Mahasamadhi is the debut album of Selenite, a project created by Stefan Traunmüller of the ’90s symphonic black metal band Golden Dawn. Here, he wrote and recorded everything, joined by professional opera singer Antonia Gust on two tracks. The music could be thought of as an amalgam of funeral doom, doom/death, and maybe a bit of symphonic black metal, yet the resulting fusion stands apart from all those antecedents, creating an experience that is both terrifically heavy and mesmerizingly mystical.
Clues to the visions captured in the songs can be found in the project’s name, which has two meanings: “Selenites” was the name given by certain sources to imagined inhabitants of the moon during the 19th century (and to extraterritorial civilization of lunar creatures encountered by human explorers in H.G. Wells‘ 1901 novel First Men in the Moon). “Selenite” is also the moonstone, a white gypsum crystal that is thought to calm and soothe the mind and to bring tranquility.
Further clues can be found in the album’s title. We are told that “Mahasamadhi means the intended death of a yogi who has reached unity beyond duality and is free from all karma,” and thus the integration of Sanskrit mantras and Eastern spirituality is part of Selenite’s concept.