Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Visions - Temples.

Album: Temples
Artist: Visions
Label: Cyclic Law
Catalogue no: 119th Cycle


     1.      Traces
     2.      Murmur
     3.      Lamentation
     4.      Ultima
     5.      Temples
     6.      Aura
     7.      Continuum

After an extremely deceptively quiet start, this album opens out into a glorious essay on sustained dark atmospherics and esoteric visions, taking the listener on a mind-expanding journey through the inner recesses of our own thoughts and dreams. Of all the music I’ve heard and reviewed recently Temples is my standout album – deeply meditative, inviting us to look inwards rather than outwards, speculating perhaps on the idea that the spaces inside our minds are as infinite and beautiful as the vastness of the universe around us. After all, didn’t Carl Sagan say “We are made of star stuff, we are a way for the cosmos to know itself”? The reflection of the macro contained within the micro – in effect, ‘as above, so below’.

Deeply resonant chords ebb and flow in continuous cycles, the very breath of the cosmos itself. Perhaps, too, these are the thoughts of the macrocosm made material and intelligible, so that we can be a part of the myriad cycles and evolutions it undergoes. And, contained within each piece, are hints of boundless and illimitable spaces, hints enough for our finite brains to comprehend without breaking apart. The vistas alluded to here are both staggeringly exquisite and devastatingly terrifying. They are simultaneously savage and edifying. We are witness to both the dance of colour and light, and the stately encroachment of darkness and gravity.

Beyond that, however, is that this set has shades of what I term the Deepsoul – a resonant frequency that jibes with everything contained within the definition of divine kinship with the universe at large. It is spine-tinglingly simple in construction yet deeply affecting in effect. There is complexity here but it is simply delineated and expounded. It goes beyond incense and paraphernalia, fire, chant, and ritual, and on into true communion. Try the title track for starters, ‘Temples’ – a ringing, siren-like invitation to divest oneself of material notions, to leave the fleshly body behind, and to become united with the very star stuff that is both inside and outside us and to make those essential – no, urgent - connections.

I can honestly say that I actually had shivers running up and down my spine whilst listening to this album. Every one of these seven tracks is consciousness elevating and soul-enriching, cutting through the dross of the everyday to reveal the dangerous beauty that lies within our grasp if only we’re brave enough to reach out despite the perils.

Ratings are meaningless, but if I were to assign it one it would be 10/10. 

Psymon Marshall 2019. 

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