Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review: Compilation - The World of Gothic (Caveat Emptor!)


Good day everyone! I hope 2014 is off to a great start for you and that you’ll find continued personal and professional success this year.

This will be the first year, starting from the beginning, for Heilige Tod to really make both an impact on the neofolk/martial scene while at the same time generating new knowledge and understanding. Lots and lots of ideas, just need to execute them.

Right now what’s on the burner is I am trying to complete a review/analysis of the TSIDMZ album Ungern von Sternberg Khan. After that it will be another ambitious project: a retrospective of the Terra Fria label! Both of these projects I assure you will be amazing, detailed, and comprehensive reads.

However the last article that graced this blog was the Schattenspiel interview in mid December and to confess, my TSIDMZ article still has some work to be done. I need a filler article to satiate your appetite until I have it completed.

So this article is going to be about the various artist compilation The World of Gothic, a 2 disc set featuring many dark wave, gothic, industrial, and neofolk acts. It’s not an analysis or a review, but more of a “buyer beware” type article since this information isn’t anywhere else online. This blog is about enlightening folks about the martial and neofolk scene, so despite this not being a meaty article as some of my other work, I think it will service as a nice public service announcement.


General Overview and Packaging

The World of Gothic CD is a 2 disc compilation of various artists, and is more or less a boxing of two other compilations, The Nightingale Compilation and The Nightingale Compilation II.

Cover art from the Discogs.com entry


The design of the 2 disc compilation is fairly boring. It’s green and that’s really all that can be said about it. The typeface is generic, there’s no pictures or artwork, the inside booklets reiterate the tracklisting along with copyright information. The only thing of real interest is purely the bands that are appearing on it.

Track Analysis / Differences

As a collector of music, sometimes you turn into a completionist and try to collect EVERYTHING an artist has done. All albums, singles, EPs, splits, and yes, even compilation appearances. I had bought this CD in the mid 2000s as I was vehemently collecting the entire Von Thronstahl, Forthcoming Fire, and The Days of the Trumpet Call discography.

Notice the artwork above, taken from Discogs.com itself. Proudly proclaimed on the cover is state the compilation includes Forthcoming Fire. I include this picture from Discogs because it looks like a “Real” CD. I think I see wear on the sides on the top portion.

Here is the tracklisting as it is at Discogs.com:

CD 1

01: Avalist – Silence
02: Shadowland – Nachtmohr
03: Forthcoming Fire – Ekhnaton
04: Ordeal – Dune
05: Carlos Peron – Clouds
06: Argine – Solitudo
07: Belborn – March Back Ahead
08: Von Thronstahl - Noch Blüht Im Geist Verborgen ... (Version)
09: The Days of the Trumpet Call – The Pilgrim
10: Stalingrad – Der Letzte Flug
11: Andromeda Complex – Cold Souls
12: Allerseelen – Blonder Wein
13: Andromeda Complex – Depth
14: Caul – Lights in the Firmament of Heaven
15: Never Known – Scattering the Seeds of Life

CD 2

01: The Days of the Trumpet Call – Läuterung
02: Noise Factory – Der Wald
03: Sleepers of Agarchi – Luzifer
04: Carlos Peron – More Sweet Torture
05: Timothy Moldrey – Sensual Impressions
06: Chantal – La Rotta
07: Forthcoming Fire – Flammen Der Erinnerung
08: Twilight Garden – Out of this World
09: Shadowland – Prince of Fire
10: Euphorbia – Symbole
11: Hypnopedia – Hypnopedia 666
12: Andromeda Complex – Women and Masses (Censorship Version)
13: Unternehmen Dreizack – Die Wahrheit Macht Dich Frei


Being the completionist I am, I ordered a copy of the album. Here is what I actually got:

World of Gothic (personal collection)


Odd. It looks very, very similar to the picture on Discogs (and by extension, if you do a Google image search for this compilation, the returned pictures show the above), yet no mention of Forthcoming Fire.

