V/A – Le Jardin des Supplices

From Abstract, the excellent Swiss mailorder – organization (Sol Veritas Lux festival) – publisher (La Confession d’un Masque magazine), now comes a nice cd release, a compilation with some of the best acts in neofolk/medieval music today. This compilation is dedicated to the Swiss Symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901), one of my personal favourites as well.
This release has a Do-It-Yourself feel; the cd (cdr?) comes in a plain carton box, the booklet is hand-copied and black and white and the art postcards that are included are not of museum quality. This has its charms though and the content is more important of course. In the box you can find postcards from Böcklin (his famous ‘Island of the dead’, which can also be found in the Art section of this site), Franz von Stuck and Odilon Redon, in the booklet texts and images are prsented that deal with the main theme of this compilation: the duality of Eros and Thanatos.

The only things that I regret about the music is that most tracks have been released before. Besides from that this is a fine collection of tracks from many of my favourite tracks. The cd starts with a nice instrumental from Anima in Fiamme, with beautiful violins. Then Forseti comes with a completely new version of their song ‘Am Abend’, absolutely splendid and touching, the best track on this compilation.
Further highlights follow, most of them were already familiar (Romowe Rikoito, Seven Pines, Ostara, Lady Morphia and Gae Bolg), only the nice songs from Argine and While Angels Watch were new for me. Biggest surprise is Oraison, a French band that I know not too well, they are present here with a long and varied very nice song. A little disappointing is the track from Backworld, not that it is bad, but I’ve heard far better things from this formation.

artist: V/A
label: Abstract
details: in carton box