The new album by Silence & Strength has been in the making for almost 5 years, as some early pieces have been written already in 2004, being composed and recorded in various locations and conditions. This monumental work realized in an album of 13 tracks and 77 minutes constitutes an impressive narrative, which opens up a door to the magical worlds of Gustav Meyrink.
Starting with evocative pieces based on some of Meyrink's short stories the album takes us through the myriad of states and emotions - the menacing and liquid "Cardinal Napellus", the moody and unsettling "Four Moon Brothers", the decadent and poisonous "Ball Macabre", the enchanting "Opal" and so on.
One of the most expressive and dramatic tracks is "Walpurgisnacht". Combining acoustic and electronic sounds, shrieking pipes and a beat of the devilish drum, it conjures up the memories of bloody revolts and phantasmagoric affairs.
The longest composition on the album is based upon one of Meyrink's most acclaimed novels - "Der Golem". Ranging over 18 minutes it takes us on a fascinating journey through the darkened streets of Old Prague. From the bone-chilling rain and menacing ambience of the narrow, cobble-stone alleys, through the tiny rooms of misshapen houses where the early bohemians sing rowdy chansons, to the attic of Staronova Synagogue, which serves as a secret dwelling place of the mysterious Golem, and back again into a sleazy tavern with an aged hebrew harpist wheezing through a long-forgotten song, then finally to the gates of the House at the Last Light where the alchemical hermaphrodite unites the hero and his beloved in a magical union.
The journey continues, through the raucous "Green Face", the beautiful and melodic "White Dominican", to the meditative and conclusive "Angel of West Window". The album ends there, but it leaves us with a precious aftertaste and a strong desire to plunge deeper into the majestic realm of Gustav Meyrink, read his works and share his dreams.
Gustav Meyrink has long attracted readers for his masterful stories, examining the supernatural, the macabre, the spiritual, and the occult. With complex and ambitious novels, such as "The Golem", "The Green Face", "The Angel of the West Window", and "The White Dominican" Meyrink intertwines past and present, dreams and visions, myth and reality in a world of the occult, culminating in the transmutation of physical reality into a higher spiritual existence.
released April 1, 2009
All music by Stephan Friedman
Lyrics on tracks 10 and 13 from "Der Golem" and "Der Engel vom westlichen Fenster" by Gustav Meyrink
Stephan Friedman - guitars, e-bow, bells, ghungroo, tin whistle, horn, synthesizers, field recordings, voices
Polina Friedman - vocals, voices (4, 5, 10,12)
Lev Bomshtein - devil's drum (9)
Yuri Friedberg - violin (5, 9)
Natan Raskin - clarinet (10)
Orit Nahari - vocals (10)
Igor Maximenko - synthesizers (10)
Mastered by iSoundwave
Artwork and cover design by John Coulthart
Released by "HORUS CyclicDaemon" - HCD 10
Silence & Strength is a conceptual music project inspired by the occult, mystic, alchemical and esoteric themes. It's music
is rooted in magic and ritual, creating a dark and otherworldly atmosphere. Interfusing noise, drone, glitch and experimental dark ambient Silence & Strength creates soundscapes in a highly structured and ceremonial way....more