Engelsstaub – Akashic Recordings

Engelsstaub is a fairly popular band, despite not being productive. In 2001 the album “Anderswelt” appeared, after an absence from five year. Now the band releases another album, which is not exactly new, because it mostly contains older (reworked) recordings. The music of Engelsstaub can be described as romantic darkwave with medieval influences, with a mixture of moving ballads and more uptempo songs aimed for the gothic dancefloors. ”

Akashic Recordings” contains some songs from their musical beginnings, originally recorded under the name Les Fleurs du Mal, plus various Engelsstaub rarities, taken from singles and compilations. Two songs are from split releases: ‘Earth in Hell’ was made in collaboration with Madre del Vizio, while ‘My Last Step’ is taken from the rare split 10″ with Ataraxia. Further this album contains an unreleased remix from ‘Kingdom of Blindness’ and two songs recorded especially for this occasion: ‘1226 A.D.’ and the Visage cover ‘The Damned don’t cry’. This is not the only cover on the album, it also includes ‘Mothers of the Disappeared’, a U2 composition and Winter marches on (from Duran Duran).

Overall this is quite an enjoyable collection of songs. Especially for fans, who want to complete their Engelsstaub collection. But also for the more neutral listener there are some nice gems on this album. Overall I like the songs with female vocals most, like ‘Winter marches on’ and the medieval hymn ‘The Return’. My personal favourites are ‘L’Appel de l’Ange’, from the compilation “The Dark Ages”, and “My Last Step”, with some nice percussion. Also special is the new song ‘1226 A.D’.’, which combines electronic with folky elements.

Because the songs come from so many sources, the sound of the album is of course rather varied. For example ‘Alone’ from 1992 is a guitar-driven gothic rock song, but nicely done. But only one song really seems to be out of place, the final track ‘The Damned don’t cry’ is a rather commercial synthpop dancefloor attack, and out of tune with the general mood of the album.

artist: Engelsstaub
label: 4 Dimensions
details: 17 tracks