Released on the same day as the phenomenal split with Sylvaine ‘Time Without End’, ‘Mosaic II’ is the fourth full length from Canadian one man project Unreqvited, and is the alter-ego to the previously released ‘Mosaic I’. Whereas ‘Mosaic I’ was an outlet for “joy, euphoria and passion”, this follow up is said to be based upon “ire, misery and anxiety” so promises to be a cheerful listen!
Made up of seven constituent parts (the final three of which serve as a trilogy) this is atmospheric, post-black metal of the highest order, based around layered synths and bleak soundscapes and it is without doubt darker than part I.
There is a searing intensity as barely audible screams and tortured howls sit behind melancholic melodies creating images of tortured souls languishing behind bars in some faraway abandoned basement cellblock, and although there are blastbeats and battering percussion at times, such as on ‘Wastelands’, it is the brooding melodic passages that give this album its disturbing atmosphere.
‘Mosaic II’ manages to evoke differing feelings as it progresses and at times it takes you away to a peaceful forest before carrying you to a dilapidated asylum and then back to a windswept, snow-capped mountain peak as the album twists and turns. There are certain passages that are almost upbeat, such as during ‘Disorder’ and it is perhaps this juxtaposition that makes some of the more ruminating passages so effective.
The closing trilogy begins with ‘Transience I – The Ambivalent’ which is a synth heavy passage which feels a little out of place leading into the peaceful ‘Transience II – The Gentle Void’ before the album is brought to a close with the dissonant ‘Transience III – The Static’. For me, this trilogy was a little out of keeping with the rest of the album, which definitely peaked during the first half.
I have to admit that for all the talk of “ire, misery and anxiety”, I found this album to be uplifting and enjoyed the melodies and soundscapes – Perhaps that says more about me than the album though! I find myself listening to more and more atmpospheric/post black metal and I have no doubt that I will keep coming back to this.
(7.5/10 Andy Pountney)