Sedayne and Rachel in their guise as Venereum Arvum are
featured on INFERNAL PROTEUS lately released by Ajna in the USA - their contribution being a ten minute sequence entitled The Heavenly
Gates based on a traditional English May Carol & all in celebration of the
various fragrances & significances of May Blossom.
This is a very special release - a 96 page hardback musical herbal with 4 CDs containing over 40 exclusive tracks by Ah Cama Sotz, Alio Die, Allerseelen, Alraune, Amber Asylum, Apoptose, Aube, Baradelan, Chaos As Shelter, Circe, Coleclough and Hill, Jason H Craban, Yannick Dauby, Endvra, Hekate, HU, Igor18, In Gowan Ring, Inade, Israfel In Necropolis, Kern and Van Pelt, Dave Knott, Lotus Eaters, Kawabata Makoto, Mania, Mnortham, Seth Nehil, Nerthiagh, Numinosum, Ô Paradis, rain, The Red King, Steve Roden, Troum, Ultra, Unto Ashes, Venereum Arvum, Waldteufel, Wolfskin & David Woodard.
Reviewed as follows:-
Without doubt the most ambitious and exciting project emerging from
the genre in 2002, this brilliantly crafted hardbound book-cum-four
CD set arguably represents the culmination of artistic intent in the
neofolk/neoclassical/experimental scene in terms of both music and
conception. The most jaded listener cannot help but gape at the array
of artists Ajna's Tyler Davis has managed to rope into this
visual-musical catalogue of flora. With respected underground figures
like Mnortham and Ultra standing alongside the usual greats like
Inade, Waldteufel and Allerseelen in putting their chosen flora to
music, the book's lengthy table of contents reads like a veritable
who's who of the scene. Amber Asylum grace the first disc with a
suitably ethereal, sub-aquatic hymn to "Kelp," while Alraune (no less
than Michael Moynihan and Annabel Lee) steal the show a few tracks
later with their typical flair, serenading the twisted "Mandrake"
with Moynihan's martial drumming playing perfect counterpoint to
Lee's violin and her dulcet tones. Waldteufel's characteristically
traditional chants lead pleasantly into Venereum Arvum's brilliant
interpretation of the familiar English May Carol that, listened to
with closed eyes, evokes frighteningly realistic atmospheres of
medieval English country life that threaten to explode into lush
colour, sound and smell. As expected, In Gowan Ring deliver a soft
pastoral ode to the "Dandelion," as ritualistic/ambient masters
Endvra show true involvement in their tribute to "Hops" with an
uncharacteristic, shockingly chirpy beer-drinking ditty. Troum and
Inade both reinforce their uncontested positions as the Teutonic
masters of dark ambient, with the former opting for a whispering
deadliness in contrast to the latter's expansive demonic majesty.
Kern and Van Pelt's stunningly evocative ode to the "Pomegranate"
brims with nostalgia and longing, as soft feminine murmurs are
layered over the vaguely impassioned strains of a violin (a famous
aria, I forget which) played through an old gramophone, creating one
of the most beautiful moments on the entire four-hour set. Trying to
describe the entire experience is futile; the range of artistic
styles over the four discs is mind-boggling, from the vertiginous
swirls of Ah Cama-Sotz to the strange oriental-occidental mysticism
of Baradelan, the organic minimalism of Steve Roden's pinecones (Jeph
Jerman, anyone?), or the mind-numbing psychedelia of Lotus Eaters.
True to its original intention, the book itself is a visually
stunning treasure trove of pictures and writings, showcasing wildly
different yet complementary modes of representation (drawing,
engraving, photography), often side-by-side. Next to Blood
Axis/LJDLP's costly "Absinthe" vinyl set, this gem is certainly the
most exquisite (and certainly the most comprehensive) piece of art in
the genre in the past year, setting an impossibly difficult standard
for all future endeavours. This is art in its absolute form, and
despite the cost, an essential purchase if there ever was one.
for further details go to...