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Furvus – Deflorescens Iam Robur

Furvus Deflorescens Iam Robur

Ever since Caravaggio first laid strokes to canvas, incontrovertibly blazing a path that would take visual art from the heights of the tenebrous Baroque movement in Rome towards a transcendance that crossed the Alps in order to influence the likes of French painter Jacques-Louis David, Neoclassicism has been an integral part of the history of every corner of the artistic world.  While today’s visual art, aided by the on-demand ease of technology, has taken an unfortunate turn for the lazy and the absurd in all of its post-modern mediocrity, Neoclassicism lives on through music even if that very same technology has also taken hold of it, and its spirit is all too alive today in artists like Furvus.  While the genre tag is correctly applied to a wide variety of artists ranging from the martial constructs of Puissance and Triarii to the minimalism of Dark Santuary, few have shown the patience and will to craft music in this vein that is both as emotionally diverse and thematically obscure as the works found here on Deflorescens Iam Robur.

Luigi Maria Mennella

Luigi Maria Mennella

Originally released in 1999 on the Italian dark ambient / metal label Beyond Productions, Deflorescens Iam Robur has already enjoyed its status as a classic for fifteen years, lost as it has been to the passage of time.  The album was reissued in 2012, however, this time on the relatively unproductive Mvsa Ermeticka imprint, which has afforded Deflorescens Iam Robur another, albeit unlikely, chance at escaping obscurity.  Where Furvus has been for roughly the last decade is anyone’s guess; he’s certainly never stopped talking as the only lengthy hiatus that was taken from interviews occurred in just a three-year period between 2007 and 2009.  Though this is, in fact, Deflorescens…‘ third edition, Furvus has isolated himself to only taking part in various compilations from well-known post-industrial labels such as Old Europa Cafe, Hau Ruck!, and Palace of Worms since its initial release. That an artist could exist under one name for fifteen years and only release one album is unfathomable to me, especially for one whom has already displayed a great deal of talent.  His other project, F.ormal L.ogic D.ecay, hasn’t fared much better, only recently resurfacing after an eleven year silence with His Master’s Void on Steinklang Industries.

Regardless, his talent has indeed proven fruitful for at least one quality release; Deflorescens Iam Robur easily conjures up equivalent memories of Italian comrades Ain Soph‘s early music side (see: “Estey”, “Datemi Pace”, and “Decimus Gradus”) as well as the epic medieval nature of Crown of Autumn, though there is no metal side to be found within Furvus.  Interestingly enough, this “epic” attribute shows up not in grandiose cinematic arrangements, but rather in the pure scope of each individual composition as they stretch an impressively vast area of emotion and instrumental integrity.  We encounter everything from absurdly visceral dark ambient textures and field recordings to uncomfortably joyous medieval compositions and Lord Wind-esque epic ambience and spoken word.  From the horror of Goya‘s Saturn Devouring his Son to the sweetness of John William Waterhouse’s Ophelia, and from the dark surrealism of Bosch to the majesty of Caspar David Friedrich, it is all present here.

I do find myself at odds with certain qualities surrounding the album, however.  While the man behind the music, Luigi Maria Mennella, is most certainly a professed Pagan, much of what I find endearing about Deflorescens Iam Robur is more associated with anti-modern interests than those of a spiritual nature.  There is also the occasional musicianship mishap, with one very specific dual-layered vocal moment where tones don’t match up leading to unintentional disharmony.  That said, despite its flaws, the vision behind Deflorescens Iam Robur is as impressive as it is complex, and I can only applaud the man for the amount of work and thought that went into the album, which itself ends with a description of the numerology behind the timeline within the album.  Every detail has been accounted for.

Track List:

01) Liber Primus, 1
02) I, 2
03) I, 3
04) I, 4
05) I, 5
06) Liber Secundus, 1
07) II, 2
08) II, 3
09) II, 4
10) II, 5
11) Liber Tertius, 1
12) III, 2
13) III, 3
14) III, 4
15) III, 5
16) III, 6
17) Liber Quartus, 1
18) IV, 2
19) IV, 3
20) IV, 4

Rating: 4/5
Written by: Sage
Label: Mvsa Ermeticka (Italy) / KHU004 / Digi-CD
Neoclassical / Dark Ambient / Medieval / Early Music / Romantic / Folk