Der Blaue Reiter - Fragments Of Life, Love & War
Released 2016 by Neuropa RecordsAlbum of the Year #8 2016
Tragedy had been known by ancient Greeks as a universal laxative for feelings, and I am sure that they had an amazing experience in this theme. It’s been basically defined that tragedy treatsthe sorrowful or terrible events encountered or caused by an individual in a serious and dignified style. Similarly to ancient Greeks, Barcelonian Der Blaue Reiter had been exploring the deepest crypts of tragedy for more than ten years finding a special aesthetic pleasure in diving into the darkest and heaviest feelings of human beings. Supported by the wonderful Cecilia Bjargo (one of the masterminds behind the scene's classic Swedish band Arcana), the Spaniards create solid martial sounds which are mixed with orchestrations and classical interludes, devastating environments filled with emotion and sadness. Since their first album released during 2006 on Caustic Records I tagged this band for myself as the one that is able to evolve into some big sensation. Recently, Der Blaue Reiter passed the last transformation when Lady Nott decided to leave from the band and Cecilia joined the lineup full-time for the future of the band next to the founder member Sathorys Elenorth. And after ten years of a constant development which resulted in four full format albums and a several singles, the new album Fragments of Life, Love & War can be easily called a quintessence of all the best moments that martial neoclassic scene can offer these days to its faithful follower.
Fragments of Life, Love & War is not that kind of a tragedy that drags you into the pit of desperation or depression; it has a completely different nature. This record reminds me of the Heroic Drama which was very common during the Restoration era in England when the play should be composed in heroic verse and must focus on a subject that pertains to national foundations, mythological events, or important and grand matters. As you can witness from the very beginning of the first track 'Absence of Light', this record of Der Blaue Reiter can be fully equated to the level of the theme that was chosen by them. Bombastic orchestral melodies full of beautiful tone, a balance between martial component and neo-classical arrangements, a considerable composure and emotional energy float out of my speakers and fill the room with an atmosphere of pride and honor.
'Summoning the Glare of Death' blasts the air of my room with its wide sound full of pride of heroes fallen on a battlefield with honor; strong industrial percussion beat out music rhythm that forces my legs to march by themselves. Bombastic opuses change places with the lighter ballad-style compositions in a continuous and smooth flow that fully reveals the potential of the band and and its ability to create a really fascinating atmosphere. The emotional journey continues through the energetic tracks like 'Odyssey in Blindness', 'No Love Exists In Times Of War', 'World Domination' and easy-listening neo-classical acts like 'Memories In The Wind', 'In The Distance Where Silence Is', and 'In Solitude'.
It is really hard to highlight a specific composition; the album achieves the highest level of harmony as an integrated whole. Honestly, I am not able to capture the difference between the previous album and the current one which could have caused such a qualitative change. Maybe the melodies gained much more power and arrangement definition. Anyhow, there is a certain visible progress which resulted in such an excellent record. Fragments of Life, Love & War succeeded to blow me away with its charming and unconditional beauty. I was completely captured by the pictures drawn by my imagination to the tunes of Der Blaue Reiter, both tragic and exultant, the pictures of a massive devastation and cities lying in ruins, the pictures of eternal love and suffering from the loss of beloved ones. The only thing that is left after all the praises written above is to hope that the band continue to grow with the same pace in the future. Meantime, I am left with a deep satisfaction from this album and the anticipation for the future plans. And of course, this CD should be a definite purchase for all those that are into neofolk and martial industrial genres. Go on, buy it, it deserves each and every penny spent on it!Oct 23 2016
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance
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Der Blaue Reiter - Fragments Of Life, Love & War is available at POPONAUT from 17,45€