Now here is a picture of the back for the tracklisting:

Back of CD

Since I am such an amazing photographer, as is evident with the light’s glare and my reflection holding the camera, here is the tracklist as it really appears on the album in a more readable format:

01: Avalist – Silence
02: Shadowland – Nachtmohr
03: Will – Father Forgive
04: Ordeal – Dune
05: Carlos Peron – Clouds
06: Argine – Solitudo
07: Belborn – March Back Ahead
08: Soil & Eclipse – O’Magnum Mysterium
09: Birmingham 6 - Israel
10: Unit 187 – Lust Poisen #9
11: Andromeda Complex – Cold Souls
12: Allerseelen – Blonder Wein
13: Andromeda Complex – Depth
14: Caul – Lights in the Firmament of Heaven
15: Never Known – Scattering the Seeds of Life

CD 2

01: Birmingham 6 – All Around the Watchtower
02: Noise Factory – Der Wald
03: Luzifer – Sleepers of Agarchi
04: Carlos Peron – More Sweet Torture
05: Timothy Moldrey – Sensual Impressions
06: Chantal – La Rotta
07: Soil & Eclipse – Carried Away
08: Twilight Garden – Out of this World
09: Shadowland – Prince of Fire
10: Euphorbia – Symbole
11: Unit 187 – Second Class Citizen
12: Andromeda Complex – Women and Masses (Censorship Version)
13: Phantom Vision – Bed of Flowers

I’ve bolded the differences between the stated release and the release I hold in my hands. Both The Days of the Trumpet Call tracks have been replaced by Birmingham 6 tracks (which could be worse – Birmingham 6 is actually a good band!). The Forthcoming Fire, Von Thronstahl and Unternehmen Dreizack tracks – all projects hemmed by Josef Klumb - have been replaced by tracks from various other bands.

But there are some other oddities. Stalingrad, a side project of Kirlian Camera, has been replaced, yet the Andromeda Complex tracks, which is also hemmed by Angelo Bergamini from Kirlian Camera, have not been replaced. Hypnopedia has also been replaced, but they are outside the genre of the bands I am highlighting in this blog. And they messed up if Luzifer is a band or a song name!

Despite Allerseelen sometimes getting the ire of detractors, their track remains on the compilation. Belborn is not so lucky.

This is pretty unfortunate. I truly bought this compilation solely for these bands, and they are not even on it! All Google searches at the time indicate they should be. The catalog number on my copy matches what is on Discogs.com as well.

Just to satisfy my curiosity, I actually emailed ZYX Music back in 2006 asking why these tracks were missing. I actually wasn’t expecting a reply, but surprise-surprise, they did! On 2006-11-22 they wrote to me:

Hello Nick,

my colleague forwarded your mail to me, as I am working
at our so called "compilation department", that means
we are putting those compilations together.
The problem with this is, that neither me nor my colleague
has been working in that compilation in 2000, when the
cd was released.

To be honest, I have no clue, why there are so many other
tracks on the compilation, that are not listed on our
homepage and why others listed are not on the cd.
I assume, that these tracks should have been on the cd,
but we didn´t get the permission to use ´em.

I´ll ask our IT-department to change the tracklist on
our homepage, so that this mistake will not lead to
more confusions.

I hope, that I could satisfy you with this reply,
though I can not send you the other tracks.

Thanks for showing us that mistake on our homepage
and I have to say sorry.

Best regards,
Timo Beisel

Lots of little ironies here. First this CD isn’t even listed at ZYX Music’s website anymore, so that point is moot. But the statement “I assume, that these tracks should have been on the cd, but we didn´t get the permission to use ´em” I find funny, since the bands omitted are also the bands that will basically appear on anything – including that deplorable Prezent! compilation released with all those actual skinhead bands unfortunately. A blackeye to some, I assume.

However, looking again at the Discogs.com image above, and seeing wear and tear on the image, I actually think the CD got released as it was intended, and then perhaps recalled or reprinted with the same catalog number but new tracklisting without any fanfare. Of course I’d like to know the real, behind closed doors story of the whole ordeal, but alas – that is not ours to know but only to assume.

Unfortunately, these tracks are not readily found elsewhere, so happy hunting collectors in trying to track down the original Nightingale compilations that has these tracks as intended! Or take the gamble in trying to order a copy from eBay and hope 50-50 you get the version you’re looking for.

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