Album Title: 
Legion Of Silence
Release Date: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Review Type: 

Despite being formed in 1992 (!), Riga, Latvia based act Claustrum did not actually realize a proper full length. There were some CDr’s before, live and split material, but Legion Of Silence seems to be this project’s very first ‘real’ full length. But believe me if I say that is was worth waiting for!!! Legion Of Silence, consisting of thirteen beautiful hymns, gets released via the mighty Old Captain label in a digipack edition, and this limited to 300 copies. The album, which lasts for sixty-seven (!) minutes, comes with quite unique (not necessarily the statues, yet for sure the portraits) yet beautiful and diverse artwork.

Legion Of Silence opens with the dreamy-atmospheric, little hypnotising Ambient melodies of Eyes Of The Past, quite long-stretched initially. After three minutes, the whole turns somewhat martial, by adding fabulous male chants, limited percussion and one or another trumpet or trombone alike instrument – truly superior act to open this album. Old Helen’s Piano then again is a minimalistic and integer piano composition, filled with grief, melancholy and sadness, with inclusion of some noisy reverb (those noisy details do appear more than once), and towards the end including some female vocals too. Trūdi is much more bizarre to experience. This piece is rather like a sound collage of industrial samples and field recordings, classic melodies (with violin) and bombastic Martial Music. It comes with quite a menacing, suffocating atmosphere, strengthened by the vocal spells within the second half. And They Sleep initially mingles Death Industrial with the softer side of Power Electronics, then evolves into a spooky and eerie Dark Ambient dronescape (once again with haunting vocal samples), eventually to evolve into a quiet, dreamy ambiental outro. Melanhola, the fifth composition, features First Human Ferro (one of the outfits by Old Captain’s label owner Olegh). It gives…

Well, actually, I can go on, giving some sort of description about every single piece on this album; but I won’t. The whole album mixes elements from Martial Industrial, Neo-Classical, Dark Ambient, sacral orchestrations, minimal noise, esoteric rituals, industrial samples and mesmerizing soundscapes. Every single composition differs from any other (there are thirteen titles on Legion Of Silence – which is a great title, for the album indeed withholds the integrity of silence at the one hand, and the constant threatening, battle-lust attitude at the other hand). Several times the whole gets enriched by those truly beautiful vocal samples, like on the Fatalism tracks (so magnificent and emotive) (hello Raison d’Être!), then again the focus lies on harsher spheres of sonic nihilism. But throughout the whole journey, the high quality of those rites and rituals remains maintained. The addition of violins / cello or the permanently re-appearing tribal drum patterns are a surplus too, as well as the few injections of Noise / Power Electronics (listen to the title track, for example), amongst others.