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Plano, Texas, United States | INDIE

Plano, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Gothic


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"Interview with Erin Powell"

Plague Haus shares a parley with Erin Powell, the force behind one of the US’ best kept secrets, the outstanding Texas-based neofolk project AWEN

PH: Hails, Erin! Please give us a bit of history on Awen, when conceived and who are your current members?

Erin: Awen originated as a vehicle for the expression of my own obsessions, mainly to do with the concepts of indigenous European paganism (its rites, signs, symbols and their remnants), ancestor worship, genetic reincarnation and the collective unconscious and how all of these things effect Western Society, whether it knows it or not. We have been actively recording since the Fall of 2003 C.E. The static members are myself, Eric Kristoffer and Katrin X. Other contributors include Sam Nicholson on electric bass guitar, Sabrina Flux on bowed upright Bass and Per Nilsson as recording engineer and some-time skull scraper. Our friend Pedro in Portugal also contributed accordion to our song “Unter den Linden”.

Prior to the formation of Awen I had experimented with some unreleased 4-track recordings using manipulated tape loops and oration under the name From Teeth Truth.

PH: What is the meaning behind the name?

Erin: The name Awen is from the old Brythonic (a Celtic language indigenous to the British Isles) and is still a current word in modern Welsh. It implied a kind of divine inspiration that poets and shamans would experience. In ancient times there were certain rites performed to initiate this inspiration through dreams, though unfortunately as with much European pagan lore the exact details are lost to us due to the failing of oral tradition with religious conversion and the Christian church’s eradication and biased corruption of the details of indigenous rituals which they deemed to be demonic. Much of the details are left to scholarly conjecture. There are many theories and opinions written on the subject, but research and intuition can provide direction.

I had first come across the word as a teenager in my father’s circa 1900 Welsh/English dictionary. I had been reading Robert Graves’s White Goddess and Frazer’s Golden Bough at this time and my interest was piqued. Several years later I heard it referenced in the song “Fael Inis” from Ian Read’s band Fire + Ice. I decided that the name fit my intentions.

PH: Are any of you involved in any projects outside of Awen?

Erin: Awen is as-of-yet my sole project, though the other members are involved in their own respective bands. Eric Kristoffer records and performs as unitcode:machine, Katrin X participates in unitcode:machine as well as her own project Tears of Arria, Per Nilsson has been a member of Puncture, Replicate, Post-Mortem Statement, Thornhill and produces noise as Scandalnavian and Deform Uniform. Sabrina Flux is a radio DJ here in Dallas (midnight – 4 AM Friday nights on KNON 89.3 FM, web broadcast at Sam plays bass in a Southern Rock band which has yet to decide upon a name, though of those proposed I prefer Sour Diesel. Our friend Pedro in Portugal is working on a Neofolk project called Simbolo Solar which I have high hopes for as well. It’s a very musical circle I seem to be a part of!

PH: How many releases do you have as of now?

Erin: We’ve had several very small run hand done CD-R releases so far, 3 in total now. I’ve been responsible for the artwork and design of each. There was a 4 track demo disc in 2006 C.E., some of which were sent to labels, some sold and some given to friends. In 2007 C.E. I put together the FUThARK CD-R to commemorate our performance with Luftwaffe and Valence. I believe I sold one at the performance, but was very happy and surprised when people from all over the world placed orders for them online! This was a run of 24 and each disc was individually marked with a respective rune of the Elder FUThARK. There were several discs made for close friends and associates that were similar without the runes and with different markings, most notably one with a Black Sun engraved in the hub for Boyd Rice.

For our performance with Rosemary Malign and Steel Hook Prostheses I’ve prepared another disc limited to 23 with an exclusive live and improvised recording, “The Need-fire Rekindled” which reflects the experimental nature of that performance.

PH: You’ve announced an LP release, “The Bells Before Dawn”, on US label Dais Records. How did that come about and when can we expect it to be available?

Erin: That should be released this Spring in a limited hand-numbered edition of 500. I’ve put a lot of thought into the design and artwork for this release and am quite happy with how it should turn out. I believe it will be distributed through Tesco USA.
We will also be independently producing a 7? vinyl split record with our friends Luftwaffe, featuring a 7? version of our song “Helith’s Hill” and a collaborative track with them called “Bloodline”.

