By Gruesome Greg
The album cover of this Swedish quintet’s debut reminds me of a 70’s prog rock record, and both female vocals and Hammond organ are said to feature prominently throughout, so colour me intrigued. The album opens with a mellow interlude, “Circles,” setting the tone for “Heavy Tremor,” which glides out of the gate like something off Blood Ceremony’s latest, singer Paulina Nystrom hitting high notes overtop the Hammond. But that’s where the B.C. comparisons end, as “Are We Still Breathing” offers an almost-danceable beat at a radio-friendly 2:30, more Annie Lennox than Alia O’Brien.
“Solipse” is more than a little longer, at eight-and-a-half minutes, an instrumental prog-rock epic that has the spacy vibe of Hawkwind and the mellow, cool feel of Floyd—while not really sounding much like either. “Clusters” brings back a bit of that doomy crunch, a sinister guitar riff gliding beneath sickly-sweet vocals, before ending on a spaced-out psychedelic note.
The album ends with a 13-minute epic, “Quakes,” which takes a little while to get going, but eventually builds up into a spacey progressive instrumental number, almost equal parts Hawkwind and Dream Theater. Halfway through, it slows back down to a crawl, a few notes ringing out into the void, before slowly speeding up again into space-rock territory, culminating in a crashing crescendo that would make both Nik Turner and Dave Brock proud (albeit not at the same time).