Genre: Ritualistic / Dark Ambient
01. Lux Arcana
03. Artifex II
05. Cauda Pavonis
06. Vox Interior
Ouroboros is the musical project of Italian occultist / alchemist Marco Grosso, who has as he states in his Myspace profile, “decided, after some years of esoteric and alchemic studies, to realize through music, the path of Great Opera of Alchemy, in his research for the Philosophical Stone”. It was born in 2004 and counts two previous releases, “Solve Et Coagula” and “Nigredo”. “Lux Arcana” is the first release on Sabbathid Records, the website of which cutely welcomes the casual surfer with the enticing phrase “enter webfukk”… It is mostly a black metal label, but hosts some different artists as well, such as Object 4 from Sweden, Misanthropic Hallucinations from Turkey and Bonemachine from Austria. Another project of Marco is Apotheke, a free download of which you can find in a net compilation here at Italian Body Music.
So “Lux Arcana” is as expected heavily laden with occult connotations, and is in fact an aural representation of the esoteric process to achieve self-alteration, self-annihilation and finally self-perfection through attainment of the absolute. Musically speaking, it is an assortment of catholic chants, Latin and Italian invocations, dark ambient soundscapes and eerie, distorted synth samples creating a mystifying, supernatural atmosphere. The prevailing impression is that of heat, incubation and inner fertilization.
More specifically, “Lux Arcana” begins with female a capella catholic chants, quickly wrapped up in a dark ambient, ritualistic tribal beat, and male and female vocal incantations towards the middle, which fade out to more dark ambient music, and the ensemble closes off with the same catholic chants as in the beginning. “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” stands for “Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem”, which more or less means: “Visit the innermost of the earth and by rectifying you will find the Hidden Stone”. The track is an orchestral piece of strings, organic sounds and atmospheric ambient put together to induce a hypnotic mood upon the listener. The earth’s core becomes visible, as the descent continues, and unnecessary evidence is discovered and cast aside, just as indispensable ones are cherished and utilized for further progress. With “Artifex II’ we move abruptly from dark ambient mesmerism to ambient electronica, as ethereal sounds and drones are blended into a steady, repetitive beat, and the astral journey is carried on dynamically.
Azoth is a mythological, highly sought after alchemical substance, much like the Philosopher’s Stone actually. It is a combination of the first letter of all the main alphabets, A, and the last letters of the Latin (Z), Greek (Omega) and Hebrew (Th) alphabets. Thus it signifies the union of the opposites, the obliteration of the primeval essence, and its elevation to the absolute, to the perfect union of opposites. The serpent encircles the universe, and devours itself in an incessant process of evolution. Apart from all those “Azoth” is undeniably my favourite track in the album, starting off impressively with a deeply distorted, echoing male voice accentuated by an imposing, almost space-like electronic repetition, and faintly sounding organ sounds in the background.
Cauda Pavonis (the Peacock's Tail) is related according to some notions to Lucifer as the bearer of Dawn, and in Alchemy signifies the unraveling, revealing or blossoming of the Great Work, of the spirit or psyche. Hence the connection to Lucifer, as the dawn carries the meaning of a new beginning. It is the part where the mystic reinvents oneself, after having undergone the trials of death, extinction and purification. Here it is a 13 minute long track, with interposing female vocals, piano melodies, chimes, and low-fi, soundtrack-like synth loops, emanating the kind of liberating sensation appropriate to its concept. “Vox Interior” continues in the same fashion with male chants and ritualistic sounds, while “Russians” ends the recording, the continuous tick-tock of an invisible clock serving as an intro to some soothing electronica and reverberating male and female recitations.
“Lux Arcana” will surely prove a rewarding experience both for the occultists and for those irrelevant to such concepts. The music stands on its own as a good dark ambient, atmospheric album, comprising equally of slightly disguised melancholic moments, as well as intense mental challenges. I think it will be one of the releases to be discussed in the genre.