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Artist: Hekate
Title: Die Welt der dunklen Gärten
Genre: Neofolk / Gothic / Alternative
Release Date: 10th June 2011
Label: Prophecy

Album Review

HEKATE is mostly what can be described as Neofolk ensemble from Germany though they do escape the easy labelling. Their music is fascinated by history; mostly of Germany (giving wide berth to the terribleness of 20th century though) and also the parallel history - the one of legend and myths, not to mention also projecting the Grail lore onto the Cathars of Montségur (Languedoc region) in France, who were slaughtered in the Albigensian Crusade (1209 - 1229 - but not because they were suspected to posses the legendary vessel with the elixir - blood of Saviour, but because they posed a threat to the Holy Church and its Doctrine with their ‘heresy‘. Not to mention they were primitive communists and threatened the greedier segments of society and threatening to patriarchy with their respect and equality given to women).

What they really seek from all this material is how to encourage people to fight for love and unification (a mighty undertaking - Don Quixote comes to mind... but a very loud cheer for trying!) Gongs, kettledrums, drums, percussive devices, hurdy-gurdy, guitars, glockenspiel are all used to bring a historical and particular flavour to the music, however their brand of Neofolk has something wonderfully modern as well. Their new album ‘Die Welt der dunklen Gärten’ (The World of Dark Gardens) has taken inspiration from Lord Byron, Joseph von Eichendorf which already gives you a gist that Romanticism underlines these compositions. There are also folkloric elements (‘Die dunkle Wolke‘ - The Dark Cloud) not to mention influence of authors celebrating people and landscape and folklore songs of Northern Germany such as Herman Löns and also such likes as Aleister Crowley (!). The album is sung in trilingual fashion - though predominantly switching from German to English, there’s also a song in French.

I must admit that many of these songs swept me along and I found myself singing to them. The album is truly marvellous. HEKATE manage to infuse each song and influence with their own vision - and it truly works, the mixture of styles as well the way they use old texts and inspirations is superbly done and brings the philosophy of the band forward successfully - they bring the best of past and consciousness into the present... make it altogether very relevant. Theirs is great music underlined by poetry with great imagery, an opportunity to think and dream in equal measures. The first ‚‘Byronic Hero‘, is half-sung/half-recited by Axel Menz, a truly atmospheric song, those remarkable Byronic verses are underlined with a subtle yet magnificent power, the music creates a great depth of emotion. I also love the fact that the German accent on English is not washed out, it gives it a character of its own too.

The next song in French - ‘Jardin d' Anaïs‘ (Garden of Anaïs) - is another beautiful gem, here the voice of Suzanne Grosche enters, she makes the song emotive and sensual at the same time. Their duets are wonderful, they work intuitively and sensitively together and both vocals are great in their individual songs too. Another song, ‘Per Aspera Ad Astra‘, is superbly heavy and foreboding, dramatic instrumental - matching the meaning of the Latin phrase - "Through hardships to the stars". ‘Opportunity Of Time‘ was another favourite for me. Again lyrics to savour, beautifully played and sung, mesmerising, atmospheric, touching song. ‘Die blaue Blume‘ (The Blue Flower) employs quite a modern beat that livens up this ethereal composition - in fact it is mostly the superb drumming that makes this song remarkable. ‘House Of God‘ is an evocative and powerful ending.

A superb album, it offers so many facets to enjoy, stands out as unique in the way they’ve blended all the elements together and is altogether an inspired album worthy of many repeated listens, and each enriching with even more beautiful discoveries.


01. Byronic Hero - 3.13
02. Jardin d' Anaïs - 4.33
03. In my Garden - 5.35
04. Seelenreise - 7.39
05. Sanctus - 4.09
06. Die dunkle Wolke - 4.51
07. Per aspera ad astra - 6.50
08. Idilia Dubb - 6.18
09. Oh du Welt der dunklen Gärten - 4.49
10. Opportunity of Time - 3.49
11. The Present Day - 4.41
12. Die blaue Blume - 6.07
13. House of God - 6.10


Achim Weiler – Keyboards
Susanne Grosche – Vocals
Dirk Diederich – Drums
Jörg Schickerath – Percussions
Axel Menz – Vocals, percussions

Websites /

Cover Picture



Music: 10
Sound: 10
Total:10 / 10

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