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01] Psalmus 57 | MP3 Clip 02] Rex Gloriae | MP3 Clip | Video 03] Psalmus 87 | MP3 Clip 04] Lacrimosa Dies | MP3 Clip 05] Signum Iudicii | MP3 Clip 06] Sigillum Septimum | MP3 Clip 07] Angelum Abyssi | MP3 ClipTotal Time: 44:17
Dies Irae (free!) by Atrium Animae
The First Era 1996-2004 4-CD Limited Edition Box Set
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ANIMA: [latin, soul: the spiritual and immortal part in man].
The name "ATRIUM ANIMAE" can be translated in English as "The Gate of the Soul" or "The Hall of the Soul." It can be considered as a symbolic representation of the passage from physical world toward an immaterial world, a line where two different worlds - the outer and the inner worlds - meet together. In a deeper sense, "Atrium Animae" can be considered as the boundary where Life and Death come together.
Symphonic, neoclassical, heavenly voices with strong influences from classical and spiritual music -- artists and composers such as early-period Dead Can Dance, Arvo Part, Giacinto Scelsi, Stoa and Arcana.
Atrium Animae is a hermetic project distinguished by dusky atmospheres and a mesmeric journey into a world of submission and desperation. In the full-length concept album Dies Irae, the recurring theme within the seven tracks is the relationship between Man and God as a symbolic voyage in a silent wasteland made of treachery, defeat and spiritual hunger. A world where the locked embrace of loss and despair are represented through a reinterpretation of passages taken from religious and pagan texts.
Founded in Italy in 2007, Atrium Animae merges the talents of Massimiliano Picconi (keyboards, programming) with Alessia Cicala (Conservatory-trained soprano female vocalist). The music is characterized by a “classical” approach, where the basis of the composition is represented by complex polyphonic vocal parts and expressive instruments centered around orchestral strings and horns. This becomes a new starting point from Alessia's previous experiences in the bands Chirleison and Essences.
The analysis of the human condition and its relationship with God is made on Dies Irae through a separation into two main parts.
The first is a representation of the human being with its contradictions, its sense of misery.
Torment, a furious rage against inequity and wrong acts, and the demand of vengeance are expressed in the “Psalmus 57” (“Deus conteret dentes eorum in ore”, God shall break in pieces their teeth in their mouth, “Laetabitur iustus cum viderit vindictam manus suas lavabit in sanguine peccatoris”, the Just shall rejoice when he shall see the revenge, he shall wash his hands in the blood of the sinner). The possibility of reconciliation between Man and God through the Sacrifice, the human redemption and the remission of sins, is symbolized in “Rex Gloriae”. A sense of misery and betrayal pervades the “Psalmus 87”, (“Elongasti a me amicum et proximum, et notos meos a miseria”, Friend and neighbour thou hast put far from me, and my acquaintance, because of misery). A profound silence is the only reply in “Lacrimosa Dies”.
The first part is the prelude to the second, the representation of the “Dies Irae” (Day of Wrath). “Signum Iudicii” is the visionary description of the Apocalypse in the prophecy of the Erythraean Sibyl, with words taken from “De Civitate Dei” by St. Augustini. The sense of loss and human despair are expressed in the last two songs, from texts taken from the Apocalypse of St. John (Latin Vulgate version of St. Jerome), with the representation of the opening of the last seal in the dramatic “Sigillum Septimum” (The Seventh Seal) and the visionary description of the end of the world in “Angelum Abyssi” (The Angel of the Abyss).
Seven dramatic tracks - 44 minutes of total playing time - of a desolate journey into an apocalyptic scenario with no hope of redemption.