It happened very naturally. The folks at DAIS initiated contact with me and stated their appreciation and desire to release something from us, and so I started work on it. It was very refreshing for me as I had sent out a run of demos somewhat naïvely a couple of years earlier to some European labels and had no luck, except for getting a not-so-nice response from a prominent Scandinavian label owner. It had put me off really and I was not sure what to do regarding releases, though I understand that many labels watch for the success of an initial release from a project before approaching and most are hurting for sales. Then there is the issue of prejudice towards American bands in this genre. I was simply happy to have someone approach me about a record! They have been very supportive and communicative.

PH: You’ve had some pretty impressive live shows. I know you’ve played in Houston with Verdandi and in May of last year in Dallas opening for Luftwaffe. How were those experiences and am I missing any others?

Erin: March 1st we performed with Rosemary Malign and Steel Hook Prostheses in Dallas. We utilized an antique human skull in the performance with contact mics and a steel snare brush, doing more of an Industrial set. Our performances have been intentionally few and we try to do something special for each. In Texas you can see any number of local Rock bands performing all over town every week or month, and I suppose for them that’s fine since they need to play gigs for income, but we are not a part of that culture. I want Awen to be the antithesis of Rock and Roll. Fewer shows, more value.

Our first performance was with Verdandi at Helios in Houston, which is a converted house from the early 1900s. When we arrived at the venue I looked down at the floor and saw a pattern incorporating a Fylfot motif and pointed it out to Paul Fredric. We knew it was a good omen. It was their first show as well, so our respective projects had a kind of loss-of-virginity together which was very binding. Even despite some of our technical problems the evening went wonderfully to such a great and responsive audience that I could not have expected a better first show. I had the idea to use starter pistols onstage for one song but had not considered the venue being so small with all of the members in close proximity, so with each shot we all went a bit deafer and had some problems hearing each other! But the pall of gunsmoke mid-air in the room provided the perfect incense for the set.

Our show with Luftwaffe and Valence cemented our friendship. For that show by necessity I was acting as a promoter and performer, which I will not do again. It also cemented my fear of sound-guys! The sound-guy showed up late, drunk and stoned and was an ass to all of the bands that night. He also spilled a drink on my antique drum and did his best to ruin the night, though we persevered! One of the few people I would want to kill personally. He was fired that night by the owner of the venue and Bobcat, a truly great sound-guy, saved the show. We joined Luftwaffe onstage that night for an encore performance of Current 93's “Hourglass for Diana”. The evening was recorded to video with several cameras and that footage may see its way to some sort of release soon. Ben (b9 Invid) from Luftwaffe has recently contributed acoustic guitar to a complete reworking of our song “Little Edelweiss” which will be on the new album, The Bells Before Dawn. I think I might be heard droning or banging a drum on the new Luftwaffe album as well, if my takes survive the mix-down! We had some recording sessions in the Luftwaffe studio during a personal visit to Chicago last year.

PH: How easy it to get shows in Texas? Is there much of a “scene” (for lack of a better word)?

Erin: For this genre (Neofolk/Experimental/Post-Industrial), it’s very difficult. We’re lucky in that I participate in a promotions team and have some very nice friends. Other projects run the risk of sharing the bill with Metal bands or dance music based Industrial acts, which can really take the piss out of an ambient performance. There are several Christian live music venues that have cropped up which cater to ‘Youth Music’ and I’m considering approaching them about a show, perhaps borrowing a trick from DEVO and using another band’s music as a demo and then performing our music once there. We’ll bring the human skull of course. I think it would be an interesting experiment, a kind of reverse ‘pro-paganda’.

PH: Recently you seem to have been somewhat adopted by the Power Electronics/Noise scene. I see some common goals myself and more than a few musicians participate in both genres. How did it come about for you?

Erin: Well, we’ve been friends with the guys behind the band Steel Hook Prostheses for years now since I participated in a DJ/promotions team in Dallas at a venue called the Sand Bar back in the mid-to-late 90s. There were many Noise and Industrial performances brought to town by the Synergy team, as it was known then. Recently I had been in online communication with Rosemary Malign, who I was familiar with from her participation in Eugenics Council. I had been intrigued by that outfit back in the 90s. I saw that SHP were going to be performing with Rosemary and asked if they would be interested in having me participate playing a singing bowl with a German hand grenade. They were very gracious and said yes, so I opened their set that way for two Texas performances in Denton and Houston. It was a lot of fun for me and a very different experience, which I appreciate. There I met Austin Caustic of Concrete Violin and Richard Ramirez of Black Leather Jesus, Werewolf Jerusalem, etc. They were both disarmingly kind people and we had a great time. Richard has invited Awen to come and perform at this year’s Dead Audio Festival in Houston, which we are more than glad to do.

