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Review: Omela (Омела) – Aura

Omela are a Russian band from Moscow, formed in 2008. I listened to them for the first time in 2011 after the release of their second full-length album “Aura”, when I finally found out that Sergey “Abrey” Abramov, whose clean singing I already enjoyed while listening to Butterfly Temple, now had his solo project. And this particular album hit me at the right moment and wouldn’t let me go for quite some time! Now, 6 years later, I’ve listened to this record innumerable times, so that I’ve got most of the songs in my head, almost completely, and I can sing along half of the lyrics. Well, one octave lower, usually.

Abrey’s great vocals in tenor voice are something that you have to like or get accustomed to, as there are no death or black metal vocals on this album. But I wouldn’t recommend this album to strict listeners of black and death metal, anyway. In general, there is not much to criticise as his clean singing is of high quality and a certain classical singing education is audible. He also manages well in the lower tonal regions, which can act as a certain kind of relief and calm at some points. In general, I was a little astounded that I enjoyed his rather high-pitched vocals so much, because I usually can’t listen to most of power metal or a lot of classical heavy metal because I can’t stand the vocals for longer periods of time. But I like classical singing and classical music in general, so Abrey’s vocals already sounded somewhat familiar to me when I listened to Butterfly Temple many, many years before.

Musically speaking, this album has a lot to offer as well, which is at least equally important to me. The back bone of the songs basically consists of rather classical metal and rock (as far as I can tell), which is quite obvious when listening to the rhythm guitar section as well as the frequent and extravagant solos. But there is some harder influence as well, which makes the album even more enjoyable to me. This influence reminds me of the folky doom metal passages that Butterfly Temple are known for. The guitar work on this album is amazing and serves its purposes perfectly, either accompanying the vocals or giving way to some great instrumental parts. But great guitars and great vocals aren’t necessarily enough to create a great album. In case of “Aura”, the piece of art in its whole is created by the implementation of several classical instruments that play an important role.

In each of the 10 songs, viola and (traverse) flute can be heard, act either as rhythmical support or as the crowning element for some of the instrumental parts when contributing meticulously arranged beautiful melodies. The viola is played by Fedor Vetrov, whom I have to highlight specifically because I consider him an immensely talented musician. As a versatile multi-instrumentalist, he already contributed to a multitude of interesting projects by playing viola, violin, several flutes, oboe, bag pipes and other folkloristic instruments. With respect to “Aura”, the viola and flute make up an important part of the whole sound, but they are even complemented by harp (in “Gorkaya Osen”) and saxophone (“Gorkaya Osen”, “Nevidimaya”, “Vstretcha”, and “Svetlaya Voda”). Both instruments blend in perfectly, and the sax in particular creates several little highlights on its own. For example, there is a sad but light, hovering melody at the end of “Nevidimaya” that I find extremely touching.

In any case, the interplay of viola, flute, harp, and sax with keyboard, e-guitars and acoustic guitars creates a lot of variability and a huge emotional band width. Along with this, the drumming has to be highlighted as well. Although it does not have such front-line moments, the drummer does an amazing job accentuating the different tempi of the songs without even having to use blast beats or double bass (well, almost).

The stylistical characterisation of this kind of music proves to be difficult. I’d describe it as folk heavy metal, more or less. Metal-archives lists Omela as “Folk/Heavy/Doom Metal/Rock”, which I agree with as well. At least, this classification also implies that this music is not your usual party and drinking folk metal, but rather music that has a certain kind of gravity and seriousness attached to it. This notion is further supported by the high degree of professionalism that all of the band members show. Actually, this as well as the music itself is closer to classical music than to folk, most of the time, at least, which leads me to the consideration that this music might also appeal to open-minded listeners of serious, classical music, to whom metal music usually means loud noise.

The very well-balanced, meticulously crafted compositions on this record invite the inclined listener to a fascinating, versatile journey that lasts 70 minutes and never gets boring – at least not to me. There are a lot of emotional ups and downs, perfectly accentuated by vocals and instruments, with a multitude of instrumental highlights. This certain way of craftsmanship makes it possible to follow this journey even without specific language knowledge, although a certain level of interest in cultures and languages is required, naturally. But the rest can be read and understood (or, better, felt) to a sufficient degree by what is happening musically, even though there is a lot going on here.

