tracks and running around 45 minutes, this Austrian project presents dark ambient mixed with higher resonating frequencies that provide the album with a bleak futuristic feel.

I first heard Wach very recently when I reviewed the "Der Gegner ist die Zeit" compilation. The sole track Wach provided for that compilation was excellent so I was pretty excited to be able to review a full album by the artist. I find Wach to be very atmospheric. This is definitely an album that you can throw on and get completely lost in for 45 minutes.

Even though Wach’s music would fall into the category of dark ambient, there is a lot more going on than minimal drifting noises. Dark minimal passages are actually the minority on "The End of All Dreams" and are usually more of a backdrop to the other layers of sound or they are used as transition passages. Wach actually relies a lot on higher frequencies and futuristic sci-fi themed noises that help to build the tense and dark atmosphere. I really like when an artist melds all their songs together so the album comes across as one seamless experience, which is exactly what Wach does on "The End of All Dreams". Because all the songs on "The End of All Dreams" blend into one another to give the impression of one long song, it makes the listener’s experience so much more cohesive and concrete allowing the idea of a themed album about the end of dreams to really take effect.

"The End of All Dreams" is a suitable title as this music seems to capture the feeling of a hopeless future and the end of all things. This album would be the perfect accompaniment to a video portraying the destruction of modern civilization leaving behind a grim future. "The End of All Dreams" is dark and bleak but has more than enough going on to keep the listener interested. The songs are constantly changing and shifting and each one presents a little something new that the previous songs did not. I would recommend almost any fan of dark ambient or industrial to give Wach’s "The End of All Dreams" a listen. This is an excellent CD that should appeal to a wide variety of people into the underground music scene."

Heathen Harvest webzine

Worth reading too are the following words from the Chronicles of Chaos website:

"Wach are an Austrian duo that dwells in the left-field reaches of experimental ambient sounds. They do not specifically create -music- per se, but rather an assorted collection of moods, most of which are confined to the dark and space-y frequencies of the spectrum.

"The End of All Dreams" is like a journey in outer space: tranquil most of the time, aimless, random and mysterious. They enhance the big cemetery-like silence using sounds, sounds which in turn magnify silence itself, turn it into one vast all-encompassing blackness. The ambient brand Wach are delivering touches and flirts with heavy industrialization; not what most would suggest as -industrial- influences, but rather the real thing: machinery, metal grinding upon metal, factory sounds. These are "The End of All Dreams" ' two dichotomies. The spacious, almost celestial ethereal touch at nebulas on one hand; on the other, the very harsh reality of estrangement, mechanoids and dead emotions in a world which has turned into a deserted factory filled with rust and painful memories."

Clearly this is both an influential and highly regarded release in the eyes of those that know about these things, and rightly so. Given the limited release of only 30 pieces, however, the vast majority of the world will be needing to poach downloads or cajole those fortunate few to burn a copy of this wonderful release to get their quota of the music on offer!

Given all of the plaudits online what, you might reasonably ask, does Nazgul make of it all, especially given the efforts of Reverend Kim and The Eastern Front to make available the releases you see here?

Well, you may not be surprised to hear that I echo the comments made in these reviews, and would go on to add that the album is far more of an 'experience' than it is purely a 'listen' - it will emotionally grab you and refuse to release you until the energies created are spent. It's a complicated listen - there's plenty going on here that will take more than a few listens to aurally process - yet as a whole the album is a seamless work that is easy to digest and to be affected by. Not an easy thing to achieve, yet masterfully done here.

WACH have, by their own words, created dark and disturbing soundscapes and have not limited themselves purely to the 'dark ambient' genre but reached out to embrace elements of industrial, noise and orchestral music. This variety of sources shows in the final product, with sufficient edge to keep you attentive at all times and, occasionally, genuinely fearful of what might come next.

A well known English comedian once referred to a Magnum Opus as a "large, Irish cat" but that excellent definition aside, I suspect all future WACH releases will be measured against this outstanding benchmark.

And now, for no other reason than the fact that I can, I am proud to reveal to the world at large the answer to the burning question, "where does the sample at the beginning of the album come from"? Thanks to Alex, I can tell you all that it in fact originates from "Spacecenter Babylon 5"... so that's a weight of the minds off the other 29 of the owners of this disc who weren't sure...!

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