Review: Den Edele Dood – The Glorification Of All Things Light

Introduction

Band: Den Edele Dood
Album: The Glorification Of All Things Light
Country: Smallingerland, Friesland/Netherland
Genre:
Ancient Black Metal
Label:
Canti Eretici Productions
Release date, album: January 13, 2024

Side A

I describe the first track, “The Glorification Of All Things Light,” as magnetic. Taken from the album of the same name by the Dutch solo act “Den Edele Dood” (or “The Noble Death” translated to English), the song begins, and you’re hit with a wall of sound from a church organ, a brass section, and synthesizers. We have our theme established, and the song picks up with thundering blast beats and I believe a guitar, which is interesting as it is atypical in most of De Jong’s work, primarily he plays bass. We do get a moment to breathe at 1:12, though the song doesn’t change much. In the bridge, the blast beat drops out while the melody remains the same. However, there is now additional noise, including Maurice’s tormented moaning slowly fading out. If this is your first time listening to one of his albums, it may be unsettling or even fascinating. The second song, “The Entombment of the Sacred Heart” begins quietly, ramping up with a shared structure of the first song, suggesting that Den Edel Dood intended this continuity. This song extends the ambiance of its predecessor, creating a monotonous, chant-like atmosphere that is present in every track. At 2:57, the drums drop out, and the melody, now filtered, sweeps over a sample of the ‘Litany to the Sacred Heart,’ which has been slightly altered from the original Catholic prayer. “Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost, Heart of Jesus, united substantially to the Word of God, Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven.” After the prayer, the song resumes its original form with more furious drumming and the initial melody, culminating in the last 30 seconds with a violin fade-out. The overall atmosphere of this piece evokes the experience of a soldier who has endured war, faced indescribable events, and now finds it all ending as abruptly as it began.

Profile

Maurice de Jong, also known as Mories, is a renowned Dutch composer and musician born on September 5, 1973. Famous for projects like Gnaw Their Tongues and Seirom, his work blends ambient, black metal, drone, electronic, and avant-garde music to create unsettling, nightmarish soundscapes. Recognized for his prolific output, de Jong has consistently released at least three albums annually since 2007.

-Rewrite of his Wikipedia introduction

Side B

Continuing on to my favorite part of the album. Track four, “I Was Send From Heaven” starts off with a strong chord progression with a wealth of instruments, I hear horns, an organ, brass, or maybe even a string section. (Obviously mostly midi) It’s loud but sits well, and like most of the album, with the constant barrage of blisteringly fast drums this song sort of buries them behind a wave of noise and it’s a lot to process everything going on, even this far into the tape.
This song sounds like a battle between angels and demons, and the overall movement of the melody with the organ and other instruments seems to give a mysterious, hopeful tone climbing up ever higher right up to the end.
We are victorious, or so we thought.
From this point forward, the album transitions into a darker atmosphere, characterized by a more experimental feel, while still maintaining its theme. The fifth track, titled “Spiraling Into The Inferno,” masterfully evokes the theme of a fall from grace. As we plummet further into the album, articulating the experience becomes challenging, relying more on the emotion it invokes and its overall cohesiveness. Mories employs blast beats, harsh noise, choral phrases, and liturgical instrumentation across all his projects. However, in this context, these elements are twisted into an unconventional form, offering a haunting yet, to me, almost divine experience that I have found in few places.

Last but not least is ‘Strange Lights In The Woods.’ It begins with a short, eerie intro featuring an otherworldly synth that gets stuck in your head. This piece gives me the feeling of having just experienced a close encounter of the fourth kind. In my opinion, Mories excels at creating an unsettling atmosphere that lingers long after the music has stopped.

After the intro, a strange melody emerges from the pad that, upon close listening, reveals a somewhat somber progression. This incongruent dissonance, combined with tormented vocals and furious drums, pulls you in like a tractor beam. Not only does the melody persist until the end, but the absence of breaks forces us to sit through this intense experience. However, being the second-shortest song on the album, it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Conclusion

Listening to the whole album at once works best, especially with Maurice’s music, which, I think, is meant to be enjoyed as one big piece. It’s just the right length and flows together well. This made me enjoy the album even more, as it didn’t overstay, or linger too long. This might not be my favorite album from Maurice, but it’s definitely high on the list! I give it a 7 out of 10! Of his other albums, I recommend ‘Abyss of Longing Throats,’ ‘Gospel of the Burning Idols,’ and ‘GENOCIDAL MAJESTY’

Thoughts?

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