Leger des Heils – Himmlische Feuer

Leger des Heils is back with an album full of accessible melodies, moody neoclassical layers and heroic bombast. This German act knows how to create poppy and melodic songs which remain in your head for quite some time. The songs are usually rather simple, but have some special charm which is hard to explain. The music is often solemn, the songs make you think of hymns, especially through the use of classical textures, choirs and bells and subtle military elements.

The foundation of Leger des Heils’ music is electronic, therefore you can’t probably call it neo-folk. Acoustic elements do occur now and then to give the songs a special flavour. New wave elements are always present, and I’m also reminded of classic German darkwave now and then. The lyrics on Himmlische Feuer are darker than before, inspired by romanticism and dealing with all the great themes of this movement, which is closely related to the gothic subculture. The vocals will never become the strongest point of Leger des Heils, but they have more dimensions than before.

When I first started to listen to the album I was not completely convinced. The songs were a little more tranquil and minimal than I expected and I missed real earwurms, which are more abundantly present on Freheit and Aryana. But when I heard ‘Mondnacht’ I was sold, with just a few simple elements this song has me in its grasp. The whispered vocals almost go in the direction of Goethes Erben. The song is rather cheerful, with a leading accordion melody, which makes me think of the military pop of Dernière Volonté. I can’t sit still to his.

It is followed by ‘Das Lebens Schauspiel’, which starts as a romantic ballad full of pathos in the line of Orplid. Completely unexpected this songs ends with an uptempo humpa part, with the strange combination of a deep tuba, a marching rhtyhm and lush classical synth layers. Another highlight for me is ‘Nimm die Erde’, which will appeal to fans of Forseti or Dies Natalis, with a Spanish guitar as original element.

This album took me more listening turns than previous work to fully appreciate it, but now confirms again that Leger des Heils is one of my favourite acts of the moment.

artist: Leger des Heils
label: Eis & Licht
details: 9 tracks, 2004 [Eis043]