All you are is what you see,
All you see is what you are
And all you are is what you’ll get
We are nothing.
Ars Moriendi (The Art of Dying) is a poetic waltz with death; its tune penned in the twilight of the Middle Ages. This lyrical dance manual for mortality twirls around the delicate subject, aiming to guide doomed souls towards a gentle pirouette into the great beyond. Composed in two enthralling movements, the first, “Temptations of Death,” hums with an examination of the challenges encountered on death’s dance floor. The second movement, a medley of prayers and heartening dialogue, serves to steady the feet of the dying, nurturing their faith as they make their final bow. As much a reverential hymn as a guide, “Ars Moriendi” attests to the medieval mastery of treating death as a graceful ballet, leading not to oblivion, but to transcendence. This artful arrangement resonates with the period’s cultural, societal, and spiritual harmonies, illuminating their view of life’s final dance.
Portugal’s Dreamweapon, the brainchild of bassist André Couto (10000 Russos), draws upon the lessons of Ars Moriendi in their new album of the same name, heralding a hypnotic new single: Danse Macabre. Written in the tremulous epoch that fluttered betwixt the dusk of pandemic confinement and the ominous dawn of the Ukrainian invasion, a nearly nine-minute Danse Macabre emerges: a haunting chiaroscuro canvas, perhaps the most shadow-clad creation of Dreamweapon’s offerings thus far. Danse Macabre swirls in a minimalist waltz, a psychedelic reverie of drone-like echoes that weaves a heady, hypnotic spell. It exhales a darker nuance, redolent with industrial undertones, painting a picture of intoxicating complexity. We hear shades of Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Einsturzende Neubauten, and The Young Gods in this mysterious sound.
The accompanying visual narrative enhances this liminal realm, leading us through a labyrinthine traverse in the dark woods—eerie, bewildering. It stands as a chilling metaphor for the gossamer veil separating the realm of the living and the spectral world. Through Dave Guerrero’s cyclical and somber imagery, the track ushers the listener into an introspective odyssey. It ponders upon the nature of existence and the immutable certainty of mortality, echoed hauntingly in its repetitive cadence, reflecting on the purpose, inevitability, and impartiality that both life and death bear.
Watch the video for “Danse Macabre” below:
Ars Moriendi is comprised of four grandiloquent movements, each meticulously crafted in the signature Dreamweapon approach—minimalism, repetition, improvisation. Each shimmering opus collaborates with the “dreamweapon aeternal khoros”, each a different phase in a profound journey: Innocence – an insinuation; Dance Macabre – a stirring realization; The Kiss – a serene acceptance; Profundis – the embodiment.
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