Monthly Archives: October 2012

Rats – Balthazar

The second album by Belgian rock/pop band, Balthazar continue in full force, writing songs with commanding charisma and somewhat, some swagger. The relatively unknown band, Balthazar utilises different styles in their music, having elements of Pop, Rock and others. Balthazar have always been an interesting band, featuring young musicians who just write their own music to the best degree they can. It is fortunate that Balthazar, though it could be described that their music has somewhat of a dirty sound to it, have still always written to such a high quality. It is a shame that the band isn’t as well known in England or America, as they are in their homeland, as although their music is unconventional at times, and not what the mainstream sounds like, it is great music, full of charisma that effortlessly and easily commands the listener into listening to each song.

On ‘Rats’, Balthazar continue much in the same style that was ‘Applause’, featuring music that still contains charisma, yet it is a lot more downplayed on this album. The slightly broken English by the lead singer still remains on this new album, which oddly enough is one of the distinguishing styles of the band. It is not as broken as it was on the first album, and thus we can see the band is progressing and developing more musically and talent-wise as they progress further and further. It seems at times that there’s less instruments and layers in the songs on this album, but despite that, all the sounds feel much more clearer and more well formed on this album. It is as though they’ve only filled up necessary layers, not letting the songs be ruined by too many unnecessary layers of instrumentals. It is much more stripped down, and it gives each instrument, when it has a chance to play, a position in the foreground of the song, giving the songs a movement and flow.

The album seems to be a much more darker album than their first. The first had a few tracks that were raucous at times, featuring more speed-up instrumentals and vocals that were all over the place, and at times backed up by choral singing. On this album, whilst these ideas are still used by the band in some songs, it is nowhere as frequent and as abundant. However, this is one of the album’s strengths, as it means they’re not repeating their strengths from the first album exactly, but instead using their talents to develop the kind of music they produce in a different way. This more downplayed style is much more suiting for a follow-up album, and it is very  well executed. There is a lot to be enjoyed from this album, despite being a much more low-fi perhaps. There are a number of good songs on this album, which are all well written, constructed and performed.

Overall, this second album is very impressive. Though at times it isn’t as dense as their first album, but with that this album is more much constructed. As an album it has a much better flow than their previous album, with each song running into the next much more easily and effortlessly than the songs on their first album. The quality of the songs seem to be much better also, with there being less of the kind of dirty sound often associated with newer and upcoming bands. The charisma that comes out of the lead singer has a commanding quality, and when combined with the instrumentals that make up their music, it becomes somehow even more commanding. This is a very impressive second album, and considering how good their first one was as well, it makes me greatly anticipate what they will do next.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Later
  • Lion’s Mouth (Daniel)
  • Any Suggestion
  • Sides
Categories: Albums, Old Album Reviews (2012) | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Hope – Mountain Men

‘Hope’ is the second-album by Mountain Men. A duo featuring one man on guitar and vocals, and another member playing the harmonica,  I’d argue that Mountain Men are one of the most underrated acts in the world today.  Their country music has such an original slant on it, drawing on all the formalities of country music, but expressed in their own style. What makes Mountain Men’s music so great to listen to is the complete chemistry between its two and only members. Whilst the foreground of the music is occupied by the vocals, it is the instrumentation in the background that makes their music so impressive.

The harmonica playing on each song is at an insanely talented level. It acts like a voice of its own, and accompanies the acoustic riffs perfectly  helping to add a dense layer to each and every song. This was present on the first album ‘Spring Time Coming’, and there was a wonderful mixture  of upbeat songs and more slower songs. It was a highly impressive début album, that seemingly went unnoticed in the musical world.

With ‘Hope’, we see Mountain Men continuing to do what they do best. Their music is still twinged with the dense layers of harmonica, which helps to add so much more emotion to the music. The album feels as though it is split into two parts, with the first half containing more darker and slightly more aggressive songs, and the second half featuring much lighter and delicate songs. There’s a few surprises on this album, including a rather unconventional cover of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. It is an interesting version, and it is interesting to hear the band putting their unique slant on the song, using their own style to present it in a much different way.

