Genre: Industrial / Ambient / Experimental
03 Eldritch Germania
05 Disciples de la glace eternelle
06 El ultimo avatara
07 Lumen in coelo
08 The path to Shambhala
09 L’Oasis au milieu des glaces
10 Meditations du haut des cimes
Not so long ago the last esoteric Hitler theoretic died in Chile at age 92, he was Miguel Serrano. He represented the ultimate bastion of fascist esotericism in the world, a writer who inspired lots of other people in a great variety of artistic endeavours, including music off course. Among the things this notable figure said is that Hitler flied away from his bunker to Antarctica in a Nazi UFO and he lives there forever after taking the powers of that particular holy place that guarantee his immortality and is now just waiting for the Gotterdammerung for his triumphal return with his Viking hordes. All these could be the script for a movie that only George Lucas or Ed Wood could direct! The suggestive name “Barbarossa Umtrumk”, an experimental industrial ambientalist duo from France seems to deal and serve with the quests this sui-generi character dedicated his life to. The cover kinda speaks for itself, what seems to be ruins of Albert Speer’s architectonic fantasies covered in wild jungle are supervised by some UFO floating in some distant place above. Mysterious indeed, but invariably kitsch and politically circumstantial at first sight. Surprisingly the music contained is very interesting and provocative in more than just political ways.
Skullline's character is evidently present in the release. As usual martialisms and dark ambient collide and some fuzzy right winged rhetoric stroll amidst the nebulous contraction from the music but somehow the music grabs the listener at once and comes in a form that really shakes all the preconceptions one may have about previous material from the label and bands associated with similar thematic that have fallen tremendously in their task, not to mention the art cover. The music opens bluntly, fascist parade marches, glorious trumpets taken from ground recordings it seems join forces together with some ritual mumblings that could be redirect origin to Tibet or India. Give it for granted, when you mix Nazism and Tibetan/Hindu ritual music something interesting and bizarre necessarily will emerge and this is perfectly the case we have here (In the Nazi esoterism there is multiple important references to India and Tibet as places that share common grounds with Aryanism and earth power).
The mystery is open and whether you find it interesting or ridiculous the sonic auras entertain the listener with its attractive evocations. “Wolfen” adds some spoken word rhetoric in French that remits to mythos and pathos immediately. Above all the greatest discoveries from this duo lies in their ability to create atmosphere through ambience, the ritualism presented through repetitive industrial sonorities that gets aided by well poured eerie synth lines and forceful vocals and/or martial excerpts that serves a principle of reinforcement for the track. The induction of continuous provocation and guessing through strange speeches and eerie atmospheres is what marks their ultimate triumph as experimental output. One clear example on this is the track: “Disciples de la grace eternelle” which commence with a defined mystic ambience with a very odd cacophonous sample inside that concludes in question without destiny, is it a speech or someone shouting in Germanic rage? Pretty suggestive and it subtly repeats without getting boring, perhaps because the melody around the loop transcends monotony and evolutes in a mystic like momentum. Then we have “El ultimo Avatara” (By no casualty this is the title from one of Serrano’s books) and there is also a ground recording from one celebration occurred somewhere in Chile with many people assisting to listen master Serrano, some “Sieg heils” & “Heil Hitler” are pretty audible for the joy of many followers of the doctrine.
This is a very inspired dark ambient piece, epic and mysterious at the same time, appealing to the same suggestive & inquisitive ambivalence sharing place with the previous track. “The path to shambhala” returns to the ritualism from the entrance and also converges as immediate reference to the cover art as Shambhala is according to the Tibetan tradition a mythic place hidden in the Himalaya Mountains. The cover art mystery is pretty much resolved with this. Tibetan horns almighty resonate around while some mysterious voice recites in a mantra like process the word: Shambhala. The last two tracks continue a more dark ambient related procedure, maintaining the level of expectation suggested with the anterior tracks.
The work consolidates itself in its making, its precise and solid as each track contributes to the transcendental stance it does try to summon and the effective suggestive appeal it clearly manifest, the combination of organic atmospheres and ritual industrials, incognito speeches and eerie samplers or grandiose textures really impress and shocks, the only flaw is the presence of that odd syth lines at times, brutally contrasting with the organic harmony from the body of sound on some tracks, but this is rather a very minimal detail. The band shows professionalism and seriousness in what they do, above all compromise in their creation of a form and a context, that’s ultimately important that they refused to fall into the redundant or obfuscating repetitiveness of martialism, preserving more the highly esoteric content and exploiting the multiple mysterious facets it may bring into aural sonorities. Great discovery for Skull line, at least we know not all their bands are salvo bullets.