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Silence & Strength - Opus Paracelsum

Previous music from Silence & Strength was inspired by the occultists Aleister Crowley and Count Cagliostro, for Opus Paracelsum, their second full length release, the Israeli project have looked to Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, a Swiss alchemist, astrologer and physician. Opus Paracelsum is a subdued piece of experimental dark ambience, foregoing the smattering of neo-folk that appeared on their debut release. It ranges from gentle electronics with heavily processed and cut-up voices, through cavernous rumbles and heavy soundwashes, to swirling electronics and turbulent clanging as it wrestles with the heady topics of astrology, alchemy, and philosophy. It's by no means generic dark ambient. Silence & Strength's music is rooted in esoterica and ritual music and the overall atmosphere is dark and otherworldy. Much of the sound is carefully composed, eliciting the inevitable comparisons with soundtrack music, but it's also marred by some ludicrous sounds - the strangulated demonic child is frankly ridiculous. Yet these down moments are offset by some other engaging moments. The final three tracks are particularly convincing combining an experimental approach with melodic dark ambience. Whispered recitations feature on 'Labyrinthus Medicorum' over a looped melody and electronic pulses and tones which halfway through is obliterated by a frenetic noise that careers between channels before dissolving back into a series of tones. It all ends with soft electronic ambience with crackling textures and soft synth stabs. As an album it's a bit of a mixed bag but this musical allegory on the life of Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim should find a receptive audience amongst dark ambient connoisseurs. For more information go to