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Halo Manash : Language of Red Goats [deluxe edition]

The roots: the quiet beginnings of Halo Manash's tripartite voyage towards sky ascension.

Thus begins what is likely Halo Manash's most ambitious project as yet: a tripartite series which is to lead the listener through a set of stages, envisioned and empowered by the symbolism of a tree; in the mortal, earthbound roots there will begin a metaphysical ascent that will lead through the trunk and find its destiny in the celestial branches. 'The Language of Red Goats' is the starting point, the roots: as the record spins into action, the ascent begins.

Compared to the following two releases ('Am Kha Astrie', trunk; 'Taiwaskivi', branches), 'The Language of Red Goats' is a monotonous soundscape. The stages of the following discs will increase in disturbance and discomfort, but for now the rites remain relaxed. This disc feels like a meditational focus that reaches deep inside into one's core, removing the chaos and uncontrollability of the outer world, and entering into an inner calm where all that resonates is the simple and comfortable truth of one's own existence.

The disk manages this feeling through repeating patterns of distant gongs, sometimes combined with other instruments, which echo lazily in a vast empty space. Nothing more is needed to create this feeling of comfortable solitude; perhaps one could even claim that adding anything more would only be detrimental to the effect.

Red goats seem to be connected to Satanism these days, but I doubt the shamen behind Halo Manash would deal with Christianity in any form or shape. The label (which is also run by the same people as the project) speaks of harvesting what has been seeded. Furthermore, the description mentions "the cartography of...sources and springs that run deep and thick with the fluids of life, death and dream." This reminds me of Ancient Egyptian mythology and rites where, amongst other things, a red goat was sacrificed to Horus, a god of harvest as well as life and death. Now, I still doubt that there was ever any intention that this disc should refer to gods in any way. Following the label's description, I would rather describe it as a guide into places normally obscured to our consciousness. I will not claim to understand the exact reference of the red goats, but I feel I'm not being far fetched when I say that it is a symbol of harvest where some sort of 'death of consciousness' (e.g. dreams) leads to the required state. I believe 'language' here refers to either the sound of the disc as it guides you, or as a reference to the underlying rituals or mental-spiritual processes required for the journey.

As already stated, this disc does not come across to me as especially disturbing, although that may not mean anything other than that others may find this less disturbing than other Halo Manash releases. At the same time one cannot escape the fact that this is a truly monotonous disc, which may either make the disc more acceptable or less so depending on the listener. Personally, I really like the journey. It never fails to put me in a creative state of mind, and I feel as rested as if I'd actually been meditating. As for the combined experience between this disc and the rest of the tripartite series, you do not need the other parts to enjoy this one, but I would nevertheless recommend it as the completed journey is an experience above and beyond what one could ever have imagined from mere symbolic-auditory treatment.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Through the Gate of Horn
Slithering Spiraling Fluttering
Shrouded Messengers Gather
2. Feast on the Bitter Fluid
Flowing Through the Lips of Her Vulgar Womb
Ingest Inebriate Initiate
3. Earthen Wheels Turn
Shifting Chariots of Moon
Drawn by Red Goats

Duration : Approx. 51 minutes.

Visit the Halo Manash bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-08-04 by Arnstein Pettersen
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