Eddie Lascu 29-Aug-2007 Gnosis

Religious chants included in contemporary arrangements is not something new. You are probably thinking already about Michael Cretu and his Enigma project where Gregorian chants where included in his arrangements. In fact that project was quite a commercial success at the time. Two-time Grammy nominated Paul Avgerinos retries that successful recipe, adding a little twist to the story. What’s new on "Gnosis" is the inclusion of orthodox Christian chants. Of a Greek descent, Paul Avgerinos is most likely familiar with all the songs that are sung during a Greek Orthodox Christian mass. A master of electronic and ambient music, Paul Avgerinos crafts some beautiful songs around the religious chants. One almost regrets the fact that this is not the theme of the entire album. In fact I don't think Avgerinos ever considered sticking to one style for his music. He has other things in mind and he wants to share them with us.

The album begins with a dreamy song led by acoustic guitar on hypnotic female vocals. The second track, "Follow Your Bliss" introduces us for the first time to the ancient Greek chants, although the percussion section led by tabla will make you dream of other corners of the worlds as well. The feeling of voyage through time and space follows the listener from the beginning until the very end. It's because Avgerinos keeps exploring multiple influences, from various places and ages with rich soundscapes taking us to Greece, Middle East and India. The theme of orthodox Greek chants returns on "Know Thyself" and then, one more time, on the title track, "Gnosis". The second half of the album abandons the religious theme in favor of a more laid back, pure ambient type of electronic music. There is a haunting violin on some of the tracks though, that, for some reasons, only made me think of the soundtrack for "Schindler's List".

This is ambient music at its best, very peaceful and serene, excellent for meditation and relaxation, consolidating Avgerinos' position as one of the giants of the New Age genre.

Links for further information