CD: Aural Hypnox AHCD06 [2006]
Ltd x 1000

Raising The Oceanic Alpha-Axis
The Star-Sower Awakens
Mana Infusion
Black Tongue - Translucent Mind
A Banquet For Ghosts
The Bone-Orchard
Secrets Concealed In Ash
Language Of Embers
Quickening The Crystal Body
The Vitric Portal
Labyrinth Of Thousand Lanterns
Lotus Of The Underworld
Silver River
Nether-Desert Iris
Obsidian Pyramid
Beacons In Polar Light
Dissolving The Starlit Mandala

A beautifully packaged CD of arcane delights, Arktau Eos from Finland have collected a series of works together unifying concepts of initiation, magical incantations, and highly personal rites of passage. Supposedly sourced from non-electronic instruments, this work sets out its stall from the opening sequence, 'Raising the Oceanic Alpha Axis', a heady brew of tones and incantations, steeped in natural cavernous reverb.

Superficially speaking, these pieces would not have been out of place as the backing for Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut”, or better still as the soundtrack to the recently updated version of “The Wicker Man”. I don’t mean this to be in any way disparaging, as the metaphors and motifs for both films are never far away in the work of Arktau Eos.

There is an ever-present sense of some primal force being at work on every track here, whether using conventional analogue instrumentation, or by some other means. Everything presented is defiantly cloaked in anti-commercialism, and Arktau Eos have every intention of letting us know that theirs is a music not created for recreational or entertainment value, but as a stepping stone into unknown realms… a tool for personal empowerment, a doorway into the underworld.

As with all works of art, the success of this venture from the audience point of view has to be ignited initially by an act of powerful imagination – we have to embrace the concepts they propose, and use these sound works in the way they were intended in order to fully understand where they can lead us. For this reason, I will not review this CD in the conventional manner, track by track, but as a whole and complete project, this is a deeply evocative soundwork, an access point into uncharted territories of the deep psyche. Use wisely...


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