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Horologium – Tellurian Anthems

Horologium – Tellurian Anthems

Written by VITRIOL

Label: La Esencia
Genre: Martial Industrial/Dark Ambient


A1 Urkraft
A2 My Thunder Marks
A3 Affirmation Ritual (Version)
B1 Prometheia
B2 Stormchaser
B3 To Rekindle The Sunlight

Horologium, the project of Polish artist Grzegorz Siedlecki, first appeared in 2005 in the album “Kaukasus ”, a split release with Moljebka Pvlse (Beast of Prey). In the same year they released the full-length album “The Fire Sermon” (Divine Comedy). Ever since they have been steadily producing original, noteworthy releases in some of the most important underground labels: among others Old Europa Cafe, Divine Comedy and Neuropa. They have made a name for themselves as one of the most important martial industrial projects today, with releases such as “Paradise Inverted” (2006) and “The World Is Not Enough ” (2007). Their discography includes numerous collaborations with other known artists (K. Meizter, Artefactum, Oda Relicta), which have helped enhance their profile and emphasize their musical attributes.

Horologium’s sound is distinguished by its anxious, belligerent tone. The numerous, diverse subjects which produce the specific background for each album – historical conditions, war culture, classic literature, occultism, ancient mythologies, hunting (in its symbolic as well as its literal sense) are all key components in Horologium’s universe. By the inclusion of various samples – male and female operatic vocals, extracts from classical works, literary recitations, movie samples, even cabaret music and popular songs of the time when the narration is situated – they create the soundtrack of an entire environment, in a way that each of their recordings can be experienced in terms of imagery in addition to the music. What all these things have in common is that they are ground to a pulp and given to us anew as part of a harsh militaristic compound. Classical music is taken out of its usually flowing, harmonious context to be given a more strict, repetitive character, maintaining its grandiose nature but forced to express a hopeless, grim desperation closely linked to history, man’s moral predicaments and contemporary existentialism. The ruthless repetition, threatening ambience, agonizing atmosphere, the beating of drums and the trumpet calls all contribute to the irresistible, somewhat perverse attraction all good martial industrial creates.

“Tellurian Anthems” comes in a 12″ vinyl limited to the symbolic number of 333 copies, released on the Spanish label La Esencia. The word “Tellurian” is derived from the Latin “tellus”, meaning “earth” – the ritual nature of the concept is very fitting next to the titles of the songs, mostly pertaining to the elements. “Urkraft” begins in the known, assertively militant mood, with its loud trumpets, reverberating drums and military marches climaxing in a declaration of strength. Menacing dark ambient and industrial sounds emerge in the latter half of the track, perhaps as a reminder of the consequences of unbridled ambition. “My Thunder Marks” is a combination of high-pitched trumpets, spoken word and cheerless, downcast strings. “Affirmation Ritual ” is noisy and chaotic, with a monotonous repetitive trumpet acting as the unifying agent.

Side B begins with a proper bugle call, as “Prometheia” launches in a heavy industrial mindset. Again however, the mood changes around the middle, becoming more surreal and ritualistic. The drums abandon their military character and beat in a tribal rhythm, as the track quietly dies down. In its first part“Stormchaser” gives us an excellent martial industrial sequence, with bombastic neoclassical passages, military marches and industrial sampling building a solid wall of uniform, but also melodic sound. Reminiscent of two of my favourite, now defunct projects in the genre, Predella Avant and Tribe of Circle, it afterwards dissolves into a dark ambient atmosphere with female recitation and melancholic piano. If the first part had lasted a little longer I wouldn’t have complained, but it’s still one of the best tracks of the recording. In “To Rekindle The Sunlight” Horologium are apparently trying their hand in an almost ethnic type of sound, by the use of ethereal strings, nature echoes, children’s laughter.

Consequently, the first side of “Tellurian Anthems” is more in accordance with their previous work, while in the second they venture to experiment a little further, in a way that in some cases is perhaps surprising if you begin your listening expecting just the typical. The result however fully compensates the listener, and the rest of the tracks are what we have learned to anticipate and love from this project – inspired, passionate martial industrial with a clear identity. There is evolution here, and that is a good thing. Horologium are advancing their music and blending new attributes into it, yet at the same time they remain one of the current leading forces in martial industrial.

Rating: 4/5