All in all, this is an amazing album that perfectly blends different styles and themes with nature-inspired yet very personal lyrics. It’s hard to recommend a specific song, because I have a new favourite with each listen – or no favourite at all. For some reasons I chose as starters “Gorkaya Osen” and “Vstretcha”, just click on the titles. There aren’t many full songs on youtube, but you can listen to them on myzuka.ru, if you’re not scared off by the Cyrillic letters. Furthermore, I can recommend you to watch the multiple live videos available on youtube, especially because you can convince yourself that Omela are a great live band and Abrey is an amazing live performer as well. Unfortunately, merchandise is still only available via their site at vkontakte.com.

(A German-language version of this review is available at stormbringer.at)

Review: Klabautamann – Smaragd

Finally! After 8 years the logical successor of Klabautmann’s „Merkur“ is going to be released. An event that I have been awaiting with a lot of suspense and patience. Especially since some information of the band conveyed that the new album really would be in the vein of said release.

With “Merkur” Klabautamann gained some attention by mixing progressive black metal elements and jazzy flair, which made up a quite unique style they were playing. Although uniqueness was always part of their records, they then seemed to have found a sort of peak of their songwriting output, as this album showed more of the abrupt rhythmical changes while keeping them even closer together. When their approach seemed to be too eclectic on previous records, they managed to fuse their styles way better on “Merkur”, though the differences between the parts were even greater. Thereby, this album demanded a lot from the listeners, but one was rewarded with a multitude of tiny details that made every listen unique on its own – like it is the case with a very compelling movie, which has another effect on you every time you watch it.

After this fascinating release, many listeners (including me) expected the next album with a certain ardour, which they supposed to be in vein of “Merkur”. But these hopes were disappointed to some extent, as “The Old Chamber” sounded way more rough and like a somewhat traditional black metal release. When I first listened to this record, I couldn’t get along this particular style, although it was an interesting album and still sounded like Klabautamann. But after a year or so, I gave it another chance in a different mood, and since then I frequently listen to it and it has been constantly growing on me. And there certainly are some great riffs and rhythms on it!

Nevertheless, I was still hoping for a successor of “Merkur”, and this hope and my patience should be rewarded now with “Smaragd”. According to the band’s website, the new album follows said release, and the list of guest musicians supports this idea. Besides using acoustic guitars again, the band decided to use the support of Clemens Toyka, who is contributing trombone, which he has already done for Florian Toyka’s other project Island. In addition, there are Fredy Schnyder, the mastermind of Nucleus Torn, who is adding Hammond organy, and Anna Murphy (ex-Eluveitie, Cellar Darling, Nucleus Torn), who plays the hurdy gurdy in one song (“Murderers”) and sings in another one (“Frozen in Time”). The more frequent use of clean vocals is another innovation, for which the two Dutchmen Chester Gerritse and Ingo Kerstjens show responsible.

Trombone, Hammond organ, clean vocals, and even hurdy gurdy? One might ask this, fearing some folksy music on this record. But don’t worry about this, Florian Toyka and Tim Steffens certainly know what they are doing! The trombone blends smoothly into the sound, very similar to the effect it already had on Island’s self-titled album and the “Enigma of the Stars” EP. The same also applies to the Hammond organ. While both appear in several songs, they don’t stand out much as they rather act in the background, basically doing what other bands try to achieve with unobstrusive keys or strings. Like a well-dosed condiment, they don’t push into the foreground while they still are highly important for the overall sound and the atmosphere. And although Anna Murphy plays a solo part on her hurdy gurdy in the mentioned song, this is far-off the rather happy folk parts à la Eluveitie. This is also true for her fragile but expressive vocals in the final song, which actually reminds me more of her performance on the last record of Nucleus Torn, “Neon Light Eternal“. The clean vocal parts of both guest members, which have their most prominent appearances during the opening track “Into Depression” as well as the calm songs “In my Shadow” and “As the Snow Melted”, don’t sound too much like pop music, although they are very cleanly done and well-balanced. This is mostly due to their introverted-sounding intonation. If you want to draw another comparison, these songs are what “Noatun” was on “Merkur”, but reflecting the present album’s somewhat cleaner approach. Additionally, you have a lot of songs and parts on this album that one could already admire on “Merkur”, enriched by several nuances of which the guest contributions are only a certain portion.

