HERR – Es regnet das Leben heraus (promo)

This is quite a festive release, because it is not only the debut for the Dutch act HERR, as well as the first release for the Belgian label Were Di! HERR, a project around Michiel Spapé, can be characterized as neo-classical with a martial atmosphere. Monotonous drumming, classical symphonic layers with a lot of strings and horns and some vocal samples dominate the music. I received a promo cd with three tracks of this first album.

The tracks are rather tranquil orchestral hymns, though epic and bombastic. We of course know this principle from other acts, like Puissance, Ophir or Karjalan Sissit. So if you are familiar with acts like that won’t be too shocked by the innovative aspects in the music of Heilig Europa! Römisches Reich. But in my opinion the songs are well structured and the classical elements are composed in a very solid manner. The subject matter of HERR (who don’t seem to focus on political correctness) has been used before as well, it’s a historic trip along the European battlefields, you are taken past victories and defeats, filled with a longing for grandeur and heroism, mourning the fallen.

‘Guck die Welt noch einmal an’ is my favourite track, I would describe it as a mixture of The Protagonist and the later, orchestral work of Sopor Aeternus, with a portion of militant drums added. It has some nice nostalgic elements. The second piece ‘Ferme jonges, stoere knapen’ is noteworthy because of the speech which is added to the orchestral framework, which ensures the needed variation. Besides neo-classical, industrial and neofolk acts, HERR mentions classical composers as their influences, like Wagner (who composed the Walküren-track ‘Hojotoho’, which HERR has given a new orchestration), Liszt, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Henrich.

I would not mind a few more subtle, introspective moments, after a while the bombastic aspects become a bit too much for me. But in general this cd made a surprisingly mature impression, with well-crafted compositions. A good start for HERR and Were Di!

The cd will be released medio February 2004, just as the second Were Di! release, a re-issue of “Let us lead” by Puissance.

artist: HERR
label: Were Di!
details: 10 tracks [WD!001] lim. 500 copies