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The word of goth music and dark rock in general wouldn't be what it's without the legendary German band Garden Of Delight, a band which is one of the main acts for the development of second wave of gothic rock in the early 90s. Who on this planet that is into goth doesn't know the cult albums like Enki’s Temple, Sargonid Seal or Necromanteion IV, just to name a few? Then, the band which started its path in 1990 called it quits in 2008 and then another gem of dark music emerged in 2010, Merciful Nuns, the only real successor to Garden Of Delight. Even though that Merciful Nuns emerged from the ashes of the legendary Garden Of Delight - most of the similarity ends here. Artaud said: "The intension to split up Garden Of Delight and go on with the Merciful Nuns was to create something darker and deeper as Garden Of Delight ever could do." Merciful Nuns has evolved from leading the resurgence of goth to becoming a unique genre in itself, into something that got a label occult post goth. The three Germans, masterminded by the iconic Artaud Seth, has now just released through Solar Lodge their album number ten, titled Anomaly X, which is also the final album for this exceptional band.

Anomaly X concludes a memorable journey through time, space and the unseen. Like its predecessors also this album thematically explores the hidden mysteries, encouraging the listener to engage with the subject matter on levels beyond the obvious. Impressive in its artistic execution; as we have come to expect from the mastermind Artaud Seth, the album’s lyrical content reveals insights gained from years of fastidious study and testament to Artaud’s meticulous approach to his creations. In an interview we did two years ago with Artaud he said: "To be honest its not important writing down the best album ever. I had to do what I have to do. The goal is to bring the global message to the audience. The rest is a matter of taste. Some like more the faster songs, other guys love the atmospheric tunes or even the pop songs." And that's how it always was with Merciful Nuns, Artaud, Jawa Seth and Jón Tmoh never looked out for what is trendy or popular in the very moment, they always strived to bring something unique and extravagant, Anomaly X is not an exception!

Certainly, Artaud, Jawa and Jón Tmoh revive that pitch-black splendour by means of musical designs that intentionally devoid of excessive decoration to better convey the depth of the message behind. More than anything else, they aim to stimulate the listener's imagination. For that purpose, each element is strategically placed in the mosaic so that the concept is accurately embodied. Assumed by daring, high-level musicians, the challenge succeeds and, thereby, we experience as plausible what is actually illusory. In fact, force of attraction and power to inspire are hallmarks of their music. Merciful Nuns galvanizes us to scan whether inwardly or beyond in search for clues upon which to base our own views on the ages-old human questions, either taking us on wondrous exoplanetary journeys through eerily serene sound realms or on ulterior odysseys across weird dimensions where mythology, remoteness and occult meet, or yet by sending us to raptures with anthemic rushes of gloomy rock.

Artaud adds: "The inspiration comes from my curiosity about the dark side of things. I am always searching for images that combine the past and the future. I believe in cycles, the perpetual return of what has gone before and I can see parallels between the high cultures of antiquity and futuristic societies. I believe in unknown cultures, from so far back in time that there are no more discernible traces from them in the classic sense; highly advanced cultures in antiquity, perhaps even older still. Ancient advanced cultures like the Sumerians, Egyptians, Maya and their adoration for divinities from "beyond" always appear to me as an effigy of the future. By now I have arrived at the inescapable conviction that we have already been visited by these so called advanced cultures. Nowadays these visitors are worshipped as God or Gods by us."

Merciful Nuns is an insatiable beast, as its prolific - yet compelling - output has demonstrated since 2010, starting with the album Liber I that same year and now ending the cycle with Anomaly X. No less than ten albums, many EPs, best of album and two live recordings - form their rich musical legacy. Merciful Nuns is goth as a mixture of widescreen epic and massive walls of guitar sound, sacred choir chants, rattling drum computer and Artaud's sepulchral voice permeating through every fibre of one's body, at times plunging its intrinsic despair deep into the heart of the listener.

Now it's upon us to embrace Anomaly X, an album with which Artaud embraces controversy by offering progress and challenges convention with an undeniably astute logic. This album will grow on its audience, a delightful and rare ingredient in present times indeed. One cannot help but admire the carefully choreographed soundscapes and his exquisite eye for detail. If it should turn out to be Artaud’s final album in this genre then Anomaly will prove to be an epitaph worthy of his legacy – epic, laced with emotions, intellectual depth, and a tour de force through the past and present.

Merciful Nuns discography:
Liber I (2010)
Hypogeum II (2011)
Xibalba III (2011)
Goetia IV (2012)
Goetia V (2013)
Exosphere VI (2013)
Meteora VII (2014)
Thelema VIII (2016)
A-U-M IX (2017)
Anomaly X (2018)

Merciful Nuns links: Official website, Facebook
Solar Lodge links: Official website, Facebook

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