Reviews of the Band 6Comm
Fruits of Yggdrasil with Freya Aswynn
Patrick Leagas is definitely back with his 6Comm project. After the “Headless”-album, which was a kind of resurrection he now comes back with a new opus featuring Freya Aswynn. While Patrick Leagas became a kind of living legend with his different projects (Death In June, mother Destruction) Freya Aswynn maybe needs a short introduction. She’s a Dutch multiple artist dealing with music, astrology, painting and especially writing. She’s mainly interested in Norse Paganism combined with unrelated subjects like The Kaballah and Thelema. Musical wise some of you might remember her from her work with Current 93. There’s just a threshold from current 93 to 6Comm where Freya Aswynn reveals to have a very unique timbre of voice. She’s acting like a witch, which just reinforces the power of the lyrical and poetic content inspired by poems from The Edda (going back to the medieval mythology of Iceland and originally written as an ode to the Gods) and Nietzsche. Freya Aswynn brings these adaptations in a terrific way, but the music of P. Leagas is remarkable as well. The mix of martial influences and bombastic sounds plus more refined parts are simply amazing. It’s a bit minimalist, but so particular and unique. Patrick Leagas has already composed numerous chef d’oeuvres, but “The Fruits Of Yggdrasil” will take a particular place in his wide discography. It all sounds a bit like Odin himself injected his magic and power into this work. This is not simply neo-folk neither martial music, but an exploration of wider musical fields touching ambient and soundtrack styles. This album has a soul and is close to perfection!
6Comm (also written as Sixth Comm) is a musical project of the Englishman Patrick Leagas who once was part of the earliest incarnation of Death in June, together with Douglas Pearce and Tony Wakeford. Leagas had an especially big influence on the Nada! album, after Wakeford had left the band. However, do not expect anything like that with 6Comm. The Fruits of Yggdrasil album of 6Comm and the pagan writer Freya Aswynn was first released in 1987 and can be considered a classic in the post-industrial genre. It has now been made available again by Hauruck/Tesco, including completely new artwork created by Patrick himself. The album contains vocal rune invocations and poetic lyricism by Frey Aswynn with musical backdrop by Leagas. It should not need further explanation that the lyrics and music invoke an atmosphere which is hypnotising and ritual in character and takes the listener into the world of Nordic mysteries and their gods such as Wotan, Odin and Thor, or as the artists themselves state, the shamanistic energy of the runes. Whether you are open to this or not, fact is The Fruits of Yggdrasil is a musically compelling piece of experimental music that today is as powerful as 20 years ago. Listen for instance to a track like ‘Wotan’ or ‘Ragnarok’ and you’ll catch my drift. The three poems ‘Havamal’, ‘Voluspa’ and ‘Sigdridfumal’ which are used by Freya in the lyrics on this album have been derived from the Edda. The special thing of this recording is that the music has been recorded in an almost unprepared session during 5 days studio time, with only a preconceived idea about the Havamal track. The Fruits of Yggdrasil is a special ritual ambient and neofolk document which again draws attention since Leagas revived 6Comm two years ago and released a new album, which is the first in 15 years time.
Label: Hau Ruck!
Genre: folk (neofolk / military pop / ritual / dark apocalyptic folk)
Review by: TekNoir
This is a 1987 collaboration between post industrial/ electroincia/ experimental artist 6comm and self proclaimed ‘Norse Occultist’ Freya Aswynn, who’s also appeared on several Current 93 albums. The album consists of nine tracks of spoken/ dramatically acted out Norse gods based texts over 6comm’s shifting post industrial, cinematic, often horn heavy and brooding soundscapes.
This is the first time the album has seen the light of day since it’s original release, here it’s presented in a classy and tough 7 panel fold out digit-pak with full track text & pictures of the pair at the time. And surprisingly it doesn’t too sound dated considering it’s 21 years since it was made with Aswynn Germanic tone tinged English vocals been very effective and often highly theatrical in their presentation- her tone going from fiery and triumphant, to soothed yet still powerful. Underneath 6comm’s backing is varied and wonderful composed- we going from tense war or into hunt like atmospheric horn work, wolf samples, bounding drums and thunder. To dramatic rising banks of heady string work, to cinematic piano unfolds ribbed by synth textures, to even one track that steps into quite poppy dark soundscaping. But really the musically backing often simmers in the background and is here more as a mood and atmosphere enhancer for Aswynn vocals.
A well performed and executed dramatic spoken/ theatrical word album that only occasionally shows its age in some of the synth sounds and production decisions. But well worth your time if you have any interest in Norse mythology or just enjoy dramatic spoken work performance.