Tugend – Optimism is for the weak

This cdr was sent to me by the new American label Somnabulant Corpse. They describe their activities as a ‘creative vehicle, recording label, and distribution outlet for dark ambient projects and related propaganda’. Tugend is also a new name for me, I assume this is its first release. It is a project of a man that goes by the name of J. Brandenburg.
“Ranging from WWII-inspired sound collage to strange tonal loops, TUGEND is a sonic journey into a storm of Iron and Blood, simultaneously nostalgic and prophetic”. That is the description of the music in the accompanying letter. That made me a bit sceptical, because the last few years have seen a great number of releases that deal with WWII. In the booklet a text by the inevitable Ernst Junger can be found, something about ‘real men values’.
The label compares this project with Non, Turbund Sturmwerk and Der Blutharsch. Musically though I think Tugend is more ambient and less militant. Therefore I would like to add Les Joyaux de la Princesse en Sturmovik to the list of related artists. I don’t think though that Tugend is of the same quality of the aforementioned acts. Although the cd has some good moments, it lacks originality and some tracks that really stand out. It contains mostly monotonous dark ambient, with various German war samples. There are a few songs that I found rather boring. Towards the end though the cd gets better, with some more powerful and varied tracks.Like ‘Persecution’, which reminds me of Megaptera. Therefore I have good hope that Tugend can make progress in the future. Hopefully the subject matter will also be a bit more original then, personally I’m getting enough of all this tough war music…

artist: Tugend
label: Somnambulant Corpse
details: 11 tracks, 53 minutes