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Allerseelen - Edelweiss

Edelweiss could be regarded as an Allerseelen sampler as it collects a selection of album tracks, compilation tracks and a number of songs that have appeared on 7-inch singles, many of which appear in reworked forms. Allerseelen is the musical project of esoteric researcher and wanderer Gerhard here assisted with the voices of Rosa, Gaya, Josef and M Precht.

Allerseelen have reached a unique point with their "industrial folklore" songs; a highly individual sound drawing on elements of folk, industrial, pop... that are combined thorough some highly evolved sampling. It's a far cry from the harsh ritual industrial, recorded by Gerhard under his Kabbalistic monicker Kadmon, that characterised their early works. Gerhard, the Austrian based individual who guides Allerseelen, is an ardent traveller and his "magical mystery tours" of Catalan, Italy.... permeate this release with a cross-cultural flavour, alongside the Austro-German elements. Many of Allerseelen's current compositions are directly inspired by stone megaliths many discovered on his mountain expeditions. The mountain photography found on Edelweiss captures Gerhard's journeys in the German Berchtesgadener Alpen and the Italian Dolomites.

The Mediterranean swing of 'Ein Ganzes Jahr' bustles with energy. Violins sweep over a pulsing jaunty rhythm with Gerhard's determined vocal delivery. Along with the urgency of 'Mit Fester Hand' with its glockenspiel rhythm and dramatic cinematic sweeps, they both prove to be contemporary settings of the early Allerseelen sound: rhythmic and powerful. Gaya Donadio's precise Italian narration features on two tracks: the pensive 'Vino E Cuore' a slow beautiful piano melody over a steady ritual beat. The looped melody of 'Gondellied' that reappears with the spoken voice of Gerhard.

The biggest surprise of Edelweiss are the contributions by Rosa. Her sultry, seductive voice imbuing the music with a fragile, feminine warmth. The shimmering pop-like 'Marques De Pubol' with its shuffling rhythm and swirling psychedelic haze, and the stuttering electro of 'Canco De Somni' built upon a percussive backdrop all belie a pop sensibility filtered through the typical Allerseelen sound. 'Caja De Pandora' and 'La Despedida' are much more elegant with piano melodies redolent of times past. They capture a refined European flavour with 'La Despedida' akin to a pre-war ballad.

The reappraisal of 'Sturmlied' and 'Sonne Golthi-Ade' both featuring the warm voice of Josef are pure flamenco-pop, with 'Sonne Golthi-Ade' displaying folk tendencies with the whooping vocal accompaniment and its decidedly foot stomping beat. You can't help but conjure up pictures of mountain vistas when listening to 'Gletscherlicht'. A dizzying atmosphere of featherlight keyboards billowing over cyclical rhythms and folk tinged acoustic guitar.

The delivery of the texts in various languages are lost on this reviewer but I can fully appreciate the passion and sensuality of the music. With a running time of 73+ minutes, and 16 tracks there's much to digest, and unlike much of Allerseelen's work there's no real unifying theme here but it's a recommended entry point to contemporary Allerseelen - and if you're still swithering it's available as a budget price. For more information go to or