I think the obvious connection between the genres is Boyd Rice. Throbbing Gristle and Coil of course as well. I remember seeing an interview with Genesis P-Orridge where s/he addressed the social and musical transgressions they made as Throbbing Gristle. Things can get thorny and dubious when you paraphrase someone else’s words, but I think it’s worth it. S/he was remarking that the Rock music of white youth was sort of affecting elements of black culture, it was the model for the form. There was no genuine expression of white urban youth, so they made one. I thought that was very interesting.

PH: What was the catalyst for you getting involved in this genre of music. Was it a gradual progression or something you heard one day and thought, “that’s it!”?

Erin: I had a girlfriend back in high school who used to receive these mix tapes from an older girl friend of hers in Florida. That was the first time I had heard Death In June, Current 93, Coil, Sol Invictus, SWANS, Nick Cave and all of that. I was hooked immediately. This was back in 1993 and I began collecting expensive CDs and vinyl from the artists on those tapes. Prior to that I had been listening to Post-punk and New Wave artists like The Cure and Cocteau Twins along with Wax Trax! Industrial bands. Finding this new music which coincided with my interests stemming from Graves and Frazer was incredibly fertile ground for my spiritual and artistic development. I was so grateful to this woman I was sure I would never meet after the dissolution of that relationship. Then a couple of years ago, the magic of the internet made itself known and I found her online. We’ve been in correspondence since and I think she even likes some of our music! Less importantly the ex-girlfriend found me as well and told me about a rumor that I was dead. I confirmed it.

PH: Where do you draw your influences from when writing for Awen?

Erin: Though its inevitable on some level, I try to avoid writing from social experience, especially regarding personal relationships. I’m more interested in expressing a fragment of a lost collective spiritual experience, so much as it existed as such. I feel an inherent connection to History in places and things. Then as Now, it is the same. I try to express that.

PH: I know you have an extensive knowledge of the runes. How long have you been studying them?

Erin: I’ve been studying and utilizing the runes of the Elder FUThARK now for around 10 years. Freya Aswynn was a chief influence and model in that regard. From her I moved on to other authors and views, sometimes conflicting. Though important for the history of the 20th century and Pagan reconstructionism, I cannot become too interested in the Armanen runes themselves. I have an interest in the Ogham as well, in which I feel I’ve neglected my studies. One should have a balanced interest in all cultural aspects of their ancestry, and I’m working on that.

PH: In my own life experiences, you run the risk of being labeled a fascist if you oppose multiculturalism on any level. People don’t seem to understand that the systematic eradication of our ancestry effects not only those of European descent, but other cultures as well. What are your thoughts and how important is heritage to you?

Erin: I think it is the sine qua non of a culture and can be the wick of spirituality for an individual. Through Egalitarianism, everyone loses since in principal it denies the Natural Order. Honor, Might, Pride and Preservation were pillars upon which the West was founded, now they are dirty words. Essentially it comes down to following your instincts or actively opposing them. I am lead by my mine.

Regarding heritage, its value seems to be actively discouraged now. The insular individual and his wants and desires is given supreme importance. I think rather we should consider that a single thread is weak and of little worth but a complex tapestry can be a work of durable beauty and value.

PH: You’ve done a good share of world travel, how would you compare the “sense of identity” in other countries as opposed to the US?

Erin: So far my travels abroad have been limited to Germany and Britain, but it is a curious mixture. Native Europeans have the natural advantage over Americans of European descent in that they are living on land with which they have an ancestral connection. Once an individual breaks through societal conditioning this can be an invaluable source of inspiration and identity. In Germany of course you have to consider the mass ‘re-education’ that happened there post-war. While traveling throughout Germany I was shocked to see along the cement walls of train stations and occasionally upon the facades of buildings themselves large-scale American ghetto-style graffiti. No one seemed to care about cleaning this up or removing it. It was treated as ‘Urban Art’. The only times I saw the remnants of attempts to remove a graffito was when the example displayed a Hakenkreuz or some Anti-Turkish rhetoric. I think that conveys the disposition of modern Germany.

Of England, I’m reminded of Ezra Pound:

There died a myriad,
And of the best, among them,
For an old bitch gone in the teeth,
For a botched civilization.

The History is alive in Europe, but most of the people are dead. I know there are individuals in Britain determined to preserve their culture and my heart goes out to them. I only hope the State lets them!

PH: What heathen artifacts or landmarks have you visited so far?

Erin: I’ve been to Externsteine and stood at the altar and seen the faces carved on its side. I’ve stood atop its summit looking over Hermann’s Teutoburg forest and was blessed with a butterfly. I’ve visited Stonehenge on a cold early morning and stood in the center of its towering skeletal stone circle. There I took some soil and gave thanks. I’ve been to Bath and felt that spirit flowing with the springs and seen the deity carvings. I only wish I had submerged myself there. In Cerne Abbas I met Helith at the foot of his hill and walked his streets and woods. In museums I’ve had the benefit of visiting artifacts removed from their original location but still charged with their purposes centuries after their creation. In the National Museum of Ireland I saw a crude wooden idol thousands of years old that struck fear and awe through me. I saw the brilliant torcs and the body of a pagan king preserved in a peat bog and discovered by chance, ostensibly sacrificed for the well-being of his people with his nipples ritually severed and his throat slit. That is love.

PH: Are there many more on your “to do” list?

Erin: I hope to visit each European country eventually. When we made the trip to Externsteine I had intended to visit Schloss Wewelsburg as well, but that did not happen due to scheduling problems. I hope to do that. I intend to spend more time visiting the cairns, dolmens and stone rings of the British countryside as well the Runestones of Scandinavia.

PH: Do you consider yourself a heathen, pagan or other descriptive label?

Erin: I refer to myself as a Heathen. I like the idea of claiming that word based on its etymology. It’s also amusing in polite company.

PH: Alright sir, I’ve seen several pictures of you on your myspace pages and I have to ask, extol the virtues of The Pipe to the ignorant amongst us (myself included).

Erin: I’ve been smoking and collecting pipes since I was 18. I have over 60 now, from carved meerschaums to briars. My favorite maker is Peterson of Dublin and I visited their original shop when I was in Dublin for an afternoon. Ben from Luftwaffe bought me a corn-cob pipe in honor of ‘Link’ which I cherish. The pipe is a classic and beautiful thing. It’s true craftsmanship. It’s a hobby as well. Like a cigar you don’t inhale pipe smoke. Most pipe tobacco is also more natural than processed cigarette tobacco. Cigarettes are cheap and common, chemical additives and the paper as well make the whole thing taste awful. If you take care of a pipe and smoke it properly you will develop a great flavor when smoking, which always changes a bit. Much of the flavor from smoking a pipe comes from burning the cake that builds up inside the bowl itself.

I don’t smoke pipes as often as I used to. Friends and relation’s health problems and deaths has made me wary of excessive indulgence. Now it’s a rare treat. I think it’s better that way, all things in moderation.

I even have the idea of putting together a Neofolk compilation dedicated to Pipes with contributions from pipe enthusiast musicians. I know of several already! Perhaps it would come with a meerschaum pipe and a specially printed book of matches. More about that later!

PH: What occupies your free time? Are you an avid reader or movie watcher? Any particular hobbies?

Erin: I try to read as often as I can. My father was a great model for me in that regard. He was a bibliophile and always told me that I would never be accused of not doing anything at home if a book was in my hand. I developed his habit of reading several books at a time, though unlike him I tend to forget and not finish them all! My girlfriend refuses to go with me to a used bookstore as I’ll spend all day there.

I collect things as well. That’s another thing I got from my father. Music, books, pipes, knives, Axis memorabilia, etc. Most recently I’ve been collecting Stocknageln (the English call them Walking stick Badges). These are little metal memento badges that represent a site you’ve visited which you nail into your walking stick. I have an Irish Blackthorn shelalaigh which sports, so far, 12 tokens from my visits in Germany and Britain. I’ve had a hell of a time finding one for Stonehenge though. They were made by English Heritage, but stopped production in the 80's due to a ‘lack of interest’, as a woman from EH put it in an e-mail to me on the subject. If anyone has a walking stick badge for Stonehenge, please let me know!

PH: What’s on heavy rotation in your music library at the moment? And feel free to plug any comrades you deem worthy of mention.

Erin: Oh, most recently I’ve been listening to the new Death In June album The Rule of Thirds repeatedly as I’m writing a review for it with an accompanying interview which will be featured at Heathen Harvest. It’s a haunting record! What else, Joy Division, Luftwaffe, AIT!, and so much New Wave and early Industrial. I listen to Japan and Fad Gadget quite frequently. Mostly 80's music!

PH: Finally, what are your future plans for Awen?

Erin: I hope to have some special European performances in the future. More aesthetic releases. I plan to indulge the Muses for as long as this body permits!

