"The Divine" marks the second phase in the trilogy proposed by John Twells aka Xela. Crawling out of a castle dungeon in pursuit of its predecessor, "The Illuminated", this LP finds itself trapped in an abandoned church somewhere in a damp Southern wilderness. Church bells chime and rattle through the record’s first piece, echoing and distorting through a fog of chattering voices and prayers. Tape loops stumble over tape loops and the solemn, ecclesiastical drone slowly decomposes into thick, crackling noise. Through the mists choirs sing, heralding the introduction of the second side of "The Divine" which takes the human voice into cavernous and smudged, yet strangely alluring territories. There is almost a Basinski-like charm to this work as the choirs effortlessly degrade into an unrecognisable mud of harmony and abrasiveness. This is music informed by a religious world; Xela has edged from the scriptures of cults and secret societies to the spires of organisation and power. God is in the detail.
This is beyond all unreasonable doubt one of the best albums I ever listened to. As a painter who needs the right music to be able to work - I often prefer silence - Nachtstuecke is the kind of surrounding that is present without ever demanding attention. It works like a kind of carrier wave. I am very impressed and the next album I will add is Stephan Mathieu's 'Before Nostromo'.