Der Blutharsch - The Philosopher's Stone [Tesco - 2008]At its heart The Philosopher's Stone is a rock’n’ roll album, be it gothic licked, atmospheric and building, tongue in cheek, or just down and dirt rock. Set through out the albums rock crown you find other genre traces such as lo-fi electroinca, world music, dark pop, country & neo-folk.
Though I’ve been familiar with Der Blutharsch name for many years, this is my first actually taste so to speak. And I have to say this is an enjoyable, often buoyant, memorable and atmospheric dense mix of sounds and influences. The band that most comes to mind to compare them to be would be Type O negative, but with a more European and varied sonic influence about it all- they have the same feeling of dare, fun and dark sonic mischief about their work, your never quite sure were you’ll be taken next,though it’s never too far from the mighty rock riff structure. A few of my favourite moments come in the form of; untitled III with dark it dark stomping atmospheric vibe sounding like Rob Zombie slowed down and mixed with a more country- rock feel and the odd organ flourish. Untitled V with it’s slowed Sliver Machine type tuneful chug and great tongue in cheek vocals doing great a overly sleazy Lemmy impression. Untitled VII with it’s pushing Goth meets neo folk meets rock groove weaved in and out by flute, chanted vocals, chimes and hand claps.
Really if you’re looking for a rock album that is experimental and atmospheric yet still tuneful, structured and a lot of fun The Philosopher's Stone is for you- just don’t expect it to wonder too far off the beaten trackRoger Batty