RING VAN MÖBIUS – Commissioned Works pt. II: Six Drops of Poison

RING VAN MÖBIUS – Commissioned Works pt. II: Six Drops of Poison

Even if you remove this wonderfully evocative opus from its natural context and intended setting, it works as a cohesive piece of music that is full of surprises and captivating twists. The Norwegian prog rockers composed and arranged the material that constitutes Six Drops of Poison for a modern dance performance, which is incredibly interesting in and of itself, but this particular record essentially sees the talented ensemble compile the ideas they came up with when creating the musical backdrop to choreographer and performer Harald Beharie’s artistic vision. As the press material states,

“This album, however, is not the actual soundtrack for the finalized commissioned work itself, rather a reflection of the early visions; spontaneous reactions and a starting point for further collaboration” according to the band, “Being an independent body of work based on our early initial musical ideas, this can be referred to as loosely inspired by, but not limited to, the original concept by Harald Beharie.”

In that sense, the disc contains more material than what was actually used during the performance, and as a fan of the group, how can you not love something like that? This is arguably the darkest output by Ring Van Möbius to date yet it is one that is nicely balanced in terms of light and shade. It is a prog rock LP through and through, but it sounds and feels totally different to anything else that I have come across, which is obviously a huge part of its charm, but the threads of melodies that are woven together, the dynamics of it all, and the adventurous spirit of the endeavor are what make the record such a satisfying listen. It certainly does not hurt that the songs are enveloped in a richly textured and warm sound.

This is not an easy listen and there are days when I fail to absorb its rich content, but when the mood does strike me then I simply get a kick out of immersing myself in its strange, otherworldly sphere of sound, and Commissioned Works pt. II: Six Drops of Poison flows as one impressive piece that is occasionally moody and consistently inspired. ‘The 3rd Chapter: Moments and Movements’ and ‘The 10th Chapter: Paradoxal Fate’ are among the finest and most engrossing tracks that these gents have written.

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