"It is Finished"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I love a mystery and Harmonic Cross have introduced me to a doozy on "It Is Finished". This instrumental concept album is inspired by the death of a unknown man in Adelaide, Australia in 1948. The corpse was found lying on the beach, fully dressed, with no sign of violence. It has never been determined what killed the man or who he was. In a hidden pocket of his pants was found a piece of paper ripped from the last page of a copy of "The Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam". The paper had the Persian phrase "taman shud" on it, which means "it is finished". The copy of the book was later found, with several hand-written ciphers in it. The ciphers have never been solved and in fact, no publishing house has a record of producing that particular version of "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam". It is unknown if the man was murdered, committed suicide or died of natural causes.

Harmonic Cross is a three piece band made of members of other groups like the harsh noise project Bleach Everything and the indie rock band Highness. Harmonic Cross is nothing like those bands. I think they may have missed a chance to do something really significant. "It Is Finished" might have been more curious if there was no information about the band associated with it. Making Harmoic Cross as much a mystery as "The Somerton Man".

This is very quiet, haunting and mysterious ambient music, with no relation to metal or rock music. Five of the six songs are named after the unsolved ciphers found in the book, while the last song is "Taman Shud" itself. The songs are all similar in that they are ethereal, spooky and quite lovely, with gentle synth tones mixing with drawn out single guitar notes and no vocals. Some tracks are relatively short, others are around the eight minute mark. Thankfully there are no 20 minute behemoths here as I feared, although the whole album can be considered one big track.

This is music to relax to and enjoy a feeling of mystery. When you know the particulars of the "Taman Shud" case, it becomes more haunting and profound and opens a window into an unknown world. Highly recommended to those looking for ambient mood music. As for the Taman Shud case, I strongly suggest you investigate it further, as I have.