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Von Thronstahl - Imperium Internum

Von Thronstahl - E Pluribus Unum

A rather futile review for those already familiar with the majestic overload of the much maligned Von Thronstahl. Imperium Internum is their first full length CD, which appeared five years after their contribution to VAWS' controversial Riefenstahl compilation. Imperium Internum (along with the compilation E Pluribus Unum) has been reissued by Cold Spring Records in a striking digipak.

None can deny that Von Thronstahl do not have a firm grasp of aesthetics. Red, white and black visuals and text combine to stunning effect. The visuals support Von Thronstahl's desire for an Imperialistic Europe. Their warrior spirit and Eurocentric values are carried over into the music, a collection of industrial neo-classical (or classic neo-industrial??) that ranges from strident symphonic passages to orchestral bombast. Battle field imagery reigns throughout from martial drumming, stoic speeches and tolling bells. Unfortunately much of the text and speeches are delivered in their native Germanic tongue and so much of the message is lost on me. As a consequence this didn't come close to the effect that The Gospel of Humanity from Blood Axis had on me on initial listen. Imperium Internum is both dramatic and stirring although the synthetic melodies do, at times, become irksome and things do become slightly generic. 'Heimaterde, Mutterboden, Vaterland' and 'Turn The Centuries' take an acoustic guitar approach while 'Atlantisches Tief' is a sound collage. I very much enjoyed the mediaeval folk of 'Turn The Centuries' but Imperium Internum will be remembered for its orchestral and symphonic pieces.

E Pluribus Unum gathers together an assortment of compilation tracks, most of which are out-of-print, together with some previously unissued recordings. The inspirations behind a number of the contributions are telling - Leni Reifenstahl, Josef Thorak, T.E. Lawrence, the archangel Michael, Julius Evola, Captain Codreanu and the Iron Guard - further cementing their belief in a secret Europe. In comparison to Imperium Internum, E Pluribus Unum is a much more varied release dipping into a number of musical styles, alongside versions of a number of tracks from Imperium Internum. 'Bells', in fact, displays their more "rock" tendencies while the other tracks feature their stirring symphonic pieces. 'Inthronisation' is a sombre orchestral piece. 'Victoria II' incorporates martial music effectively. The remake of 'Fahnentrager' with spoken prologue and text amidst synthetic strings is unquestionably impressive.

It's spirited and their ideals are romantic, grounded in a desire for an Imperialist Europe, and its less hate-filled (it's actually non-existent) than their detractors would have you believe. I'm aware of the accusations levelled at Von Thronstahl but on an artistic level the compositions created by Von Thronstahl are particulalry effective. And anyway, how dangerous can a group that appropriate tracks from AC/DC., Metallica and E.L.O. be... For more information on the above titles go to