Music Reviews

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Title: Symbol
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: GrenTzwert (@)
Distributor: Alive
Rated: *****
The Bavarian-based mysterious GREIFENKEIL project returns with a complete new studio album. Their label GrenTzwert has decided to change the distributor, so from now all of their releases are coming out under wings of the German distributor Alive! – for sure a right and wise decision. That they could also arrange a totally DJ support with the helping hand of the Hamburg-based Hardbeat Propaganda still surprises – I at least like to get introduced to the open-minded DJ, who’s seriously be able to deal with the diverse musically onslaught of GREIFENKEIL. Besides the "normal" 1CD edition, which already caused attention thanks to an extraordinary package and artwork, this release comes also out as a limited DCD collectors item edition featuring a more detailed art packed into a DVD-like paper box set, a booklet featuring expansive explanations on every single track, a mystic "touch key" with detailed descriptions how to use it and of course a second full-length CD offering alternative Club versions on the GREIFENKEIL tracks and several remix collaborations by diverse artists.
As expected, the music of GREIFENKEIL is mostly a very dark and spooky arranged output by integrating elements out of Dark Electro, rhythmically Powernoise, Dark Ambient and Ritual-Industrial impressions. GREIFENKEIL can be described as a whole artistic concept, consisting not only out of the audio results, they are also a kind of performance act. Musically on the hunt to pick up the ideas and tendencies of some 4AD legends like THIS MORTAL COIL or DEAD CAN DANCE, the like to re-interpret these artistic aspects without known boundaries mainly based into harsh Electronic-/Industrial-minded fields. You’ll be warned, because it isn’t all the Trance-infiltrated Harsh EBM formula which unfortunately still floats nationwide through the dark clubs – therefore I tend to call this DJ initiative as being courageous. On the other hand and if you seriously like to grab attention by the unprepared listener, you have to start actions like this, because mostly this music still gets heard for the first time in the clubs – as sad as this maybe is.
As "usual" for GREIFENKEIL and the band leader A. von Greifenkeil, they like to pick up again a thematically mixture out of the critically consideration of "prominent" religions, the European finding and its cultural and historically background – and, to my surprise – they nowadays deal with politically inspired themes like the Iraq crisis ("Survivor") and the generally, but unfortunately questionable right to present an own opinion ("Democracy"). What differs to the self-titled debut is the fact, that GREIFENKEIL more than ever before draw offensive their aversion against Christianity and the questionable kind how the church and its legations like to act. This was rather hidden or subtle presented on their debut ("Irina") and only recognizable with some background info, but on "Symbol" (here the track "Untergang") they offer an open statement. But main theme and maybe the most important quell for the creation of this album is the finding of some archaeologically stones ("Platz Der Alten Steine") in Goseck/Germany – a sign ("Symbol"), maybe a kind of forefathers temple of a culture which historians and scientists expecting to be 7000 years old – therefore older than the pyramids. Do we have completely to re-write all historically textbooks?
As for the limited second CD of this album, GREIFENKEIL themselves are offering alternative and rather club-oriented versions on the tracks "Symbol", "Democracy", "Untergang" and "Survivor". Several colleagues based into stylistically very different kinds of Electro/Industrial music with the best known names like IMPLANT, FIL/QNTAL, MONOLITH or ACYLUM are providing remix works based on both tracks "Symbol" and "Democracy". Regarding the fact that I am personally involved with my own music project providing a remix work on "Democracy", I come here to the point, where I don’t fall into the mistake to rate any of the appearances here. At least there will be out several other dedicated colleagues writing for different resources, which should be able to review this item and aren’t personally involved.
Anyway, musically also this new GREIFENKEIL effort is a release which requires your fully attention. Several rotations are needed to get a simple glimpse of the idea and impression behind the artistic work of GREIFENKEIL. You got also warned if you’re heavily follow your whole life the catholic ideal of a Christ – without being open-minded to different kinds of a belief, you’ll could be offended by some musical/lyrical/artistically content here. To me personally, I’ve given it now several spins here – and like on the debut I still have the impression, that I’ve missed some content. The atmosphere and mysticism which GREIFENKEIL likes to explore and present is a dark and complex one - free time without disturbing influences seems to be required to sink into this...

Track list

1. Symbol
2. Untergang
3. Survivor
4. Democracy
5. Selling your Souls
6. Curse
7. Departed
8. Platz der Alten Steine
9. Ahnentempel
10. WinterSolstice
11. Symbol (Reprise)

Track list Remixes

1. Symbol (Greifenkeil Club Version)
2. Symbol (FIL / Qntal Remix)
3. Symbol (Implant Remix)
4. Symbol (La Magra Remix)
5. Symbol (Puissance Remix)
6. Untergang (Greifenkeil Club Version)
7. Survivor (Greifenkeil Club Version)
8. Democracy (Greifenkeil Club Version)
9. Democracy (DemoCrazy RMX by Monolith)
10. Democracy (violent nation RMX by acylum)
11. Democracy (Synaptic Defect Remix)
12. Democracy (Puissance Remix)

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