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03/02/2024 : MERCIFUL NUNS - Oneironauts

MERCIFUL NUNS

Oneironauts

MusicCD / Digital


[90/100]   

Solar Lodge/Alive!
03/02/2024, Kurt INGELS

EN

What drives Artaud Seth's relentless zeal? “I am driven by the search for the origins of faith, the source of all world religions and the eternal question why we dwell on this Earth,” says the same Artaud. The fact that this man created these Merciful Nuns after Garden Of Delight, founded his own Solar Lodge label and meanwhile also earned his medals in various other projects, such as Alphavox or Near Earth Orbit, is nothing but admirable. But we must talk about the new Merciful Nuns, a project that was initially presented in a more traditional gothic rock guise but has since evolved to such an extent that it is post gothic rock in a heavily thickened occult flavour.

After all, Artaud Seth is a seer, a seeker, a wanderer between dream and reality, an explorer of time and space, but above all a doer. Because this “Oneironauts” is already - if I have counted correctly - the 15th (!) album of Merciful Nuns, still the trio Artaud Seth, his wife Jawa Seth and Jacques Moch, and has again become a conceptual double album as always hidden in beautiful packaging.

The story behind these “Oneironauts” elaborates on the “Kvltan” (see previous release) civilization that was welcomed as gods by the Sumerians with their intelligence, but fell from their pedestal due to a hunger for power when a certain Baal'gor learned to see who the Kvltans really were. Or how time and power corrupt and good becomes evil. The Kvltans were pushed into our subconscious, where they have been hiding for millennia. To reconnect with them we must become 'oneironauts', those who are able to dream consciously, to travel in dreams and thereby break the boundaries of time and space. And that is exactly what we're going to do with the Merciful Nuns musical manual...

“Oneironauts” as the opening song is divided into 4 parts, and in “The Gate” it blows us icily and enthusiastically towards 'hypnos' (sleep) where “The Watcher” (part 2) welcomes us in our dream with pounding guitars, 'let us dream' while those guitars fly around like hypnotic 'saphlets' with occasional atmospheric rest points to fall deeper into the dream, 'keep dreaming'... and so on to the third part, to the pineal gland, the third eye of clear insight to travel into “The Innerverse”... 'a place where spirits and the mind collide' on the backbone of a thumping and rumbling bassline. Finally, “Rise And Fall Of Kvltan” is the final destination rock from the depths of our sleep, hard and passionate. An impressive epic of approximately 18 minutes.

Then “Requiem For The Departed” offers more breathing space, enthusiastic gothic rock that in its strength even goes 'headbanging' for a moment and then folds back among the ruins of Kvltan. “Baal'gor”, whom I mentioned here before, functions as a guidepost, although he first has to be evoked with a powerful post goth rock tune 'beyond this life the minds collide'. The story of “Baal'gor” is powerful and infatuating and flows seamlessly into “Summoning Of The Fallen Host”, which evokes the longing for the old days with a sweeping, psychedelic guitar solo, as if the unknown is awakened in an occult rite. Our guest is mainly ourselves, looking for the beginning and the final destination or our entire destiny if you like.

“Souvenirs De Kvltan” proves that the memories of the ancient civilization of “Kvltan” have not been erased, as if we are trapped in an eternal cyclical movement. Cradling in the memories, futile and floating on a thin synth line with the bass and drum as the heartbeat, and guitars that rock away like psychedelic solos. Artaud Seth's voice is powerful but soothing, 'the journey ends we are fading away...' And with that we have the first, intense disc of this “Oneironauts”. A story, an experience in a world that we only reach by surrendering to Merciful Nun's musical exploits. A journey into the deepest depths of ourselves. You will also find space there.

And then there is a second disc that starts with “Oneirophobia” for those who cannot sleep or live the dream. Somewhat menacing, gothic industrial-looking sound sculptures, including rattling chains that towards the end degenerate into a psychedelic trip to conquer the phobia. Here you get “Oneironauts” in a 'the lesser light' version that immediately rocks away and you could, as it were, consider it as a greatly shortened version of the epic on CD 1 and which mainly meanders around the part “The Watcher”.

“Enoch's Lament” is almost touching in its lamentations, semi-acoustic sadness with added value, a great song because that is also how Merciful Nuns can sound, although this is a lament with hope because this “Enoch's Lament” also never loses its power. Finally, at the end of the second disc and this trip there is a 'single edit' version of "Baal'gor" that sounds slightly more compact than the album version on disc one.

This “Oneironauts” is (again) a feat, a story, an escape and a search for what Artaud Seth calls the origin of all religion, this time by searching within ourselves for our third eye, our own light and our own God. Much more than just an album, it is a total package that you can also purchase as a 'grandmaster' version including a T-shirt of your choice. Meaningful, different kind of relaxation that unites psychedelic rock, gothic rock and metal, but the whole is more than the parts and then you know it's good.

Kurt INGELS
03/02/2024


NL

U kan de Nederlanstalige versie van deze review HIER nalezen bij onze collega's van Dark Entries Magazine!

Kurt INGELS
03/02/2024


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