Musically, this album is wonderful. The delicate songs feature beautiful acoustic riffs, accompanied by incredibly impressive harmonica playing. The vocals are as strong as they’ve always been, and in these delicate songs the lyrics are crooned compassionately and emotionally, giving the songs depth and emotion. The harmonica adds to this depth, as like I said, it feels like its own voice in the song, singing its own parts. The harmonica in Mountain Men’s music has always been highly impressive, and it hasn’t faltered for a second on this album.

‘Hope’ is a very impressive second album. From a band who remains relatively unknown, their music is still of such a high quality, with lots of effort being put into the writing, recording and presentation of each song. The band uses their strengths very well on this album, and you can see it in the songs that are the highlights on the album. As it is, I feel that the inclusion of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is an unnecessary one, as whilst it has merit of its own, I feel that it personally draws the listener out of the album due to awareness of the song itself. When the album plays its songs by Mountain Men, it draws you in and you can get lost in the dense layers of harmonica and guitar. I felt that as soon as I heard and recognised Nirvana’s lyrics on the album, that I was drawn out of this immersion quite suddenly. The awareness of the song was too much, and it is a shame because the music Mountain Men write are good enough in their own merit. That being said though the cover is good, don’t get me wrong. In conclusion, I feel that ‘Hope’ is a worthy second album, being every bit as good as ‘Spring Time Coming’. It is a shame with a band so unknown that not enough people know of them, as Mountain Men are a band worthy of recognition.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Imidiouane
  • Before I Sleep
  • Travailler C’est Trop Dur
  • Move Up To The Door
Categories: Albums, Old Album Reviews (2012) | Tags: , , , , | 26 Comments

Mirage Rock – Band of Horses

Band of Horses’ fourth-studio album ‘Mirage Rock’ sees the alternative-rock band playing on their strengths that they have developed thus far. Building up from what was established on their previous three albums, we see Band of Horses coming out with what is another suitably good and impressive album. Everything is here that makes a good album, and considering the effort put in with their previous works, I don’t think anything more could be expected of this band.

A lot of the music on the album could be described as being the same as ‘Infinite Arms’ or ‘Cease To Begin’, and whilst this has some merit to it as a criticism, I feel that it could be misplaced when considered with this particular album. Sure enough, there are similarities, but on ‘Mirage Rock’ everything seems much more older and mature than the previous works. Each album seemed to build up from the previous to a more mature level, and it has occurred on ‘Mirage Rock’. It is interesting that one band can remain so consistent with every release, and continue to produce music of a high quality.

There is much to enjoy from this album. The music on the album is very enjoyable, with each instrumentation in each song accompanying the vocals perfectly, ranging from different dynamics that help to give the album shape and form. The vocals are a highlight on the album, as the use of group-singing helps to create wonderful harmonies, which gives the music much richer sounds and deeper layers. The album mixes it up with light songs that use acoustic instrumentation, and much more harder rock songs. It is highly dynamic, and it the order of each song is used very well, going from heavy songs to light songs and back again. What is also good is how on ‘Mirage Rock’, both the heavy songs, and the lighter ones are as good as each other (unlike their previous albums, where I would have argued that the lighter songs were the strong points on the albums). There is a lot of punch in the heavy songs, and they’re well placed within the album’s framework.

Overall, ‘Mirage Rock’ is a wonderful album that fits in nicely with Band of Horses’ repertoire. It could arguably be one of their strongest albums so far, and it features many great songs. As I often say at this point, it isn’t a perfect album, as within the genre the band works with, there could arguably be better, but I have to give them credit for producing something that damn well nearly is a perfect alternative-rock album. Band of Horses really don’t need to do anything different in future, all they need to do is continue to use their strengths, and keep producing well written, and well performed music. I can’t see how it can go wrong for them.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Knock Knock
  • Slow Cruel Hands of Time
  • Dumpster World
  • Heartbreak On The 101
Categories: Albums, Old Album Reviews (2012) | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg

This self-titled album is the début album by upcoming musician Jake Bugg. The album is twinged with delicate country and folk melodies and sung with an honest style that makes the album a very impressive début, especially for somebody so young. The album echoes the kind of style laid down by Bob Dylan, with a mixture of folksy country songs that shift from being gentle and delicate to being slightly more harder and distinctively country in style.