With respect to the music itself, this album has a very interesting and enthralling structure. Tim and Florian show their entire repertoire when it comes to the guitar and bass parts, and even in the calmer passages there is a whole lot of intriguing rhythms, chords and melody progressions that force the listener’s attention. And anyway, the black metal parts offer this unique approach that already got me fixed when listening to “Merkur”. One thing that has to be mentioned are the rhythmic variations and, in the same breath, the drumming, which is complex and fits the different atmospheres very well. It’s particularly impressive how smooth Patrick Schroeder plays all of these odd time signatures that have already been a trademark on “Merkur” and “The Old Chamber”. If you’ve got a soft spot for odd time signatures, then there’s a lot of 6/8, 7/8, 10/8 and 11/8 going on that you can feel and try to follow.

Vocal-wise, Tim delivers a great performance with a diverse and accentuated vocal style, where the variations in growling and screaming go perfectly with the different moods and emotions of the passages. To me, that’s another positive development in comparison to previous outputs.

With respect to the dynamics of the songs, the songwriting in itself, Klabautamann mostly stay true to presenting alternating parts of black metal fury with mid-tempo progressive black and calm, jazzy parts, while some of this gets mixed up occasionally. Thereby, they develop interesting arcs of suspense that have to be digested a little by the listener, i.e. it might take a little effort to really get to appreciate what is going on here. As was expected, this album presents a lot of different, contrasting elements, but it most certainly does not feel off balance. Quite the contrary, to me it appears to be even more balanced, less abrupt than “Merkur”.

The first half of the album seems to be a little calmer that the second one, an impression that is mostly caused by the solemn parts of the opening song and the two non-metal pieces. The second half is more rapid, furious, before the album superbly ends with the touching calm song “Frozen in Time”, which hopefully does not mark the ending point of Klabautamann’s output. The greatest portion of (progressive) black metal can be found in „My Terrifying Mirror“, „Under Feral Skies“, Enemies‘ Blood“, and the eponymous track “Smaragd”, which is why I’d like to suggest these songs to those listeners who appreciate this rougher side of the band the most and who might have to take some effort and understanding to get along with the clean vocals.

To conclude this review, I have to say that this record came up to all of my expectations and partly even surpassed them. I’ve listened to “Smaragd” for about 50 times now, but this record still doesn’t get boring, there still are new things to be discovered or to be looked at/heard in a different light, so that the album evokes a slightly different emotional setting each time that enthralls me anew. Here and there, I simply want to shout along and to shake my head, then again I find myself singing along with these fragile clean vocal lines or even inclined to do some awkward kind of dancing. For this reason (and others), this album is going to be a steady companion for quite some time!

You can order the album here and listen to 3 already published songs.

Myllykangas – Älä Tule Takaisin Ennen Kuin Olen Vanha (or: strange Finnish acoustic folk music)

Finnish atmospheric sludge metal/post-hardcore (or whatever) band Callisto just posted some infos about other projects their members have been working on during the last years. One of these projects is that of Markus Myllykangas, their guitarist and shouter. It’s a solo project (with a little bit of support) that features mainly acoustic guitar music. This in itself is nothing spectacular, but what Myllykangas actually offers surely is! It’s definitely unconventional, especially as a disharmonic approach is often implemented, so that some of the songs positively remind me of the doomgrass music that Xasthur unplugged (formerly Nocturnal Poisoning) recently released (like this, for instance).

It surely rather is uncomfortable music than some happy folk stuff. But, as always, listen for yourself: http://www.itsejulkaisut.com/itse

 

Review: Animo Aeger – KotzeAdel

KotzeAdel is the third full-length album released by the Berlin black metal project Animo Aeger masterminded by Gråsjäl, who is currently also active in Cruda Sorte and might be known to connoisseurs of the Berlin black metal underground by having been part of acts like Misanthropic Path and Avsked.

While the last full-length Storchenwahrheit,-wirklichkeit was released in 2014 by ERK on tape and presented material from 2009, the band now found a bigger label in Bleeding Heart Nihilist Productions from Berlin and actually released new material, recorded in 2015.

If you are familiar with Animo Aeger’s previous outputs (especially Fieber and Storchenwahrheit, -wirklichkeit) as well as the other current projects of its main protagonist, you might already have an idea of what to expect – and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong, I suppose.

The album contains 7 tracks, of which 2 are instrumental tracks (T r a m s and Kosmenhort), while the remaining songs have highly varying lengths of 3 to almost 9 minutes. The lyrics are in German and are strange as always, reflecting the author’s intention of setting madness to music in the same way as the vocals do. To some extent, this is already observable in the album’s title, which roughly translates to “PukeNobility”, while there also are several song titles and parts of the lyrics that have aspects of social criticism, for example Die Hochkonjunktur des WENN als WANN (“The Prosperity of IF as WHEN”) and the lyrics of Allein im Schlick (“Alone in the Ooze”).

