Anthesteria - Eis


CD (ltd. 345)

1. Eidolon II
2. Alone
3. Peter Krasnov
4. I Killed
5. Untitled
6. To The Underground
7. Snowflakes
8. Everything Will Be As Winter Wishes
9. Exodus
10. In Gedanken An Russisches Drone
11. Falling Apart
12. First Winter Day
13. We Are So Inspired That We Glow

total time: 76:50
release date: December 29, 2016
price: €10


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Anthesteria "Eis" is the third CD in the "Znaki" series tracing the "parallel life" of Zhelezobeton and kultFRONT label residents. This collection of Anthesteria works includes compositions created in 2003-2010. Some of them were released on various compilations, others were published by the author in his web diary and some of the tracks are released for the first time. All compositions are woven into a single semantic stream showing the cardiogram of the author's experiences. These are contours of images surrounding the musician during seven years of activity. Since 2010 the project has been de facto "frozen" except for work on the track "Alone" for which Sergey Vasilyev ("Insane Pierrot Cabaret" / "Electrocabaret") read the poem by Edgar Allan Poe in 2016.

Anthesteria is music of St. Petersburg - the dusky city standing on water and wind where most of the year one has to know how to keep warm. The theme of Winter is heard in every composition of the album in one way or another. Winter is either already here or inevitably comes in the future. Whether it is the opening autumnal track "Eidolon II" or the track "Exodus" dedicated to the Chernobyl disaster. This part of Europe knows what "nuclear winter" is… However Winter here is not only a sign of desolation and death. Rays of the frozen sun in "First Winter Day" find a direct way to the eyes of the listener who is enjoying the laughter of happy people in "We Are So Inspired That We Glow" and feeling the fresh breeze from the Gulf of Finland…

The artwork is done by the famous visual artist and media philosopher Oleg 'cmart' Paschenko ( who has rethought the classical Anthesteria logo specially for this project. The CD is released in an edition of 345 copies.

First album in the series - Sal Solaris "Die Scherben 2004-2010".
Second album in the series - DMT "Ultimatum".


Auf 345 Einheiten limitiert, so erscheint "Eis" von Anthesteria, wobei ambiente Klänge aus St.Petersburg gemeint sind. Dabei handelt es sich um den dritten Teil der sogenannten Znaki Serie, welcher Werke von Sal Solaris und DMT vorausgingen. Die Spanne der Kompositionen reicht dabei über die Jahre 2003-2010, wovon einige auf diversen Compilations und Andere nun erstmals ihre Publikation fanden/finden. Thematisch ist "Eis" dem Winter zugeordnet und sei es nun im Bezug zum Klima oder auch der Tschernobyl Katastrophe- diverse Elemente sind da im Grunde genommen in jeder Komposition zu finden. Der Musiker versteht es dabei auf beeindruckende Art, seine musikalischen Ideen in ein anspruchsvolles Ambientgeflecht zu kleiden, welches frühzeitig den Rezipienten zu begeistern versteht. Die Stärke von verträumten Aspekten zeigt sich bereits bei einem schönen "Alone", wobei besonders die passende Spracheingebung als aufwertend zu benennen ist. "I Killed" ist hingegen ein sehr ruhiges Stück, welchem jedoch keine besonderen Aspekte beiwohnen, was auf das folgende unbetitelte Stück nicht zutrifft. Jene Umsetzung birgt nämlich feine Atmosphäre, hervorgerufen mittels eingängiger Melodieführung. Aber hier gibt es noch weit mehr zu entdecken, denn zahlreiche starke Titel haben da ihren Bestand, weshalb sich die Liste leicht fortführen lässt. Auch "Falling Apart" glänzt durch die Sprachmittel, wobei gerade die russische Sprache hier ein Mittel ist, welches das Geschehen absolut authentisch klingen lässt - ich bin begeistert!

Das Projekt Anthesteria ist jedoch nicht mehr wirklich aktiv, wobei es aber den Anschein hat, als halte sich der Musiker den Weg frei, was zukünftiges Schaffen anbelangt. Dies ist auch gut so, denn Anthesteria ist ein verdammt starkes Projekt, von welchem ich gerne noch mehr hören möchte. Die Zeit wird offenbaren, ob sich da noch etwas entwickelt- bis dahin gilt es in der Welt von "Eis" zu schwelgen. Meine Empfehlung!

