V/A – Eternal Soul

This is really a splendid boxset! Eternal Soul Records has gathered some of the best dark ambient, industrial and neofolk acts on a very special compilation. The luxurious black box, with a stainless steel label on it with the title ‘V.A. Eternal Soul’ on it, contains two 10″ records and one 7″ single. Furthermore there are 11 postcards, one each for all the projects involved. Also there is an insert sheet on heavy paper with a detailed tracklisting. Eternal Soul is specialized in limited, collectable vinyl releases. Only 400 copies are made of this box, of which 100 are pressed on red vinyl.

All acts have contributed exclusive material. The first 10″ starts bombastic, with orchestral tracks by Arditi (a project released to Puissance) and Karjalan Sissit. Karjalan Sissit is impressive with choirs and heavy percussion. Arditit is a bit slower but very threatening, with military drumming and aggressive samples.

On the B-side we find atmospheric ambient by Combative Alignment, who also released an excellent 7″ on Eternal Soul before. Rather mysterious, with a somewhat occult atmosphere, probably through the spoken vocal samples. Werkraum is one of my favourite acts of the moment. This song, ‘Blutsommerland’, is different than I’m used to, less folky. It has whispered vocals and a multiple-layered soundscape-like background, reminding me of some Allerseelen material. Toward the end the song gets more bombastic. Quite special.

The second 10″ starts with a collaboration of Svartsinn and Northaunt, two acts specialized in dark and cold moods. It is indeed a chilling piece of ambient that they offer here on a long but varied track. They are followed by an act I didn’t know yet, Shadow Magnet, with a rather martial, ritual industrial track with quite some voices and samples.

Stahlwerk 9 has a very slow, repetitive industrial track with a lot of tension. Impressive stuff by this German power electronics act, with a nasty atmosphere. Next are the Russian sound sculptors of Sal Solaris. An interesting ambient noise track, in which machinelike sounds are mixed with acoustic instruments.

If that isn’t enough the box also contains a 7″ single with 3 tracks. Le Testament de la Lumière recently released an excellent album on Dark Vinyl. Here they are present with a spheric droning piece, with gets heavier towards the end with shotgunlike percussion. Sorgeist from Canada is a project of Sebastien Leduc, now involved in a new project called Totenlieder. He has contributed a nice dark neo-classical piece. The compilation is finished by a short monotonous marching piece by the always productive Toroidh.

A compilation not to be missed. Eternal Soul proves again to be one of the most interesting labels of the moment.

artist: V/A
label: Eternal Soul Records
details: 2 x 10' + 7' boxset [ES 12]