Alessia Cicala, la sacerdotessa che ci conduce in questo viaggio tra il sacro e il sacrilego i cui sentieri principali furono progettati da architetti del suono come Dead Can Dance e Arcana, è una vecchia conoscenza del panorama goth italiano… La sua prima band furono gli Essences autori, nel 1997, di un album per l’Energeia di Napoli (etichetta che tra le tante band lanciò gli Ataraxia), a cui seguì l’esperienza con i Chirleison (con i quali licenziarono nel 2004 il cd “A Whisper” per The Fossil Dungeon che nello stesso anno si prese cura del ritorno sulle scene dei Mephisto Walz)…
Massimiliano Picconi, l’unico compagno di Alessia in questa sua nuova avventura sonora, è al contrario al suo primissimo progetto, ma credo basterà suggerirvi il fatto che è il responsabile di uno splendido sito italiano dedicato ai Dead Can Dance per comprendere quale sia la sua attitudine musicale.
“Dies Irae” è pura sublimazione di tutte quelle sonorità tetre, arcaiche, psicologicamente gotiche, misteriose quanto affascinanti, che proprio nei primi lavori di Brendan Perry e Lisa Gerrard hanno i loro principali manifesti.
Un disco fascinosamente cupo, una grotta di suoni e pindarici volteggi vocali tra le cui stalattiti si nascondono volti di statue pagane scolpite da chissà quale antico popolo conoscitore della vita come della morte. La porta da cui accedere per partecipare a questa cerimonia di morbosa ed onirica desolazione vi è appena stata mostrata, a voi la sceltadi proseguire. Lasciate ogni speranza voi che entrate… -Alex Daniele
Le lien entre le duo fondateur et cet autre duo, italien et naissant, est d'autant plus évident que la moitié masculine de celui-ci est le créateur d'un important site consacré au premier. Musicalement, Massinniliano Picconi et sa compagne Alessia Cicala doivent beaucoup à la première période de Dead Can Dance mais s'inscrivent aussi dans la lignée néo-classique de leurs compatriotes d'Ataraxia (Dies Irae rejoint la pureté de Simphonia Sine Nomine) et des également tout jeunes Hexperos.
D'influence classique, leur musique est austère, ses teintes s'étalent sur une palette réduite et une certaine séche-resse s'en dégage. Car ses allures de grandeur, toute d'emphase liturgique, ses solennelles intrications polyphoniques en latin s'appuyant sur des claviers et programmations symphoniques, la complexité de chacun de ses sept morceaux déployés en panneaux minutieusement articulés n'ont pas vocation à chanter la gloire du divin ni à promettre le salut mais à s'immerger, à travers la réinterprétation de textes notamment religieux, dans un champ de désespoir, seul dénouement possible de la relation entre Dieu et l'être humain. Un tombeau des espoirs qui a la beauté d'une cathédrale.
The group's name is loosely translated from Latin as "The Gate of the Soul" – lining up perfectly with their sound, which calls to mind mystic rituals conducted by moonlight. The team of Massimiliano Picconi (instruments) and Alessia Cicala (vocals) draw heavily on elements of Renaissance-era spiritual music and both modern & classical composers, tying the elements together with cinematic sound design and production. I'd say it falls within the same genre lines of legendary exotic-music artists Dead Can Dance, and the awesome Swedish group Arcana.
One of the coolest techniques used on Dies Irae is the intricate layering of vocals, blending multiple tracks of Cicala's operatic voice and weaving it together with different ranges of male vocals. Combined with slow, epic waves of brass and strings, the resulting effect feels like a black cloud passing over a cathedral. No accident that the album's title is taken from an ominous Latin hymn describing the Day of Judgment, and if you've seen Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, you know the tune I mean (although it's not used here). As you can probably guess, this music could take you to a very dark place.
From the dark ambient opening of "Psalmus 57" (most of these tracks open with a similar throbbing pulse) to the gothic bell-tower echoes of "Lacrimosa Dies," there's a sense of impending doom creeping through these seven tracks, especially in the droning chants of "Signum Iudicii," the shuddering strings of "Sigillum Septimum" and the nightmarish climax of "Angelum Abyssi" (Angel of the Abyss). It all comes together to form an image of the Apocalypse, painted with broad, dark strokes.
If you've got a taste for haunting atmospheres and epic soundscapes of doom, Dies Irae is one blood chilling chill-out record. -Gregory Burkart
Massimiliano Picconi and leading lady Alessia Cicala have crafted quite the art form out of their work. It is more in depth listening experience, that simply treasure for pleasure.
The music immediately envelops the listener as you easily slip into a seemingly medieval world, or at least the romanticized version that so many fans love to envision through this musical style and related subculture. The album has a religious theme to it if you look up the various references in english (or your own native language), it becomes a bit more meaningful than just beautiful vocals over the dark and brooding distant percussion and ominous synthesized orchestral compositions. "Psalmus 57" slowly builds over this slow and haunting music, gradually building and becoming more intense to a final climax before fading and giving way to "Rex Gloriae". This piece features some guest vocalists and musicians for added depth and breadth, the bass vocals lend an eerie feel to the already somber tone of the music. The soprano vocals offset it with a subtle beauty and the mix of alto for a beautiful harmony provides something that even the most educated in classical music can appreciate. Though the text of this piece gives the feeling of rejoicing, the darker moods and compositions keep it very subdued. These compositions bring out such sweet recollections of the darker pieces of Dead Can Dance and Arcana two favorites in the genre, especially as we get to "Psalmus 87" with the moving, yet distinct heavy bass and subtle symphonic compositions as a backdrop to the smooth vocals.
The entire album moves along at a slow and somber pace, but this next piece "Lacrimosa Dies" really delves into the darker moods with a slower, more subtle percussion under the layers of heavy synthesized strings, chimes and distant, subdued brass, yet once again the angelic vocals soar and give life to a seemingly dead world. "Signum Iudicii" allows the vocals to really shine, again in much the same style of related artists in the genre, as the music really drops back into the background a bit more, at least at first and again at various times throughout the album as it becomes true acapella for a while. "Sigillum Septimum" again remains dark and brooding as the title implies "the seventh seal", invoking a forboding feeling of anticipation. This leads us to our somber and dark finale "Gelum Abyssi" which starts off much the way the album began with the distant, heavy and dark percussion and a variety of various instruments subtly woven together with the harmonized vocals for a dark, yet magnificent tapestry. The press release and album information speak of a feeling of hopelessness this concept album represents, while that is the case in many aspects, it's a true masterpiece in portraying many of the moods and feelings of the text and in it's own way there are definitely beautiful facets to the album across each track. For fans of various dark ambient, dark folk, neoclassical and medieval music, this is a true treasure for your collection. Rating: 4.5/5
Como o próprio título indica, o Dies Irae gira à volta da natureza da conturbada relação entre Deus e o homem. “Mergulhamos em particular no drama cristão medieval chamado “torpes”, que se distingue por alternar recitação e canto coral, cuja execução é levada a cabo por clérigos”, começa Massimiliano. “Mas o nosso uso intensivo de música polifónica contra-pontual típica difere da técnica habitual da Idade Média, e é caracterizada pela música monofónica – apenas uma voz – e homofónica – com uma voz melódica dominante, acompanhada muitas vezes por coro. A interpretação da Alessia reflecte o drama e o sofrimento expressos nos textos e ligados a eventos que causaram grande sofrimento na vida dela. Pode ser considerado um exorcismo, um processo de purificação”. Com uma receita tão solene, profunda e enriquecida pela polifonia, uma tradição profundamente enraizada em Itália, era inevitável que perguntássemos aos nossos interlocutores se essas tradições influenciaram de algum modo a receita musical dos Atrium Animae. Massimilano confirma, mas não está certo que as raízes musicais do duo tenham uma influência tão forte no processo criativo. Alessia tem uma posição ligeiramente diferente: “Fiz parte de um coro polifónico e estudei o estilo no conservatório. Cantar reportório polifónico durante tantos anos ajudou-me definitivamente na criação de partes polifónicas complexas. Para além disso, as partes orquestrais dramáticas do Massimiliano têm também uma enorme influência no meu processo criativo”.
Google translation: At a time when the "hangover" of a project like Dead Can Dance hits frightening proportions, fans of the Australian duo have an alternative to placate the addiction. Atrium Animae called, is also a duo - but Italian - and the proposal debut, Dies Irae is the best thing that happened the scene and neo-classical symphony in a long time. Strongly influenced by classical and spiritual music, the singer Alessia Cicala and multi-instrumentalist Massimiliano Piccone propose a spiritual journey, full of atmosphere obscure to the world of submission and despair. "The project is essentially the sum of our mutual influences and musical knowledge, "explains Alessia. "But our desire to express a feeling black and necessary for the apocalyptic theme of the 'Dies Irae' sense of loss, remorse, despair, but also torture, rage against injustice and acts evil, seeking revenge. " Strong feelings that produce a environment for a strong album that surprised by the cohesion debut soon. A cohesion which, according to the singer, comes from a balance. "There was a incredible empathy between us, but our different views of the project profoundly influenced the creative process and the orchestral parts and vocals. In addition, we wanted to have total control of the whole process creative, but we believe that our duality creates the right mix and chemistry. That's why we got the result we wanted after three years of hard work and multiple versions of each song. Therefore, we can consider the Dies Irae is not exactly a sum, but more an intersection of our influences. "
As its title indicates, the Dies Irae revolves around the nature of troubled relationship between God and man. "We soaked in particular medieval Christian drama called "dull", which is distinguished by switch recitation and choir, whose execution is carried out by clergy, " Massimiliano begins. "But our intensive use of polyphonic music counter-point differs from the usual technique typical of the Middle Ages, and is characterized by monophonic music - just a voice - and homophonic - with one dominant melodic voice, often accompanied by the choir. The Alessia's interpretation reflects the drama and the sorrow expressed in texts and linked to events that caused great suffering in her life. It can be considered an exorcism, a purification process. " With a revenue so solemn and deeply enriched by polyphony, a tradition deeply rooted in Italy, it was inevitable that we asked to our partners if these traditions influenced somehow the recipe musical Animae Atrium. Massimilano confirmed, but is not certain that the the duo's musical roots have such a strong influence in the creative process. Alessia has a slightly different position: "I was part of a choir polyphonic style and studied at the conservatory. Polyphonic singing repertoire for so many years definitely helped me in the creation of shares polyphonic complex. In addition, the dramatic orchestral parts Massimiliano's also have a huge influence on my process creative".
Dies Irae is comprised of compositions recorded with skill and talent to bring the music buff Webzine Athena Lux reader directly to the sensory and emotional contemplation of the sublime divine presence in our world and how could it be otherwise, the patient result final musical after years of painstaking work is noticed and enjoyed in its perfection by offering ideal sound for a single neoclassical album. Published by the prestigious label Projekt, and photography and design by Massimiliano Picconia, the stunning album Dies Irae Animae Atrium is a guarantee of art conceived as a reliable expression of absolute devotion shown by these two creative souls to musical universe that we love so much music-lovers. Without a doubt, Dies Irae is not only the Neoclassical album par excellence among all who have appeared in this year 2011, but has become one of the most prominent in the history of music because of the neoclassical rights under the sublime quality treasured jewel in this album. Chapeau for Animae Atrium, my sincere congratulations from Lux Athena Webzine, and thanks for taking all those years to create this great music for our intense enjoyment. We started hearing this album eminent dipping into the sacred, in a glorious subject as "Psalmus 57" where the spiritual is played by the God of the Old Testament with relentless fury against those who break their laws of God. "Psalmus 57" impress readers Athena Lux Webzine for its intensity and its colossal magnificence of the divinity itself, and with which our soul is fully identified. A spiritual ideal and a purity of soul that is sublimely reflected in "Rex Glory" with such realism and accuracy, as if they were reborn Swedenborg himself and advised in person Animae Atrium in the definition and the sound profile of the celestial circles. "Rex Glory" will leave you overwhelmed with the spirit of these spectacular hearing voices which seem instrumental background from infinity to contact us. "Rex Glory," which artistic greatness Animae signed by Atrium!
With the following composition, "Psalmus 87", another musical sublime art shows will be presented to the human being in the middle of the crossroads that creates inside her instincts and tendencies between earthly and their highest aspirations close to the divine. Surrounded by sound waves and vocal, "Psalmus 87" will make you lose sense of time and body density towards transcendence and also our feelings of admiration and gratitude to Animae Atrium will only grow and grow in within us in offering this neoclassical musical perfection. Then the song "Lacrimosa Dies" will delve firmly in our minds to irradiate our minds with the contemplation of the inscrutable divinity that transcends and excites us, being "Signum Iudicii" a new qualitative increase in the intensity in this extraordinary sacred work. A forceful and vocal sound in perfect balance with the prophetic message contained in religious texts that is based in this vibrant and moving composition. But as long as possible to the possible mental relaxation, "Sigillum Septimum" will be presented with the colossal power contained in the texts belonging to the Apocalypse of St. John and inexorable consequence of the lack of respect shown by human beings to the work and marked by acts divinity that guaranteed immortality and purity of the soul in its future. With a great vocal performance that seems to expand to infinity in the presence of this universal divine justice, "Sigillum Septimum" leaves you paralyzed the senses to be psychologically fixed in this lofty musical performance. "Sigillum Septimum", a masterpiece without any doubt! Finally, the grim spectacle of the end of the world will be present in the composition "Angelum abyssi" as dramatic and, in turn, dramatically monumental closing sound of a musical work that is already writing his name with golden letters in the most select register of purchasing essential music albums in the dark & independent scene.
Any music lover who loves, cares and pamper your private record collection to his passionate enjoyment, should have an original edition of Dies Irae (as discussed here) if you want to keep their hands on the crème de la crème of the best editions Gothic published in recent decades. Dies Irae with this album, Atrium has created a sublime Animae work destined to become the undisputed musical reference in the scene's most innovative neoclassical in the coming years. Enjoy it!
There are only seven tracks, but weighing in at 44 minutes, and all the work of Alessia Cicala and Massimiliano Picconi, with added vocals from Paolo Meloni and Barbara Cicala. They ease you in with the relatively short ‘Psalmus 57’, distant percussion, stealth synth invoking doomy brass and holistic vocals that are, apparently, indulging in ‘complex polyphonic parts.’ I always suspected as such! It’s dreamy, yet ominous, nothing too harsh. You can pitch this anywhere between the more troubled, introverted touches Ataraxia can exhibit or the streamlined heartfelt pomp of Gae Bolg, with a rich but sparse orchestral spine, around which the vocals are wound. ‘Rex Gloriae’ seeps and meeps, more ghostly than ghastly, as the atmosphere isn’t created to drag you into a dark hole. Indeed, ‘Psalmus 87’ billows softly, graciously enfolding the listener, while ‘Lacrimosa Dies’ mooches spookily, like Kate Bush holidaying on Mars. That’s the easy part, then the record starts to strengthen its grip.
‘Sinum Iudicii’ is uber churchy, the vocal concoction like a dusty meringue bobbing on a puddle of tears, ‘Sigillum Septimum’ emerges from an ambient mist, spectral shivers a speciality, gradually warming and opening out serenely as their most stylish composition.
‘Angelum Abyssi’ is also interesting, build out of the ether with more distant drums and slowly encroaching horns and a hazy vocal presence. The drums and brass gently shimmer in a positive way and vocals stretch out over the sounds, enigmatic but enticing. There is another slight pause and the vocals burn brighter as the sounds fall back, and apart. Then again but with a boomier surge, chimes and vocals gathering in such a way that when it ends it feels like your entire room has been threatened but then cleansed.
It seems simple enough, and will be close to what you may expect but the beauty of it is…well, the beauty of it, and the way it’s like the Tardis, far bigger on the inside.
Atrium Animae is primarily the work of two incredibly skilled individuals, who fully understand the music that they create. Notably, it is one thing to be appreciative of a style. That appreciation shows up in bands that attempt to create in that vein of style. However, it is quite another thing to be so well-versed in that style that one (or, in this case, two) can be mentioned as an inherent part of the music being crafted. Atrium Animae is the real thing.
This latest release from Atrium Animae begins with the opening “Psalmus 57″, a brooding vocal piece that approaches a reverence with its heavy attention on vocal work, beautifully supplied by by the conservatory-trained soprano, Alessia Cicala. That opener track is followed by the gorgeous, monastic combining of male vocal (Paolo Meloni) with the lovely, catholic vocals of our female singer in a worshipful “Rex Gloriae”, a work not unlike film music. The album follows a similar course throughout its seven contemplative tracks. In short, Dies Irae, while not for everyone, is a beautiful album of complexity that can appeal to the most adventurous of music-lovers.
Folks, if the deep, catholic-born, gothic-flavored music found on Dies Irae is to your liking, then shift your attention completely to Atrium Animae. If they ever find themselves progressing beyond the music heard on this release, music from different periods that aren’t gothically infused, or even challenging themselves with music from other cultures, then Atrium Animae may just become our new infatuation. The talent is there, the ability is there.
I’m keeping my ears open to Atrium Animae. If you’re musically adventurous (and enjoyed DCD), then I suggest you do the same.
Atrium Animae are one such band you’d approach reviewing their albums in such a manner. Their album Dies Irae sounds like it was recorded in a Cathedral in the pre- Reformation days when people went to mass not so much to renew their connection with God as to be reminded of the fact that they are disappointments in the eyes of the Almighty and the Church because they are only human. They do sound like Dead Can Dance, albeit a kind of Dead Can Dance that had all the hippie plucked out of it and beaten with a length of organ pipe. In fact, it’s much closer to the now defunct Ophelia’s Dream as Dies Irae won’t be going into folk territory any time soon, instead resting on the laurels of their fine education.
The whole album is laden with the sound of the end times where all hope had long since left the world with the setting sun. “Plalmus 57” is a song of remorse and despair, forever crying over the injustice of the world. “Psalmus 87” is much more reflective and balanced but moves like a metronome and broods like a mopeygoth who just finished their teen years. “Lacrimosa Dies” mourns the loss of a loved one with beautiful vocals and bell ringing in the background. “Signum Iudicii” sounds like it could have come from the soundtrack from a film such as Braveheart or Gladiator for a very tragic and moving scene where the bad guys kill off a number of innocent people to show how bad they are. In the meantime, the song still cries after the funeral and keeps it up into the wake.
“Sigillum Septimum” rises from out of the shadows only to weep for a better time and place as it poses in its Widow’s Weeds and you’re not sure if you want it to go on or just tell it enough already, as the song is quite a long one but does get a grip at the end. “Angelum Abyssi” tries to come to terms with everything, and in the end comes to a quite understanding about it all.
The album has a lot to offer and has superb vocals backed up by an orchestral way of thinking which means they don’t do things by halves. Definitely one for when a morose mood takes you and you’d rather stay in from the bright lights judging smiley faces. 9/10 -Jamie Monahan
Le 7 tracce dividono concettualmente l’album in due parti: la prima esplora la tragedia della condizione umana lacerata dal conflitto perenne tra sete di perfezione divina e caducità della carne, mentre la seconda introduce il concetto dell’apocalisse come conseguenza dell’impossibilità di riconciliazione tra uomo e dio.