I am impressed by the album. The music demonstrates a very good understanding of song-writing, both lyrically and musically. The album opens up with ‘Lightning Bolt’ which has a instantly catchy acoustic riff, that cannot be ignored. It’s a strong way to start the album, and from there on the album just goes from strength to strength. There’s a wonderful mixture of very catchy songs, with gripping folk-twinged riffs, and very mellow and relaxed songs, where  Bugg’s vocals are arguably at their strongest. It is very confident and mature song-writing, and it is quite surprising, for somebody so young.

The album feels strongest when the songs are more mellow, but despite this, the more pacey songs still have a lot of impact. There’s something that’s just quite nice about the more mellow songs. Bugg’s vocals seem much more strong in these songs, and they seem to have a lot more impact emotionally in my opinion. It makes me just feel like smiling for some reason, just because of what emotions the various songs give off. There is a lot of emotion in the way that Bugg performs the songs,  making the impact of the emotions much more stronger.

Overall, this album is a highly impressive album. It isn’t perfect, of course, but it it is still very impressive. There are many good songs on this album, making it one of the strongest début albums that has ever been released. I’d go as far to say that anyone who is a fan of Bob Dylan, or has enjoyed the rising movement of folk music in these past few years (Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Noah & the Whale), will find a lot to enjoy in this album. This album is purely just  Bugg’s strengths, laid down in 14 songs. Bugg’s vocals and guitar is always at the foreground of each track, and it is the main highlight. There is a lot of strength in his talent, and it certainly paves the way for him to achieve great heights in the coming future.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Lightning Bolt
  • Country Song
  • Broken
  • Ballad of Mr. Jones
Categories: Albums, Old Album Reviews (2012) | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Glassheart – Leona Lewis

The third full-length studio album by Leona Lewis, ‘Glassheart’ has Leona doing what she does best really, whilst attempting to expand just that little bit more. As the name suggests somewhat, ‘Glassheart’ is mainly about the whole difficulty of love and what-not, trying to get on with life when that highly significant other has left your side. It’s a typical subject really, one that a lot of singers sing about. Lyrically, there is little variation on this album, with every song seeming to be either about oneself, or about that one guy who broke your heart. However, musically, there is some variation and experimentation that normally wouldn’t appear on a Leona Lewis album. There’s not a lot, to be perfectly honest, but the fact that there is some counts for something.

What is interesting about Leona Lewis is that a lot of her music is incredibly typical. They feature typical very typical instrumentation, comprised mostly of pianos and basic beats that push the songs forward at sluggish paces. The lyrics are also incredibly typical as well, being about very over-used themes. You’d struggle to find a singer or band who hasn’t sung a song about these themes, it is that common. And yet, despite all this, despite this album being filled with clichés and being completely ordinary at times, it is forgiveable, because of Leona Lewis herself. It’s Leona’s voice, that actually really makes the music, and not so much the lyrics or the instrumentation. Sure enough, they are important, and this album is lacking because of them, but it’s the vocals that are the main highlight on this album, and the main focus. Leona’s vocals have always been some of the best out there, and even though this album isn’t as strong as her others, or other albums in this field of music, her vocals still manage to reign through. They’re still strong and full of emotion, and still hitting the multitude of notes that is present in her range. They’ve always been the main focus, and it’s what make Leona so great to listen too.

That being said, this album is still lacking. There’s a small handful of songs that are good to listen too, but there’s nothing on here that is truly inspiring or amazing. It’s good at times, don’t get me wrong, and I don’t think it’ll disappoint the main hardcore fans of Leona, but there’s nothing on here that’ll make you go ‘wow‘ or anything. When Leona Lewis first came to out attention in Series.3 of ‘The X-Factor’, audiences were blown away by the sheer talent the young woman possessed. However, I feel to some extent that Leona hasn’t actually sung anything truly powerful or amazing since her time during the competition. Everything that was released following her win on the show was good, sure enough, but it was slightly lacklustre, with the impression that with such extraordinary talent, that Leona could actually do better.

