Aftermath Music 2014
Impressive and progressive debut from Swedish trio whose name says it all about their music’s levity and beauty.
“Heavy lightness” is an oxymoron but there’s also something paradoxical about this band’s self-characteristic as a progressive post-rock act. Formed in 2012, the group create epic edifices on their first album that’s comprised of only four pieces – reasonably twangy yet breathingly transparent. Thus, “Megaloceros Giganteus” sets things in artful, albeit by no means artificial, motion in the way of fog thickening to hide unknown wonders behind its shroud and clearing to bare the sweet dirge, while Björn’s guitar weaves a sparse melody. But then the bluesy stomp shatters the swamp as befits the titular elk, before keyboards kick in and effortlessly change the scenery for a prog-like, almost orchestral flow.
It gets a new depth in between the funereal piano chords of “The Trumpeter” as Pierre Stam’s bass gives it additional weight, which is lifted with a faux flute tune to welcome the piper at the gates of dawn, the folk motifs raising the emotional factor. The music’s sad yet one of those wonders is hope that bleeds through the gloom, most palpably in “Rombol” where a slider is rolled across the strings and the bottom end come into the FX-stricken swirl whence Robin Bergh’s cymbals shine. The jubilant peaks comes on the solar breeze of “Palefeathered Wind” swelling in scope as it blows, helped by a cello, recedes to a sweet ripple and soars again – higher and higher, reaching for glory full of color. Way to go – and the band to watch.