PH: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. As I’ve stated to you before, I expect great things from Awen and will continue to support any way I can. I’m glad someone finally had the wherewithal to give you a proper release. The last words are yours.

Erin: Your ancestors are watching. Behave accordingly. | - Plague Haus

"Awen - The Bells Before Dawn (album, concert review)"

Awen. After seeing the Dallas goth-folk group play its sole Houston performance in 2006 opening up for Verdandi (the neo-folk side project of Asmodeus X's Paul Fredric), I could only assume that Awen was a pagan-y word meaning "to leave boot prints in the colons of all who witness." There are plenty of goofballs singing into microphones, but then there are the few chosen ones who are so sincerely from outer space that you stand back in awe. John Tyagaraja from Million Year Dance is like that. Trust me, it's not an act. That cat is pathologically, but wonderfully, nuts. But if John is Houston's Jedi, then Erin Powell, singer and leader of Awen, is Dallas' Sith.

Awen's live performance requires a police permit. Seriously. For their song "Needful Death", blank rounds fired from real revolvers supplement the drums. In the narrow confines of Avant Garden (it was still Helios then), the fire and gunsmoke made for quite an effect. Powell tells me that his latest compositions use an instrument made of a contact microphone, a wire brush and an antique human skull. Anyone else would be content with a plastic skull from the Spirit store, but not Awen.

So in keeping with their unconventional conventions, Awen's first full-length album, The Bells Before Dawn, comes out today on vinyl only. "I've always loved the vinyl medium," says Powell in a digital-only interview. "There really is a ritual involved with the care and playing of the record. There's something in the waves as well."

The title derives from part of a dying phrase of Powell's father. Whether it was the painkillers talking is something Powell hasn't decided yet, but he will always remember his father saying, "In France... the bells before dawn were the eeriest sound I've ever heard." The album is dedicated to his memory.

"My father was a major influence on my worldview and my thinking in general," says Powell. "He was a great supporter of my endeavors. He was a bibliophile and an autodidact, an anarchist, an atheist and an artist in his own right. He would have been in good company with the likes of Arthur Desmond, Bernard Shaw and H.L. Mencken. Perhaps he is now."

It's easy to see how someone like Powell could become the artist he is today. Talking to him is like talking to Klaatu (Michael Rennie, not Ted "Theodore" Logan), and you would have to be made of non-sacred stone to not feel the menace and power he oozes brandishing his antique fasces (it's a kind of ax) during "Sacrifice." It's been far too long since we've seen him and his merry maniacs in Houston, and Rocks Off begs his readers to barrage Awen's MySpace with requests for their return. - Houston Press

"Awen - The Bells Before Dawn (album review)"

Awen is a project born out of Dallas (now Plano), Texas by key composer Erin Powell, a man who is seemingly borderline obsessed with ancestry and its implications on the current of the human bloodline. His efforts are helped along by co-conspirator Eric Kristoffer of Unitcode:machine which is infinitely less dark, being of a rhythmic industrial appeal, lost somewhere between Metropolis Records' more synthy additions to the aggro-tech scene and Tympanik Audio / Ant-zen's effective harsh rhythmic industrial hybrids. He was featured on a Hive Records compilation so that could give an idea. However, the music of Awen is a strong departure from this spotlight, honing in on a strange hybrid of neofolk aesthetics and thought patterns combined with minimal electronics and ritual ambient. The project utilizes atmospheric female vocals and percussion from Katrin X. which gives the music a nice balance between melody and ambience.

The album opens with the short 'Ode to a Briton', a track devoted to an unnamed 'fierce warrior', no doubt a reference to the Anglo-saxon heritage that has pushed forth from that part of the world. Featuring the vocals of Katrin X, this opens the album to a dark pagan atmosphere, while retaining a slight hint of romanticism. This track quickly ends as the dark ambience of Helith's Hill enters. Here we begin to hear the true nature of Awen, an immensely ritual and seething sound that rivals more the likes of Coph Nia. Strong, bombastic percussion team up with a foreboding under-layer of sound to create a strangely primal and chilling atmosphere. The repetitive melodic lines occur over and over again though, giving the track some modest droning nature as well. The first real neofolk appeal comes with the third track, Little Edelweiss, which features strong acoustic guitar paired with more repetitious melodic keyboard lines. The male vocals from Erin finally begin to really bellow out with this track too. The Coph Nia similarity is shared here as well, though Awen's is less gothic-oriented and more in a commanding, serious nature. Nearly every track on this release follows one of these three styles, all are very well done and none ever get into overly experimental territories, nor do they ever go full out neofolk as some may know it.

