[Reviewed by stark]
The project has been born in 2008 and for couple of years was active simultaneously with Marcus main project back in the days, that is :Golgatha:. Eventually :Golgatha: has been burned on a funeral pyre and went to Valhalla, while Vortex has become the musician’s main endeavor.
The beginnings were interesting, rather different from what he was doing in :Golgatha:. Massive drone-oriented, at first with economical means of expression and narratives, but with time and consecutive releases becoming more and more multilayered, not only in terms of the music itself, but the concepts surrounding the particular albums. At some point I felt like Vortex has possessed all the major inspirations and distinctive features of :Golgatha: having become a peculiar conglomerate of the two.
Various ideas have passed through the previous albums. Sometimes completely opposite to what the musician could be associated with. Take “Moloch”, a story about a decaying metropolis, inspired by Marcus’ visit in New York. Yet the informal “mythical trilogy” and now “Helioz” deal with his major fascinations: paganism, Esoterism, the beliefs and mythologies from ancient times up until today when they’re not treated literally, but as a certain way of life more often and often are considered not as an “enemy” of the, say, mainstream religions, but as an alternative you can responsibly follow (well, unless you live in Poland, but that’s a different sad story). Marcus discusses it in the short manifesto which can be found in the booklet. In “Helioz” case all spins around Sun. Sun as a deity or object of cult and worship, but also as a symbol, an idea representing a set of values and philosophies. So obviously the primal, ritual aspect is present here quite significantly represented by deep drums, invocations, mantric sequences, while the lyrics represent the philosophical dimension of “Helioz”.
Because yes, this is still a dark ambient album, but the words inspired (or directly quoted) by Eliade, Hesse, Mishima or Ezra Pound mark a huge presence over here. At the same time they make “Helioz” more “listener-friendly” to those who don’t deal with dark ambient on a daily basis. The structures are often clear and transparent, I have to admit that it really sounds good, the guests add a nice touch to the whole thing and when you compare “Helioz” with the first ones like “Phanopoeia” or “Rockdrill”, the progress is rather impressive.
Cyclic Law, 166th Cycle