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

Latest news

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Adrian Belew - Side One – Maybe it’s not fair to say Adrian Belew has been through a lot of phases. It’s more like he has many facets within him, and you see different things depending on which way he turns. For this...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues