Genre/Influences: Dark-ambient, ritual, tribal.
Format: Digital, CD.
Background/Info: German artist Marcus Stiglegger is back on track unleashing a new work from his Vortex sonic brainchild. “Helioz” is a new conceptual work based upon the ‘solar mythology throughout history, cultures and religions’. The album has been accomplished by the contribution of several guest artists (musicians and singers) like Patrick Kleinbauer (Notre Dame De l’Oublie, Rome), Lamia Vox, Nam Khar, Oliver Freund (Mars), Stephan Ortlepp (Musica Non Grata) and Kai Naumann (The Trail).
Content: The work is based on a solid dark-ambient sound, sometimes joined by slow rhythms, industrial elements and drone passages. The tracks are meticulously built up, slowly progressing while spoken vocals and later on, haunted vocals are joining in. It all together creates a haunted feeling, some of the sounds becoming even disturbing. I noticed a passage with throat singing. The track “Man Of Fire” featuring Lamia Vox is a special track for being based upon the same-titled song by Dead Can Dance.
+ + + : The sphere supporting the work creates this mysterious and haunting sensation, which is rather classical, but a must to speak about a successful dark-ambient work. Next to this ghost-like ambient approach, Vortex moves on injecting ritual elements to the work, which are totally matching with the concept of the work. The numerous spoken parts are accentuating the ghost-like sound while being essential elements to understand the concept of the work. The last song entitled “Helioz – Eternal Flame” featuring Kai Naumann is an apotheosis. Next to the dark-ambient and ritual elements you’ll also notice acoustic guitar bringing an unexpected neo-folk touch to the work.
– – – : The previous album “As Gods Fall” remains to me the magnum opus of this project. I can’t say this new work is disappointing, but far behind its predecessor. The tracks are well-crafted and diversified, but they didn’t reach a total apotheosis, which “As God Fall” did.
Conclusion: Vortex moves one exploring new concepts and inviting talented guests to achieve new, anguishing works.
Best songs: “Helioz – Eternal Flame”, “Mithras”, “Man Of Fire”, “Sowilo”.