Heilung – Drif 10/10
Drif is not so much an album but as the band, themselves declare it is an amplified history of the past and in the true meaning of the title it is a collection of songs that combined are greater together.
Utterly transcendent and transportive Drif is Heilungs third full-length album that is genuinely authentic and simply indescribable at times. The trio with origins in Norway Germany and Denmark are purists and experimentalists to their creative core. Their medieval sounds originate from the Nordic Bronze age, yet to define them is an error as this is music in its purest most emotive form. Not a single note is distorted yet its power is unmistakable, enticing, and enthralling
From the love song that is ‘’Asja’’, where it chases away evil and welcomes love to the haunting string refrain ( the bowed lyre jouhikko) that is ‘’Nesso’’ a healing spell with its incantations. The challenging palindrome that is ‘’Tenet’’ to the personal highlight is ‘’Marduk” an ominous slow building incendiary track that recites the fifty names of the highest god of the Mesopotamians.
Every track is a lesson, a moment in time, a chance for the listener to explore its depths and subtleties and get lost in its pure tribalism and beautiful honesty. Using handmade instruments and multiple percussive elements, Heilung makes every song unique and original from the mantra of ‘’Buslas Bann’’ and its curse, the juxtaposition of the male and female vocals per individual track reflects the story from the masculine roman bronze age to the feminine healing power of love
Drif is the perfect meeting place for like-minded souls to gather and celebrate love, poetry, nature, and history. Music in its purest form echoes the passion of the soul and the things that inspire it. Essential.
Smorodina Reka- Arrow 9/10
Arrow is the latest single from Smorodina Reka and again it is another beautiful track that features the incredible vocals of Alexandra Sidorova her vocal lines that are rich, haunting and powerful. It is compelling emotive and dynamic, capturing the essence of their Russian pagan folk music and its vibrant energy along with some more contemporary drumming that drives the song. Its bridge is beautiful with the strings and vocals and the ending uplifting. For those who have not heard Smorodina Reka it is an excellent introduction to the band that continues to grow and yet remains true to their heritage and traditions. Excellent
An Abstract illusion - WOE 9.5/10
Swedish Trio Woe don’t just make music they create huge atmospheric set pieces influenced by both Death and Black Metal that is rich, experimental and defiant in nature.
This is a huge piece of work that is intricate and not content to stay still, ‘’ In the Heavens Above, You Will Become a Monster’’ plays on the various themes and intricacies of melody, dynamics, and sheer heaviness. It is one work of art divided into seven tracks that is cohesive, inspired, and fearless. From the prog inspired keyboards to the roaring solos over some excellent speed work ‘’ Tear Down This Holy Mountain’’ and ‘’This Torment Has No End, Only New Beginnings’’ are inspiring in their musical excellence. Woe will leave you haunted and moved by its thoughts and expressions as ''Blomsterkrans'' demonstrates. They are the calm inside the storm , at others the storm its very self.
‘’ An Abstract illusion’’ moves in many directions but is held together by the singular vision of the project. It is beautiful and equal parts brutal, ‘’ Prosperity’’ is another highlight on a record that you can become easily lost in and end enjoy for its heaviness and originality many, many times.’’ An Abstract illusion’’ is excellent and highly recommended!
Sarattma – Escape Velocity 9/10
Escape Velocity is the long-awaited follow-up to their 2017 debut EP, ‘’Inner Spaces’’. The Philadelphia duo of Drummer Sara Neidorf (Mellowdeath, Aptera) and guitarist Matt Hollenberg (Cleric, John Frum, John Zorn) have created a debut album that defies normal descriptors on its journey through many musical landscapes
Despite being so well thought out and crafted, there is an organic development to this record that combines post-rock with metal, technical jazz, and some psychedelic sixties seventies infused musical exploration that is combined with an industrial mindset. An example is “‘Sciatic Haze’ where the excellent hi-hat work gives a real sense of urgency to the huge riff before the song literally deconstructs itself before re-assembling with some excellent percussion and double bass work.
Using some incredible complex patterns and melodies Escape Velocity never becomes self-indulgent, this is pure musicians’ music where the song fully explores itself with scant regard for commercial leanings, each track is an individual moment made cohesive by the incredible talent on display. A combination of the organic and the mechanical, Escape Velocity is unafraid to be subtle and sublime but also raucous and incredibly intense. It takes the terms progressive and utterly deconstructs them finding pace and power with time changes, deft guitar work, and a mindset unencumbered by popular current musical thought. ‘’ To Touch the Dust’’ and ‘’ Twilight Realm of Imaginary Notes’’ are more moments of greatness encapsulated within a truly remarkable album. Its emotive language tangible yet unable to contain like time.
An epic instrumental piece of art that is demanding, fully involving, and incredibly rewarding. Escape Velocity is the album that transports the listener willingly to new realms of experience. An album that speaks to you without uttering a single word.