Reviewed: Sunset In The 12th House – Mozaic

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Mozaic by Romanian band Sunset In The 12th House is an album I’ve been sitting on for quite some time. Not in the manner of an overly protective guardian atop a clutch of eggs deposited in a mound of wet sand, but rather as a contemplative soon-to-be parent, considering what lies beneath in incubation. From the outset of June, I was gravid. In July, the ensuing incubation, and now this August, the singular orbs, each a microcosm of its own, have hatched and are basking in the light.

The band themselves have a fairly descriptive statement on their bandcamp page, of which, I have taken an excerpt. Sometimes it is interesting hearing what the band/label has to say about their own music.

“Mozaic” is the band’s debut album and, as the name suggests, a very diverse, colorful work. It crosses various styles bound together by a natural flow from one musical theme to another. “Mozaic” is not a concept album in the true sense of the word even though it could be interpreted this way. Each song represents a stand-alone entity with a specific thematic. Their common conceptual background is the general idea of impermanence seen as constant change and a focus on inner metamorphosis of the human being on its unique alchemical path.

You may as well consider this release as instrumental, as excluding the last track Rejuvination, there are scant traces of vocals. This is fine with me, as the music itself is sublime. From the first moment, you will be taken somewhere beautiful. I hesitate to say that this music surrounds you with atmosphere, I prefer to imagine it as taking you to another place altogether. There are moments on this album where I’m sitting next to a running river in a tranquil woodland and not in a folky, harp playing sense.

For me, the production here is simply flawless for this type of music. Such immaculacy really helps foster the notion of magnificence. The use of effects is superb, not through their multitude or abundance, but through tact. Many of the tones and sonic landscapes being explored here are similar to those of Scale The Summit but instead of sounding like bunch of individuals playing instruments together, this sounds like music. Now that sentence may seem inane, but if you listen to this album and compare it to basically anything that is stylistically similar, I’m sure you’ll at least somewhat agree.

During the first couple of tracks (Seven Insignia and Arctic Cascades) the guitars showcase a variety of techniques. Sometimes lifting you to the clouds on the wispy repeating swirls of Lydian thermal pockets, other times subduing the listener with distorted chordal marches of grandeur. This continues into the third track Paraphernalia Of Sublimation but with some exotic flavours creeping in. By the fourth track (Desert Eschaton) I’m sitting on a rug in a bustling Moroccan side-street market outside a belly dancing club. Anyone who has picked up on my tastes would know I’m a sucker for the incorporation of Eastern music into contemporary contexts, and this track satisfies that proclivity in spades. What’s that, sorry? Instrumental music is boring? Sorry I couldn’t hear you over Ninhursag giving birth to Shiva with Ghandi on cord-snipping duty (*).

Rather than mention a bunch of other bands (which I had planned to do originally), I’m just going to advise you to give this album a once through. If you like your music to take you somewhere, then this should prove a rewarding journey.

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* – This is completely accurate and I have not simply combined 3 names of spiritual nature for an absurd hyperbole.

Go like Sunset in the 12th House on Facebook and tell ’em the Toilet sent you.

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