PICK OF THE WEEK: Unreqvited look back on past pain, anxiety on cosmic ‘Mosaic II: la déteste…’

Each new year paves the way for us to regenerate and carve new paths in our lives, trying to make good for some of our past misfortunes. It’s silly in a way, because what’s so different about Jan. 1 that sets it apart from Dec. 31? Yet people use that as motivation to put themselves in new situations that stand to improve the 12 months previous to the current one.

The mysterious artist behind Unreqvited (he goes by 鬼 but also answers to “ghost”) looked back at 2018’s “Mosaic I:  l’amour et l’ardeur,” a creation where he reflected on his joy, euphoria, and creative bursts he felt at that time and decided to flip the coin over. That results in “Mosaic II: la déteste et la détresse,” an album that reflects on times that were not as positive, rolling in his misery, anxiety, and pain, making this one of his most painful recordings to date. Yet, if you take a close listen, there also are reflective, solemn, and even dreamlike passages that can make you want to float off and simmer in the sensations, almost as if you’re being soothed. But you’re not, and darkness is around each fold, and if you’re lulled into peace, don’t be surprised if you’re jarred by the dagger.

“Nightfall” starts quietly and calmly as a gloomy, proggy sequence opens, flowing into the murk. Cries are buried in the background, spreading as guitars begin chugging, and melodies spill onto the ground. The playing cascades as synth clouds settle overhead, bringing on a frost, while the music trickles into the fog and away. “Wasteland” has sounds hovering as the guitars come to life, and fantastical playing sets the stage and gets inside your head. The music soars and has regality to it as gothy strains rain down, mysteriously slipping into cold waters while glowing leads burn in the night. That leads to a strange bit of calm before waves ignite, with howls barreling behind and chilling keys spilling into a burst of wild winds. “Pale” has similar DNA as keys simmer, slowly hanging in the atmosphere, before melodies yawn and finally bleed. Guitars begin to snake through the terrain as the playing swirls and enraptures, stimulating deep thought, while the back end has liquid keys forming a solid block of ice.

“Disorder” has an elegant opening, feeling cool and jazzy, as if you’re blurring into the dusk sky, while the cries bubble in the haze. Keys awaken and glimmer, trampling over everything, as the mood thickens, and wild howls beckon behind it all. The tempo picks up from there, mixing with folkish dream states, taking you on a cosmic path that charges, splits, and splinters apart. The final three tracks are woven together starting with “Transience I – The Ambivalent” that has strange noise forming a light storm, situating above you and beginning to release light precipitation. The senses are beginning to numb as an alien mist coats your face and brings you into “Transience II – The Gentle Void” where keys plink like ice pellets. The light slowly rises and glows, making you shield your eyes, while it feels like you’ve entered deep slumber, where hidden messages are shifted into your subconsciousness. It feels like a path from which you won’t return, working out of your mind toward closer “Transience III – The Static” that has spacey quivers and synth blankets. The guitars return and lurch, adding an ominous tone to a hypnotic trance, as harshness rears its head here and there. But then, an ambient flood overtakes you, covering you in waves and dragging you out to the middle of the sea.

The music that plays out on “Mosaic II: la déteste et la détresse” is both unlike anything Unreqvited ever released and also an obvious part of the project’s overall DNA. It’s a fascinating listen, and I’ll admit I needed a few listens before everything made sense to me, which ultimately it did. It’s a record that challenges your ideas of what you think is heavy music and unquestioned pain, meaning it doesn’t always look and sound the way you expect.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/unreqvited/

To buy the album, go here: https://prophecy.lnk.to/unreqvited-disquiet-mosaic-sylvaine-split

For more on the label, go here: https://en.prophecy.de/

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