With respect to the music, Animo Aeger basically stay true to the sound they developed on the last outputs, being mainly melodic and highly variable black metal, from time to time showing slight rock and ambient influences. This general variability and all of the rhythmic changes are perfectly accompanied and even accentuated by the precise drumming of M. Greis. The overall sound is powerful yet very warm, organic, and transparent, in particular for a black metal record. While their style has something unique and experimental, I wouldn’t go so far and label them as “progressive” or “avant-garde”. But I’m not good with labels, anyway.

The most outstanding and puzzling as well as potentially off-putting to some listeners are the vocals. To me, Gråsjäl’s vocal performance simply is amazing and highly impressive, as it contributes to a huge extent to the atmosphere and emotional depth of the songs. His style ranges from deep growls and shouts over shrieks (while some of them were contributed by his drummer, M. Greis) to clean, whispered, and spoken passages. The latter three are often performed in a maniacal, insane way, often occurring together or in interplay with growls, shouts, and shrieks. In effect, they often dominate the happenings and force the listener’s attention towards them. Several listeners, especially those not accustomed to such variable clean vocals, may find the mixture of these styles a little off-putting. But I can assure you that they make sense in their strange and sometimes creepy way, and it’s worth embracing them as they are a necessary means to the depths of this album.

All in all, this album is the most compact and coherent output Animo Aeger have released so far and I highly appreciate this development. There are many things to discover on this record and I highly recommend giving it a try. I particularly like the addition of piano passages, the positive development regarding sound and mix as well as the vocal arrangements, including their emotionality.

The only negative aspect for me is: 38 minutes and 30 seconds just weren’t sufficient for me, I guess I need more. But if everything works out properly, there soon will be!

(This review also has been published in German for www.stormbringer.at)

Review: Klimt1918 – Sentimentale Jugend

8 years, 8 damn years! That’s what I thought when I first read that the long-anticipated 4th album by the Italian indie rockers Klimt1918 would finally see the light of day on December 2nd, 2016. 8 years had passed between this release and the previous album “Just in case we’ll never meet again”. I reminisced how I first came into contact with this band in 2008, having received a flyer announcing their album with my latest order at Prophecy Productions. I felt intrigued, downloaded it somewhere, burnt it onto CD, and listened to it alone and with friends during my summer holidays at the Lake Millstatt in Carinthia, Austria. Memorable moments! Afterwards, I also got their previous albums, and since then they have been a steady companion throughout my life, with alternating periods of intense listening and sheer ignorance or unawareness.

Needless to say that I have been ardently looking forward to their next release since 2008, but somehow it took them longer than hoped for. In 2011, posts on their website said that the new album might be entitled “Sentimentale Jugend”, and that this album would be Berlin-themed, which rose my interest even more as Berlin is my hometown. But since then, more than 5 years passed until the final release. Good thing is: My expectations decreased by time, so that I was ready for some surprise, which I consider a positive thing as we succumb to our expectations way too often.

But back to the present. Previous to the release, the influences of the album were revealed in more detail, but as I was unaware of the style and mood of David Bowie’s Berlin trilogy, the Cocteau Twins or even Einstürzende Neubauten, this didn’t really give me an idea except of the possible overall mood related to a foggy wintry Berlin in the 70s and 80s. But the music finally clearly did, and that’s what matters.

The first part of this double album, named “Sentimentale”, starts with the song “Montecristo”, which is dedicated to Edmond Dantes of Alexandre Dumas’ famous novel. It is slowly building up walls of sound that sound somewhat uplifting while the story is told. It is an interesting piece to start the album with, it somehow has the character of an intro, but it surely isn’t very accessible or even catchy. In general, while listening to the following songs, it became clear that their style definitely had evolved during all these years. The brightness, the catchiness and the radio-apt lengths of the songs from “Just in case…” are almost gone, and so is the naivety that I connect to the general mood of the previous album. These new two albums are definitely more mature, while also bearing signs of resignation. So these albums are even more personal, intimate than the previous ones, which becomes clear if you read along the lyrics.

