[haven] – Naos

“Naos” is a brand new child of Asphodel – the mastermind of the project [haven]. It’s the second production of the artist (after “The Last Breath of the Lonely Buildings”) and it definitely takes a more oriental turn in comparison to its predecessor. Though a categorization here is a hard act to follow, the most accurate would be to say that the CD merges the elements of electronics with those of magical psychedelia and industrial.

The linking concept of the album is the tinge of Middle East that might be found in all the tracks. In fact a bit exotic tint makes the album gain the hypnotic, meditative quality that lets the listener fall into a pleasant trance. My first associations were with the music of Anesthesia, still “Naos” is less thoughtful and more dynamic in general.
The music included on the album is a combination of picturesque, surreal soundscapes, dissonance and complex, deep structures.

The elements that are characteristic for the album are pounding rhythm, dissonances, oppressive sounds like in “Chepre’s Dream”, drilling tunes of “Mantra for Abandoned Children” and sudden, unexpected changes of tempo like in “Naofor”. One may also find the elements of prayers and fierce quarrels that intertwine with soothing passages.

As I like the specified tempo and rhythm marked by separate beats or kinda ‘hips-swinging’ melody “Byzantine Melancholy” is my favorite track: it has a definite, pulsating Eastern rhythm and instrumental part constructed of drums, tambourine and male song that softly passes into the sounds imitating those of crashing waves.

The other two, most extinguishing tracks, are “Keter” – ominous, threatening, reverberating melody retaining unusual and bewildering sounds that remind a strange quest through a hall of brass and glass, and “Kyfi” that evokes the aura of unreal, narcotic dream.

On the whole, the album is extremely contemplative and moody. It creates the dark, deep atmosphere and builds up the effect of estrangement which is so important in making highly spiritual and meditative music.
After having listened to “Naos” I was left with the impression of melancholia, soft sadness, thoughtfulness, calm and also a strange anxiety.

artist: [haven]
label: War Office Propaganda
details: cd, 9 tracks, 2006 [WOP 31]