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Empusae - Onus

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The most recent project by Empusae called "Onus" is a collaborative effort with Peter Bjärgö. This album is noted to be the second time these two artists have worked together, following their critically acclaimed album "Proslambanomenos." However, "Onus" represents a role reversal from their prior work; this time, it's Peter Bjärgö who contributes his voice and additional sounds to compositions by Nicolas Van Meirhaeghe of Empusae.  The album is described as a journey into the darkest aspects of humanity, blending ambient atmospheres, melancholic chants, and various instrumental elements to convey themes of hope, solidarity, empathy, as well as despair. It's a reflection on the burdens that life imposes, both on a personal and a collective human level. "Onus," which literally translates to "burden of life," serves as a metaphor for the struggles we face and our intimate dance with our own demons. The release, dated March 29, 2024, under the banner of Consouling Sounds, features compositions that serve as gateways to profound personal reflection and emotive exploration.
Nicolas Van Meirhaeghe is undeniably a vanguard in the realm of artistic sensibility. The music he crafts is not merely an auditory experience but a form of sonic poetry, creating breathtakingly beautiful auditory journeys that captivate and transport me to realms beyond the reach of ordinary perception. The compositions are a masterful interplay of pulsating rhythms and evolving soundscapes that build, layer upon layer, to form a dense tapestry of sound. This sonic architecture, a fusion of darkness and light, the sublime and the fragile, culminates in a sensation of flawless perfection, further deepened by the entrancing vocals of Peter Bjärgö. His dark, profound voice recalls the legendary figures of the dark music genre. "Overwhelming Cruelty" spellbound me with its potent emotional resonance and artistic vigor, making an indifferent response inconceivable. "Coiling Despair" escalates the auditory experience with an extraordinary blend of industrial and electronic elements, juxtaposing ritualistic themes with cutting-edge sound design. "Unavoidable Darkness" brings with it an initial unease, yet unfolds into a piece of exceptional musical ingenuity; it's a tapestry of rhythm and space, of melodies that blossom behind the scenes to enrich the core motif. Finally, "The Unsound of Love" closes the album as a composition of dark sonic complexity that interweaves the tangible with the ethereal.
In essence, "Onus" stands out as a mesmerizing, magical, and hypnotic yet very dark work of art. It is a highly recommended exploration for those seeking an immersive experience in the profound depths of music.

1. Overwhelming Cruelty
2. Coiling Despair
3. Unavoidable Darkness
4. The Unsound of Love

Release date: 29.03.2024
Label: Consouling Sounds
Artwork: Christel Morvan

Translator: khocico
Add date: 2024-04-04 / Music reviews

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