Afterdeath Television


Liam Murphy

December 3, 2022

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

A portal to heaven opens on this truly spirited release, combining an epic ambient style with notions of piety

When we think of spiritual music, of music that allows us to grasp at the idea of a higher power or a life after that which we are currently living, it is very easy to imagine overtly religious, western music. Gospel or hymns passed down from generation to generation, music involving a congregation of singers and sometimes instrumentalists working together so that they may conjure a vision together in their collective imagination. One point that is of particular interest in this sort of music is the communal aspect of the music itself. Religious music is often performed as a group.

To put it bluntly, as far as we can possibly posit, we leave this earth by ourselves. So what sort of music can truly give us a personal, solitary glimpse into the great beyond and the religious significance that comes with it? Devoid of that feeling of humanity that comes with communal music, it needs to be grandiose and euphoric in a solitary way, taking us immediately from our world and pushing us somewhere entirely different.

Visions, the release from Brazil-based artist Afterdeath Television certainly seems intent on allowing us passage to that intangible castle in the sky without actually succumbing to our own end. With track names that sound as though they have been lifted from the most ornate hymn book on the planet and touching instrumentation that often swells with the power and stature of an unfathomably large wave or celestial event.

Take, for instance, the second track. Entitled Millions of Choirs Around The Throne, its name immediately conveys an otherworldly grandeur that would be hard to bring to life, especially if using the more stripped back, organic musicality one can often see in churches and choirs. But, through a sound that ties together the euphoria of vaporwave-adjacent genres like dreamtone with the formless beauty of choral vocals, Afterdeath Television is able to achieve something that is not only euphoric but also produces a deeply spiritual feeling upon listening. The title is incredibly dramatic, but the artist lives up to this with a genuinely moving track.

Though Afterdeath Television features choirs, and other instrumentation that eludes to Christian faith – the artist mentions themselves that a number of bible verses inspired the EP as a whole – the artist is able to conjure a feeling of warm spirituality from less obvious places. The midway interlude Glory features an eternal river of fluid guitar pushing upwards into a glorious euphoric light. The same is true of the penultimate Take Me Back To The Throne Room. The listener finds themselves in a misty euphoric place, reassured by an overwhelmingly soothing melodic pathway adorned with reverb. There are strings, but the artist does well to obscure their recognisable timbre, transforming them into formless illumination. Afterdeath Television keeps the sense of glory maintained throughout the track's runtime, as intangible layers flow together. There is an undeniable religious fulfilment in it, a feeling of endless love and spiritual empowerment. The listener can almost see those endless halls leading up to a glorious throne room, the entirety of their vision bathed in golden light.

A true spirituality is hard to come by in art. Often we will look to incredibly paintings of old, depicting heaven opening up with a never-ending chorus of angels and rays of light. On Visions one can find a similar spiritual catharsis. Through incredible crafted instrumentation, Afterdeath Television allows an insight through the fabric of our mortal realm, to a place beyond time and enriched with spiritual fulfilment.