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Black Seas Of Infinity

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Black Seas Of Infinity are a Utah-based project founded by Jhon Longshaw (a.k.a. Set-Heru). Their previous album for Autumn Wind Productions, Amrita - The Quintessence, was one of the more interesting ritual ambient releases of 2007, so this new Black Seas release was received with eager interest and anticipation.

The title Hieros-Gamos refers to the ‘sacred marriage’ of Goddess and God, a theme frequently encountered in various pagan belief systems, both ancient and contemporary. Within Wicca, the symbolic (and sometimes actual) act of union between male and female is known as ‘The Great Rite’. Hieros-Gamos also features in an orgiastic scene in the thriller The Da Vinci Code. Since the last Black Seas album, Amrita, was dedicated to the feminine mysteries, an album dealing with sexual union seems like a natural progression, and this new merging of energies is signalled by, among other things, the deployment of both female and male vocals on the album. According to the press release, the album’s purpose is one of ‘glorifying the marriage of gods and men. It is the dissemination of the secret art as bequeathed unto mankind by the fallen…In magnificent copulations the mysteries are revealed…’

Hieros-Gamos is idiosyncratically structured, with two very long tracks alternating with two shorter tracks. Opening track ‘Iblis Hiwwah Kassia’ is a near half-an-hour marathon, immersing and entangling the listener in a dense, cloying web of shimmering, shifting drones, eerie vatic chants interspersed with clearly recited passages of Crowleyesque ritual invocation, and sudden, dramatic bursts of crashing cymbals, gongs and bells.

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