Genre: Ambient / Dark Ambient / Avant Garde
Moonchild Erik has returned from the shadowy recesses of Europe’s sanguine soul with a new chapter of dark ambient and experimental music under the guise of His Divine Grace. Le Grand Secret is His Divine Grace’s fourth official album and is by all means Moonchild Erik’s most intricate and engrossing work to date. Following the precedent of His Divine Grace’s second album Die Schlangenkonigin (2003) which focused upon an experimental interpretation of the novel “Auf den Marmorklippen" by Ernst Jünger Le Grand Secret redirects the music of His Divine back to the fallow fields of literature.
Le Grand Secret is inspired by the literary work of the Traditionalists and the lives, works, and mysterious deaths of Sekens Murdock and Leontin V. Abilgaard both of whom explored the relationship between language and reality. Le Grand Secret features “a metaphysical reflection on the deceptions of human language which Murdock and Abilgaard saw the main cause for the world of confusion we live in.” A thorough study of linguistic philosophy is not required to enjoy the CD but curious listeners may be tempted to learn more about this philosophical domain that has driven many of its proponents to insanity or suicidal.
Tackling literary philosophical surrealism is a rather daunting task yet His Divine Grace has successfully extracted the subtle nuances of this newest muse and has distilled the rudimentary literary aesthetic into a long audio voyage filled with mystery and esoteric darkness. The album explores a wide array of carefully constructed dark ambient and experimental soundscapes as it leads the listner through imaginative and stimulating sonic worlds that shimmer like mirages. Dark ambient drones and electronic sounds are contorted into breathtaking monuments of sound that lay long shadows across barren wastelands of uninhabitable terrain. Like titans fighting battles long forgotten each track makes a definitive and powerful statement as His Divine Grace unfolds contemplative compositions that inspire and demand reflection.
The CD is spilt into three definitive chapters. Chapter one titled “These – Sekens Murdock” showcases the musical tribute to Murdock and establishes the musical introduction. Track one tilted “Les chevaux de feu” begins the album with an epic dark ambient anthem that combines churning industrial strength noise with interlacing drones and thunderous industrial sounds. Elusive samples of organ and choir enhance the experience lending a humanist emotional depth to the somber apocalyptic decimation established the industrial side of the music. Track two titled “Les gardiens du grand secret” features a shift in sound as His Divine Grace sheds the tormented confines of dark ambient music and steers the listner into ethereal ambience. Using a simple collection of finely articulated electronic sounds His Divine Grace sculpts a luminous song that elevates the spirit as it transports the listner into a sonic domain of alternating tones of purity. Track four titled “Verbum, lux et vita” unfolds with an element of suspense and an unknown presence dominating the tentative atmosphere as if invisible dwellers rove beyond the perimeter of the senses. Track four titled “Le voile levé” concludes the first chapter of the CD with a lonely and lengthy composition that combines delicate sonorous tones with tamed industrial rhythms and tuba like notes that resonate from the depths. “Le voile levé” is reminiscent of the organic ambient flow once achieved by O Yuki Conjugate though slightly darker and freed from the constrains of any ethnic influence.
Chapter two titled “Antithèse - Leontin Voigt Abilgaard” features five compositions themed around Abilgaard. The chapter begins with song five titled “De la nécessité de se taire.” “De la nécessité de se taire” leads the listner once again into yet another independent composition whose identity is only tenuously connected to its peers. The song begins with ominous drone music that is paired with voice samples and recorded sounds of water. As the song progresses the atmosphere darkens significantly as a threatening tone is established. Feelings of loneliness and isolation begin to creep up on the listner as His Divine Grace conjures forth an experimental ambient ballad that breathes with an uneasy rasp as it guides you through reflections of emotional carnage and fragility. Track six titled “Frayeurs initiatiques” continues the journey of isolation though the subterranean depths of the previous song seem somewhat further away. Using simple electronic tones and drones His Divine Grace subdues the listner with a hypnotic assault of suffering ambience. Track seven titled “Pourquoi... toujours pourquoi” sees light beginning to pierce the darkness as a slowly churning palate of voice samples dances with steadily growing waves of electronic sounds that drift awash in a delicate tapestry of sound. Like hope rising from the ashes of defeat the music gently stirs the listeners spirit to remember what has been lost and to react and reclaim. “L’opposition tacite” retreats once again into another suspenseful ambient narrative filled with dark ambience and ritualistic overtones that combine to offer a song filled with primal elements and an esoteric darkness that is tangible. “Le quatre-heure de crystal” ends the Abilgaard chapter of the CD on an experimental note as His Divine Grace abandons the listner to musical surrealism with a strong mind bending psychedelic tinge. Like witnessing events from the perspective of a heavily tranquilized yet conscious person the music washes across the listner like fragmented waves of conscious thought disarrayed and decaying.
Synthese et Syncretisme is the third and final chapter of the Le Grand Secret CD and it features a single song titled “Le Principe immuable.” ‘Le Principe immuable” is the most contemplative of all the tracks on the album and it lasts for more than sixteen minutes allowing for total submersion in the music. The finale does not end with a bang but rather on a very gentle note as His Divine Grace coaxes an incredible amount of sentiment, reflection and emotion from some of the simplest musical elements ever applied. Oscillating notes tepidly induce a spell that closes the album with brilliance and delicacy.
His Divine Grace is the type of electronic music that I covet. Grounded in industrial and ambient music His Divine Grace expertly melds his industrial musicl foundation with the openness of experimental composition. Each song is like a living entity, some transcendent and others primal and raw. Le Grand Secret sees His Divine Grace come to full fruition as he seizes upon literary figures deserving of his creativity. Le Grand Secret is an awesome display of imagination and musical surrealism and I highly recommend the album to those seeking to revel in previously undiscovered musical domains. Those who like bands like Propergol, Tordoih, Dusk Of Hope, and other promising dark filmic ambient music are encouraged to check out Le Grand Secret.