Side B seems more dedicated to the ritual ambient and even death industrial side of Awen. A great deal of what human texture on the first side of the LP was lost and what took its place was an overwhelming atmosphere of powerful booming percussion and sampling. Vocals are more whispered and archaically spoken, back in the shadows rather than commanding and at the forefront. This side may be speaking from the ancestor's point of view as they watch from their eternal thrones. It's hard to say whether either side is better than the other as they both have obvious differences, in honesty Awen is fairly well-rounded on a talent scale. They are able to compose music from all of the genres mentioned here on a professional level without succumbing to tedious cliches. The mixture of these elements is done in such a way that its obvious this band knows what they're doing. Where other projects would fail quickly in a sloppy disaster of a record, I can't imagine that this one could have been put together more perfectly. You shouldn't be surprised though, as Dais Records is quickly becoming known for picking up and releasing these special gems.

The artwork on this 12” is beautiful yet minimal all the same, much like the music within the package. The front cover majestically describes the theme based within the album perfectly. With a black border on a blue paneling, a silver pendent is featured as the sole vision of value on the cover. It features the Ouroboros, a serpent swallowing its own tale in a perfect circle, thus symbolizing eternal cycles of recreation. Inside the circle appears a bleak, dark-eyed face of a human (I can't really identify the gender). As many of Erin's tracks hint at the importance of ancestry and his actual 'catch phrase' being “Your Ancestors are Watching”, this entire image appears to represent the continuous flow through a bloodline and the continuity of that families thoughts, values, tradition, and in general, blood. The back holds the track listing and hand-numbered limitation information as well as earthen and runic imagery. The insert inside features Erin himself standing to the side and front of a free-standing long rock formation, and the other side features a 50's-television credit scrol in the text and an archaic image of the sun up top against what appears to be a door as a background. To solidify my thoughts on the front cover, Erin seals the text on the back with a simple quote: “The Bonds of Blood are never Broken. You are your Ancestor.”

Recently Awen took part in the Dead Audio Festival, a Houston-based festival organized by Richard Ramirez. Along with Awen, many notable acts also appeared such as Rubbish, Churner, Black Leather Jesus, RU-486, Onedeadslut Twogoodfucks, Peiste, Is, and others. Needless to say, in a crowd of experimental and harsh noise addicts, the band was welcomed but still seemed slightly out of place. They still put on a commanding live performance though which you can find links to in their blog on myspace. They seem like an interesting band to see live, and perhaps would stand strong with the likes of A Minority of One in concert, so if you ever have the chance to get out to one of their shows, go support! Very, very rarely in America do we get to see this type of project in the live setting so show that we need more live experiences like this and more artists will inevitably follow out into the tour spotlight. - Heathen Harvest

"SXSW 2010 review"

This is Dallas’ Awen who opened things up with a pretty dramatic and awe-inspiring set of Apocalyptic Folk. It was so good to finally get the chance to see these guys live; their last album, The Bells Before Dawn, has quickly been rising as one of my favorites and they really need to play out more often! - Mishka

"Douglas P. (of Death In June) endorsement"

"But, naturally, as with anything, there is always a danger of repeating oneself and I've been accutely aware of that trap and have tried to steer clear of it. Whether others have I don't know. I don't think everyone has to keep changing to remain interesting or likeable. However, having said that I've noted that American groups like Luftwaffe (and their off shoot Gnomonclast), Awen and Thomas Nola et Son Orchestre are developing their own particular sound which is at the same time more spikey and aggressive as well as being melodic. They're refreshingly different from the European groups." - Rumore magazine (Italy)


v.a. Manifest Destiny : A New World Digest
- "The Iconoclast"

The Bells Before Dawn (CD, TRSKL001)

The Bells Before Dawn
2009 (vinyl, DAIS003)

The Need-fire Rekindled
2008 (CD-R)

Antiphonal DVD compilation 1 (Spain)



Awen is a vehicle for the visions and intonations of Erin Powell with the chief assistance and musicianship of Eric Kristopher, the participation and production of Per Nilsson, and the voice and percussive efforts of Katrin X. Awen is one of the few active American artists in the predominantly European genre known as Neofolk, originally spearheaded by British bands Death In June, Current 93 and Sol Invictus. Utilizing elements of Industrial music via sonic experimentation and sampling alongside acoustic instrumentation and deep vocals, Awen has stayed true to the roots of the genre while expanding its potential; like a ship in the dark unchartered depths of the collective unconscious.