The relevance of Mozart’s homeland in the funeral field was almost nil until the recent debut of Selenite. Stefan Traunmüller, a Salzburg musician, is active in several important bands, among which I would like to mention the excellent The Negative Bias (authors of two excellent atmospheric black albums such as Lamentation Of The Chaos Omega in 2017 and Narcissus Rising in 2019), where he takes care of all the instruments and the songwriting, assisted by the only vocalist I.F.S. Since 2015, however, the funeral project Selenite has been taking shape in his mind, and it became concrete in 2019 with the inclusion of a lyrical content and, in some songs, also musical, influenced by Stefan’s recent approach to a spirituality reached first with the practice of yoga and then with the deepening of the contents of the Bhagavadgītā, Hindu sacred text that has influenced the artistic and human path of many other musicians. The full-length, entitled Mahasamadhi (meaning ‘the conscious passing away’), winds its way through five long tracks that are quite varied, also by virtue of the different moments in which they were composed, and the fact that they are positioned in the setlist in ascending chronological order is perceptible when the last two tracks appear more imbued with that spirituality well expressed through the use of mantras. All this should not frighten those who approach the disc because Mahasamadhi is actually a work of melodic funeral death doom and magnificent atmospheres, but the tracks in question, Channelling Chants From Beyond and Final Reckoning, have a depth and variety that the excellent opening triptych does not have (although underestimating a magnificent track like Third Eye Open would be a crime). The contribution of the voice of soprano Antonia Gust in the final track is very important, as it moves the track to shores not so far from the first Therion, even if everything happens at a slower pace and with an essential symphonic component. All these aspects make Mahasamadhi a work of considerable thickness, so as to make the name Selenite one of the most interesting innovations in the funeral field in recent times.

2019 – Seance Records