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Shrine - Ordeal 26.04.86 [Cyclic Law - 2016]

The new full length by Shrine is dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster that happened on April 26th, 1986. This 6 track album was composed during a post-operative convalescence period in 2015. Shrine’s Hristo Gospodinov says of the process: “To me the Chernobyl theme has always been very special... I witnessed the nuclear sunburn effects myself back in 86...its the closest glimpse of a pending apocalypse we have seen so far.”

“Atomgrad”, the opening track, is full of Birdsong and the oppressive feeling of doom. There’s something beautiful and natural even in the most horrific of scenes, and the natural worlds continuum as such an horrific disaster are caught perfectly in this track. You can here the oppression building, but the birdsong just continues on oblivious to the events unfolding in the human world. As the oppression fade the blistering reality of what has happened comes quickly into focus in the guise of track 2, “Radiant Skyline (unit 4)”. The sorrow and fear are both ever present, as is the surety of knowledge that nothing will be the same again.

Each tracks mixes perfectly into the next, and for as long the album plays you are never far from the feeling of utter despair, this feeling is never more clear than in track 3, “The Silent Apocalypse”, you can almost hear the nuclear winter landing on the earth. “The Night That Hell Broke Loose” is the geiger counter crackle and hell of the reality visited upon this unsuspecting land. As the feedback ends we find ourselves in track 4 and “Under The Graphite Clouds” of our own destiny. We created this power, and we are watching it as it destroys us. We are not in control now, we are lost.

Only “The burden of Knowledge” (track 6) left to help comfort us. At the time, 1986, we are sure this will never happen again. We will make sure of it… we will have to ...Won’t we? Can we?

Laced with emotional distress these superbly crafted soundscapes serve as a fitting tribute to those that suffered, and still suffer from the irreparable damage done. An absolute masterpiece. This is as much a warning as it is a tribute, and it’s written with such a solemnity that you know just how much suffering was visited upon the people and town of Chernobyl. Simple put a perfect and beautiful release.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Adam Skyes
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