I tend to think of one-man black metal projects as raspy, lo-fi backwoods-shack stuff, but 鬼 has recorded the album with a cinematic clarity. Every sound is warm and full and crystalline. It gets loud, but it never gets ugly. The sounds get plenty of room to rise and fall; the album’s six songs sprawl across more than 40 minutes. And the whole time, it makes for grand and hopeful deep-yearning music, music for staring out windows and thinking about the people you miss.
Post-black metal is a strange term, and while in a pinch it can be used to describe Mosaic I: l'amour et l'ardeur, it really doesn't do the music justice. Part reflective soundtrack and part sprawling black metal grandeur, it is one of the most singularly beautiful pieces of music you will hear.
Mosaic I weaves delicate and expansive layers, conveying a real sense of pain and loss but also uplifting moments. It may be a relatively short album but it’s one ripe with emotion, from which you emerge breathless and gasping. If black metal, and by extension post-black metal, is about evoking slabs of atmosphere, there are none more trve than Unreqvited.
You’ll find very little rote repetition here. No familiar intro-verse-chorus-verse structure here. The music moves in a very introspective way through the song. Every note is carefully placed. Every crescendo thoughtfully built. Instruments are mixed in a way that makes them all combine into a single voice that helps carry and change emotions throughout the songs and the album itself.
As album opener ‘Sunrise’ permeates through it generates a sense of grace and hopefulness, ever building into more layers and grandiosity. ‘Dreamscape’ aligns with the Alcest ball park of emotional, melodic Shoegaze ridden with a dark underbelly and sense of melancholy, with its echo like growls which blend into the music as opposed to over powering. Mosaic…is a gorgeous body of work which is perfectly suited for escaping in, for reflection and solitary immersion. Fans of the likes of Lantlos and the aforementioned Alcest will find so much love in this.
These songs radiate nothing but light, beauty, and hopefulness throughout the entirety album while still sounding quite unearthly as well. This is the perfect album to put on, close your eyes, and let your mind drift off to as the epic band instrumentals, the superb orchestra, and the melodious piano all come together to create such a lush landscape that is so easy to lose yourself in; one you will never want to leave. The music itself is so alluring yet so haunting at the same time. This is such a comprehensive musical experience that leaves you with a hankering for more as you will not want to return to reality after deeply listening through it. 8/10
Mostly diverging away from the more traditional Post-Black Metal elements of their first two albums, “Mosaic I: l'amour et l'ardeur” is a lush introduction into a more atmospheric and dream-like world that is quite magical to experience. This one-man outfit does a great job in creating magical soundscapes with dreamy guitars and solemn piano elements, so be prepared to be fully immersed into Unreqvited’s musical journey. 93/100
Part 1, l’amour et l’ardeur, is a stellar piece of work that has the breadth of a universal rainbow stretching to the wonders of infinity. Infused with an infinite amount of colours, thoughts and feelings it is yet another wonderful leap in 鬼’s incredible musical journey and an album that could heal the most wounded soul.
“Mosaic I: l’amour et l’ardeur” is an extremely colorful experience that takes far more than a single listen to fully digest as there’s simply so much happening here. There’s so much personality and flavor being thrown around all over the place as one person somehow creates this gorgeous listen that really takes the idea of post-black metal into overdrive. We’ve seen plenty examples of different acts making black metal feel more accessible or even more emotive, but Unreqvited certainly claims the new territory as this record takes post-metal to new heights that many of us knew could be done but simply haven’t seen until now.
Unreqvited is indeed making a good use of polyphonic multilayered shoegaze melodies, something for example definitively emerging at the end of Dreamscape or middle Eastern character at the end of Radiant. Permeated by Alcest-like euphoria Mosaic is based on constantly rising warmth. The warm enveloping air of the album never stops rising. It is if the air balloon created by Unreqvited is endless in its supply.
Somehow “Mosaic I: l’amour et l’ardeur” crosses a bit the Alcest path (and even latest Anathema), but rapidly turns away and keeps on running in its own unique way, creating own worlds and visions. Soundwise it is more polished, not that rawer, as “Stars”. It is a high quality record from this perspective. Overall “Mosaic I: l’amour et l’ardeur” is like a soundtrack of someone’s lifetime journey, galloping through the years, feeling and reviving all the bitter sweet memories from the childhood until the last days in life, when you feel light is fading, but still holding on to your dreams. 9/10
Mosaic I: l'amour et l'ardeur is a very good album. You definitely will not be surprised by it, but the density, the sagacity and the originality of the music will certainly please you. Versatile enough to deserve some attention, the poetic delicacy and the sensible beauty present in the general framework of the album makes it worthwhile listening. Definitely, you will be way more happy and serene after this marvelous sonorous experience.
released September 30, 2018
All songs written, engineered, mixed, and mastered by 鬼