[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
In medieval times, the early Christian church used to facilitate the comprehension of liturgical texts through theatric representation of biblical scenes. Perhaps it is this manner of combining sacred and intellectual musical textures with easy-to-listen, ludic and danceable tunes that has inspired mainly contemporary acts on a subconscious level, like Eros Necropsique, Derniere Volonté, Ataraxia or Arcana.
Behind this project works only one person, the London-based composer Colin Robertson, working mostly in the electronic fields of IDM and industrial. This 3-track EP by Hands of Ruin stands proudly among those bands performing this style of music. Tribal percussion, light tubular bells and the laden, somber accommodation of organ touches…all these nuanced by regal gutturals of Parzival’s reverent nature.
“Iudicium” is comprised of three tracks, beginning with the homonym that slowly builds itself on an organ motif embellished by tribal percussions and baritone vocals. The Latin lyrics complete the ceremonial atmosphere, empowering the song with a sacral resonance. “Sententia” brings a feeling of deja-vu, reminiscent of Arcana’s “Lost in Time” (on the “Raspail” album) colored by delicate ORE tubular bells. The third track, “Absolutio”, walks on more somber paths and its gravely nuances nostalgically link it to the magical past of Sopor Aeternus in the project’s more luminescent tunes.
The EP also offers an extended version of “Iudicium”, to which some more accords have been added and contains a video-animation for the same song made by Malwina Chabocka, writer and illustrator and Colin’s girlfriend. Expressive and sinister, the animation illustrates a ceremonial judgment in which five hooded persons are assisting at the birth of an angelic form, drawn from above into the below.
Hands Of Ruin enchants the listener with a delicate and carefully presented musical record and I can only have great expectations for the project’s first full-length offering.