Unreqvited – Mosaic II: la déteste et la détresse (Prophecy)

Sunday, 5th January 2020
Rating: 8/10

At its best, post-black metal has that transformative ability to lull you away into an ambient realm. Canadian act Unreqvited have been making their claim to this notion since 2016, and Mosaic II is their fourth release (and obviously, a follow-up to the well-received 2018 Mosaic I). Expect a fair amount of gloom to enter the senses as you lean back in your chair to listen to this one.

Prone to being called an instrumental release (the sparse vocals are more like voices than anything else), it’s really all about mood with Mosaic II. The opening tracks offer a balance of dirgy melancholy laced with some more blackened moments (like some blastbeats within “Wasteland”), but beautiful is more of an apt description than brutal for the album. Even at its heaviest, the sense of melody is ever-present, with riffs weave a sense of elegance, such as the near-constant dropping of stunning melodies on the standout “Pale.” A reflective tone to begin with, the final three parts/tracks of “Transience” are appropriately titled. Mostly stripping away the guitars, this is total mood music, with serene and longingful electronics and synths taking the centerstage, but it strangely fits the tonality of the heavier tracks that precede it. The three tracks culminate with some static-y noise on the last part, something delivers some suiting anxiety and unease following the much gentler tone of the songs before it.

While some upbeat shades keep Unreqvited from completely wallowing in despair, overall Mosaic II is a very pensive and melancholic piece of music. The mostly instrumental flair means it’s more of a ‘one sitting’ type of listen to really best absorb the atmosphere and mood, and Mosaic II revels in its ability to lull in the listener with some excellent melodies to ease into the journey. Good for those who are seeking a more exploratory listen.

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