The foggy pictures of the albums’ artwork reflect in the music very well. As with the pictures, you have to take a closer look, delve into the fog to perceive all that is there, all the dripping emotions that emanate from the delayed and reverberated guitar walls that dominate this album. Interestingly, the bass and the drums aren’t that distant and distorted, and especially the bass lines make up an important, driving force that leads you through the songs, while the drums make up the beat, “the beat”, as you can hear in a sample in “Caelum Stellatum”. The vocals contribute to the walls of sound, sometimes being in front of them, sometimes simply being a part of them, while always being overlain by effects that make them sound distant. They are always audible, but it is hard to follow the lyrics during the first listens. So take a read. Take your time to listen to this album multiple times to get to all of the details you might miss if you didn’t. And if you do listen exactly, you will hear some difference in the vocals of the bonus song “Lycans”, which is due to Simone Salvatore from Spiritual Front singing it!

I’ve never heard something similar exactly, but I also had my associations, for sure. The build-up of several songs clearly shows post-rock influences, but the atmosphere is different. The Raveonettes came to my mind several times, especially in songs like “Unemployed & Dreamrunner”, and the overall atmosphere resembles that of their album Observator, while being more obscure and less trendy. The Editors also came to my mind, and particularly the songs with highly prominent bass lines like “Gaza Youth” and “Lycans” are a most-welcomed mixture of In This Light And On This Evening and An End Has A Start. During other episodes of this work I felt myself reminded of Alcest’s Shelter and Les DiscretsSeptembre et Ses Dernieères Pensées as well as of a dirtier version of Grave PleasuresDreamcrash album during more post-punkish songs like “Juvenile”.

I particularly like the second album more, because it is faster, more direct, and surely catchier. Somehow these songs resonate more. It also might be due to the use of brass instruments, which are an amazing contribution to the atmosphere, especially in “Resig/Nation”.

If you liked their previous albums very much and hoped for something similar, then you should probably start with songs such as “Sentimentale”, “Juvenile”, “Resig/Nation”, “Fracture” or the new version of their old demo song “Passive”, now called “Sant’Angelo”, before being able to appreciate the new sound, the new depths.

To conclude, this is an amazing piece of music. It is not as accessible as the previous releases, but in the end this is a good thing, because this excessive summary of 8 years of work adds a completely new aspect to their discography, giving them more depth and, hopefully, critical acclaim.

