Title: Всем Святым (To All Saints)
Label: New Orthodox Line
Noise / Drone
01 Всем Святым (To All Saints)
“Всем Святым (To All Saints)” is a cryptic and ethereal journey through the astral planes via the unlikely avenue of a droned out vision of Russian Orthodox Christian chanting. A monastic vocal loop plays on repeat for roughly six minutes as a chaotic swell of electronic sounds whips itself into a frenzy. The packaging is very sparse, simply a slim CD case housing a very nice, professional-looking disc, as well as a sticker and piece of paper. All of these items are covered in words written in a very classy Cyrillic font. I once wandered into a Russian Orthodox cathedral in New York City during a service, and was astounded at the amount of smoke that was being dispensed during the ceremony. The main room, where the mass was occurring, was filled with Byzantine-style paintings and very ornate decoration. Many sculptures lined the walls and the frames and latticework seemed to be lined with gold. The smoke billowed throughout and these artifacts could only be observed through this very thick cloud that enveloped all participants.
Thirteen minutes into this piece of music here, and that is where 1gog puts the listener. It is a place of intense sincerity, a reverence and reserve that becomes its own source of power. As the piece expands and creates new propulsive environments, the track begins to multiply exponentially, not unlike the swirling mist of incense. In person, religious events where mass groups act in unison to create a single unified sound, there is a weight that cannot be felt on recording that sends a chill up the spine of the listener. This record does a successful job of capturing that feeling through more abstract sounds.
After another round of chanting, the sounds get even more dynamic and mystical. The recording is somewhat marred by a sample of a screaming baby, which takes up a lot of sonic space during a pivotal musical section... though it quickly goes back to the harsh bass-throb violence that sounded so excellent in the earlier portion of this release. In general, the samples could be completely removed from this disc and it would be an improvement. Largely amazing, and with many original sounds, the musical portions of this record are very intense and spiritual music.