Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Mosaic - Secret Ambrosian Fire

Most of what you need to know about Mosaic is encapsulated in the first three words of their Facebook about section. Written out in all caps is, "TRADITIONS. LEGENDS. MYSTICISM." and that's exactly what you get. This is a band who encapsulated the magic of German pagan black metal with grandiose production, a stunning list of guests (Including Empyrium's Schwadorf) and some emotionally potent songs. Though the band has been incredibly prolific over the years in releasing splits and EP's, Secret Ambrosian Fire is their first full length.

So yes - this record is grandiose and a touch pretentious. But you didn't pick up an album on Eisenwald with this type of art because you were looking for raw punk fury. Mosaic understand exactly what their audience want and revel in giving it to them. Secret Ambrosian Fire is a masterful offering. Project mastermind Martin Van Valkenstijn is the sort of iconoclastic genius who molds black metal for his larger vision. The approach he brings to the table here is holistic, coming across in all aspects of the record. There are so many layers here and the overall execution leads to a magical atmosphere.

Secret Ambrosian Fire is a thrilling work. It's a record that seems to continuously raise the bar for what has long been one of Germany's most respected pagan black metal exports. The sheer artistry delivered here is thrilling. This is a work that sits alongside other great classics of the German metal canon, nad its focus on tradition carries it back even further into the legacy of high art music. While Secret Ambrosian Fire may not be an easy listen it is a thrilling one which will fascinate devotees for years to come.

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