Label : Unexploded Records

Review by Si Smith

“Nattsmyg” is the Swedish for “night sneak” and this music may well sneak into your subconscious and take up residence there, for it is quite beautiful in its own way. Rich in keyboard textures as well as guitars, it is at once brutal and grim whilst also managing to be dreamy and flowing in parts, like a stream with rapids but also quiet waters. Most of the songs are of reasonable length (5-7 minutes) which gives you enough time to become immersed in one track before being carried on to the next. The first track “Älvadans” sets you up for a positive listening experience, with the guitars and vocals soaring over a rich tapestry of keyboard sound. Clean female vocals alternate with male growled sections to provide the best of both worlds. “Skuggfolket” is a mid-tempo piece beginning with a chugging rhythm set against the keyboard backdrop and clean female vocals. The melody flows between minor keys and retains a mystical sound until the keyboards take over for a small interlude before a slower dreamy guitar solo section. The vocals explore some of the higher registers before the low male growls come in dramatically, for contrast. A good balance is achieved throughout the song. The album continues to move between slow and mid tempo songs (apart from “I Skogens Hjarta” which picks up quite a pace), as it alternates between the male and female vocals, and is an exercise in balance and contrasts. Guitar purists may complain that sometimes the keyboards are so loud that they drown out the guitars, but this is the essence of the Nattsmyg sound. It is at once mysterious and beautiful, conjuring up pictures of Swedish landscapes and folky rustic scenes. Apart from the sometimes-overenthusiastic keyboard sound I can find little to fault on this CD, rich in choruses and also musical interludes. A surprising pleasure.

Rating – 80/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Älvadans   
  2. Skuggfolket   
  3. Dance the Mountain Halls   
  4. Fjättrad 
  5. Fylgja   
  6. Irrblossens Sken   
  7. I Skogens Hjärta   
  8. Death keeps Me Near  
  9. Skepnaden Vid Sjön     
  10. Vålnaders Slagfält (Bonus Track)

 

Line Up

  • Linn Carlshaf – Vocals (session musician)
  • Dan Heikenberg – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards & Vocals
  • Adam Nilsson – Additional guitars (session musician)
  • Robin Fors – Additional guitars (session musician)

Links

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