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Various Artists - Wir Rufen Deine Wölfe

Wir Rufen Deine Wölfe is a commendable compilation curated by Gerhard of Allerseelen, bringing together a multitude of heathen musical groups to pay homage to the German poet, philosopher and theorist Friedrich Hielscher. Each of the participants were invited to produce a musical interpretation of the poem, Wir Rufen Deine Wölfe, penned by Hielscher in 1979. Naturally many are predisposed to various strains of neo-folk but there are a number of musical surprises throughout.

Of the neo-folk tracks: Der Arbeiter add dance beats to their folk outing. Graumahd provide generic dark folk of stern vocals and acoustic guitars. Belborn offer plaintive neo-folk from Holger and Susannah H with vocal shared between them. I particularly enjoyed the accomplished neo-folk of Werkraum with full-on percussion and a sparkling trumpet score. Lady Morphia have never denied the influence of gothic music on their sound, and nowhere is it more prominent than on their contribution. A brooding bassline propels this along with incessant drum rolls augmented by keyboard flourishes, wolf samples, bells and Nick Nedzynski's vocal delivered in German. It's grand, filmic and epic, and, strangely enough, it is something of a highlight. Turbund Strumwerk, the German protagonists, deliver a tense electronically treated vocal over electronic pulses, before taking on a more symphonic approach.

Allerseelen move from classical music to a shuffling dance rhythm with a violin slipping in and out of the mix. It's a fine slice of contemporary Allerseelen sounding utterly modern while paying homage to the past. I never tire of Ô Paradis whose contribution employs unusual percussive devices, melancholic synths and Demian's lovely subdued voice. Ô Paradis deserve so much more exposure as they never fail to disappoint. More Catalonian sounds issue forth with Circe, the singer in Rosa Solé, providing much needed female warmth amidst the harshness of the German folk outfits.

Waldteufel's exquisite uber folk ranges from a metronomic device through drum rolls and accordion. Throughout Markus Wolff imparts a magickal chant in the German tongue. It's timeless and archaic. The Portuguese outfit Sangre Cavallum provide more traditional earthbound sounds with a medieval piece based around voice, and percussion. It takes quite an expected turn at the end where it launches into a jaunty renaissance piece.

After a spoken introduction Blood Axis opt for some fine Irish traditional folk in a jaunty manner: all violin, bodhran percussion and acoustic guitar. Vocals are shared between Michael Moynihan and Eltho. It's a spirited rendition. Riharc Smiles opt for beer hall chant with a kazoo, and slinky drum beats. It certainly lightens the mood before the dark strains of Der Feuerkreiner, whose crushing percussion and gruff vocalisations opt for industrial militarisms.

Friedrich Hielscher died in 1990 a recluse but he never stopped pursuing his spiritual vision. Over the years he has been unjustly damned by being labelled Hitler's occult adviser by second rate historical researchers. An article in the radical traditional journal TYR 2 adequately sets the record straight. I think Hielscher would be proud of this compilation. Gerhard should be congratulated; this is an excellent compilation beautifully designed with an eclectic range of musical contributors. For more information go to