La narrativa, con il suo progressivo incedere verso un’oscurità metafisica che, dalla malinconia più profonda e desolata, si tramuta inevitabilmente in drammaticità visionaria di sapore medioevale, è riflessa nei toni funerei della stumentazione e nella ricchezza dei cori polifonici.
L’espressività e coesione del lavoro è assolutamente perfetta: ogni nota riporta ai perenni, desolati orizzonti di uno spirito travagliato da tormento, rimorso e disperata tristezza; ogni bagliore sinfonico sprigiona l’onnipresente, anelante tensione verso il misticismo trascendentale.
L’Atrio dell’Anima si spalanca al mondo affinchè la sua cupola oscura si tramuti in cielo stellato. -Mystery Flame
I can’t remember to have ever heard a ‘darker’ release on Projekt, which is more devoted to different forms of ‘wave’ music, cabaret, and ethereal ao. Atrium Animae mixes elements of ethereal, neo-classic, but especially ritual music. We feel like we are watching an imaginary sacred rite. The classically trained soprano voice of Alessia Cicala perfectly fits to this poignant atmosphere. She appears to be the Goddess of the rite and one of the main forces of her project. She’s really carrying several songs, “Sigillum Septimum” being one of the most noticeable parts. But Dies Irae is from a pure musical point of view still surprising. Music and vocals together are in perfect balance with each other. “Psamlmus 57” opening the CD is a well-crafted piece of mysterious darkness. The darkness moves into pure torment on “Rex Gloriae” while reaching a sacred state on “Psalmus 87”. The last mentioned track is a kind of sonic requiem. Probably the most poignant track is “Signum Iudicci”. The ritual character of the sound is absolutely gorgeous. A kind of sacred chant is accentuating the ritual mood of the composition. This track strongly appeals for imaginary vision of cold and wet crypts, being the epicenter of ancestral rites. The last cut “Angelum Abyssi” sounds like a move to dark ambient music. A few drones are like accentuating the dark and oppressive touch of this track.
Dies Irae is a terrific debut CD maybe revealing the latest sensation from Italy.
It happens that there are times when the memory of a situation is bound to a place, and in the recall of a day spent there, that moment where we photographed a part of what today helps maintain stable memory will, should, become music. It happens every time I listen “Dies Irae", the successful debut album release by Atrium Animae.
A warm day in August when I visited the romantic ruins of Jumièges in Norman, kissing various Romanesque abbeys, comes slowly along the Seine now dying to the sea . An geographical area apprechiated by the painters over the centuries, with the ruins are part melancholy, almost a great part of France where the Gothic has architectural value. Ruins that still, despite the crashes, disqualifications, bring the arcs, what remains of the time, to God, the columns partially collapsed.
That site has the appearance of an entrance in a city of fantasy where a dark curse has devastated the purity, as the Gothic, also dark, looks for the pure essence, never the evil essence, seeks the Divine not the Demon, looks for the light to give a significance to dark.
The seven tracks of "Dies Irae" are a little bit of that a reseach of the divine part from the sepulchre,e tomb, the kiss of life in death, a God ready to rock their souls if the love for his energy, the devotion is the gift with the most difficult form of architecture ever invented, music.
And if the first approach to music seems inspired by the archaic and religious of the early Dead Can Dance (Massimiliano as well as a great composer on this album, is the owner of www.dead-can-dance.com, the Italian site of the band founded by Brendan Perry), when the sound was steeped in fear and deep sound structure.
It’s an important background, but in general "Dies Irae" has little other different aspects, the Nordic darkfolk of Dargaard, or purity of classical mysticism and pagan of Garmarna, especially when the drum, deaf, marks time of the announced fatal apocalypse, as in "Psalmus 57", fuzzy variables in small rhythmic calling and get in "Rex Gloriae" open horn and lights, to not die immediately.
Amazingly beautiful the duet vocal on this track, which now really has the evocative power of Dead Can Dance "Spleen An Ideal" or the early work of the Arcana. The male voice is almost monastic, the orchestration of Ars Antiqua of the early Middle Ages has still the sounds of slave to religious dogma punitive here, enhanced by the dark keyboards, real threats of a dying soul, to cure.
