Genre/Influences: Ritual, Dark-Ambient.
Format: Digital, CD.
Background/Info: ‘Frater’ Stéphane Gouby has been involved with multiple projects, but is mainly busy as a solo-project since a few years. “Mysteria Dolorosa” has been released in 2019 and is a conceptual work around the ‘practice of the Holy Rosary in Tridentine rite’. The album features four cuts, which were recorded in a Holy Chapel.
Content: The work rapidly appears to be a mix between Ritual elements –but mainly the vocals and chants, Dark-Ambient and Religious music –because of the concept. There’s an echoing effect running through the work, which is probably due to the place where the sound has been recorded. Together with acoustic sounds and typical Ritual elements like bells the work is an invitation to a dark rite. The tracks have been progressively built up, the last song going over 17 minutes.
+ + + : The artwork of the digipak caught my attention for its dark and Ritual exposure. It totally matches with the content of this work, which has something intimate and yet overwhelming. The Ritual strength emerging from the voices can’t leave you unmoved. It’s really heavy and together with the dark sound treatments it creates a poignant experience. Passages with drones accentuate the sphere of the album. I also noticed subtle sequences, creating the effect of a slow cadence. The last track is a brilliant apotheosis to this personal interpretation of the “Mysteria Dolorosa”.
– – – : This work deals with a real specific music genre, which is however hard to seize. I’m afraid this is the kind of production appealing for a very restricted number of listeners.
Conclusion: This work is a brilliant composition for dark meditation.
Best songs: “Corona Spinae”, “Agonia”.