Sequentia Legenda "Ethereal" CDr
French composer Laurent Schieber, who is recording under the moniker of Sequentia Legenda, has always been a truly devoted aficionado of stirringly powered Berlin-School movement. Even if his latest sonic installment is entitled "Ethereal", Laurent Schieber painstakingly follows most of the traces taken on his previous, creatively invigorating gems such as "Blue Dream" (December 2014), "Amira" (November 2015) and "Extended", a project featuring a guest German drummer Tommy Betzler (September 2016). "Ethereal" album was self-released as a 4-panel digipak at July 21st, 2017, and its immersing cover image, created by the artist himself, immediately prepares each listener for deeply transporting odyssey. And just the same as on "Extended", kindred soul Tommy Betzler joins Laurent Schieber with his artistry utilizing drums, cymbals and gongs, while the main protagonist fires up an array of keyboards and modulars, both real and virtual.
It's quite obvious for Sequentia Legenda that each album is comprised of rather lengthier compositions clocking around 20 or more minutes. "Ethereal" is no exception to this formula and it unfolds with 26 and a half minutes long "Stratums Of Seraphic Voices". Euphoniously celestial solitudes, inconspicuously permeated by angelic choir vistas, serenely drift into magnificently infinite and gracefully engrossing realms. No need to add the aural and visual part is precisely coupled with the track title. Galloping sequencer and drum/cymbal signatures slowly join this enveloping scenario and masterfully amalgamate with free-gliding harmonies. Sequences, drums and cymbals are gossamery ear-tickling and mesmerizingly glimmering. I could imagine this track slightly shorter as it gets a bit repetitive on the longer run despite of its clandestinely subtle nuances, however, a top-notch astral journey fully blossoms here. The next piece "Around The Second Moon", hitting nearly 23-minute mark, tightly keeps on the orbit, where tranquil panoptic meridians are slowly invaded by emerging synthetic pulses. The cadence progresses into enchantingly animated sequencer hypnotics, although safely guarded by warmly cinematic retrospections and percolated by sharper, yet intangibly translucent percussive traceries. "Elevation", at 20:34 the third and closing opus, invites the listener into unmapped domains, where Sequentia Legenda with nebulously barren drone hums unlocks the gates to the void. Amalgamating a display of thrillingly oracular hues with lighter, artificially spellbinding pulsations and calmly ascending, but persistently magnified sequencer and drum sparkles. Ominous depths, never before reached by Sequentia Legenda are meticulously illuminated by perpetually shimmering and predictably sustained insignias. Wow, this final track was certainly beyond the ordinary Berlin-School endeavor!!!
70 minutes long "Ethereal" is another highly accomplished album by Sequentia Legenda and especially its third chapter showcases the more distinguishing approach in carving profoundly enigmatic, yet insistently sequencer-driven vintage-futuristic electronica. A very good move indeed and if I could give a little advice to Laurent Schieber, most likely I wouldn't be afraid of shortening the tracks in the future. I think this and also adding even more piquancy, no matter if melodious or ambiguous, would bring extra space for subsequent multifariousness in Sequentia Legenda's sonic palette. It could be an icing on the cake as the mastery and potential were already abundantly exhibited on each release, so why not to go even further and reaching the iconic position of nowadays milestones in sequencer-based resurgences such as "Skeleton Keys", "Prayer To The Energy" or "Synthwaves". Laurent, keep on excelling!!! And by the way, the next album "Renaissance" is scheduled for May 17th, 2018, so definitely stay connected!!!
Richard Gürtler (Dec 29, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)
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