Alessia is ethereal in "Psalmus 87", surrounded by pizzicato strings in awe and ecstasy, a song such a door to worlds beyond this world, if you want fantastic, and in this, as in this little fairy, a sort of affinity with Lugburz, one of the many faces of the great Sathorys Elenorth. Especially in the following "Lacrimosa Dies" with its faster pace.
The music is the vehicle for a pilgrimage: we often use the concept of pilgrimage, but here is pilgrimage because to unknown destinations, and the final destination is the seventh track "Angelum abyssi" slow to lead us out of the temple, perhaps from the cave, surely the only certainty is to listen "Dies Irae" again and again, to snatch every little note, every little aspect of a complex work consisting of two people, as when the divinity is honored and satisfied, came to the court of a label, important, stable, generous such as Projekt.
Ex nihilo crevit ... He came up out of nowhere ... and the creature of Alessia and Massimiliano came up from nothing seriously, but now can go far, our prediction is hazy about it but a certainty: "Dies Irae" is a good album which we bow down without fear... -Nicola Tenani
All of this to create an high rate mystic - religious music, an ideal soundtrack to be enjoyed during a stay in a monastery or convent in search of the own (lost) spirituality.
The musical reference to Dead Can Dance's important triptych "Spleen and Ideal", "Within the Realm of a Dying Sun" and "The Serpent's Egg" is undeniable, but this release lives with its own light, a light that perfectly merges with the dark, painting sound horizons made of an infinite and decadent poetry, where strings, brass, orchestration and voices are all one in the sublime emotions to the listener.
"Dies Irae" is a concept album based on the reinterpretation of texts taken by religious and pagan texts, an analysis of the relationship between God and Man. Seven tracks like the seven seals, opened one after another, and ending with "Angelum abyssi ", from The Apocalypse of St. John. A song whose atmosphere and drama left stunned, as enchant the funeral hymn "Rex Gloriae" (guest vocal contribution to the great Paolo Meloni), and the monastic "Signum Iudici" (chameleon work items Alessia, supported by a dramatic crescendo.)
An album to listen very carefully and in silence, do it, and you will feel refreshed and spiritually deeper. -Marco Cavallini
Funereal and gothically-tinged, Dead Can Dance opened the pipe for tolerance of a new kind of music. Because they willingly approached music from a cultural standpoint, recreating until they found a common ground between the new music fan and those that are inured to the kind of underlying musical qualities found in classical works, they found a steadfast audience. In turn, they set the path for other bands.
Atrium Animae is an Italian duo, formed to express the kind of music that early-era Dead Can Dance embraced. The male component of Atrium Animae, Massimmiliano Picconi, is the keyboardist and master of the programming aspects supplied to the album. The stunning, layered female vocal work is the work of Alessia Cicala. Alessia Cicala was vocally trained in Conservatoire, and brings her haunting operatic soprano to the newly released Dies Irae (June 14 via Projekt Records).
Dies Irae contains seven tracks of intensity, musically characterized by ancient Catholic religious rites often heard in films depicting such rites. The music explores authenticity in every corner of its dark and apocalyptic airs of foreboding wrath. The lyrics, drawn from antiquity, add an otherworldly quality. There is little to compare the grand content of Dies Irae to other than the potential comparison of Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun (1987) from Dead Can Dance, as well as choice selections of other tunes from various early DCD albums. Suffice it to say that Dies Irae is a meticulous exercise in a world completely unlike our present one.
The music heard on Dies Irae is not for everyone. It might not even be for you. But if you listened admiringly to anything by the greatly missed Dead Can Dance, then you'll find something to appreciate here in this bold, new album by a band that insists on being who they are. The goal here is to put up a new signpost leading to a new discovery for you. Hopefully, you'll be intrigued.