Thursday, 12 September 2013

ATLANTIDA Volume 11 [V/A]

Bands: HREFNESHOLT and ELISABETHA
Title: Atlantida Volume 11
Format: A plain silver CDr disc in jewel case with pro-printed black and white inlays, on the Atlantida label (Lithuania) from circa 2004/05, no catalogue reference.
Edition: unknown

Track Listing:
01. Hrefnesholt  *  Trollsturm  3.22
02. Fall of the Leafe  *  Deference, Diminued  6.12
03. Blood Tears  *  Blood Tears  5.22
04. Witches Sabbath  *  Darkness Kingdom Crusade  3.47
05. Foscor  *  Old Winds Revenge  5.47
06. Crimson  *  Starry Eyes
07. Delirium  *  Silent Art  4.28
08. Sirens  *  Mindfood
09. Vexed  *  Bringer Of Death  3.16
10. Immemoreal  *  Immemorial Ages  3.31
11. Elisabetha  *  Tanz Der Vampire  5.42
12. Nightspirit  *  A Crystal Palace  5.05
13. Valhalla  *  The Sword Of My Father  2.45
14. Epheles  *  Les Livres De Sang  4.19
15. Stonehenge  *  Impaled By God  4.59
16. Moonsorrow  *  Vihrealla Valtaistuimella  8.47

Mention the term Atlantida to people and you'll likely have a number of different interpretations of the term depending where in the world you are.  For a biologist, it may refer to a specific genus of brachiopods (come back Cthulhu, all is forgiven); to Central and Southern Amercians it is a town Uruguay and Honduras, and also a football club in Paraguay; for historians, an ancient city along the Amazon River supposedly founded by Phoenicians; for the literary critic a French novel by novel by Pierre Benoit; and for the musically inclined a Serbian heavy metal band.

But for the doyens of the dungeons of Castle Nazgul, it is best known as the label that was run by our old friend Ruslanas Danisevskis of Ravenclaw, on which a myriad of bands were featured across the many volumes of the tape and CDr series sharing the same name.  Back in 2009 Honour and Darkness had covered some of the entries in the series that featured Hugin's bands: Volume 15 (Ravenclaw) in July of that year; Volume 16 (Hrossharsgrani and Ravenclaw) in the August; and Volume 19 (Hrossharsgrani and Elisabetha) in the November.

Since then we've not heard much of Atlantida as a series, but now dear readers it's back, courtesy of a recent deal struck between the twin-powers of W.A.R. and Castle Nazgul, which sees the Atlantida back catalogue come to roost in Nazgul's collection.  A fine looking body of work it is too, with the early parts of the series being tape-only releases before moving into CDr format.  Not all of the twenty-odd releases had content from Hugin's bands on them, but at some future point Nazgul will do a special post of the cover artwork of all of the items in honour of our departed brother, Ruslanas.

As with most compilation albums - and todays offering of Volume 11 is no exception - there is a mixture of bands that you've heard of, and some that you haven't.  Some of the bands are actually quite well known (or, went on to be well known at least) including in this example Fall Of The Leafe, Valhalla, and Moonsorrow.  However, the primary focus for us today are the tracks contributed by Hrefnesholt and Elisabetha, which are not new to us but were previously unreleased at the time that this CDr was released.

'Trollsturm' finally made an appearance on Hrefnesholt's "Rabentanz" compilation of 2005 and falls into the style of music that Nazgul is wont to call 'Uruk Hai-lite': all of the swirling keyboard atmospherics without the Middle-Earth connection.  Howling winds and magical keyboards combine to present a very engaging piece here, and whilst simplistic the song is always a pleasure to listen to.  Hrefnesholt are almost unique in Nazgul's personal experience in as far as he greatly enjoys both principal iterations of the band's sound (old school, and the 'percht' Alpine folk evolution) equally as much: normally such a radical change would polarise opinion, but not in this case.

'Tanz Der Vampire' by Elisabetha is culled from their "Sterbeges√§nge" demo of 2001, although this fact is curiously omitted from the details printed on the rear inlay regarding the origins of each song.  This particular dance of the vampires was originally reviewed waaay way back on 8 May 2009, and remains the sprightly nip to the jugular that you might expect.

One wonders how many of the contemporary purchasers of the Atlantida series were ever tempted to explore the individual recordings by bands contained therein, and how many found Hrefnesholt, Elisabetha, and other bands from Hugin's stable that way.  Alas, we shall never know, but should you chance across any CDr or tapes in the series online they are always well worth picking out for a listen one dark and stormy night...

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