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wicked messenger - Officium Nocturnum
Darkest drone and blackened post-industrial ambience from Martin Kränzel aka Wicked Messenger. 'Officium Nocturnum' is released by the same Belgian label who presented us with the awesome Pump album earlier in the year, and have been recently blowing our minds with their archival vortex. The album is split into three glacially epic half hour movements over two CDs, covering the bleakest strains of post-apocalyptic sonic ennui with remorseless intent. In the first movement brittle, glassy shards of electronics skitter with dungeon shaped reverbs, piercing the film of disbelief in order to allow your mind to fully enter a macabre unterwelt of harrowing ambient symphonics and ethereal, claggy atmospheres. The second movement opens with groaning strings and more devilish, prickly textures biting at the edges of vast gong resonances, sounding something like Thomas Köner soundtracking an arcane, ancient ritual of mittel European druids. The resonances almost imperceptibly bleed outwards into denser clouds of majestic Gas-like drone, but made for a far darker corner of the forest than Wolfgang Voigt ever dared to venture. Movement III approaches more distinct black metal territory, in atmosphere and mood at least. We're placed in the milieu of an indistinct crowd, possibly his local shopping mall, maybe in the middle of an theatre audience at the interval, when a voice speaks from the ether, like Beelzebub himself whispering indecipherable sweet nothings before timpani drums and choral incantations re swollen with surging bass drones and we're left shivering, petrified and entranced. Incredible material.