The album is recorded live and dedicated to Morana, a Baltic and Slavic goddess, associated with seasonal rites based on the idea of death and rebirth of nature. The concept somehow reflects perfectly in the music. Like nature, the music is slow but steadfast. It sounds fragile but it can easily carry the listener on its soundwaves. Of course, since this is a drone and ambient album, you don't have to expect anything heavy or in-your-face.
No, this goes way deeper than your face. A track like 'Kāla Nāg' slowly slithers into your mind, your very conscience. It thrives on elaborate waves of soundscapes and feels like one of the most ocean-resembling pieces of music I've ever heard. Furthermore, here Ashtoreth's voice also appears, adding a sense of rituality to the whole thing. As often on this album, I'm reminded of acts like CHVE, not a bad act to be compared with if you ask me.
'Tymor' is an immense piece of work, lasting for twenty six minutes with not a boring second to be found. It's a dreamy, lingering and gentle composition that shows exactly how well Ashtoreth masters the trade. With stuff like this, he easily proves that he can stand next to those other Belgian drone masters like Dirk Serries, Stratosphere, the earlier mentioned CHVE and Barst. Yeah, sorry world, in this genre, Belgium is winning.. (*).
'Waní Yetu' somewhat differs from the other tracks as the choir-like vocal parts add something religious to the whole thing. They also make this one the most eerie track on this entire album, which is quite ironic. The more nature-resembling tracks are soothing pieces of ambient and the religion-resembling one is scary as hell. But perhaps that's just my mind playing tricks on me. Fact remains, this is a great song, bringing some more variation to the album.
Closer 'Hyberna' is one of my favorites, but in a way all these tunes are. If you love drones, if you are a fan of all the aforementioned acts, there is absolutely no reason why you should not get your hands on this album. 'Morana' is a solid, narrative, atmospheric and well-varied full-length that definitely deserves a spot in your collection. So check it out, you will not be disappointed, I can assure you.
(*) In December, when we publish our best-of list, I think we'll make one 'Best Of' and one 'Best Of Non-Belgian Albums'. We're crushing the competition here...