After the album “Lucifer” (2003) it became relatively silent around :Of The Wand & The Moon:. Though new albums from this Danish darlk folk act have been announced for a while, there were only some reissues in the meantime. Now there is a sign of life with this 2-track vinyl single. The A-side ‘Hail Hail Hail’ is a taster for the forthcoming release “Sonnenheim”, while ‘Benediction/Malediction’ is an exclusive piece.
I read some criticisms that OTWATM was not very innovative on its last releases. This single contains some new elements though. Don’t expect typical acoustic folk. ‘Hail Hail Hail’ is carried by sampled exotic percussion and a sensual melody reminding me of Middle Eastern pop. Only though the half-whispered vocals this is recognizable as Of The Wand & The Moon. Perhaps it’s difficult to imagine Kim Larsen being surrounded by bellydancers, but I must say that the combination works. Only a pity that there is not much variation in the song.
The B-side contains the Current 93 cover ‘Benediction/Malediction’, which has an experimental, ritual atmosphere. Multiple voices are declamating and whispering the texts written by Gwydion with a mantra-like effect, accompanied by a mysterious electronic sounds. Guests from Sonne Hagal and Forseti are involved, though not recognizable as such. This track has quite a fascinating atmosphere.
I’m curious for the next album. Though I don’t place these two new songs amongst my favourite OTWATM pieces, I’m pleased to hear some interesting new elements in their sound.