[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
Zoharum releases this album together with Steinklang. 10 years have passed since the two Polish musicians Maciej Mehring (co-owner of Zoharum, dealing with concept, texts and vocals) and Radosław Murawski (music composer) started this project. With “Theu Anagnosis” they invite us to take part in a symbolic reading and interpretation of the divine concept. The titles for each of the songs wish to unlock by the influence of music channels to an inductive comprehension or more likely to mental representations of some significant theological themes.
They imagined their songs as theatrical scenes where music is a direct companion to reciting and gesture. Such is the way the music of “Seven Lands Of Happiness” is developed, a fragile guitar accord and mysterious ambient sounds sustaining narrative vocals that tell of the hermeneutics of the 7 skies. The obvious oriental thrill of the ritual music enhances the occult nature of its thematic basis.
It is always challenging to imply various sources of inspiration for a record, mostly for the sake of a personal necessity to make it more mysterious than it already is. In this case, the choice of the Greek title and the other direct correspondences make “Theu Anagnosis” a work of music inspired and guided by orthodox Christianity or early Gnosticism. “Out Of The Depths Have I Cried Unto Thee, O Lord”, a most tragic biblical psalm of desperation is put here into music on a memorable piece of piano, which reminds me of the American composer Le’Rue Delashay. “Three Sacraments” moves slowly on the basis of a friendly ritual music, towards a dancing communion of music and gesture. The song will enchant you by a most exquisite alliance of Tibetan bells, sitar and mantric spoken words moved about by a dramatic classical reverb. Birth, Ordering and Death are celebrated in a musical initiatory pilgrimage of abounding inner satisfaction.
Truth is considered as attainable by either intellect or the heart. Our deep reservoir of skepticism will never allow us to take truth for granted, whether we may be more close to the Aristotelian deconstruction of the world or or the hermetic tradition. And even if “man is only a reed, the weakest in nature, he is a thinking reed” (Pascal), one that needs a point of stability, that is his search for the truth, whatever this might be. Upon such pondering, Bisclaveret weaves a pictorial song (Two Ways To The Highest Truth) of industrial tribal rhythms that flavors fugitive and unstable miasmas vaporing out of our very ingrate persona.
The highest Christian praise hymn Te Deum inspired the two polish composers for a personal reading of the Trinity mystery. “Trio Deum” takes the listener into a synthetic and synthesizing exploration of the 3 substances, calling upon glassy and celestial aural appearances an immaterial atmosphere.
In time Bisclaveret fashioned a distinct approach to industrial music out of a demanding and parsimonious selection of slow organic rhythms, decorated with phosphorescent, sparkling sounds. They all beckon dematerialized movements and sacral gestures that are splendidly fit for drama representations. Hear out this “Humani Sanctus”, a laudation to the divine in man, an encomium recollecting tribute dances for the gods from those ancient Greek mysteries.
“Dog’s Blood For Love Of God” is another piece of post-classical music performed on piano and accompanied by enigmatic voices, whose magical fervor is not far away from Mr. Doctor’s. The sad pallet of melody evokes the personal tragedies necessary to dissolve the boundaries that separate man from God, Abraham’s sacrifice or Iona’s misfortunes.
Bisclaveret closes this “reading of God” with a piece metaphorically related to the present age. Voltaire recommended once to his king to extirpate this infamous superstition (Christianity) and nowadays Hawkings has described religions in terms of viruses that propagate through our minds, leaving the individual, as states the title of the song, “In The Hospital Of Lost Souls”.
I feel like having enjoyed a musical pocketbook with poetry about divine enigmas. The writers have conquered me with their simplicity but profound and delicate use of versification and rhyming, and their stanzas have touched some forgotten chambers of my soul.