In conclusion, ‘Glassheart’ is a distinctively average album. The album is comprised mostly of ballads, with some experimental ideas thrown in there just to shake it up a little. These experiments include elements of dub-step in one or two of the songs, which are interesting, but for me, it really doesn’t fit Leona’s style. There’s some good songs on the album, and it is worth listening if you are indeed a fan of Leona Lewis’s music. But I feel that to an extent that it is a poorer effort than her previous work, and that with such extraordinary talent like her, Leona could do much better. At least there’s some good songs on the album though, and that it’s not a waste of your time to listen to. At times, when the album works, it really does work, and is quite an enjoyable listening experience, but at other times it’s just too lacklustre, too basic even. It’s down to you though to decide how much you get out of the album. Personally it made quite a lack of impression on me, and I believe she can do better, by perhaps drawing on the strengths that are present on this album (and believe me, there are some strengths)

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆ 3/5

Selected Songs:

  • Trouble
  • Lovebird
  • Fireflies
  • Fingerprint
Categories: Albums, Old Album Reviews (2012) | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Valtari – Sigur Rós

Released back in May, Valtari is the sixth studio album by Icelandic band Sigur Rós. A highly anticipated album, Sigur Rós return to music after their hiatus with full force, producing what is arguably one of the best albums of their whole career. The album is a much more sombre affair than the jovialities of their previous album Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust, which was a very strong album, that shifted back and forth between upbeat songs and more downbeat songs.

Valtari is comprised of eight songs, all of which are downbeat. There is little joy in the songs that was so easily demonstrated in such songs as Hoppípolla and Festival. The songs seem to recall similar emotions and moods to some songs, like Andvari, and Untitled#3. It is an interesting album, as at times it feels like a very dense album, featuring lots of ambient layers of bass and guitars that create layer upon layer of sound. Then again, at other times, it seems very sparse, with little happening in some of the songs. I believe it is a simple matter that the songs drift in and around being dense and/or sparse, which helps to make it an interesting album, giving each of the songs flair.

There is a lot of emotion in the songs. Jónsi’s vocals fall into the layers of music as though it is its own instrument. The vocals are as good as they have always been on this record, except that perhaps there’s that bit more emotion in these songs. Although it isn’t always possible to know exactly what is being sung about (even if you understand Icelandic, due to the band singing in their made-up language Hopelandic), it doesn’t matter though, because the emotion still comes through in the music. I was told that music is able to transcend national barriers, that it doesn’t matter where music comes from, that it can still be understood, and perhaps more importantly, felt. The music on this album has the power to make you feel, whether it is overwhelming sadness, or even hope. It depends on what reaction the music gauges out of you personally.

I kind of feel that the album is about something that is slightly out of reach. The idea came to me when listening to the music and simply looking at the album cover. The graininess in the photo, and the distant image of a ship out at sea, it invokes an image of just being incredibly far away and out of touch with reality. This is purely just my own idea on the album, but it makes sense to me, considering how when listening to the music, it just draws me into the music, making me feel involved with it, and not involved with reality any more. It is a powerful feeling, and I can’t be sure if it is something that can be so easily understood.

In conclusion, Valtari is one of my favourite albums of this whole year. Although this won’t apply for everyone, I found that my first listening of the album was quite an overwhelming experience. The music draws you in, and feeds you emotion after emotion with every song. It can be quite powerful at times, and it is this that helps make Valtari one of the best albums of the year, and of Sigur Rós’ whole career. It is a sad album, but the emotion there is incredibly powerful.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★ ★★ 5/5

Selected Songs:

  • Ekki Múkk
  • Varúð
  • Varðeldur
  • Fjögur píanó
Categories: 5-Star Reviews, Albums, Old Album Reviews (2012) | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

These Walls Of Mine – Peter Broderick

‘These Walls Of Mine’ is the latest solo effort from Peter Broderick. A rather experimental album, it could be seen that ‘These Walls Of Mine’ is a departure from the previous releases by Broderick. The album features a lot of what is quintessentially Peter Broderick’s ‘sound‘, but it seems to be more evolved and changed.

The album features a lot more experimentation than previous efforts by Broderick. There’s a lot of new sounds, and it takes some getting used too. My first impression is that something isn’t quite right when listening to the songs. But as the album gets into itself more, it starts to make some sort of sense. It is interesting, as it makes me feel that the album is much less accessible than such others as ‘Home’ or ‘How They Are’ which were two wonderful albums. There is spoken word in many of the songs, as well as a lot of percussion and less instrumentation that what was on his previous albums. It’s very different, but there is something interesting about it. It makes the album feel like an experimental concept album, showcasing new techniques by Broderick in an effort to stray away from his previous efforts.

