Toroidh – Europe is dead

Here we have the second part of the cd trilogy by Toroidh, after “Those who do not remember…”. The vinyl version of this new album is released through 205 Recordings, this cd in black & white digipack is made available through the English Cold Spring label. Toroidh is one of the many projects by Nordvargr, and according to him, his most ambitious one, second to MZ412. Again we are taken on a journey in time to the first decades of the previous century, accompanied by apocalyptic soundscapes. Toroidh takes you back to a place somewhere in Europe, to the times “when history was written in black and white and coloured in red”.

“Europe is dead” contains 8 untitled tracks, lasting over 50 minutes. The cd starts with a historic orchestral waltz, an old sound document which evokes an atmosphere similar to Les Joyaux de la Princesse or Der Blutharsch. It is followed by the most folky song I heard so far of Toroidh, a nice apocalyptic tune with acoustic guitars and robust drums. Next is a soft orchestral ambient composition, which creates a melancholic mood in a subtle manner and raises the expectations of things to come.
Then it is time for some more bombastic orchestral music, at least so it seems. The intro is a little misleading though, the song evolves into a very dark slow soundscape, completed by some voices and speech samples. Next we are treated to some very threatening sounding horns and drums, it sounds as if the enemy is coming. But again a little surprise: soon Ordo Equilibrio-like acoustic guitars follow, that accompany a surprisingly normal singing voice. This song takes a few more different turns, including some dark ambient and classical passages, lasting over 17 minutes, really an epic composition!
Track 6 starts in the vein of classic Death in June, an acoustic piece with choirs in the background and after a while some drumming. A short monotonous track, but with a nice atmosphere. The following song evokes a more evil mood in the beginning, like an old Lustmord soundscape. The last track on “Europe is dead” only starts after 4,5 minutes, and then we are treated to a short funny dance tune.

I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and maturity of this new Toroidh album. Using more acoustic instruments, vocals and drums on some songs, in addition to the dark soundscapes, ensures a working combination. Although the artist behind Toroidh is highly productive with dozens of projects, this release does not sound as if it was made very hasty. An interesting trip!

artist: Toroidh
label: Cold Spring
details: 8 tracks, 51 minutes