|Title:||The Chaos Awakening|
|Label:||Dio Drone / Archaeological Records / Cheap Satanism Records|
Stefania Pedretti, aka ?Alos, has been one of the most interesting characters in the realm of dark music in Italy for quite some time now. She was also featured on Aristocrazia Webzine in 2016 as a part of the noise/doom/everything duo OvO, but this is the first time we deal with her work as a solo artist. Although ?Alos‘ universe is surely connected to that of OvO, at the same time it is also something intimately different, and The Chaos Awakening is a prime example of this approach.
First of all, in this case all music is entirely created by Pedretti: vocals, synth, flutes, bells, the astonishing Chaos Scepter specifically designed by Nude Guitars in Prato. Yes, you have read correctly, bells. Indeed, The Chaos Awakening is a live recorded performance, one single song constructed as a shamanic evocation, in which electronic and metallic sounds mix with the surrounding nature (an open air performance recorded at Valico Terminus in Emilia Romagna). ?Alos interprets a channel through which the forces of Earth try to communicate with humanity, Nature strives for the awakening of chaos, a queer chaos opposing the binary rigidity and the abuses of power by the patriarchy (obsessed with order and control, as usual).
This reading is also encouraged by the obscure artwork on the spectacular vinyl edition, created by Coito Negato, where a character stands between worlds and joins them together through its body. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the human body is one of the main battlefields on which the patriarchy is focusing its attacks, in order to suffocate anything other which might emerge. Faithful to the artistic and political activism of ?Alos, I believe The Chaos Awakening also relates to a very specific historical context, joining the fundamental struggle that people — especially women — are currently fighting for their right to be. It’s no surprise that the images that run through my mind, as I listen to the evocation, are those of the many protests that have taken place over the years around the world (Ni Una Menos, Czarny Protest, Non Una Di Meno, just to name a few).
I must admit that, generally speaking, I am not a huge fan of this kind of musical experiments, as they often feel a bit long or not very communicative to me, but in this case ?Alos put together an extremely well-crafted work and, most of all, true. A performance which becomes an important part of her artistic career, and also interacts with what has been done with OvO. As far as I’m concerned, The Chaos Awakening is one of the musical surprises of the year, at least in this field. Once again, something painfully necessary came out of the universe connected to Dio Drone. Chaos is waking up.