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Mosaic - Harvest

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 08 July 2020, 2:18 PM

MOSAIC was founded back in 2005 by Martin van Valkenstijn to express his thoughts, ideas and visions. It is highly characterized by regional traditions, legends and mysticism. The idea is to present arcane knowledge of the old world, like alchemy and symbolism, in an own way and interpretation – combining different languages and to vernacularise this into a multilayered depth. “Harvest” is a compilation album and contains fifteen tracks.

“Feuerspuk & Tannenreben” leads off the album, with a harrowing calmness and the feeling that something is behind you in the dark. The tones continue in “Dunker Herbst,” with the steady spoken words in German, and an occasional scream. “Schwarze Erde” hears the sound continue further. It’s sort of like one big song perhaps? All of the sudden then, jovial clean guitars pick up and lead the song forward. The spoken words continue in a spirit of desolation. It’s a really odd sound. “Haimat” is only two minutes long. Just some atmosphere in the background and more of that muffled spoken word. I imagine this would be what like torture might be…locked in a dark room with someone speaking a foreign language to you over and over for days…weeks…even months.

“Golden Sunset” is a continuation of the earlier sound, again with jovial clean guitars. It barely lasts over a minute however, and I am beginning to wonder if this even qualifies as music? Well, for the band, it is their artistic impression. “Autumn Wings” brings more of the same, with odd cowbells ringing in the background…almost as if you were in a Middle Eastern marketplace. The guitars are sad and Autumn is the season of death, so that makes sense. “Inkantation: O Sun King” is another shorter song with more of that atmosphere and spoken words. This time, they are a bit angrier. It segues into “Samhain,” which features more of those doleful clean guitars, and some ominous vocal chants in the background.

“Der letzte Atem” is the odd track on the album, at just under seven minutes in length. You can hear the passion in the vocalist, as he gasps for air, trying to get his message out. I would love to know what he is talking about. It starts to turn more chaotic towards the end…more “musical.” “Olden Hair (Blood Is King Pt. I)” brings us back to the start of the journey…quiet, building, harrowing tones and just a lot of ambiance, seguing into another short song titled “Inkantation: O Blood King! (Blood Is King Pt. II),” which is just more of the same. “As the Fields Call from Graves (Blood Is King Pt. III)” is more of a traditional Black Metal sound, with tortured spoken words over a bed of guitar. Menacing it is…the very height of torture.

“The Commandment” is another short one-minute song, with what sound like broadcasted spoken word. “Bittersweet Odour” is back to the traditional Black Metal sound, with crashing cymbals, vocal screams, and a wall of guitars. “Geleit zum Wyntar” closes the album…back to that eerie spoken word again. This was an odd album to try to explain. Many of the tracks were like this last one…just eerie music in the background, with muffled spoken words in German. The band has been around since 2005, so they know what they like and don’t like. For me, much of the album really didn’t qualify as “music,” because it was just a combination of the things mentioned above. It was, however, a fairly interesting take on the genre.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Feuerspuk & Tannenreben
2. Dunkler Herbst
3. Schwarze Erde
4. Haimat
5. Golden Sunset
6. Autumn Winds
7. Inkantation: O Sun King!
8. Samhain
9. Der letzte Atem
10. Olden Hair (Blood Is King Pt. I)
11. Inkantation: O Blood King! (Blood Is King Pt. II)
12. As the Fields Call from Graves (Blood Is King Pt. III)
13. The Commandment
14. Bittersweet Odour
15. Geleit zum Wyntar
Martin van Valkenstijn – All Strings, Percussion, Synths, Samples, Effects, Vocals
E.H. – Drums & Percussion
Sulphur – Guitars
Iskaremus – Bass
Record Label: Eisenwald Productions


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