Album Review – Steve Severin – The Vril Harmonies (2017)

Availability: Bandcamp

www.steveseverin.com

*The Vril Harmonies is inspired by the conspiracy theory and myth of the Aldebaran Mystery, named after the star system of the same name, and the subsequent Vril Society founded in the 1960s, affirming their existence before Nazi Germany, inspired by the writings of Edward Bulwer-Lytton and German rocket engineer, Wiliam Vey. The Vril Society was a modern sub-sect  group of The Thule Society, a disbanded occultist society created in Munich, 1918, just after World War I  was finalized, named after the mythical country Thule spoken of in ancient Greece, which detailed that The Third Reich and their scientists were in contact with extraterrestrial  and subterranean lifeforms, and had assistance in the development of their warfare technology, as claimed by German rocket engineering pioneers, Hermann Orbeth and Werher Von Braun, the former supporting Orbeth’s claims in 1959. The album’s cover is of Maria Orsic, a medium, of whom stated herself as the leader to the Vrilerinnen, of the Vril Gesellschaft. She, and another telepathic medium, Sigrun were said to have held a meeting, alongside other members of the predecessor of The Vril Society, The Thule and The Black Sun Society in a hunting lodge, located near Berchtesgaden, Germany, just on the border of Bavaria in 1919. The meeting was for her and Sigrun to reveal messages they had received from an extraterrestrial race of the Aldebaran solar system. Her transmissions were recorded in Templar scripts, without her knowledge, and came to be translated later into the ancient language of Sumer of Mesotapania  as researched by Babylonian scholars, and upon translation, it was instructions to build a circular flying machine, and that the Aldebaran’s sought unity with our culture, offered to share their technology for economic benefit , and the message was corrupted by The Third Reich, they stealing their technology for war.

The album in the formation of an extended play has been split into two separate conceptual pieces. The Black Sun Arcana, which has been turned into five segments Maria, Sigrun, Haunebu, and aether, and Absolute Elsewhere, which is a two-part segment; 1 (Not All Good Comes) From Above and  2 Phase to the Light. Because of the complexity of the track listing’s arrangement, I shall be focusing on each segment and parts as they were standalone pieces, but connect them with the initial abstract sections.

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Black Sun Arcana

Maria, an ethereal, unearthly manifestation of progressive trance, ambient and chill out music, the overall conformation of space music, which aurally illustrates the nature of her occupation, her spiritual abilities and her benevolent purpose on attempting communication with another race, who sort peaceful association, progress, and refuge. Instrumentally, Severin captures the tragic aftermaths of the circumstances and betrayal, yet also the envisions of the naivety of her character. Sigrun transcends into an eerie, distorted invention of ambient, drone, and percussion to encompass the double-edged sword of her character, maybe from her own gullibility that she was doing her colleague and their society a service, getting the word out,  not realising her good intentions were going to be turned on their head;  for she played an indirect part in the exploitation of the telepathic messages, for assisting in their translation, once the messages were already in the wrong hands.

Haunebu
darkens significantly into that of lo-fi, glitch, drone and dark ambient, reflecting the turbulent travel of space, and the hardships of transmitting messages across the universe. Haunebu seems to imitate that of what the true language of the Aldebaran’s would sound like before it is translated into Earth language, aurally and in written word. The quick successions of sounds implicate towards the extraterrestrial’s desperation to be heard. aether returns to the tranquil essence of the first track, a musically meditative state; maneuvering between progressive trance, ambient, soft rock guitar riffs, and percussion, demonstrating the nature of The Vril Society, whose very purpose was the focus on the spirit, our spiritual identity as a universal race, and the spirit’s power. This alone was connected to the writings of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the author of The Coming Race (1871), who spoke of a subterranean spiritual entity called The Vril.

Absolute Elsewhere

In this segment, 1. (Not All Good Comes) From Above, focuses on the aftermath of the corrupted message by the Aldebarans of their intentions and trading of technology, after it was discovered by the Babylonian scholars  and led into the hands of The Third Reich, where they abused the alien race’s blueprints for their technology and turning the Aldebaran’s into the manifesto for their Aryan race, similar to the later descriptions of ancient Nordic depictions of humanoid extraterrestrials, which  became popularised after 1950. To musically emphasize the malevolent turn, Severin uses repetitive twists of dark ambient, and drone, which fizzle in and out, almost in a disorientated state. 2. Phase to the Light, is a direct follow on from aether from the previous segment, only in this continuation, it chronically portrays the mystical ideology of the Vril Society twisted, but also fighting for redemption as it alongside many New Age ideologies of mysticism had after Nazism’s fall. The track swiftly changes from that of dark ambient and drone to that of dark ambient, ethereal wave and progressive trance, representing the ascension of not only the ideology but one’s spirit.

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