Saturday, 19 August 2017

HELL:WACH


Band: WACH
Title: Hell:WACH
Format: Professional digipak self-released by the band on 23 March 2017.  Graphic design credited to Reverend Kim, with additional credit to the 'pedal those keys' inner image to Adam Voice.  Music recorded between 2004-2006 at the 'wachzimmer', recompiled and remastered in 2017.
Edition: 100 unnumbered copies

Track Listing:
01. Plague & Waste  4.30
02. The Real You  6.35
03. To Honour My Forefathers  6.19
04. Twenty Eight  12.45
05. Mind Control  3.34
06. Brume  5.30
07. 39 Gates To Hell  6.00
08. Eerie  4.00
09. Nostromo  5.20
10. Experiment Heimat  6.21
11. Der Knabe Aus Stahl  5.08
12. Behind The Mask  3.00
13. Wach Machine  3.10

Like a wraith ghosting around the peripheries of Honour and Darkness, nothing is heard from WACH for long periods of time and then, suddenly and almost always unexpectedly, the band returns briefly to disgorge its latest offering before departing as silently as snow on velvet until the next time...

And out of unchartered waters earlier this year fell this rather nice looking release, in gloomy but atmospheric black and white digipak format, limited to just 100 copies, and containing a selection of older music from ten years ago and more that has been reanimated - Frankenstein-like - to moulder and fester on your CD player in the year of our Lord, 2017.

You don't so much listen to a WACH album as you experience it, particularly when the songs are of this vintage rather than of the slightly more ambient and contemporary nature of a release such as "Nordwand".

Not knowing quite what to expect when pressing 'play' for the first time is a moment of uncertainty, excitement and trepidation all rolled into one; akin to queuing up to experience a monstrous new rollercoaster for the first time (or standing next to Odium's notorious ogre Phil Knight at the urinal in the Plough & Anchor after 7 pints of 'Old Buggerer').  In short, you'd better be fleet of foot and on your toes, in case the aural assault that follows requires volume modulation or a total change of proximity to the speakers.    

Reviewing something like this is a tricky business, as you don't typically get songs comprised in traditional verse-chorus-solo-verse format with WACH,  oh dear me no.  Instead, you have aural compositions blending sound in the most unexpected and challenging ways.  So who better to lead us through this potential minefield of sonic boom-ery than current WACH member, Reverend Kim:

"Hell WACH is a collection of very special WACH Tracks, at least very special for me, Plaque & Waste, the first song of the record, was also WACHs first song ever, and it was only available as special bonus video on the first record (and shared on Myspace back then) but not really accessible as audio track, which I always thought its a shame because its such a great track.

Similarly with 'The Real You', which was a bonus track on one of the "THE FEAR" Releases and only very few people were able to listen too, many of the other tracks were also used on different compilations back than, and now we have forged them together with some still unreleased songs from our still huge collection of unreleased material to create a unique, and sonically still typical WACH record, that is not just an compilation of rare tracks, but became an album with many highlight and melancholic moments that still sounds like it was recorded as an conceptualised album as we did the times before.

The Last Song on the record, is WACH-Machine, which was WACH's 4th recorded song, a very young and different song as typical WACH, and also Hugin created a great video for it back than, and it was intended to release it sometimes as vinyl single, but it has not happened during the years out of financial reasons, so it was just released as video but not properly on an audio CD which again, was a pity in my opinion, so we were really happy about the outcome and background of HELL:WACH.

Also we decided to self-release it without a Label, to keep it very simple, we also did zero promotion and there was also no heads-up about this record, so some of our loyal fans were very surprised about this suddenly new record, and it was very fun for us as well."


The album also continues the tradition of word play: 'Hellwach', it turns out, actually means 'totally awake' but of course makes for a nice pun too when split into two!
 
All in all this is great stuff, and really interesting to hear such a mixture of modern and early recordings in the one place.  Nazgul's copy has been signed both by Alex and Chris, and I'm sure if you were to order your copy directly from them (and I believe copies are available) then you might be able to arrange a similarly super signed item too...

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