Meteora VII by Merciful Nuns (2014)

Merciful Nuns - Meteora VII - Virus G Zine

For Pythagoras, seven was a cosmic number: the sum of three (perfect triangle, divinity) and four (harmonious square, earthly elements), a bridge between heaven and earth. “Meteora” is precisely number seven on the Merciful Nuns’ list of full-length albums and, furthermore, it’s lyrically located “at the event horizon between this world and the beyond” – in Artaud’s own words. Still in the astral spell of the predecessor, “Exosphere VI”, we now embark on a no less fascinating musical voyage across ancient mithology and towards transformation. So much so that you will raise the eyes skyward (and beyond) more than once, impelled by the flawless sound design of “Meteora VII” in seeking responses to those timeless questions that arise for humans since they are what they are. Such is the force of suggestion that Merciful Nuns’ music possesses. The journey ends in Meteora itself, a womb-like location where body and soul transcend into god-like entities: “… / feel the ancient cold / in a place beyond / I am god / I am none”. It takes its name from the imposing Greek rock whose monasteries “appear to be floating” at dawn in the fog – as Seth himself tells it. So there is no better metaphor for the elevation addressed in “Meteora VII” and, moreover, our subsequent contemplation of it.

That is particularly noticeable in the magnificent closing track. “A Place Beyond” induces a truly dark and surreal atmosphere in such an artful way that, although we ascend further and further as the song moves forward, we find ourselves arriving to plausible territory. Even for moments the track feels as autonomous, expanding and contracting as if it were alive. Drums impose a shamanic pace, paired with Jawa’s resonant pinches on bass. The noisy background conveys an image of giant stones slowly sliding, which combined with the sacred, deep as oboes chants and the mystery-filled layers of cymbals, lead us to a mystic realm whose remoteness can be felt with ease. Fleetingly, Jón Tmoh plays his way up the neck of guitar from afar, adding even more bleakness to the already wintry ambiance, while Artaud’s soaring voice makes us sharers in the beauty of transformation. Sounding in equal parts eerie and peaceful, it’s just the kind of song that sets Merciful Nuns apart. The same holds true for “A Day That Fades II” – originally pressed upon the B-side of the 7″ single “Earth” which, in turn, was included in “Exoplanet” EP…


Read the full review and stream this album at Virus G ►

Author: SGM

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