Percht : 2009
Format : Digipak CD / 2 x LP / 2 x LP Box
For those unfamiliar with the Alpine Folk juggernaut Sturmpercht, this collective of musicians could be labeled something of a super-group among the (neo)folk scene, and many, if not most of the current members also have projects in other genres as well: Max Presch – Owner of Steinklang Industries, Men Behind The Sun, Rasthof Dachau; Hajot Gmeilbauer – ex-Soulsearch, now plays with Werkraum; Axel Frank – Werkraum; Reinhard Hopfe – Indigo Larvae, Stahlwerk 9; Kris K. – Radio Murmansk; Dimo Dimov – Allerseelen, Sagittarius, Svarrogh; Gerhard (Hallstatt ) Petak – Allerseelen; Christoph Ziegler – Vinterriket. And these are just a few of the projects each is involved in, so as you can tell the pedigree is varied and deep.
It’s been three years since the release of “Geister Im Waldgebirg”, an album I was sure would be the bands pinnacle. And while that disc will always hold a special place in my heart, “Schattenlieder” has left me completely floored. Still present is the bands use of traditional instruments: flutes, percussion, accordion, violin and all manner of strange and obscure Alpine noisemakers. The tracks range from the bands awesome take on the beer-soaked polka, Black Forest psychedelicia and brooding story songs that made me wish I spreken zie deutsch. There’s some really amazing field recordings, case in point, the magnificent ship sounds of “D’ Forstwuudz Onnd Dr Dânnâgôischd”. And there’s also some very nice special guests in attendance. On the track “Nachtfratzen”, we get a nice injection of Iberian folk courtesy of the fine fellows in my favorite Catalan band, Àrnica. Markus Wolff (Waldteufel, Blood Axis, A Minority Of One) lends his magnificent baritone and accordion playing skills to “Einheit” as well.
This release comes in 3 different editions: a CD in a six panel digipak, a three-sided double LP set limited to 500 and the box set, limited to 177 copies. The boxes are branded with a moth, the band logo and album title. Inside is a double album set with six additional tracks, a personalized card and 9 “Sturmpercht-typical” instruments. Each box owner is encouraged to record their own Shattenlied (Shadowsong) using these and they will be compiled for a downloadable album at a later date. Personally, I opted to drop the cash for this latter edition and it’s simply breathtaking. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. But regardless of the edition you chose, it’s an absolutely incredible record and a must own for folk fans.