Among the various brands of Christianity that hold some credibility as far as radicalism goes, the Eastern Churches probably rank at the top. We have no intention of starting a religious or political debate, but whatever may be said about the Greek and Russian Churches of today and their political connections, they can not in any way be compared to most Western Christian denominations and their almost complete absorption into secular political ideologies (whether we’re talking the former state churches of Scandinavia or the much-debated evangelicals of the US). Orthodoxy rejects a huge chunk of what 99% of people in Europe and the US take for granted, and largely does so without blowing people up.
Because of this attitude – radical though by no means “progressive” – Orthodox Christianity should be prime material for being used conceptually in noise and industrial music. In fact, this has already happened, with the Swedish Industrial act Mental Destruction releasing their When Madness Strikes already in 1989. Given the massive surge of Russian noise and industrial in the past few years, it was probably just a matter of time before people from the home of the largest Orthodox community got in on the action.
Nigulesuci have released a great number of CDrs and digital albums the last two years, though they seem to have begun their activities in 2008 with a few CDrs. On Redemption the band seeks to reconcile extreme, though comparatively low key, industrial noise with the tenets of traditional, orthodox faith. The description of the album explains matters rather clearly: “various noise, field recordings, drones, are the symbols of chaos. The chaotic life of flesh, soul and spirit.” The “victory of purity” is then manifested in different ways in each of the three tracks.
In “Redemption of mortal flesh”, pulsing and shifting noise and industrial rattling meets orthodox Christian prayer, solemnly read in Russian. “Redemption of impure soul” offers some droning tonal elements along with what may be radio noises and some other strange sonic machinations, along with what is described as the “reverse of heretic Liturgy”, which I don’t know exactly what it is. Since the track sounds great, I can only assume it is something awesome. The final track, “Redemption of the immortal spirit” works with a heavy distorted bass, massive choirs and further religious readings. It’s all very effective – very different from the “heavy” industrial approach of Mental Destruction, and obviously much more intensely saturated with the orthodox Christian content.
Nigulesuci’s Redemption is spectacular, with its rich noise tapestries, its solid conceptual theme that probably pisses some people off and is incomprehensible to many others, and its untold future possibilities. I can only hope we see more from this project, and hopefully not just digital. Though you can’t beat the price.