Another ambient work by a Russian artist, this time, Anthesteria, the main project name of Georgiy Beloglazov, from St. Petersburg. 'Eis' is the third CD in the "Znaki" series tracing the parallel life of Zhelezobeton and kultFRONT label residents. The album is a compilation of Anthesteria compositions created between 2003-2010, some released on various artist compilations, others published by the author in his web diary, and some released for the first time. Technically, no newly composed material has been released by Athesteria since 2010, with the exception of "Alone" for which Sergey Vasilyev (Insane Pierrot Cabaret/Electrocabaret) read the poem by Edgar Allan Poe in 2016. Not surprising that much of 'Eis' is winter-themed, considering that's how it usually is in St. Petersburg. Considering that this is a compilation, the music of 'Eis' is a mixed bag of somewhat bleak ambient, neoclassical and industrial. My first impression was an enigma wrapped in a riddle, one for which I had no answer. Some of 'Eis' is quite engaging, some off-putting, and some just really strange. Over the 13 tracks on the CD, there is quite a variety, and at times you I felt like I was listening to different artists. It is more likely that Anthesteria has changed over time. About the name, Anthesteria - it was one of the four Athenian festivals in honor of Dionysus, occurring around the time of the January or February full moon.

Beginning with "Eidolon II" the listener is introduced to much wind and chimey synth chords with sustained synth following the chords. Behind this is an indistinct voice speaking over a PA system. Hmmm... "Alone" is the aforementioned Edgar Allan Poe recitation (in Russian) with melancholy neoclassical backing and subtle beats. "Peter Krasnov" is bleak ambient and some bellish melody. Didn't care much for "I Killed," a track with string-like synth chords and a simple melody with plucked guitar sound following the chords. Dialogue samples in the background (Russian, of course), sounding like an uninspired Raison d'кtre. A couple of bland neoclassical track pass, then things perk up with the magical and aptly titled "Snowflakes". In "Everything Will Be As Winter Wishes" there is at first a storm with the spirits of winter whispering in your ear, then something more akin to passing time with family in the warm indoors while the storm rages outside. All of a sudden though, a stark Russian voice heralds what seems like bad news. Odd. "Exodus" is the most industrial piece on this album with plodding, harsh, klanging beats, noise and dark ambience, a distorted woman's voice over a PA system, and a hint of chaos. "In Gedanken An Russisches Drone" is a rather strange drone piece, unusual with kind of amorphous acoustic guitar running through much of it. "Falling Apart" is sort of neoclassical drone with intermittent borrowed Russian recitation. Contrasting this is "First Winter Day," with its light, airy feel. Not sure that the beat/rhythm that was introduced a little less than halfway through was necessarily appropriate; seemed a little to IDM for me. Final track "We Are So Inspired That We Glow" begins with a sing-along Russian folk melody in a public place, but then turns droney as the happy songsters depart. It's not a dark, heavy drone, but a light sunny one. Nice way to end the album, especially considering the laughter near the conclusion.

This is definitely a mood album, or variety of moods album, and maybe a good introduction to Anthesteria. Beloglazov is not only a very talented musician/composer but also quite astute. After reading an interview with him regarding his game soundtracks ('Phobos 1953,' and 'Metro 2033' among them) I got some insight into his compositional skills as well as his intellect. Not sure why he hasn't come up with new Anthesteria material, but when he does, sign me up.

Steve Mecca, Chain D.L.K.

Genre/Influences: Dark-ambient, cinematographic, experimental, minimal.

Background/Info: This album is a collaboration between 2 Russian labels. It’s the third release in the so-called “Znaki”-series ‘tracing the parallel life of Zhelezobeton and kultFRONT label residents’. Russian project Anthesteria (Georgy Beloglazov) has already released several productions, but “Eis” is something apart. The tracks were originally composed in between 2003 and 2010 and released on different compilations and the artist’s web diary while the fans will also get a few unreleased cuts.

Content: The work is quite diversified and definitely covering different sources of inspiration. From somewhat minimal-electronics carried by a slow cadence towards pure dark and cinematographic passages, the work is mainly characterized by impressive studio effects.

You now will notice elements of folk and next wafting on pure ambient compositions. You’ll notice Russian spoken words and sampled passages. The music is now somewhat into baroque and next into total experimentalism. It now reminds me of Jean-Michel Jarre and then to an imaginary soundtrack.

+ + + : This album is a bit a kind of compilation and it also sounds this way. There’s an impressive diversity between all tracks although carried by a darker leading inspiration. It became something atypical and therefore original. I like the subtlety of the sound treatments and the great effects. The global atmosphere is the connection between all tracks. - - - : I regret a few cuts aren’t longer and more elaborated and especially when they have a real potential. The diversity of “Eis” makes it sometimes a bit hard to grasp.

Conclusion: This work is a nice addition for the Anthesteria-lovers, but still an interesting discovery if you’re not that familiar with this formation.

Best songs: “Exodus”, “Snowflakes”, “I Killed”.

Rate: (7½).

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