It’s been seven years since the release of Hekate’s last album Die Welt der Dunklen Gärten, but next brings us Totentanz, their sixth studio album. The music flows from the band’s fondness for Romanticism and includes interpretation of Prussian poet Joseph von Eichendorff’s “Mondnacht” (“moon night”). A painting of the same name by German symbolist and art nouveau artist Franz Stassen serves as the cover art. The five tracks here deal with the theme of human mortality and the idea of the memento mori.
Hekate’s music has never sounded so refined: traditional, catchy folk melodies meet harmoniously with more hypnotic tracks, carried on floating synthesizers and percussion. The band captures the atmosphere of early 90s apocalyptic folk without sounding dated.
Hekate was formed in 1991 and is one of the foremost protagonists of German neofolk. Over the course of five albums, the group has combined folk, medieval and classical music with striking percussion and electronic elements to create a distinctive individual style.
Today, it’s an honour for us to be able to share “Luzifer Morgenstern”, the second single from Totentanz. Here’s what Hekate’s singer Axel Menz says about it:
“Lucifer, the Latin name of the morning star Venus, the fallen angel in Christian mythology, God’s adversary. In this song, the contradiction between traditional Christian dogmas and desire or lust, the craving to give in to primal human instincts, which contradicts religion.”
The digipak version of the album features ink drawings from the series “Apokalyptische Landschaften” (“apocalyptic landscapes”) by Hermann Wöhler. Wöhler was a painter influenced by magical realism who worked in secret during his lifetime. It is only since his death that the art community has discovered him. Both these illustrations and the cover art image come from Axel Menz’s personal collection.
Totentanz will also be released on gatefold double vinyl with five bonus tracks and as a book edition (limited to 500 copies), that includes an additional 60 pages and the bonus tracks housed on a separate CD. The book contains the album’s lyrics, prefaces by both Axel Menz and Susanne Grosche, a Totentanz essay, biographies of Franz Stassen and Hermann Wöhler, English translations by Markus Wolff (Waldteufel) and numerous illustrations by Wöhler.
The album in all its versions is due out on May 18 and can be pre-ordered here.