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Anna von Hausswolff - Dead Magic CD (album) cover

DEAD MAGIC

Anna von Hausswolff

 

Crossover Prog

3.93 | 66 ratings

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BrufordFreak
5 stars An extraordinary force is at work in Gothenborg, Dutch-born church organist-gone-wild, Anna Von Hausswolff is exploring very proggy, atmospheric, and experimental territory with this, her latest album. Music fitting the Post Rock bill but branching out in an extremely eerie, SWANS and DEAD CAN DANCE kind of way.

1. The Truth, The Glow, The Fall" (12:37) very similar to a DEAD CAN DANCE song with Lisa Gerrard in the lead vocal. Plodding, melodic, and absolutely brilliant! (10/10)

2. "The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra" (6:08) a SWANS-like song construct with drums, hand percussives, single- chord electric guitar strokes, and organ hits forming an electro-pulse foundation over which Anna's wild, banshee- like voice sings (wails) in a kind of Bernadette Peters-gone-wild voice. Amazing and powerful! What an impassioned vocal! So unexpected and powerful! May be the song of the year! I did not know Anna could sing like this! (10/10)

3. "Ugly and Vengeful" (16:17) spacious and atmospheric, this plodding song could easily come from either an ancient Greek tragedy or a SWANS album--or something by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR. Powerful and unsettling. In the eleventh minute a metronomic bass drum and tom establish a shamanic or indigenous kind of beat for the first time in the song while guitars and, later, organ and voice take turns expanding the soundscape into infinity. (9/10)

4. "The Marble Eye" (5:18) a complex, layered solo church organ piece opening with breathy organ arpeggi which then get layered with bass pedal below and upper ocatve arpeggi above in the second half of the opening minute. Higher octave organ melody gets established over the aforementioned weave of arpeggi. Are some of these layers being looped? The melodies introduced in the second half of the third minute are powerful! Awesome, gorgeous song! (9.5/10)

5. "Källans återuppståndelse" (7:26) opens with slow-changing ethereal synth wash chords for the first two minutes before organ joins in as the dominant instrument over the top of the synth chords. Gorgeous, relaxing, and contemplative. Anna begins singing (in English) over the top at the 3:25 mark while accompanied by plaintive solo violin. Later, in the fifth minute, this violin becomes a full string section with raunchy, staticky electric guitar playing alongside. Great vocal, great arrangement, pretty yet eery and unsettling. (9.5/10)

Five full stars; a certifiable masterpiece of exciting, boundary-pushing progressive rock music! So well constructed and produced! One of the best albums of the decade!

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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