Sunday, 23 December 2007

FULL COLD MOON (23 December 2007)

The Musick dedicated to this Esbat is:

BLOOD AXIS & IN GOWAN RING
WITCH HUNT AND THE RITES OF SAMHAIN


Original Issue: 2001 Private Release (No Number)


Margot-meter: 4 moons / 5

1 Welcoming By Harold McNeill
2 I Lay Stretched On Your Grave / Morning Dew
3 Two Magicians
4 Sea Ritual
5 Dead Men's Slip-Jig
6 The Rolling Of The Stones
7 The Black One
8 The Rolling Of The Stones
9 The March Of Brian Boru
10 Follow Me Up To Carlow

CDr limited to 100 copies in special hand-made fold-out sleeve with maple leaf.
Sold only at selected Blood Axis concerts in Portugal.

A Review:

"Witch-Hunt: The Rites of Samhain" consists of a live section played by In Gowan Ring with the support of Blood Axis' members Michael Moynihan and Annabel Lee and three studio tracks. The live pieces had been recorded some years ago in the woods of the northwest USA at a concert under the name "Witch-Hunt" on Samhain (=Halloween).
In the accompanying booklet, Annabel Lee describes the event as follows:
"At nightfall, an elaborate ritual took place outside in the cold and rainy forest air: the participants traveled to the underworld which they entered through a blazing arched gate, after first having been anointed with oil of deadly nightshade for passage and protection by the guardian of the gate. A beautiful corpse was unburied and brought back to life, demons were invoked, oaths were made and sacrifices presented to realm of the underworld. (...) For this performance, Witch-Hunt played traditional songs from the British Isles and Scandinavia, and original music from Blood Axis, In Gowan Ring, and Waldteufel. All of the music was chosen to celebrate the ancient rites of Samhain. The songs were lovely little melodies of murder, necromancy, infanticide, executions, and the affairs of the realm beyond the living."
Though the live recording that, according to Lee, wasn't actually intended for release doesn't fully live up to this vivid description it succeeds in capturing some spirit of the event. Sound quality is rough troughout the recording and crowd noises are hard to overhear. But still, the performance remains very charming and intense. After a short introduction follows the passionate I am stretched on your grave which already is one of this record's high-lights among Two Magicans that bears a strong resemblance to Current 93's Oh Coal-black Smith and a wonderful performance of the exceptionally beautiful Rolling of the Stones that originally appeared on the Pact of the Gods -Compilation. The live section is rounded up with a short witty piece entitled The black one with Harold Mcneill sounding a lot like Tibet hissing and howling excessively apocalyptic phrases and a whole lot of giggling and laughter from the audience.
The studio tracks consist of the afore-mentioned Rolling of the Stones, Blood Axis' The March of Brian Boru and the formerly unreleased Follow me up to Carlow. This is quite a powerful hymn most likely to please the Blood Axis fan community and yet another adaption of a famous Irsih traditional written by Patrick Joseph McCall (1861-1919). This song's tune is said to have been played by the pipers of Feach MacHugh O'Byrne when he marched against Carlow after he defeated the forces of the Crown in 1580.

Dirk A. - Heimdallr

Correction: Mr. McNeill wrote me the following and I wholeheartedly send him my regrets for the error: "Greetings, a brief note as I came across your review. I left after the brief spoken intro for Witch Hunt I was asked to do, so your comments are totally in error. I shall assume was due to misinformation from others and will be corrected".

Thank you, Harold, anyway for being part in one of my favorite records!!!

Love,

Margot

3 comments:

Margot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kieran said...

Would you consider making this available to download again?

Saralee said...

oh the day...