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28 Jun 2017

Changes "Fire Of Life" US/Germany Folk Rock,Dark Folk 1996 (Recorded 1969-74)

Changes "Fire Of Life" US/Germany Folk Rock,Dark Folk 1996 (Recorded 1969-74) 


Limited edition of 750 copies. Re-release of the Storm Records/Cthulhu Records (STRM-006/CR 21) CD. The tracks were all extracted from vintage analog open reel recordings (1969-1974) by the band and digitally remastered/edited by Michael Moynihan and Robert Taylor.

"Fire of Life" is a collection of recordings from 1969 - 1974 by the band Changes led by Robert N. Taylor and Nicholas Tesluk. The legend behind this 1996 release is that Michael Moynihan of Blood Axis received a "Yule Greetings" card from Taylor, struck up a friendship, and then worked to release this collection. While generally lacking the angst and post-apocalyptic assault of later acts including Death in June, Sol Invictus, Rome, and others, Changes still managed to quickly become popular in the Euro Neo-Pagan, NeoFolk scene. While the quality of this recording is less than stellar, it does provide a view into the creative process of the cousins Taylor & Tesluk. Listeners are likely to prefer the lengthy "Twilight of the West" which was later re-recorded and included on the "Orphan in the Storm" album. Here however, the cousins Taylor / Tesluk share the vocals in a way that one can imagine a chorus of fans singing along with what was, certainly at least at the time, the primary anthem of Changes. "Stranger in the Mirror" is also a standout and became the centerpiece of the later album "Legends" which expanded the Norse focus to include lyrics regarding key European legends sung along to the same melody of "Stranger." A few other songs would also be re-recorded for the "Lament" album including the haunting "The Saddest Thing." While not representative of much of the neo-apocolyptic genre which would follow, this early glimpse at the folk-renderings of Changes certainly will be appreciated by those fans of Changes 12-string guitar and heart-felt lyrics.....By Don van den Andel...........

Changes is the folk outfit formed by R.N. Taylor and Nicholas Tesluk in 1969. The vintage recordings found on Fire of Life, were exhumed by R.N. Taylor at the behest of Michael Moynihan (of Blood Axis) and finally released on Cthulhu Records in 1997. It's long out-of-print but thankfully Albin Julius of Der Blutharsch, so impressed with these recordings saw fit to reissue them on his Hau Ruck label. "It is fucking great...and I'm so happy and proud that this record is on HauRucK", he told me.

Fire of Life features all the existing tapes of Changes dating from the period 1969-1974 rediscovered and dusted down to suit the digital format. This dark and, at times, almost mediaeval ballads, predating Death In June and Sol Invictus by over two decades, for once, truly deserves the name "apocalyptic folk". A far cry from sixties hippie idealism, these songs sound at times like Simon and Garfunkel reared on a diet of Nietzsche, Spengler and Goethe books. In the accompanying booklet R.N. Taylor reflects on each of the songs with lyrics covering lost love, existentialism and the death of the West. But Fire of Life is more than a document of curiosity value, as even though the music recalls the folk groups of the sixties the sentiments are timeless and perhaps even more relevant today.

The history of Changes has been closely entwined with the notorious religious group The Process, Church of the Final Judgement, as Changes played frequently in Process coffeehouses. Aside from this association the material on Fire of Life deserves to be recognised in its own right as it is poetic, poignant and captures the zeitgeist of today. Fire of Life is a must-have and don't forget there's an ultra-limited vinyl issue too..................

R.N. Taylor and Nicholas Tesluk are first cousins, both born in Chicago, Illinois. They formed Changes in 1969 and performed in coffee houses and university halls for about six years before they both went their separate ways each starting a family. Fire of Life is extracted from vintage analog open reel recordings (1969-1974) by Changes, never before released to the public. Though Changes had a small but dedicated following during that era, the songs have "come of age" through the efforts and perseverance of Michael Moynihan (Storm/USA) and Willi Stasch (Cthulhu/Germany). As a result, these songs have received some worldwide recognition and we gratefully acknowledge their support. Musically this album is stark, very dark folk based songs with acoustic guitar, intense vocals, gothic lyrics and occasional harmony vocals and flutes. Fans of dark folk groups like Current 93 or Nature and Organisation will find much here that they will enjoy. .................................

1 Fire Of Life
2 Sweet Eye
3 Bleeding Out Your Feelings Evermore
4 The Saddest Thing
5 Early Morning Hours Of The Night
6 Memorabilia
7 Horizons That I See
8 Satanic Hymn #2
9 R.I.P. Van Winkle's Pipe Dream
10 The Stranger In The Mirror (Pt. 3)
11 Twilight Of The West

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..