On October 21st, Seance Records presents Selenite’s striking debut album, Mahasamadhi.
Although a seemingly new entity, Selenite is the work of the incredibly prolific Stefan Traunmüller, whose body of work stretches back to the early ’90s, starting with Golden Dawn – who were a part of the pivotal Austrian Black Metal Syndicate, which also included Abigor, Summoning, Pazuzu, Trifixion, and Pervertum – and more recently also includes Rauhnåcht, The Negative Bias, and joining Norway’s rejuvenated Wallachia.
Selenite was formed by Traunmüller in 2015 with the intention to combine funeral doom with ’90s doom-death influences. Although Golden Dawn early on was more overtly influenced by Scandinavian-style black metal, Traunmüller was also heavily influenced by the doom-death of that time (eg. My Dying Bride, Tiamat, The Gathering). But, as time went on, Golden Dawn went in a more symphonic black metal direction, and his other later projects did not focus much on those doom roots. With older age, Traunmüller got less and less interested in high speed and complex arrangements in music; rather, he became more interested in intense atmosphere and meditative floating structures.
Alas, both find their apotheosis in Selenite’s massive (and massively meditative) debut album, Mahasamadhi.
Building dread with a stormy sounding intro, Requiem for A Soul breaks into something that is nicely familiar to fans of doom. Slow moving, monotonous and heavy…Selenite are a monolithic beast causing devastation and destruction as they crawl over the lands.
Atmospheric and chilling, is what marks this opener and Mahasamadhi as a whole out as a different doom experience.
After such an entrancing opener, Hidden Presence looks to lighten the load with an epic sounding experience built on meditative melodies layered amongst a crushing doom crawl. Third Eye Open has an eerie edge to it that stays consistent throughout while Channeling Chants from Beyond pours the darkness on thickly. A penultimate track that pulls out all the stops to send the mind spiralling into madness especially when it a brief day of sunshine emerges from the murk. It’s unexpected but not unwelcome.
Final Reckoning then wraps up an epic journey of atmospheric doom in thrilling style. Everything we’ve learned about Selenite is present here and it’s put to incredible use. From the slow and heavy riffs, to the momentous percussion, to the guttural vocals and clean singing segments, this really is the epitome of an epic.
Selenite – Mahasamadhi Full Track Listing:
1. Requiem for A Soul
2. Hidden Presence
3. Third Eye Open
4. Channelling Chants from Beyond
5. Final Reckoning
Selenite - Mahasamadhi (Seance Records)
The Final Score - 9/10