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Review. ALLERSEELEN. Chairete Daimones (2019). Let the demons in!

Newest album of cult band ALLERSEELEN - Chairete Daimones (Ancient Greek for Be Greeted, Demons) - after four years (2015's release Terra Incognita) brings us again to the unique universe of sounds, lyrics and rituals.

Mindaugas Peleckis
2019 m. Spalio 06 d., 16:15
Skaityta: 112 k.
Review. ALLERSEELEN. Chairete Daimones (2019). Let the demons in!

In my opinion, ALLERSEELEN never could become boring: band's mastermind Gerhard Hallstatt has so many ideas so we can be sure that even after more than thirty years ALLERSEELEN can surprise us. 

"Demons" consist of 17 vocal/musical pieces (I could say songs, because stylistically it's a very listenable music, not just some muzak or noise wall) with almost 75 minutes of deep diving into strange worlds and ideas, collectively sung and played by Gerhard and many guests, among whose there are not only musicians from Miel Noir and Der Weisse Rose, but also famous writer, investigator of mystic traditions Aki Cederberg (we can hear his spoken word in Finnish; actually, he is also a musican, filmmaker and traveller).

The album is released as a beautiful digipak CD with 16 page booklet (published by Aorta / Indiestate) and a limited edition MC.

The music of "Chairete Daimones" is very catchy, with great bass lines, clear vocals (mainly sung in German), repetitive ritualistic melodies. All songs together make a holistic piece of art, a kind of a mystical opera. It was always very difficult to say what is the style ALLERSEELEN plays: industrial folk, martial folk, krautfolk, krautpop...?

For me personally, the third musical piece Was Keiner Wagt (Eng. What nobody dares to do) has probably the most catchy tune, you can dance a strange daimonic dance while listening to it (the begining is almost a-16HP-like country music, but soon becomes an ALLERSEELENisch industrial dance).

In the booklet of "Chairete Daimones" writer Anaïs Nin is quoted: “There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don't work.” Does this help to solve another mystery of Allerseelen, to be exact what are those daimones, which are greeted by Gerhard? No, actually, it doesn't, but it gives enough food for thought.

Gerhard Hallstatt and the other permanent members of the group - Christien H., Noreia, Marcel P. - invited some well-known guest musicians and vocalists who helped with their presence and skills to transform all seventeen songs on Chairete Daimones into real gems - each with its own and unique atmosphere and aura, its own "personality". The 16-page-booklet - with all texts in German and English and partly even in Finnish - names these "dramatis personae": The female singers are Aima (Les Jumeaux Discordants, Italy), Estella Plunkett (Miel Noir, Germany) and Faye R. (Algeria, Miel Noir, Germany). The cello is played by Annamaria Bernadette Cristian (Les Jumeaux Discordants, Italy). A special neoclassic composition was written by Aida de Acosta (Keys of Perception, Venezuela) for Allerseelen. The bassist in almost all recordings is Marcel P. (Miel Noir, Fahl and other projects, Germany) who also took care of the mastering at his Dungeon Studio (Rhenania). Some songs have been mastered also at Soundtempel Studio. The violinists are Eugene Voronovsky (Cisfinitum, Russia) and Erich Zann (Kerbholz, Austria). The male guest vocalists are Aki Cederberg (Halo Manash, Finland) and Thomas Bøjden (Die Weisse Rose, Denmark).

According to ALLERSEELEN's philosophy, these daimons (or demons) are not the evil spirits that the monotheistic religions pretend to know. In pre-Christian antiquity they are usually good spirits, benevolent powers, closer to the Christian conception of guardian angels that take care of the humans (the same goes with Lithuanian Velnias / Velinas who was a good spirit, a guardian of Earth, but thanks to Christians "became" synonimic with "Satan").

"Chairete Daimones" were also the words in an ancient Greek ritual in which wine was spilled into the air, on the earth or also on tombs as a libation, an offer for these demons. This ritual was again celebrated in autumn 1871 when Friedrich Nietzsche with some fellow poets and philosophers drank dark wine late at night. All of them drank just one half. It was the second half. The first half had been spilled as a sacrifice for the demons. Friedrich Nietzsche, who was not only philosopher but also a talented composer, has always been a strong influence for Allerseelen. His words became flesh in numerous of their songs.

The temple on the cover and in the booklet of Chairete Daimones shows the neoclassic Theseustempel in the heart of Vienna in a cold winter night. In summer this temple is surrounded by thousands of roses. In winter these roses are hidden under sand-coloured bags to protect them from the cold. This hibernation makes them look like monks or mummies of a secret brotherhood or sisterhood that seem to wait, to expect a command, an order, a word. On the CD itself one may see dry herbs from Bulgaria that are burnt inside another neoclassic temple, a war memorial in the woods around Vienna named Husarentempel.

“The camera cannot compete with painting as long as it cannot be used in heaven or hell.” (Edvard Munch - another quotation in the booklet of Chairete Daimones)

There is not only the CD Chairete Daimones but also a very limited cassette edition of Chairete Daimones: The C90 that comes in a beautiful bag - similar to those protecting the roses around the temple - contains two additional songs. One of these songs is Nachtmeerfahrt, Nocturnal Sea Voyage, a requiem written by Gerhard Hallstatt for John Balance (Coil) after his early death.

Some more words from the band: Dear listener: Please enjoy the dark music and poetry of Chairete Daimones with a good glass of dark wine late at night. Decide for yourself if you want to share it with the demons. Feel free to repeat the ancient ritual if you dare - one half of the wine for the demons, one half for you.

My verdict is rigorous: this is another masterpiece of meaningful music, which is a must if You are into industrial / neofolk / kraut and similar genres. I raise my glass of wine (half of it, actually) for ALLERSEELEN and patiently wait for the next album. Waiting will be not so painful as the first albums of ALLERSEELEN are being released one by one: Autdaruta, Schwartzer Rab and Requiem from 1989 are already on my playlist. Thank You, Gerhard and all of You who summoned good daimones.

Allerseelen CD Chairete Daimones

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Dramatis personae:
XVII Aida de Acosta (composition)
II, X Aima (vocals)
IX, XIV Aki Cederberg (vocals)
X Annamaria Bernadette Cristian (cello)
XI Erich Zann (violin)
VI, VIII, XII Estella Plunkett (vocals)
XIII, XV Eugene Voronovsky (violin, violin arrangements)
IV Faye R. (vocals)
I - XVI Gerhard Hallstatt (Tonkunst, vocals)
I - XVI Marcel P. (bass)
XI Thomas Bøjden (vocals)


These songs were recorded and mixed in 2018 at Haus zur letzten Latern and Dungeon Studio (Rhenania). The mastering took place at Dungeon Studio (Rhenania) and Soundtempel Studio.

English translations: Simon Collins
Finnish translations: Aki Cederberg

Photographs: Gerhard Hallstatt

Allerseelen CD Chairete Daimones
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AORCD 20 / IST 093 CD

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