[Reviewed by stark]
The marriage of Post Scriptvm, the postindustrial one man project from Russia, with the German label named The Epicurean run by Stefan from Anemone Tube has resulted with “Séance” LP (quite a good one, there’s a review written by me here). Now it’s time for a split release of both artists. Everything stays in the family as the CD edition is out through the effort of The Epicurean. But you can also find an impressive golden vinyl version – Spanish La Esencia is responsible for this one.
Good splits are not only about music, but also about the idea that has to be understood by the interested parties so that you don’t have the feeling of dealing with a random set of songs, most likely the leftovers of full albums. They might be good sometimes, but I find it difficult to treat them as a complete work of art, with all the keynotes or the story to tell. More like for example two EPs glued together with no guiding idea. Not in this case, luckily. Both projects compliment each other presenting something that reminds of liturgic ceremony, a Catholic mass of some sort, but with a slight yet significant touch of esoteric, perhaps apocryphic depth. The title (hence the whole concept) refers to the musical style that centuries ago was considered as arousing uneasiness and anxious feelings in listeners, which was standing in opposition to the assumption that it should be somehow upheaving and giving courage. As the press-release says: “Finding this aesthetic choice to be most appropriate for the present era, the two post-industrial projects attempted to create their own “Discordant Death Litanies” for the XXI century.”
Did they manage? I guess so. In the past, Anemone Tube was moving in between genres one time getting closer to the dark ambient style, while the other exploring more noisy and experimental territories, often grounding the sound structures in the field recordings brought from the numerous trips to the exotic and mysterious parts of the world. According to the general thought of “Litaniae Mortuorum Discordantes”, this time he focuses on the sacral branch of the dark ambient genre, but it’s like it is stripped to the bone, devoid of typical gimmicks like bells, choirs etc. There are vocal samples in the first track, but – maybe I’m wrong – they’re more like mantric Asian chants rather than something rooted in European tradition. It’s all in the aura emanated by the drones, it’s solemnity and darkness. No unnecessary and useless ornamentations. The third track, lovely entitled “Irruption Of The Whore” takes a more industrial shape, thanks to additional sounds by Post Scriptvm and it prepares the listener for the side B of the vinyl possessed by this Russian project.
These three compositions are more diversified. German samples, a sound of a beating heart and the “descent to hell”-like electronic sequences… and that is only the very first two minutes of “Buried In Fabula”. Yes, he definitely prefers to surprise the listener. Like in a good scary movie, you don’t know what’s hiding behind the corner. His works require careful listening and – what’s also a huge advantage – you discover new things after each consecutive approach to the album. It’s dark obviously, but also there’s something bizarre hidden in these sounds, like something from out of this world. It’s actually quite specific for many Russian projects (even though these compositions were recorded in New York).
I suppose that most of our readers are familiar with the “Discordant Death Litanies” approach to the music, which indeed can’t be more accurate for our times. I write these words a few hours after dropping the “Mother Of All Bombs” in Afganistan. It’s all heading in the wrong direction.The future is black. I’m not sure if Katy Perry or some other Ed Sheeran make a good soundtrack of our times. Maybe they do if you prefer to live under a delusion or simply not to think about a bigger picture. You have the right to do so. Maybe it is me who’s wrong, after all it’s just music, entertainment. But if the art is supposed to be the reflection of the times it was created in then yes, can’t imagine a more appropriate example than “Litaniae Mortuorum Discordantes”.