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Winds Devouring Men

Elend

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Album Review

Having fulfilled their original ambition to transpose the Roman Catholic 'Lecons de Tenebre' masses into music on their first three albums, Austrian/French trio Elend embarked on a five-year hiatus before resuming their sonic explorations with 2003's Winds Devouring Men. Once again based on a pre-existing work (in this case a French poem), Winds Devouring Men is a highly complex, deeply evocative work meshing melancholy, ethereal, orchestral arrangements with occasional bursts of dramatic bombast, many of which are denoted by unexpected incursions into industrial music. Soothing male vocals sung in English set the patient, relaxed, pace and a supporting cast of piano, strings, horns, chorales, and the occasional female soprano accompany the group's core trio in creating a diverse, but clearly unified composition over these ten tracks. The final result is quite simply mesmerizing, and not even the title track's surprising flirtation with dissonant 'musique concrete' can detract from this truly accomplished and stunning release.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Franco-Austrian ensemble Elend formed in the early ‘90's and initially dedicated itself to interpreting an ancient, three-part ‘prayer of darkness' — the ‘Lecons de Tenebres' — which, according to Roman Catholic liturgy is to be performed in the three holy days leading up to Easter. Carefully orchestrated for maximum dramatic effect, this gothic/ambient cycle of three masses appeared in the form of 1994's Lecons de Tenebres, 1996's Les Tenebres du Dehors and 1998's The Umbersun / Au Trefond...
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Winds Devouring Men, Elend
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