Merciful Nuns – Kvltan
Label: Solar Lodge 2022
Four years after their last full time album ANOMALY Merciful Nuns is finally back with a new album: KVLTAN! “What if life did not originate on Earth?” A profound question to open MERCIFUL NUNS’s 11th album with the ominous title: KVLTAN
Four years after their last full time album ANOMALY Artaud, Jawa and Jón are finally back with a new album: KVLTAN! “What if life did not originate on Earth?” A profound question to open MERCIFUL NUNS’s 11th album with the ominous title: KVLTAN. Artaud Seth, creative head, mentor and visionary behind the band takes us on a journey to the onset of human civilisation, the origins of all earthly existence. Why do we exist? Where do we come from? What was or could be the “missing link” between a simple, indigenous life and the sudden appearance of the first High Cultures in Mesopotamia?
KVLTAN is a truly remarkable album that will stay with you, and whilst any album review is subjective, reflecting the reviewer’s own perception and preferences; it would be difficult to argue against the assertion that this is Artaud’s strongest material to date – exceptional in it´s conception, arrangement and execution; every element carefully considered and inserted in its designated place in order to maximise the desired effect.
From the outset he takes the listener on a journey that leaves no doubt that MERCIFUL NUNS’s return is more akin to a rebirth in a new dimension. Ever the perfectionist, Artaud took his art to a new level; every nuance deliberate, meaningful, complementing the rhythm and dynamic of the songs as they flow from one into another; retaining a cohesive structure that stimulates the senses by invoking archetypal imagery which elevates this album to an actual experience, he taps into realms of the unconscious that resonate deep within.
Atmospheric echoes introduce KVLTAN, whispering contemplations interrupted by a singular guitar riff. Artaud asks one of the most fundamental questions of our time with fervor and urgency,
a powerful promise for the future. The pace accelerates and reveals a powerful and true goth anthem: KVLTAN: THE ORIGIN. Seamlessly we are being led into calmer waters once more, accompanied by a slow, simple riff which permeates through the entire song ALTERED STATES, offering the kind of assurance one would gain from Ariadne’s thread whilst traversing a labyrinth.
Surrounded by ghostly voices we enter the realms of sleep beyond the reach of earthly time division, and in A SERMON FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION we are challenged to open the gates to the hallowed places of our ancestors and followed by being a silent witness to an ancient rite in DOWN DARK HALLWAYS. Already deep into the album’s core concept, we now meet the principal actors:
THE KVLTANIANS. With due respect, a long intro introduces the song before a true hymn unfolds in front of the listener’s ears. An extraordinary interplay between calm and fast passages, hard guitars and airy synth sounds in clean tonal coordination, in which each part changes its dynamics independently and yet in perfect harmony. In addition, Artaud’s deep voice, which controls the ensemble and the structure of the prevailing dynamicsof the song. After the preceding tour de force we find ourselves once more in calmer environs with MELTING MEMORIES. Haunting guitars and pulsating basslines at a steady pace. Artaud invites us to reflect on the all-important question: “Where do we come from?”. Another seamless transition introduces the Great FLOOD myth, in that at the end of the song you can actually feel the water slowly crushing all over you. A short ringing, alarming noise leads us out of the meditative state and we are confronted with the majesty of Mars´, the highest geo-graphical point in the solar system: the OLYMPUS MONS PEAK, which marks an epoch-making end to the album.
You can feel the dedication, the time and the effort that went into doing this album. Questions are asked here that are meant to stimulate thought: a true masterpiece that challenges. A groundbreaking and genre-defining album, but also one with the potential to be so much more!
01 Kvltan – The Origin
02 Altered States
03 A Sermon from another Dimension
04 Down Dark Hallways
05 The Kvltanians
06 Melting Memories
07 The Flood
08 Olympus Mons Peak
01 The Kvltanians (the greater light)
02 Martian Sirens
03 Council of Kvltan
04 The Kvltanians (the lesser key)
2CD Limited (pre-order)