Sunday, 26 July 2015

LEICHENWASSER > untitled demo

Title: Untitled demo
Format: A plain white cover surrounds a silver CDr disc, housed in plastic envelope.  No label or other reference information, but recorded by Hugin as a demo for further work rather than commercial sale.
Edition: Presumably few copies exist, possibly just this single copy

Track Listing:
01. Untitled 1  1.18
02. Untitled 2  1.51
03. Untitled 3  1.00

'Holy Hell', as our favourite Austrian might say!  Here's something unexpected, and yet another divergent trail into the shady history of Hugin's many and varied projects.  The charmingly named Leichenwasser (literally translating as 'Corpse Water', and being the water that ... well, leaches out of dead bodies) was the short-lived creation of Uwe Backer and Hugin, that - as far as can be established - recorded these 3 short instrumental tracks as their only known output.

Now then, this is not the first time that a side-project featuring Elisabetha band members has come into our sights: you may recall the one-off song recorded by Eupraxia, as featured on Atlantida Volume 15.  This project was described by Nazgul as Elisabetha meets Goth Pop, and as a hybrid of two different styles it worked quite well.  That same post also alluded to this Leichenwasser project, noting that:

"You'd think by now that every project that Hugin had been in would have been covered in Honour and Darkness, but oh no: as we near the 5th anniversary of the Blog this new one pops out of the woodwork and - even more startlingly -  Nazgul has in his possession another 3 song demo by yet another as-yet undocumented side-project of the madman of Linz.  Honestly, where he gets/got the time from I have no idea, given that it's taken Nazgul 10 days between updating his posts and fitting them in with normal life stuff!  Hell's teeth!" 

That was on 31 January 2014, so it's only taken about a year and a half to get to reviewing the blessed thing....!

So what's it like then, you cry?  Well, this time around the melding of styles is far more in the vein of Elisabetha meets Bonemachine, as there's definitely something of an industrial mix brought into the sound alongside the more histrionic instrumentation associated with the vampyric enterprise.  They do make for odd bedfellows on first acquaintance, and given the brevity of the demo there's not an awful lot to get a handle on before they're all finished and silence reigns.

Strange industrial noises and the sound of martial percussion merges with violins and more traditional Elisabetha instrumentation to create some odd song snippets here.  Sounds that could have emanated from the rubbing of metal radiators with a dead stoat together with staccato machine-gun style drum patterns meld with the sort of scary string instrument noises that set your teeth on edge in horror films.  

To give you a flavour, the first song has unsettling keyboard noises (very much Elisabetha releases circa 2002-03 period!) that normally would be the introduction to a spoken word passage were they to have fallen onto a demo from that band, but here end in a fast rat-ta-tat-ta-tat drum pattern, emulating a Vickers machine-gun!

Some two has sort of teeth-grating scraping of violins that horror films love to give you before the big evil guy (no, not Rich Davenport) jumps out from behind a tree at the hapless victim - again, classic Elisabetha radio-play material.  Here though, it ends just under the two-minute mark with a deep sonorous noise akin to a foghorn on an ocean liner as the industrial influence kicks in.

The third snippet starts with an industrial noise (this being the stoat-radiator combination previously alluded to) and then fades out into an eerie silence.

Nothing lasts for over two minutes, and with only three 'songs' on the disc it's very much a question of exploration and getting some ideas laid down as it is developing fully fledged songs.  But what is on here shows some definite promise, and if the thought of a vampire armed with military-grade rhythmic beats appeals to you then Leichenwasser could have been just your cup of .... errrm, corpse water.

During the research for this post, Nazgul came across a couple of notable products that are apparently available for sale online and which - in an alternate universe - would have allowed for some great product placement alongside releases from this project: you can buy - for reasons unknown, but there's some odd folk out there - both a perfume and a beer called (but presumably not scented or flavoured with) 'Leichenwasser'.

Leichenwasser perfume, anyone?
Or some Leichenwasser beer, perhaps?!
There was also a highly disgusting story carried in the UK press earlier this year withe the snappy headline "Dead body of aspiring actress found in city water tank after residents complain of 'strange taste' ", wherein the rotting corpse of a missing young woman has been discovered floating in a filtration tank in Mexico City after residents complained of a "strange taste" in their drinking water.  

I bet they did!  

Police said 'residents in the area have been left horrified at the thought that the woman's decaying body tainted their domestic water supply for 11 months' (as you would be) although hardly helped assure the public further by revealing that 'when they opened the tank they found the body in a high state of putrefaction'.  Sounds like a theme for the next Autopsy album if ever there was one...

When will the discoveries stop coming, you might ask?!  Well, who can tell given the prolific nature of Hugin and his fellow musicians.  Given the high level of productivity and strange ideas stemming from their fertile brains, you'd almost have to assume that the water supply around Linz must have something in it too....?

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