Exposé Online banner

Various Artists — A Dark Noël
(Projekt 198, 2007, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01

A Dark Noël Cover art

Christmas is my least favorite holiday of the entire year, a month-long season of unbridled commercialism and indulgent spending, nearly completely stripped of its original meaning as the birthday of Christ, and now becoming even more annoying as it rapidly encroaches on what really is my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. Call me a Scrooge, but it’s only fair that the reader of this review has full disclosure from the writer. All that said, this magical little disc from the folks at Projekt captures the essence of what was once wonderful and special about the season, and even turned a Grinch like me around in early September (as I write this). The songs presented are a combination of traditionals, covers, and originals, but all presented in that lush and warm atmospheric style that is Projekt’s trademark. Nothing goofy, poppy, or shallow here; the dozen songs are at once beautiful, shimmering, and reflective, capturing that magical mood of the season before it all got out of hand. Featured artists include Faith and the Muse, Voltaire, Unto Ashes, Audra, Autumns Grey Solace, and others. Rhea’s Obsession with Athan Maroulis presents a middle-eastern flavored take on the timeless traditional “We Three Kings.” The Crüxshadows cover John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas – War Is Over,” while Black Tape for a Blue Girl offer a hauntingly beautiful “Chanukkah, Oh Chanukkah.” My favorite: the stunning “Welcome Christmas” by Love Spirals Downward, with its echo chamber production, multi-layered female voices, and jangly guitars. Now if we can just get this issue of Exposé out before the big day…


Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Voltaire, Attrition, Autumn's Grey Solace, Unto Ashes, Lovespirals / Love Spirals Downwards, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Various Artists, Audra, Bobin Eirth / In Gowan Ring, Sam Rosenthal / As Lonely as Dave Bowman

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Here and Now - Give and Take – Here and Now are very heavily patterned in the mold of Radio Gnome era Gong, complete with silly vocals, but luckily they also borrow from Gong’s best features, with some great guitar solos over...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues