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A Challenge of Honour / Der Feuerkreiner - Iberia 2007

You wouldn't suspect from their contribution to this split disc but A Challenge of Honour often get labelled dark ambient or martial symphonic. Their opening track here 'Free The Mountain People' features thunderous percussion, bells, pipes and mountain singing. It's a statement against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The hand percussion on 'Arabian Tradition' hammers out eastern rhythms overlaid with passages of melodic orchestral synth work. There's a definite cinematic quality to these tracks, that's carried over onto 'Le Fort De Souville' remixed and rearranged from their Verdun 1916 album, released under their alter ego Un Défi d'Honneur. The emphasis here is on strident symphonic sounds with powerful snare and rolling drum rhythms. The final track 'Water On The Otherside' despite using a broader range of sounds doesn't capture the images so clearly presented on their other contributions, with it being a fairly indistinct piece of melodic synth work. Whether these tracks have been picked to showcase a different side to Peter Savelkoul's project I don't know but this displays a much more mature soundtrack based style than the previous material I have heard from A Challenge of Honour.

The three tracks from the Italian group Der Feuerkreiner veer from the martial-symphonic sounds of 'Dioniso' to two tracks of harsh industrialised noise recorded in Bologna and at the Triumvirat Festival. 'Dionso' is fairly typical of the genre with military rhythms and orchestral bombast, and bubbling electronics. On 'Moderne Landschaft' the martial rhythms and distorted vocals of Valentina are submerged in looped noise and electronic shrieks. It's conversely disciplined and chaotic, when compared to the rapid fire percussion and looped noise of 'Nein!' with it's spat out lyrics of 'Nein!'. Once again, it's all quite different to the Der Feuerkreiner I've heard before.

Encased in a DVD sized slimcase in a numbered edition of 250 it'll obviously appeal to the collectors of these bands, who may find something slightly different to what they expected. For more information go to