The album showcases a lot of spoken word in the songs, which is an interesting move considering how gentle Broderick’s voice can sound at times. Some tracks focus on the spoken word elements, giving some kind of insight into the inner-workings of Broderick’s mind, and how he thinks and also what kind of things he thinks about. It is highly experimental, and the use of spoken word is used as an experiment. It is most showcased in the two tracks ‘These Walls Of Mine I’ and ‘These Walls Of Mine II’. The first is a spoken-word version of poetry by Broderick, whilst the second is a repeat with music and percussion. In the second part, the vocals sound almost as though they are being rapped, which is accompanied by a heavy percussive beat.

Overall, I think the album is a highly interesting effort. It’s very experimental, featuring a lot of new ideas and techniques. The album though doesn’t seem to flow due to the different sounds on the album. It is a good album, but it isn’t as strong as some of Broderick’s previous works, and at times it just seems to fall flat. I love a lot of the ideas, but I think they could do with perhaps a little more refinement. It is an interesting piece of work and warrants listening, and some of these experimental ideas do work at times. There are some truly wonderful moments on the album, and they shouldn’t be overlooked at all. I just feel that the album could have done a little better if it were only refined just that little bit more.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆  3/5

Selected Songs:

  • Freyr!
  • Proposed Solution to the Mystery of the Soul
  • I Do This
  • Til Denmark
Categories: Albums, Old Album Reviews (2012) | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Apnea – O. Children

‘Apnea’ is the second studio album by indie-band O.Children. The band draws on many influences for this album, making a record that sounds not completely dissimilar to a Joy Division record. There is a moodiness to a lot of the songs on the album, invoking many different emotions. What really attributes to this general feeling on the album is Tobi O’Kandi’s deep baritone vocals seem to have a power to draw the listener in, which when accompanied by a rather dark-sounding instrumentals in the songs, make for what is a very dark and impressive second album.

The album seems to flick between very dark songs, and other lighter songs which only sound dark due to the vocals. There is a good balance between dark and light songs (or light in terms of O. Children). Some of the songs can almost be described as being quite jolly to a certain degree. It is interesting, and certainly shows what the band is capable of in terms of both their song-writing talent, and their performance. The album’s real stand out moments seem to be when the album favours a darker song over a lighter song, but that isn’t to say that the more lighter ones aren’t as good as the darker one. On the contrary, they’re some of the best material the band has written. I find that with my personal preference, I prefer it when the instrumentation is more moody and dramatic, than when it’s lighter and more jolly. That being said, some of the best songs on the album are the lighter ones. It is an interesting move, as it seems to separate them from Joy Division, which is very wise of them as a band if they wish to progress further. The album certainly demonstrates a very good understanding of song-writing, and song-performance. It is O’Kandi’s vocals which really helps to make not just the album, but the whole band stand out. It draws you in and forces you to listen, giving the band a commanding force in their performance.

There are many songs that stand out on the album. The highlight of the whole album is the vocals, but they are accompanied by some very well thought out instrumentation. The album starts off on a fairly dark note with the track ‘Holy Wood’, which has a guitar line at the beginning that draws the listener in.  Another one of these songs is the lighter song ‘I Know (You Love Me) which is more slower-paced than some of the other strong songs on the album, and could be described as one of the more lighter and jolly songs on the album (or jolly in terms of the whole album’s overall feeling). It takes a while to build up, which makes it a strong way to open the album as it allows time for the listener to be drawn into the whole experience of the album. The album’s final track ‘Chimera’ is also a strong song, with it being one of the more darker and faster paced songs. The instrumentation is very strong on this track, with the vocals accompanying it perfectly. It is very dark, and serves as a perfect closer for the whole album, rounding it off pretty much where it started.

