Music Reviews

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Artist: Anemone Tube & Post Scriptvm (@)
Title: Litaniæ Mortuorum Discordantes
Format: CD & Vinyl
Label: he Epicurean/La Esencia Records (@)
Rated: *****
As long as I've been writing for Chain D.L.K. there always has been, and it seems there always will be projects that have been around longer that I heave neither heard nor heard of, and such is the case with Anemone Tube and Post Scriptvm. Anemone Tube is the dark ambient/industrial noise project of Stefan Hanser from Berlin, active since 1996, and Post Scriptvm is a Russian-American industrial music act based in New York City, active since 1998. 'Litaniæ Mortuorum Discordantes' is a limited edition split album with Anemone Tube taking the first three tracks and Post Scriptvm the last three.

According to the accompanying information, "Originally applied to a particular style of ancient ritual music, in the Classical era the term Litaniae Mortuorum Discordantes attained a negative connotation and was used to criticize those compositions – which, instead of instilling listeners with the desired pious euphoria, incriminated them with a sense of dread, existential anxiety, feelings of death and decay. 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. " They have a bit more to say about it than that, but that should be enough to chew on for now.

As always, in spite of the philosophical explanations and raison d'être of the title and concept, one reads these reviews to know what in fact the work sounds like. Beginning with "Myth and the Relation to the World" Anemone Tube projects processed sustained voices over gloomy ambient sustained orchestral pads. Towards the end one can make out cryptic rumblings in the background. "Recueillement (Sa Propre Mort)" is a slow, mournful, organ-based funerary dirge with a good dollop of dissonance. "Irruption of the Whore" utilizes sustained gongs and bellish tones to set its tone, like an unquiet graveyard where a violent storm (perhaps even a hurricane) is brewing. As the track progresses the wind becomes even more violent as you imagine the dead unearthed, coffins ripped open from the ground, mausoleums destroyed, and general havoc being played by some unnatural power. Post Scriptvm then takes over with something completely different on "Buried in Fabula." It begins with an across the board scraping of some stringed instrument and a deep, slow heartbeat, indistinct German voice samples in the background, then melting, descending, heavy synth chords. All the while there is a disquieting, quavering drone and eventually some hallucinatory echoed electronics. Perhaps a theremin and feedback as well. "Dark and Nameless Gods" is a truly harrowing track incorporating a variety of elements (synth, vibes or xylophone, percussion, spoken word, scary drones, etc.) that give such a sense of unease, that in the wrong (or perhaps right) frame of mind you might be driven mad. Final track "Laterne D'Horreur" is based (maybe you could even say basted) with wobbly tremolo synth as other clinking percussion and noise plays in the background over hidden sustained strings. A little more than halfway though the wobbly synth disappears replaced by cosmic drones and eventually sustained voices in the aether, ending with a little radio noise.

This is certainly one of the stranger and thought-provoking dark ambient recordings I've heard in a while, and A MUST for lovers of soul-shredding funeral music built on dissonance triggering spiritual delight. This release is available in three versions - the regular LP on golden vinyl, limited to 200 copies; the special edition on black vinyl with fancier packaging and also a CD limited to 99 copies; and the CD limited to 144 copies. Guess which one they sent me. You're right.



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