Sweden’s award-winning quintet step out with an eagerly awaited debut full-lengther.
It’s been a long way to this album for an Uppsala band who bagged a gong for “See What There Is” back in 2007 and for their long player’s title track, that bookend it, two years later. Thanks to the two epics and a couple of slightly shorter pieces, the four compositions on display feel like a dozen, numerous time shifts and the multitude of melodies creating a magical pattern. What starts as a folk tapestry unfolds into an angular riff-fest where Terese Persson’s voice hardens only to turn mellifluous and get wrapped in male vocals or acoustic strum, while Gabbi Dluzewski’s guitar and Simon Forsberg’s bouzouki weave an organ-embroidered web of a heavy prog stripe. And when metal onslaught gets interspersed with idyllic penny whistle, the effect is truly amazing.
So although “Locked In A Lie” introduces a pinch of theatricality to the context, the emotional delivery wins over before the powerful funk, punctured with Daniel Dluzewski’s bass, picks up the groove, and “The Magic Sun” enters a lyrical territory with much more desperate panache and a painfully memorable wail, whereas the finale reveals a reflective romance and sea of anger turning into a hymn to universal optimism. Quite a reason to be breathing and happy!