Overall, as an album, ‘Apnea’ is a strong album for a band that is ready to burst into the mainstream. It has a driving force that goes throughout each song, and manages to flit in and out of dark and light songs with remarkable ease. The album isn’t perfect, but it is a strong effort for such a young band. The song-writing is very well planned and thought out on the album, and is reinforced by great instrumentals in the songs, and incredibly powerful vocals. What is interesting is how the band has managed to draw on some very interesting influences, and use them in the writing of their songs, but at the same time, make the music sound quintessentially theirs. This is a band that will warrant keeping your eye on, as they can only expect to reach higher heights in the coming years.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Holy Wood
  • I Know (You Love Me)
  • Solid Eyes
  • Chimera
Categories: Albums, Old Album Reviews (2012) | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost Songs – …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

‘Lost Songs’ is the latest album by the alternative-rock band …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. Despite whatever images their name conjures up, Trail of Dead are actually a rather ordinary band in terms of their music. When I first heard of them, I was under the impression that Trail of Dead were a heavy-metal band, (why I thought this, I do not know). When I first listened to their first album I was fairly surprised to hear the kind of music the band was producing. The music wouldn’t sound completely out-of-place on a Tony Hawk’s soundtrack, as it seems to fall into many different categories of alternative-rock music.

That being said, some of the songs have a much darker edge to them, which gives them a lot of flair and personality. The instrumentation in each song is highly impressive, and it can’t be denied that the band understands what they’re doing when it comes to their song-writing, and their song-performing. The whole album drifts in and out of aggressive moments that build up and up, and more chilled out moments that allow for moments of calm, that can sometimes feel quite sinister and dark.

There are some brilliant songs on the album, including ‘Up To Infinity’, which features manic vocals that are barely comprehensible, which are accompanied by fast-riffs and drums. It’s midway through the song that everything seems to disperse, giving the song a chance to let the bass and drums slow down to create an impressive groove. It helps with the character of the song, and it gives the whole album variety, as at least in some of the songs, they don’t always drag on and on. There is also self-reference in the album, with songs reflecting each other. The ending of ‘Up To Infinity’ is a slow groove, featuring a guitar line and an accompanying bass, which becomes the opening for the track ‘Flower Card Games’. It gives the whole album a story, with each song being it’s own separate chapter. The self-reference in terms of the music reminds me much of how ‘The Fragile’ by Nine Inch Nails plays out, which has many bass-lines or piano instrumentals being references in later songs. It is an interesting style of song-writing, and what is most impressive about the album is how unassuming it is. It is done on purpose, sure enough, but it isn’t done in a way that is easily recognisable. It is almost subtle, shall we say, which makes it all that more rewarding.

In conclusion, ‘Lost Songs’ is a satisfying album. It is aggressive and loud in places, but it isn’t completely loud to the point of being deafening. There is actual craftsmanship and talent going into the writing of each song, making the whole album a good album. It isn’t perfect by no means. On the contrary, there is a lot that could be ironed out and made perfect. But at least we can see a band trying, and doing their best on this record. Sure enough, there’ll be great things to come from …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, despite what their band-name suggests.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆  3/5

Selected Songs:

  • Up To Infinity
  • Flower Card Games
  • Heart Of Wires
  • Awestruck
Categories: Albums, Old Album Reviews (2012) | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Piramida – Efterklang

‘Piramida’ is the fourth-studio album by Dannish band Efterklang. Moving on from what they’ve learnt from their previous albums, Efterkland have used all their knowledge and talent to produce what is an incredibly satisfying and rewarding album. The music on this album is very well thought out and developed, giving an idea of a band who truly understand their capabilities as a band.

There is a very chilled atmosphere on the album. It almost feels winter-ey, like standing in the middle of a snow-covered forest. It’s just the personal image that is conjured up in my head, and it is almost comforting. There’s warmth in the vocals and some of the instrumentation, but for the most part it is a pleasantly chilled out album.

Though many songs on the album are great, the one that really stands out in particular is ‘Sedna’, a 4 minute track that flows in and around ambient instrumentals, and is accompanied by a lower-register of vocal. The track opens up with a choral vocal, joined in with the beginnings of the ambience that helps make up the track. It’s wonderfully chilled out and relaxing, and is easily one of the best tracks that Efterklang have produced so far.

Piramida could be hailed as one of Efterklang’s most greatest achievements. It is easily their most mature and best sounding of all their albums, and it perfectely demonstrates the band’s capabilities now that they’ve matured as a band. Is it one of the best albums of this year? Perhaps it isn’t. There’s flaws there certainly enough that could still do with ironing out. But there’s less flaws than before, and the band are certainly learning how to overcome any problem they come across. It certainly does come close to being one of the best albums of this year though, don’t get me wrong.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Sedna
  • Black Summer
  • Between The Walls
  • Monument
Categories: Albums, Old Album Reviews (2012) | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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