Quite a surprise for us that his latest album comes with subtle electronics, samples and sometimes vocals, although there are purely instrumental tracks too. The general atmosphere is darker than the work I've heard, which is emphasized by the album cover and the titles. In general, Jozef plays slower, that's for sure, a bit harsher and I sense even more affliction then I saw on his face during his concerts. This might of course be interpretation of mine, maybe Jozef is a very happy person. But did you ever see a happy man holding a self-castigating device or inventing a song title like 'On the incomparable nobility of earthly suffering'?
There's something unique about this gloomy atmosphere - should I call it post-gloomy? I have the slight impression that this is someone who went through a lot of crap, and at one point decided to spend the rest of his life on stuff that really makes sense. The lute and meditation for example.
There's quite some variety between the songs, but they share the atmosphere described above. It's impossible for me to choose a favourite, neither is there one which I don't like as much as the others. Jozef uses his own spoken word on 'You can't remain here', 'Detachment' and 'The ecstacy of the golden cross' which came as quite a surprise at the first listen. And suddenly during this listening session, Serge and I asked each other: "Where do we know this voice from?" Yes, Zola Jesus. Nika sings as beautiful as ever on the track 'Ruins' and it blends perfectly with the music. You can also hear her shoegazing chants in the opening track 'To lose yourself forever is eternal happiness'. What a gem of a title.
What a gem of an album.