Review: Kartikeya – Mahayuga

When I crossed paths with Kartikeya’s Mahayuga for the first time, I wasn’t impressed at all because this wasn’t the kind of music I was usually listening to back then. Now, a few years later, things have changed quite a bit and so has my perception of music. After listening to Nevid’, one of Roman Iskorostensky’s other involvements, for a good deal since the release of Agarta, plus having been impressed with Arsafes’ debut album as well, it was a close shot giving the album at hand another try. And this album certainly is worth it.
Besides Kartikeya’s obvious intention of mixing melodic black/death metal with Middle Eastern (Indian) influences, this album in particular deals with vedic/hinduistic philosophical and mythological aspects (so the style of music can be called vedic metal), as is apparent in every song. But these lyrical aspects I’m going to treat more particularly later on, as they are quite essential for grasping this album’s meaning and, at least to me, very interesting as well.
Stylistically, Kartikeya’s music on this record can not only be described with the aforementioned attributes, as this album incorporates a huge amount of different influenced that are merged into a very individual blend. While the technical death and atmospheric black metal elements certainly dominate the whole guitar and percussion work, there also is a variety of atmospheric, acoustic and even ambient elements created by folk instruments, clean vocals and keyboards, but these are not isolated but in constant interaction with the rest of the songs’ guitar work, so they are not out of place but fit perfectly to the more aggressive parts and overall atmosphere. This keeps the songs from developing any ‘folksy’ character, any resemblance of that is usually blown away by the furious guitar riffs and vocals. In general, almost every song consists of interactions of these different stylistic means, with some exceptions like the acoustic interludes ‘Moksha’ and ‘Exile’ and the “description” of the ‘Satya Yuga’. And these constant interactions are what make this album so special, as the huge tension build up by the furious metal riffs is relieved by the atmospheric, sometimes almost meditative parts – and they are not arbitrary, but always in coherence with the topics the composer dwells upon!
In general, as Kartikeya (also known as Skanda and Murugan) is an Indian god of war, usually depicted holding a spear and riding a peacock, this aspect is surely reflected in the fast and furious metal parts, while the more spiritual themes are represented by the atmospheric ones, sometimes even maintaining the ritualistic, meditative character I already mentioned. Besides, many texts of hinduistic spiritual scriptures are about war, struggle, especially the Bhagavadgita (part of the epos Mahabharata), where the hero, Arjuna, asks for the reason why he has to fight a battle against his enemies’ army, while he even has close blood ties to them, and gets answers and spiritual guidance by an avatar of Krishna. I mention this not for the mere interest of mine, but as this particular battle is known as the Kurukshetra War, which is dealt with in the song ‘Fields of Kurukshetra’ (the title actually is a little redundant, as ‘Kurukshetra’ already means ‘the field of the Kurus’).
As much as I’d like to do that, I’m not going to give you a comprehensive interpretation of every song’s title and lyrics as well as its reflection in the music, as this would obviously break with the frames of a simple review. I’m only giving you a few examples and ideas of what this is about, because I think it is necessary to understand and to really listen to this album. It may make you realize WHY the musical arrangements are as they are. So, in sum, every song here treats some aspects of Vedism and/or Hinduism, but as this is a conceptual album, many of them can’t be understood without the others. For instance, the introductive song ‘Sarva Mangalam’ is based on a religious chant, its text meaning “May there be peace in earth, water, fire, and air, the sun, moon, and planet, in all living beings, in body, mind and heart. May that peace be everywhere and in everyone.“ One now could wonder where this album is peaceful in any way. But as it is often the case with religion or philosophy, this chant does not describe what IS, but what was or should be endeavoured. Surely, these words don’t describe our present world, but most of the following songs actually are or can be projected on nowadays circumstances and quests for meaning and wisdom. At least until ‘Utpavana’, where another, central topic starts to develop, that I simply have to grant some lines. Utpavana means ‘cleansing’, and can be interpreted as the cleansing of this planet considering morally and spiritually rotten mankind as ‘dirt’. In this context, the last lines of the lyrics “Hark! Thou shall be erased, for the great Utpavana has begun!” are quite clear, as is the following calm and peaceful ambient passage that is the bridge to the Mahayuga cycle, which is to me the central topic of this record. Mahayuga is one aspect of the Hindu units of time, having a duration of 4.32 Million solar years, being cyclic and thus repeating itself, and consisting of four Yugas (=ages), Satya, Dvapara, Tretya and Kali Yuga. This succession of the Yugas is characterized by a decline in human nature, usually symbolized by the goddess Dharma (herself symbol of morality), standing on four legs during Satya Yuga, on three during Dvapara Yuga, and so on. This development, these Yugas Kartikeya set into music within the last four songs of the album. That is actually why there are these calm, peaceful and harmonic ambient layers in ‘Satya Yuga’, the instrumental metal in ‘Dvapara Yuga’, the aggressiveness in ‘Tretya Yuga’ and the almost lunatic, erratic music in the last song, ‘Kali Yuga’, the age we presently live in, where “man kills each other”. This development is impressively depicted in the lyrics, for example with:

“See the father cry as the mother eats her child
Awaking an orgy of sacrilege and blight
See the genocide and bloodshed, raging armies rise
In the desecrated fortress of hatred and lies”.

But this last song is special in itself, as it consists of at least three parts. The first is the brutal, erratic one, out of which the quotation was taken. This part ends with the meditative Hare Krishna mantra. Then again an ambient structure sets in, before the final song, a cover of Shakira’s ‘Eyes like yours’ begins. A Shakira cover?, one might wonder. But I think it’s quite ingenious. Within the Kali Yuga it is said that there is a short return (10 thousand years) to the Golden Age (Satya Yuga), which is represented by the ambient passage that actually resembles the song Satya Yuga. After this ‘short’ period, the final time of Kali Yuga continues until the final cleansing. This last period (comparable to the present day, if you like to) is represented by covering a modern day popular music song (that even matches the album’s overall oriental tone) and the disturbing ambient final breath, before the cycle returns.

Now, to come to an end, there is nothing more to say that this album is amazing if you are into this kind of music and interested in the treated topics. The instrumental and vocal performances are very variable and professionally executed, so everything sounds the way it is supposed to, and one has the impression that the composer perfectly knew what he was doing. I can nothing but recommend you listening to this awesome piece of music, possibly giving it some time and thought! As an introduction, I can suggest listening to ‘He who carries the head of Brahma’ and ‘Surya Jayanti’, although I have a new favourite song with every listen. And I’ll definitely listen to this album again and again, while eagerly waiting for the following album, Samudra, that saw some unfortunate delays but seems to be in the final re-recording stages now.

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