V/A – Europa Aeterna

For six years Heimdallr was a valuable source of information about underground music. But now the people behind the webzine decided that it’s time for other activities. Like releasing records! Two members of the Heimdallr crew started the label Autre Que. After a single by Ô Paradis, they now released a compilation with some interesting names from the dark folk scene.

The LP ‘Europa Aeterna’ comes on extra quality vinyl and is limited to 500 copies. It contains nine mostly unreleased tracks by nine different artists. Side A is exclusively devoted to neo-folk songs, while the B-side has more room for atmospheric experiments.

On the first half of the record, one of my favourites is ‘In Ewigkeit’ by Lady Morphia, which has a strong melody and convincing vocals. It’s about the time that this British act releases a new album! The Darkwood song is also nice, but earlier included on their Weltenwende album. The tracks by Dies Natalis, Sonne Hagal and While Angels Watch are decent affairs, without really standing out.

The flipside starts with the absolute highlight: a powerful live version of ‘Salve, Mundi Domine, Caesar noster, Ave’ by Camerata Sforzesca, a project related to Camerata Mediolanense, that also performs this wonderful solemn track often live. Decadence from Greece have not always convinced me in the past, but ‘Lacrimae’ is a nice mix of a gothic hymn and a folk tune. Both Karnnos and Reutoff deliver interesting soundscapes, respectively dominated by whispered/spoken vocals and martial percussion.

Overall this is a good record, which is a nice addition to the vinyl collection of dark folk fans. It’s a pity that Heimdallr has ended its activities, but records like ‘Europa Aeterna’ (which has always been the motto of the webzine) are a welcome consolation.

label: Autre Que
details: LP, 9 tracks [H.ch00]