Evocative titles, intellectually stimulating poetry, strong melodies, a feel for language, smooth clear voices and a polished professional sound characterise the work of Ostara, and point to a potential for commercial success beyond the narrow world of the neofolk/gothic-industrial genres that mostly concern us here.
Crucial perhaps in this evolution has been the influence of artists like Nick Cave, Scott Walker, Leonard Cohen and The Doors and an interest in artists like Kate Bush.
"Kingdom Gone" includes on CD some tracks already issued on the two vinyl versions of "Whispers to the Soul" ('The Trees March North', 'Overworld', 'Never Weep', and 'Divine Wind') together with 8 other numbers.
Ostara (Richard Leviathan and Timothy Jenn) transmuted from the more provocatively entitled Strength Through Joy, but remain wedded to a number of WW2 themes, including an identification with the anti-Hitler plotters of the Stauffenberg group, and von Stauffenberg's mentor, Stefan Georg. This interest has got them into trouble in Germany where it has been interpreted as pro-Nazi, despite Richard Leviathan (aka Richard Levy) being of Jewish extraction. There is evidently some ill-thought-out over-compensation going on here.
Richard has a deep interest in philosophy and a concern for the European heritage and its destiny, but reflecting his other interest in the esoteric, his concepts are draped in veils of poetic obfuscation which make it hard to interpret his meaning without already knowing it.
Along with the masterly 'Overworld' and 'Never Weep', the opening 'Bavaria' has another excellent melody. Like 'Divine Wind', 'March of the Rising Sun' obviously concerns Japan's twentieth century career, and involves a lot of experimental manipulation of soundtracks intertwining western and eastern themes with the sounds of war. The interest in Japan and the computer wizadry are down to Timothy.
'Sword of Reverie' is an evocative song, seemingly about resurrection and eternal life. After an intro featuring a familiar sample of romantic symphony music, 'Tafenokai' has a minimalist and repetitive dance beat with Japanese vocabulary intoned over the top rather like Kraftwerk's 'Trans-Europe Express'.
'Kingdom Gone' is spoken word and alludes - tastefully I believe - to the events of September 11th. A masterpiece of apocryphal writing, the declaimed poem appears to bury Islam, Christianity, Mammon and much else besides. What remains is Shunyata, the Buddhist concept of nothingness.
[from FluxEuropa ]
Ostara Kingdom Gone on Discogs