Stalingrad – Court-martial

A few years ago the unknown act Stalingrad impressed with the track ‘Der letzte flug’, which could be found on some compilations. It’s a superb neo-classical hymn. Soon Stalingrad turned out to be a Kirlian camera side-project. Luckily it did not remain an one-day fly. Now a Stalingrad album has been released, which includes ‘Der letzte flug’ and 8 other songs. Main members are Angelo Bergamini and Elena Fossi, helped by Ivano Bizzi and Franceso Germini. The undertitle of the album is ‘pompous, shamelessly uncool, heart felt b-music’. This made me fear a little, but in fact “Court-martial” is quite a nice album.

The first song, ‘Neither honour nor glory’, is a fine bombastic orchestral piece, in the line of ‘Der letzte flug’. The next song, ‘Slavonija’, reminds more of Kirlian Camera, especially through the (melancholic) singing of Elena Fossi. But it sounds perhaps more monumental and dramatic. It lasts over 8 minutes and has an interesting structure. The next track ‘I stood beside your mothers’ is dominated by the opera-like vocals of Fossi. ‘Snetha’ is a short piece, consisting mostly of percussion. ‘The road on which you die’ is a fine atmospheric composition, an electronic hymn with bombastic drumming towards the end. The undertitle is ‘morriconiana’, and indeed it reminds of Ennio Morricione. In fact the whole album has epic, filmic qualities. For me personally the album has a warmer feel than most Kirlian Camera releases.

‘An evening by the sea’ is a short experimental piece, not so interesting. It is followed by the title track, which sounds like industrial robot music. It has a rather hypnotic sequence. It lasts a little too long for my taste though. Next we are treated to the tranquil vocal reprise of ‘the road on which you’ll die’. ‘Der letzte flug’ forms the worthy epilogue. All in all an interesting album, which contains some great bombastic orchestral music. Perhaps the soundtrack for a movie about the battle of Stalingrad?

There also exists a limited box of this release, with an extra mini-cd with remixes.

artist: Stalingrad
label: SPKR
details: 9 tracks, 43 minutes