[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”From Roadburn’s presentation”]Albums such as Joyride, Today I want To Catch Clouds and The Story About The Digging of The Hole And The Hearing of The Sounds From Hell showcase Albin Julius’ psychedelic maturity. Instead of full on ‘freak outs’ so common to most psychonauts, he’s blending his post idustrial and neo folk roots with a wide spectrum of cerebal sounds and keeping his mind-altering compositions really tight – both rhythmically and atmosphericly.[/pullquote]

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGvB7MwyPuk[/responsive_video]

Der Blutharsch… is in fact two very different things. First there is Albin Julius‘ early solo-venture into minimalistic military-pop (with the ensuing controversy – which I’ll look a bit at later on). And next there is the later (band-effort) psychedelic albums, which at first glimpse has very little to do with the earlier stuff.

Since the Roadburn-show will feature the psych-stuff, that is of course what I’ll focus on here.

And we might as well get stuck into that “at first glimpse” comment from the get-go. Because, even though there are almost worlds between the early albums, and the newer psych-albums, given repeated listenings one begins noticing some of the same approaches towards strict structure, minimalism and even sparsity, as found on those first ones.

Very much unlike most psych-bands I’ve listened to, Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand tends to bury the guitars somewhat below the keyboards and the vocals in the mix, which lends an air of lurking ominosity.

Up through the albums (chronologically) there seems to be a trend towards arrangements getting stricter, the sonic layers sparser and more minimalistic, as if the music develops inward in a circle towards a super-condensed vision of where the music will eventually end.

[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”From interview with Albin Julius by Bellum Musicae”]Real sense, deeper sense? Please stop asking me about “sense” – i do not think anything I do makes sense actually. I just do it. And honestly, most time I am quit [sic] surprised by myself about the result.[/pullquote]

The music is ritualistic, at times leaning towards tribal, creating an understanding that this is a Church to be reckoned with, the coolly distanced vocals taking the place of the pastor sermonizing on his pulpit. And the hypnotizing music in effect enthralls the listener, drawing them in, ensuring they’ll stay until the service is over, whether it’s through the majestic epicness of tracks like Mountains Of Snow, the deep, dark ominosity of Kreuzung Drei, or Resume! – which could be the gameover music for some particularly sinister computer game.

Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand suck you in, work you over, spits you out in a version a little bit more enlightened about yourself – and then you return for some more.

The Church holds service on-stage at Roadburn – check it out and become a convert.

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBNXzbyyu2Q[/responsive_video]

What? That controversy-thing? Since it has no definite bearing on the upcoming concert, I placed it at the very bottom of this post – for your scrolling pleasure…

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Don’t miss out on Albin Julius’ mushroom aesthetics on Thursday, April 14 at Het Patronaat in Tilburg, The Netherlands, when Der Blutharsch (and the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand) will celebrate their 20th anniversary.

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[thrive_headline_focus title=”Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The
Leading Hand Online Discography” orientation=”left”]

The Story Of The Digging Of The Hole And The Hearing Of The Sounds From HellLP (2011)spotifyBandCamp
The End Of The BeginningLP (2012)spotifyBandCamp
The Cosmic TriggerLP (2013)spotifyBandCamp
Today I Want To Catch CloudsLP (2014)spotifyBandCamp
All To PiecesEP (2014)spotifyBandCamp
JoyrideLP (2015)spotifyBandCamp

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The controversy mentioned earlier jumps into your face when searching the web for Der Blutharsch or Julius-related stuff. Racist here, nazi there, a lot of the places you look, allegations are bandied about without half of them being accompanied by anything close to resembling even circumstantial pieces of evidence.

In the end, as far as I can tell, it boils down to a few things: The early Der Blutharsch production containing a fascination with all things Der Reich, Albin Julius apparantly being a conservative of some kind, apparantly supporter of the then government of Jörg Haider, and references to the bands Julius was touring with, hanging out with, and befriended…

And in the end, it probably all boils down to what Julius himself says: that it was a kind of provocation, and that he grew tired of provoking. Personally, I can’t say I’ve encountered anything in Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand that was inherently fascist – and I intend to enjoy their set at Roadburn, knowing full well, that no matter what Albin Julius‘ opinions on this or that, his music moves me emotionally, thus leading me to a better understanding of myself – which is pretty far from turning me (or anybody else) into some mindless automatons, to use in a fascist takeover :-)

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Interview quote by Bellum Musicae