Review: Apokrifna Realnost “Na Rekah Vavilonskih”

Review: Apokrifna Realnost “Na Rekah Vavilonskih”

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Apokrifna Realnost “Na Rekah Vavilonskih”

I’m an Atheist, and one that genuinely detests all forms of religion. I don’t discriminate against any religion in particular, I hold them all at equal levels of contempt.

So why is it that I’m a fan of sacred sounding music?

From Gregorian chant to the 12th Century music of German Benedictine abbess, Hildegard von Bingen, I find it all very pleasing to the ear.

So this release is from 1988 and it’s a re-issue of a cassette release. And my thoughts on my religious beliefs, or lack of, are an important factor here as this is a recreation of a Macedonian Medieval mass.

It’s a stark, minimalist piece of music, and it’s just voice, strings and some percussion. And I should correct myself. This isn’t really a piece of music, it’s an experience. This is being re-issued on vinyl and on cd with A5 digpack packaging. The artwork contains text in Macedonian and Serbian, as well as passages in Greek and Latin. So all of your senses, bar smell, unless that make the cover smell like an old church, are on full alert.

Some may wonder why this is being featured on a Metal related site. On one hand, it’s (post) Industrial meets Gregorian chant that will appeal to fans of Dead Can Dance, but on the other hand, it’s not a million miles away from some of the Norwegian acts of the 90s, including Satyr of Satyricon’s Dark Ambient project, Wongraven. At a push, you could throw a bit of Ulver, circa Kveldssanger, into the mix as well.

So returning to Apokrifna Realnost. This is an amazing, unbelievably beautiful, piece of music history, and a gem that has been resurrected, hopefully, to a much bigger audience.

The only downside is that it’s only 20 minutes long. I’d love to hear a version of this that’s expanded to 60 or so minutes. But beggars can’t be choosers, and I’m just glad that I managed to experience this small ritual.

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Steve Thomas-Green
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