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DER BLUTHARSCH AND THE INFINITE CHURCH OF THE LEADING HAND (A)
Der Blutharsch (“snow drenched in blood”, “dried blood” or “scab” — but really a reference to a Swiss mercenary company circa 1600 AD) is the main project of Austrian musician Albin Julius. Following in the footsteps of Autopsia and Laibach, Julius creates a marching music of bombastic rhythms and folkish melodies, often infused with historical military speeches and orchestral samples. The earlier works tended towards a minimalistic sample-based instrumental style in an industrial/ambient vein, while more recent material has headed into a folk/acoustic sound, often accompanied with live vocals and instruments. Der Blutharsch's first release was a self-titled picture LP released in late 1996 on the Arthur's Round Table label, but the project didn't became Julius' main musical outlet until 1998 after the break-up of his previous band The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud. Early Der Blutharsch recorded material was very dark ambient in sound, heavy on historic samples and post-industrial melodic drones. As the discography progressed, the material became more lively, with the more bombastic approach and a focus on a form of martial industrial with emphasis on neoclassical instrumentation combined with experimentalism. Subject matter and imagery largely derived from historical topics relating to the history of Germanic Europe. With the release of Time Is Thee Enemy! in 2003, Julius took Der Blutharsch into the direction of a rock band. Gone were the martial aspects of Der Blutharsch, only apparent to some extent in promotional imagery. Instead of a one-man project, promotional material showcased the project as a fleshed out group. Live shows continued in this direction with a focus on placing the group further into the area of psychedelic rock. Subsequently, any traces of the previous focus on historical themes disappeared with new promotional imagery showcasing references to psychedelic pop art. Der Blutharsch became a full band, with acoustic instruments and female vocal accompaniment. Julius has since enlisted several musicians as "full time" members of the group with the setup of a traditional rock band. That radical change influenced also the name of the project – it is not old, rooted in medieval ethos Der Blutharsch, but his new incarnation: Der Blutharsch and the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand!