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All Traps On Earth - A Drop of Light CD (album) cover


All Traps On Earth


Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 564 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars ALL TRAPS ON EARTH is the project of ANGLAGARD's bass player Johan Brand. He's brought in ANGLAGARD's keyboardist Thomas Johnson as well as drummer Erik Hammarstrom who was ANGLAGARD's drummer on that live album from Japan called "Prog PaSvenska" released in 2014. So yes the ANGLAGARD influence is very strong. Johan's daughter Miranda is the fourth member adding wordless vocals on and off throughout the album. Man this is one complex album. I was overwhelmed many times with the array of sounds constantly changing to the point my head is spinning. I mean I can't take notes on what I'm hearing because I can't keep up. Now Johan certainly contrasts these many powerful sections with atmosphere and calm.

Miranda's otherworldly voice really adds to this recording. Johan himself describes her voice as magical and unique with an authority that cuts through all the layers of complexity on this record. Johan says Erik was an obvious choice on drums describing his style as innovative and explosive bringing a new dimension to the music. "His drumming has also influenced us to rewrite and rearrange some of the themes after his playful style". Johnan says this about keyboardist Thomas Johnson "He has been immensely important for the records growth and completeness in all respects. Starting from my wild demo recordings we sat down and structured, rearranged and extended the songs to their final form".

I should mention that Johan and Thomas are both in THIEVES' KITCHEN and their guitarist in that band is British musician Phil Mercy who guests on here along with two flautists and two horn players. So cool to read them thank Stefan Dimle(LANDBERK) along with Greg Walker and others in the liner notes. Reminds me that I got a mention on that SHAMBLEMATHS "II" record from 2021 which beats this one but barely. Two of the finest recordings I've heard in my life. Just so much to chew on with these records and both are way over my head. Just so much respect for what these two bands have recorded. The man who did the cover art also came up with the album's title "A Drop Of Light". A worthy visual to the audio in fact the whole package is done so well.

Johan also mentions "Because of the sometimes dense instrumentation, with many instruments that play against each other. I wanted the production to be dry and intimate when necessary: but there are also moments when we wanted to let the sound open up into atmospheric and evocative landscapes". There is a ton of mellotron on this album. Both Thomas and Johan play it as they both do in ANGLAGARD. Johan's bass sounds incredible as usual. I mean he uses several different ones but man upfront the way I like it. He also plays guitar on here. Lots of vibes, marimba, timpani, xylophone and the like from the drummer.

And I want to mention the Chamberlin harpsichord on the closer as sounding very cool and Johan actually wrote the 14 minute closer by improvising with this instrument. The Swedish title for this track means "Forgotten Houses" with lyrics as Johan sings about "...beautiful old family houses standing and maturing around the Swedish countryside... The houses remain as monuments to time, as echoes of the past." As much as I like to describe the music this is one album that needs to be experienced with headphones and your full attention just like SHAMBLEMATH's "II" record released three years after this one. Another glorious retro record from Sweden and like many of you out there this is my album of the year for 2018 just ahead of SONAR's "Vortex" and Dewa Budjana's "Mahandini".

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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