Album Review: Mosaic – Secret Ambrosian Fire (Eisenwald)
With their debut full-length album, Mosaic explore the sacred traditions of their Thuringian homelands, reinvigorating myths and legends which are as ancient as the mountains they stem from.
Secret Ambrosian Fire draws heavily on the traditional lore of the Hörselberge, a mountain chain situated in the most mystical of all German regions. Legend has it that this is the place where purgatory is located and where Mother Hulda leads the wild hunt through stormy winter nights. To the initiated, the weeds and flowers growing in these mountains can even be the key to the otherworld. Mosaic use this fiery, flowery lore to forge an aural bond between this world and the world of our forebears, while at the same time transitioning into a wholly new phase of their creative endeavours.
Secret Ambrosian Fire will be released on December 13th 2019 via Eisenwald.
Mosaic certainly nail the feeling of mysticism and nature with Secret Ambrosian Fire. Each track a lesson with historical implications warped to their sound, one that is is deeply unsettling at times. While also being gloriously pretty and thought-provoking.
After the ritualistic procession of Am Teufelsacker, Mosaic unleash their darker side with Brimstone Blossoms. The clean singing trying to offer some form of comfort from the rising black metal. It doesn’t work as the song transforms as it goes on to the point of abject horror.
The rise of the black metal side of Mosaic really bursts into life with Cloven Fires, a frenetic sounding track. Spent from the energy exuded in that track, She-Water follows the formula set out with the first track being a more mellow and haunting listen. Although the increasing desperation in the vocals certainly unsettles.
The ‘looking beyond the veil’ tone is heavily featured on the somewhat trippy Ambrosia XIX next. An interesting track but it it has to be said that this and the follow Wetterdistel lack urgency. The drip feeding style of Mosaic does work and work very well but a bit more variety in tempos would be nice. Especially as the middle of the album starts to seem a bit bloated.
Coal Black Salt doesn’t change that but does at least introduce a ringing acoustic guitar melody to make this a more memorable listen. The chimes are particularly nice.
The urgency and the heavy…the very heavy is back for The Devil’s Place. A track that comes screeching out of the blocks in the most savage black metal way possible. It has to be said that when you hear moments like this and compare it to the last couple of tracks, it seems impossible to believe that they’re the same band. Of course as it develops it becomes a bit easier to connect to as the scale of the epic Mosaic are showcasing here is realised.
It’s not the end though as we get one final morose effort with Im Kohlensud. A really unsettling finale that gives the impression of warmth but is chilly to the core.
It’s a fascinating listen, not always perfect but for the most part filled with incredibly enlightening pieces of music.
Mosaic – Secret Ambrosian Fire Full Track Listing:
1. Am Teufelsacker
2. Brimstone Blossoms
3. Cloven Fires
5. Ambrosia XIX
7. Coal Black Salt
8. The Devil’s Place
9. Im Kohlensud
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Mosaic - Secret Ambrosian Fire (Eisenwald)
The Final Score - 7.5/10