Nebelhexe – Dead Waters (Candlelight/Modern Invasion)

A strangely catchy blend of new age, synth driven pop music, tribal beats and vaguely spiritual leanings all wrapped in a leather and tattooed pagan princess scenario that had me thinking we might have stumbled onto Annie Lennox and Anton LaVey’s love child.

Andrea Haugen aka Nebelhexe has had, it seems, a long and varied career and life - as she has explored many paths in both her music and her life. From guesting on Cradle Of Filth’s Principle of Evil Made Flesh way back in the mid 90s, then dabbling in dark ambience with Aghast before moving onto the pagan folk stylings of Hagalaz’ Runedance, and finally establishing her own identity as Nebelhexe, Andrea has tried on many coats. Be it Church of Satan, Paganism, body ritualism, fetish modeling, the left hand path or Celtic mythology she has dipped her toe in many waters.

Dead Waters, her third album under the Nebelhexe banner, offers what she calls “a mix of dreamy ambient, tribal and a darker form of country.”

Well I don’t know about that. Certainly the first track Again The Wall kicks off the album with a rolling tribal beat that has you thinking this might live up to the cover shot of leather and tatts, but it soon slides into synthesizers and Toyah Wilcox territory. No country, dark or otherwise here. Nor metal, but there is definitely ambience, and actually if you’re a fan of 80s post pop/dance you’ll probably dig this album.

Digital Sleep, Dead Waters, Fallen, Beyond The Ninth Wave, all good dance tracks, great percussion, late night, dark dance floor, black nail polish and lip piercings – it’s just got that vibe to it only with a little more modern production and a touch of faux-spirituality.

Apparently Nebelhexe is a very outspoken person and even contributes a regular column in a European Goth magazine about what pisses her off. It’s just a pity that the anger hasn’t transferred here. There’s some great ideas here, some great hooks too but there just isn’t enough power or oomph to make the songs stand out. If the beats had been beefed up a little more and the keyboards toned down this would be great pounding out of the speakers but as it is it’s going to be background music for the faithful.

Nebelhexe's Dead Waters is out now on Candlelight/Modern Invasion Music.