After neo-folk 1995 classic, <I>Rose Clouds of Holocaust</I>, Douglas P. was hard-pressed to release something as poetic and musically moving. After putting away what he did best, releasing lyrically amazing songs balanced only by a simple, acoustic guitar, Douglas P. took a gamble with <I>Take Care and Control</I> in 1998 by giving commercially viable vehicle for his failed electronic explorations on 1991, <I>Cathedral of Tears</I>. He was completely successful with <I>Take Care and Control</I>, delivering relentless poetic passion for the first 3/4th of the album. However, loses focuses and audiences' interest with the last quarter of the album.
"Smashed to Bits (In the Peace of the Night)" launch the album off with such momentum, that's difficult not to be pulled along and convinced by Douglas' conviction. Along with "Frost Flowers" and "Kameradschaft" proves that he's still writing just as poetically as ever has. These songs showcase some of his finest work.
"Little Blue Butterfly," while repetitive, possesses interesting, ambiguos imagery with an ominous church organ. True to Death in June's stregnths, the percussions are interesting with a Spanish-sounding clacker underlining all of the music. "The Bunker" is overboard gloom, but is an essential track with interesting dialogue samples. "Kameradschaft" is the most popular track, which means "commrade-ship" in English. Definitely has some of the strongest lyrics on the album. The song echoes the sentiment of many Death in June songs, which is calling for a non-guilty unity of Europe. "Frost Flowers" is the prettiest of the tracks. Although it promotes anti-religious sentiments with: "fear of life seaps from Paradise." Culling back to Death in June's foundation in militaristic drums, "A Slaughter of Roses" carries on the torch. It also carries along the two main themes of the album: 1) Douglas' historical obsession with Nazi Germany, and; 2) hopeless love sentiments: "love pulls us down." And "Power has a Fragrance" is a perfect reminder of "Smashed to Bits (In the Peace of the Night" and brings us full circle about this celebration of power and expresses that it can only come from "hate." "Despair" is humorously brilliant in that it's the happiest sounding song ever released by Death in June, but it's deceiving, because the lyrics are some of the saddest: "I fall in love for a moment before I hit despair."
The least of the best of the songs on the album, "The Odin Hour" gets more expiremental and less accessible, but it's still successful, if the military march chant doesn't drive you crazy.
An artistic achievement that is unfortunately overlooked by mainstream music due to its controversial themes, intellectual content, and expensive, import prices.