Tuesday, 14 September 2010

TRANSILVANISCHER HUNGER



Band: ELISABETHA
Title: Transilvanischer Hunger
Format: Professionally-printed CDr EP released on the W.A.R. Productions label (Austria) in 2010, catalogue reference W.A.R CDR066. The disc has the band logo and name on the non-playing side, and is coloured black on both sides. The inlay also bears a mock bar-code with the legend '666 Vampyr Schwarzmetall"
Edition: 50 hand-numbered copies

Track Listing:

1. Transilvanischer Hunger 7:28

The current status of the Elisabetha project is somewhat confusing to the casual observer. The band is reported on the Metal Archive web-site as having split in June 2008, the triple CD "Eternal Deathvastation" released on Oskorei Bild & Tonkunst in the same year seemed to be a fitting finale to the original unholy triumvirate of Graf Alexander Zu Sankt Magdalena (aka Hollenfurst), Blutgraf Gha'gsheblah, and Neon Ästhet, featuring rare tracks from the band's early demos. However, before this apparent demise the neoclassical "Über das Prinzip der Unschuld" full-length album had been released in 2007 under the Elisabetha banner but effectively as a one-man project of Hugin (with vocal narration from Seigor), suggesting a new direction and era for the band. This seemed to be reinforced by the subsequent appearance of the "Morella" promo EP later in 2008 in the same musical vein.

Following a fallow year (2009) in which the project released nothing to the outside world (the vampire presumably asleep in its coffin) February 2010 saw some very previously unheard demo recordings - "Rehearsal 2001" - appearing for the first time as part of the Split Series on Wulfrune Worxx. Shortly afterwards this particular CDr - "Transilvanischer Hunger" was released. So what should the listener expect: Would it be new recordings in the neoclassical style, or a return to the vampyric black metal of old...? Had the band broken up, reformed , or been re-constituted as a solo-project? One thing is for certain - you just can't keep the undead down for long!

Well, there are clues to solve this vexing question before the need arises to put the disc onto the Castle death-deck. The song title itself may sound familiar to you: 'Transilvanian Hunger' appears as the title song on Darkthrone's 1994 album, and let's be honest - Darkthrone aren't noted for their neoclassical sensibilities. Incidentally, the black and white cover of that Darkthrone album (showing Fenriz, with candelabra and band logo top left) is nicely mirrored on this release with the cover shot of a corpse-painted Hugin (and bonus points if you spotted that this same photo of Hugin also appears on the inside of the inlay to Hrossharsgrani's cassette release of "Blut"). Indeed, this cover is something of a collectors item as it is the only one that Nazgul can immediately think of that actually shows a photo of Hugin on the front cover of one of his albums.

The second and third clues, should one need them, is that the song-writing credit for this track shows both Hollenfurst and Blutgraf being credited for the lyrics and music (so very much not a solo project) and the recording date is given as June 2004, only a short while after the blackened blastings of "Und Wirklichkeit Erfüllt Die Seele Wieder" hit the racks.

So you would be quite correct in your deduction that a blast of cold, black metal will assail your senses once this disc is given a spin. To make life more interesting, rather than a straight cover of the original song there have been a couple of additions to this version, at the outset and to the end, to make the running order nearly a minute and a half longer. The intro finds a sampled narrative from "Kinder der Nacht ", more of which another time, whilst the outro has a distinctly Bonemachine sound in its distinctive instrumentation and style. One can almost picture the Bonemachine traversing the Carpathian mountains and being ambushed by a vampyric horde, leading to this distinctly unholy union being spawned...

As an aside, apart from the musical differences on this cover version you will also have spotted the spelling difference in the title as well. This is, Nazgul presumes, simply the difference in the song being written and sung in German as opposed to using the original English version (hence the credit for lyrics on the inlay). Not being a linguist I wouldn't swear to this, but given the German-language version by Naglefar on their "Virus West" release is spelt the same way as Elisabetha's version it seems a fair bet.

As a rare treat, you can find at YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/BeverinaandWar) an edited video version of this very song, which is 2:52 of extreme vampyric music you really should check out. There's no fancy video shoot, but an interesting cut-down version of the song. If this all leaves you primed to want to purchase a copy then you could either contact Alex directly through the usual channels, or point yourself towards the Steinklang label, who Nazgul noticed had a few of these left in their shop at a very reasonable 5.90 Euros apiece (http://www.steinklang.at)

Given the original limitation of 50 copies (Nazgul's being #2 of 50) you really shouldn't hang around too long though....

And remember... 'Elisabetha steht für alles teuflische im Menschen...'

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