|Label:||Rage In Eden|
Having been re-released as part of the praiseworthy collection "Rundfunktechnische Versuchsanstalt" issued by the Polish label Rage In Eden — this time coming together with a wooden box — "ORP Orzeł" works as the perfect soundtrack to the mysterious events concerning the Polish submarine ORP Orzeł, which disappeared in May of 1940 during a battle in Norwegian waters. There is further information about the story in the massive booklet, which includes a detailed report of all the related documented events that took place over those years, and works as a support to the listener in order to deal with this work. My suggestion is to read it all carefully, not only out of historical interest, but also to delve deeper into the right state of mind required to face this complex album.
The submarine itself is the main character of the opener; the asphyxiating atmosphere and the mechanical more than industrial sound take us inside the monster, in the depths of sea, where no light shines through. A distillate of claustrophobia. Repetitive and hypnotic percussions lead us towards the dark ambient abyss of the second track, where a nostalgic and melancholic piano (literally) emerges out of the darkness. The disc's path has been traced, step by step we live again a moment in human history between sonic precipices and brief glimmers of light. Just like in the fifth track, where the piano is back to delineate a melodic line which — accompanied by almost unnoticeable choirs and a thick musical layer of strings — somehow gives relief to the anticipation generated through the two previous tracks, less consistent but at the same time perfect to create expectation for something about to happen.
Struggling, we reach the seventh track, that of the unavoidable sinking, where electronic strokes paint the submarine in the moment of its slow descent to the remotest depths, while waters close on top of it and the sonar sends its last beats, just like a heart about to stop thumping. Darkness is overwhelming, and even the slightest melody struggling to reach the surface is submerged by it. The closure is a dismal military march, sparsely interrupted by the shipwreck's sounds, thus sealing off an ambitious and daring work. This is a highly recommended album — although with a few weak moments — and, especially considering the complexity of the subject matter and the musical style, it succeeds in giving shape to its own communicative purpose.