Die Hexen’s The Garden Of Unearthly Delights really is quite unlike anything you’ve heard before. I’ve been mulling this one over for some time now and still find it difficult to explain it in words. Maybe Gothic oil paintings, interpretive dance, or a series of Gregorian chants might work better to express the overall feeling I get when I’m listening to tracks like “Weighing Of The Heart”, “Frament Of Hell”, and “Liebestraume”. Fortunately for you, the reader, words are all I have right now so there will be no interpretive dance today.
The Garden Of Unearthly Delights lies somewhere in those early days of 4AD and Sire records. There’s a very dark, yet beautiful mood that hangs over the record. Something like an all-instrumental version of early Cure, Siouxie and the Banshees, and Bauhaus with more of an emphasis on electronics. You wouldn’t hear something like the electronic and futuristic “Noctule” on Seventeen Seconds or In The Flat Field, but the tragic romanticism that permeated those albums lives within this great piece’s blips and bleeps. “Mars” sounds like a march into some sort of purgatory, either literal or self made. It builds on ghostly synths and Die Hexen stack a plethora of electronic doom on top of it as the song grows into a wall of searing fire and distorted cobblestone. It’s anxiety-incarnate. There are some quite lovely vocals in the album closer “The Garden Of Unearthly Delights” that accompany subtle instrumentation that feels very much like a score to a modern dance piece.
Die Hexen is an award winning composer, filmmaker, sound designer, vocalist, musician, visual and performance Artist. According to their website, “Self recorded and produced compositions combine electronic, dark ambient, modern classical, soundtrack, art-pop, world music and experimental sound techniques using analogue, midi synths, improv vocals, percussion, found sounds and field recordings.” From what I can tell, there’s lots of costumes, visuals, dark scenarios, and emotions turned on their heads. Theatrics and stunning visuals seem to be just as much of the overall experience with Die Hexen as the music.
Luckily for us some magic has occurred here on The Garden Of Unearthly Delights. There’s a darkly sensuous world that exists within these songs that require nothing more of the listener than an open mind and a desire to be moved. Die Hexen has taken their stage world and exquisitely transferred it onto this dark and alluring album. Just hit play and let it take you where it may.
7.8 out of 10
Grab a copy of The Garden Of Unearthly Delights over at Burning Witches Bandcamp page.