Album: Mosaic I: l’amour et l’ardeur
Label: Northern Silence Productions
Genre: Post-Black Metal / Blackgaze
Release Date: 23 November, 2018
If you have ever wondered what the soundtrack to a sunrise would be, Mosaic I: l’amour et l’ardeur would be it. The album title translates to “Love and Ardor” which is quite fitting given the lovely tone of the album. Although classified as depressive post-black metal, there is very little that is actually deeply depressing about this record at all. These songs radiate nothing but light, beauty, and hopefulness throughout the entirety album while still sounding quite unearthly as well. This is the perfect album to put on, close your eyes, and let your mind drift off to as the epic band instrumentals, the superb orchestra, and the melodious piano all come together to create such a lush landscape that is so easy to lose yourself in; one you will never want to leave. The music itself is so alluring yet so haunting at the same time. This is such a comprehensive musical experience that leaves you with a hankering for more as you will not want to return to reality after deeply listening through it.
Unreqvited have found a perfect balance between post-rock, shoegaze, and post-black metal to create such an emotional experience through the instrumentals and atmosphere created alone. Although there are very few vocal parts on this album, they are insanely powerful with how scarcely they are utilized. At times, it even sounds as if there is a massive, distant choir providing the eerie ambience throughout the slower and more atmospheric parts of the album. The piano is the main contributor to the melody throughout the entirety of the record while the rest of the band and orchestral aspects harmonize so well to create such a radiant atmosphere. The highlights of this record are of course the instrumentation and song structure. The guitarwork is exceptionally elegant and even gives off quite a jazzy vibe during the intros and bridges of the songs on this album, as heard in the song Permanence, but also provides quite a punch during the more riff-oriented sections. When the songs climax, the guitar takes the reins and just overwhelms you in the best of ways with gnarly riffs, leads, and chords to create such an epic peak to the songs. There are times where the music itself will sound nothing but mysterious and melancholic at times, but as you start to feel comfortable with the pace of the songs, the lead guitar will burst in with a very cheerful riff to lift your spirits. The guitar work is obviously exceptional and seamlessly helps the song transition from one part to the other.
Although only containing five songs, Mosaic I… totals just over forty minutes in length. Many of these songs are reminiscent of the band Alcest, even in the harsh vocals at times during the emotional explosions. The music is very much Unreqvited and does not mimic any other artist, but this band definitely shows their influences. The vocals are the least impressive parts on this beauty of an album and that is not saying they are not impressive. The vocals are used very rarely and only in times of musical climax and when used, it is just the same scream repeating over and over throughout all of the songs. They are not used too much so that it bores the listener, they are used in the right amount in which it remains tasteful. While there are no actual lyrics it seems, the cleaner and slower parts of the songs could actually work quite well with some soaring clean vocals. With that being said, the instrumentation is very impressive in itself that clean vocals are not necessary at all. The music speaks for itself. With an emphasis on instrumentals, the production is very satisfying to listen to as you can hear every detail layered in the songs with ease.
Dreamscape and Permanence are without a doubt the most memorable songs on the record. They are the two longest songs on the album, but Unreqvited display their songwriting prowess with these epic pieces. The other songs are more linear but are still beyond beautiful tracks to listen to. Permanence is the powerful closer to this album that is just filled with massive explosions of emotion shortly after the the halfway point and also at the end of the track. This song is as majestic as it is vibrant with atmosphere and emotion. If you are not playing close attention whie listening to this song, those explosions of emotion just blindside you and make damn sure that you pay attention to the rest of the song. The ending to this track and album is so monumental that it makes you want this album to be longer. But fret not, as Unreqvited have not only released Mosaic I: l’amour et l’ardeur but also another album earlier this year called Stars Wept to the Sea, which is as epic and atmospheric as this record is.
To summarize, this is an incredible album without a doubt. The album art shows you exactly what the album will sound like; dark and mysterious yet downright beautiful. The songs all blend together beautifully to create such a rich soundscape that will make you want to come back so you can find all those subtle musical nuances. Although it does suffer from a lack in variety in the vocal department, the rest of the music speaks for itself and picks up that slack. When the vocals are used, its done so very powerfully in such a way that just adds another emotional dimension to this elegant music. As great as this album is, it is hard to believe it is the second album released this year by Unreqvited! Although they released two albums this year, they certainly did not sacrifice the quality of the music over quantity!
Total Playing Time: 40:36