If you remember, we’ve already published an Institution D.O.L. review once (see here), and because I am in a mood for a little not-so-usual aural experience, I’ve decided to put this CD into the player and see what’s gonna happen.
As the title and the artwork suggest, this album is influenced by (or maybe dedicated to) the infamous person of Aleister Crowley. Personally, Crowley is not much of an interest to me (basically none) and my opinion of his is not really flattering (haha), fortunately though, we’re here to discuss the music, not his persona.
The album opens with “The Abbey” (which, as you might know, bore the name “Thelema”), and it’s a very nic, relaxing track, although with some droning and effects thrown in. The spotlight here is on the piano work and I absolutely loved it. Plus, we’ve got to hear samples of the Crowley himself (I guess).
The song flawlessly goes into the second track, titled “Flight of The Horus”. Another amazing track, from the droning fuzz emerges the melody like the ray of light through the dark clouds, and I recall those days I’ve started to discover the world of darkwave/neoclassical music back in 2005… that’s what I call the ambient music. Very distinguished and relaxing, almost like inviting one to the meditation… and then, almost in the middle of the song, the change. Suddenly, the mood of the music changes, if only for the moment, only to reinstate itself to its majestical sound, like in a process of reincarnation. Again, well placed sound samples (again, I guess those are of Crowley chanting some weird stuff), this one is full of atmosphere and energy. Forget drums, you can feel the energy flowing from your speakers (or headphones, in my case) straight through your brain.
“Ad Astra”, the third track of the album, brings us to the middle of our aural experience. Have you ever wanted to take part in some magical ritual? Well, you’ll might feel like it while listening to this. I always liked stuff like this, for the amazing look into the times gone…it’s like discovering a radio broadcast from the 1930s (or so). And, obviously, we can’t forget the amazing background music. The noise element (although very, very light) might be little obtrusive, but if you’re used to the darkwave/ambient stuff, you’re gonna enjoy it. In fact, the combination of speech samples and noise reminds me of Ghosts of Breslau a little, and that’s definitely not a bad thing. Again, the melancholic, repetitive patterns calms and soothes the soul…was it a plan? Hard to say…but whatever the intent, I absolutely love it.
And just when you think it would continue, you’re awaken from your relaxing semi-slumber by the sample of some televangelist bringing hell, fire and brimstone for the audience…and then again, the calm piano heals the soul and accompanies Barbie B. (the one half of Institution D.O.L. responsible for the music and vocals) and Crowley (?), as the latter again proclaims his message in the “Sex With A Seitanist”. Interesting track. Very interesting track.
The last offering of this CD is “Exodus II”, clocking in 15:00. The organ sets the mood and the choir brings the heavens down, although not exactly in the way one would expect. A little hint of power-electronics here and there certainly doesn’t hurt.
But the relaxing mood suddenly ends after almost 9 minutes…and it’s like a fall to the endless abyss! You know the feeling? The bass vibrations create the perfect tensions and again, power-electronics is in a full force here. But from my (little) experience with PE stuff, this is gentle and welcoming (and believe me, it could be much worse in terms of earache).
But when I imagine how this could be played as a live performance…oh my…that would be something to experience and never forget!
Anyway, I am being carried away now. What can I say – I’d state that “Thelema Tales” is one of the albums one would remember as distinctive. Which, to be honest, you can’t say about many albums nowadays.
If you want to enter the realm of darkwave/ambient/power-electronics, or just looking for a perfect soundtrack to your daydreaming, Institution D.O.L. and this album can’t be but greatly recommended.
Youtube album teaser: