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Mosaic - Secret Ambrosian Fire Award winner

Secret Ambrosian Fire
by Laura Glover at 24 December 2019, 10:52 PM

MOSAIC was founded in 2005 by Martin van Valkenstijn to encompass his enormous, artistic vision. This is a band whose very name means fragmented pieces that make a whole new creation, from Gotha, Germany. The coolest concept behind this band lies in its deep diversity, whose intent was to invite knowledge of the old world. Layered with multifaceted languages and sounds. Thusly, reigniting old legends and myths and to explore the sacred traditions of their Thuringian homelands. "Secret Ambrosian Fire" speaks to us of the lore of  Hörselberge, a mountain chain situated in the most mythical of all German regions and according to legends is the place where purgatory exists. Each song is written with heavy influences from poets such as Georg Trakl, Else Lasker-Schüler and Paul Celan, as well as more regionally known artists like Hanns Cibulka. Reduced song structure in "Secret Ambrosian Fire" leave ample room for atmospheric black metal to unfold.

"Am Teufelsacker" - Bagpipes are beautiful music to behold, especially when tied in with metal. Then when follows, a babies giggle…. the effect is definitely slightly creepy in addition to its gothic sounding incantations sung. "Cloven  Fires" - An energetic entry with many symphonic airs. The vocals in this song are few and far between, with haunting echoes of despair. Such song setup allows room for the psychedelic and emotional wave of sound that is foremost. "She - Water" - Soft drum beats and synthesized keyboards, meet willowy sounding voices. As if watching ghosts dance unaware to a tune whose soft tones linger like the wisps in the mist.

"Wetterdistel" - Ceremonial sounding drums, soft haunting tones, and chanting all tie deep associations with monastic chanting. This is an ultimately soothing song, with meditative connotations. "The Devil's Place" - This is one of the faster beginnings to a song on this album. Emotionally, it is a big wave to surf from its larger than life intro to its melodic, softer waves. This song’s mystic sounding vocals echoes the walls of the tunnel of insanity. Until you forget which way is up, and just float in an uncharacteristic stillness. "Secret Ambrosian Fire" is an artistically presented alum, whose concept is so vast I struggled to properly explain its roots to you. However, I think the album itself does a splendid job of telling its own story. If you close your eyes and let go, it will take you places. Enjoy your journey.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Am Teufelsacker
2. Brimstone Blossoms
3. Cloven Fires
4. She - Water
5. Ambrosia XIX
6. Wetterdistel
7. Coal Black Salt
8. The Devil's Place
9. Im Kohlensud
Martin van Valkenstijn - All strings, Percussion, Synths, Samples, Effects, Vocals
E.H. - Drums & Percussion
Sulfur - Guitars
Iskaremus - Bass
Record Label: Eisenwald Productions


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Edited 24 March 2023

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