Crepuscular Rituals

Album Title: 
Funeral Of Winter
Release Date: 
Sunday, March 21, 2021
Review Type: 

I have been thinking about how to start this review, over and over again. The reason: both muSICKians involved – sorry, musicians, I mean. But after re-writing my introduction a couple of times, I thought it would just be fun / honest / easy / clear / whatever… Whatever… I’ll keep it simple and to-the-core…

Crepuscular Rituals is a collaboration of two human beings (at least, I think they are) who are considered like gods, like miraculous entities within the Noise scene. Am I exaggerating? Okay, maybe I am, but you know, this is why. This project’s moniker is a word-play, a mixture of ‘crepuscular entity’ and ‘sado rituals’. Probably you know… If not, here’s a short introduction.

Crepuscular Rituals is like a semi-horny conceptual collaboration of two internationally well-known and highly-appreciated guys who dwell within the more open-minded Noise scene. There’s US-born / based Ken Jamison at the one hand, known from his project Crepuscular Entity (and truly adorable stuff like Danshoku Dino or Hana Haruna). He also runs the impressive Noise label Basement Corner Emissions. The other half comes from Poland, being the mostly sympathetic (un)human being Przemesław Grochowski, aka Sadox from the fabulous project Sado Rituals or the mostly open-minded label Gates Of Hypnos.

So, these two spirits joined forces under the Crepuscular Rituals moniker (‘sado entity’ would have sounded quite cool too, I guess). Funeral Of Winter is a lengthy sonic journey, a three-quarters experience, which deals with a Slavic goddess, Marzanna (the cover illustration, by the way, is an image of this entity), which is considered some deity of Death and Winter, as well as nature’s resurrection in Spring after a long Winter Night’s heaviness. Marzanna as deity goes further too, being like a sacrificial entity to evolve in between the seasons of Mater Terra’s raison d’être. This collaborative album is dedicated to this empress of life and afterlife, death and rebirth. The sacrifice of Marzanna, ceremonially and ritually via burning (or drowning) her effigies, portraits or statues, provides hope for a fruitful growing season and rich harvesting. This said…

Funeral Of Winter, aptly named this way seen the concept, starts intrinsically integer and tranquil. A monotone yet abundant drone seems to crawl forward, to grow slowly yet convinced. In a mesmerizing way, a certain static level of sound paralyses and, at the same time, intoxicates by hiding different sonic levels in a subtle way. At about one third of this magic travel, things meticulously evolve into more oppressive proportions, when additional sounds and noise manipulations get introduced. At about half of this ‘song’ (haha, what’s in a word), the atmosphere gets even denser and heavier, yet still the initial sound sources and digital experimentation remains like the spine of this aural adventure. At last (we’re at about twenty-six minutes, for the purists amongst you), the overwhelming intensity seems to fade away, indolent and sluggish, maintaining the oppressed atmosphere, lifting the whole thing up towards dimensions of dreamlike and bewitching grandeur. Step by step, the wintery coldness and nocturnal obscurity seem to fade away, yet never with the intention to disappear. At last, the impendence and frost of Winter dissolve, making room for the resurrection of inner peace and serenity.

This album is not exactly an ‘adventurous’ one, with permanently represented things to happen. It is not Noise like in ‘Noise’, yet rather a long-stretched Ambient venture with a hypnotic and somewhat meditative character and a gloomy, misty attitude. …a diamond in the rough…