Hekate – Ten Years of Endurance

Hekate won my heart with an energetic performance in Leipzig quite some years ago, in which they showed not to be confined within strict boundaries. I then bought their record “Hambach/1848”, which I liked a lot and which has become a collector’s item nowadays. The sympathetic band now exists for a decade and that has to be celebrated. In November Hekate organized the succesful ‘Mithras Garden’ festival in their hometown Koblenz. Then the compilation “Ten Years of Endurance” was available for the first time. It gives a good overview of the band’s career, with their varied repertoire which ranges from romantic folk to medieval drumming festivities to electronic experiments. Fans will be delighted by the nicely designed booklet, with many photos and a biography.

There are various songs present from the aformentioned ‘Hambach’ record, as well as selections from the albums “Sonnentanz” and “Tempeltanze”. There also two pieces present of the album made with Chorea Minor, “The seventh sign”, sounding more electronic than Hekate’s later work. People will of course be curious if there are any unreleased tracks on this compilation. Well, we are treated to a few. The first track is ‘Burning terror’, originally present on a demo tape, back in 1993, and now re-recorded. It’s instantly one of my favourite Hekate tracks. A melodic folky track, with moody violins and uptempo drums, sung in a moving manner by Suzanne. I believe it has an anti-war/extremism theme. ‘Endless Life’ is another early collaboration with Chorea Minor, a tragic slow song with spoken vocals, getting slightly bombastic towards the end. Furthermore there is a new song present, ‘Barbarossa’, of an upcoming new album. A flute leads the way of a quite poppy folksong.

Of course some Hekate classics are present. Some of my favourites are ‘Heckers Traum’, ‘Under die Welt, trotz alledem’, ‘To break a heart’ and ‘Dance de l’obscurité’. For (relative) newcomers this album is a very good introduction to the creative work of Hekate. For people who have closely followed the band “Ten years of endurance” may not offer enough new material. But it is nevertheless an exemplary overview of this open-minded band.

artist: Hekate
label: Auerbach
details: 15 tracks