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In The Labyrinth

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In The Labyrinth Walking On Clouds album cover
3.41 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Kali (6:28)
2. Mahatma (6:08)
3. Over the Wall (3:58)
4. The Caravan From Sheeba (4:16)
5. Birka (5:03)
6. Lop Nor (The Wandering Lake)(4:33)
7. Dervish Dreams (6:29)
8. Golgonda (4:27)
9. Gates of Oneiron (5:46)
10. Chandrika (3:17)
11. Walking on Clouds (6:09)

Total Time: 56:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Lindahl / flutes, Mellotron, electric & acoustic guitars, mandolin, viola da gamba, zither, saz, shehnai, bass, percussion, vocals, chorus, samples, Fx
- Håkan Almkvist / sitar, tabla, electric guitar, bass, tapes, Fx

- Helena Selander / backing vocals
- Anders Victorsson / backing vocals
- Miriam Oldenburg / accordion
- Fereidoun Nadimi / darbouka, recitation
- Sven Lindahl / cornet
- Ismet Demirhan / Woodwinds
- Micke Lövroth / violin
- Kirk Chilton / violin

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Lindahl

CD Record Heaven - TAP / RHCD 21 (1999, Sweden)

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and to Quinino for the last updates
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IN THE LABYRINTH Walking On Clouds ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

IN THE LABYRINTH Walking On Clouds reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars In itself this album would deserve one more star but this is hardly original stuff especially that there are few Swedish bands doing similar music albeit a little less world music and more jazzy. I think of , here , Ensemble Nimbus, some Samla Manna , Promotheus (from Finland), Miriodor (from Montreal) etc... This is not to say that the music is bad , on yhe contrary but simply not essential.
Review by Greger
4 stars IN THE LAYRINTH's follow up to the excellent "The Garden Of Mysteries" album are even better than the debut. As the debut contained a mix between old and new songs it gave an overall shattered impression. "Walking on Clouds" though feels like a "real" album. The total playing time are also shorter so it's easier to listen through it in just one listening.

Some of the musicians have been changed since their previous album, but Peter Lindahl is the man behind it all. This line-up also includes Håkan Almkvist from ENSEMBLE NIMBUS and ORIENT SQUEEZERS.

The music though is in the same style as before. Their mix between Middle-eastern, Indian Raga, Scandinavian folklore and Turkish folk & world music blended with Ambient, Psychedelic & Symphonic Rock is still very original. The many different instruments used on this album are very important for the final result.

IN THE LABYRINTH has once again proved that they're one of the most experimental bands around today. Highly recommended.

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars This is the second of Peter Lindahl’s three In the Labyrinth albums, and the one that includes the most narrative insight into the thoughts behind the music. Lindahl accomplishes this in two ways: first, with brief but informative liner notes that accompany each track; and second, with spoken-word poems woven into several of the tracks.

The sounds here are a logical blend of the group’s lighter and more fantasy-oriented debut ‘The Garden of Mysteries’, and the more somber and mature ‘Dryad’. Even though my understanding is that some of the ‘Dryad’ works were recorded around the same time as ‘Walking on Clouds’, that album seems to have had a more developed post-production treatment than Clouds. I have to say the result in markedly different but equally enjoyable in both cases.

Of Lindahl’s three albums the Indic influence is most pronounced here. The instrumentation is much the same as on ‘Dryad’, with the distinctively-inflected deep cello-like sound of the viola da gamba; Håkan Almkvist’s precise fingering on sitar and rhythmic tapping on tabla (Fereidoun Nadimi adds additional rhythm on darbouka); and Sven Lindahl’s chilling and moody wind work on the cornet ā bouquin. Peter Lindahl of course plays most of the other instruments, and provides or collaborates on all the compositions except the ode to Indian soap “Chandrika”, which was composed by Almkvist.

The overall mood of this album is quite interesting, falling as I already said somewhere between the ‘The Garden of Mysteries’ and ‘Dryad’. Mysteries feels to me like a much lighter and more playful recording, and ‘Dryad’ is quite somber although definitely not depressing. Clouds on the other hand feels adventurous, almost as if there is a narrator relating tales to us as he wanders along experiencing various cultures and concepts. My suspicion is that this is intentional, as Lindahl is a well-traveled individual who I expect has been to most of the places introduced in this album.

“Kali” tells the tale of a three-eyed Indian goddess who rules over the teaming Bengali city of Calcutta. The tabla and sitar are naturally prominent here, as well as some zither from Lindahl himself and I believe a little flute. This track really sets the mood for the whole album with a mystical and almost earthy feel while it describes the deadly but vital relationship of the people with their goddess. The merging of electric guitar and traditional Indic sounds gives this a world-music feel that is quite intoxicating in the right setting.

Lindahl offers a tribute to the father of the modern Indian nation Mohandas Gandhi, opening with a line that was made famous in the touching portrayal by Ben Kingsley that brought the name of this peaceful champion of the people into the world’s public conscious: “we’ll have a little tea”. I wonder how many wars could have been avoided in our history by such dispassionate discourse. Anyway, the instrumentation here is wonderful, with much bending of strings and syncopated hand drumming and soothing strings rising above it all (possibly mellotron, I’m not really sure). One has to wonder if this kind of peaceful and reasoned calm was the catalyst that drove Gandhi to accomplish so much in his lifetime.

For some reason “Over the Wall” reminds me of the old Tintin cartoons, and the words describe the experience of crossing the high Himalayas and feeling a sense of awe and peace at the top of the world. I suppose this is somewhat autobiographical for Lindahl as he relates one of his many travels. “The Caravan of Sheeba” on the other hand feels like a kind of medley of sounds, ranging from orchestral to folk to opera. This is the most polished sounding track on the album, and I could easily see this one translated to the symphonic stage as a powerful work.

The theme of “Birka” is closer to home for the group, representing an ancient excavated town that served as a center of trade in the early days of Sweden. The blend of viola da gamba, sitar and percussion here is delicate and rich, while the woodwinds ground the whole thing with an ancient and earthy feel. This is an understated piece that manages to sound majestic at the same time, while “Lop Nor (the Wandering Lake)” that follows it is more discordant and ominous, owing mostly to the harsher percussion and dissonant strings that reflect the harsh desert conditions of the mystic Asian lake the work is meant to represent.

The band wanders into Asian territory with a poem by Molana that Lindahl transforms into an amorous narrative spoken in Persian. This is yet another example of the cultural range of the band and a nice balancing piece between “Lop Nor” and the almost post-rock sounding instrumental “Golganda”.

Parts of “Gates of Oneiron” comes from an older recording from the seventies, and here the mellotron and percussion dominate and give the composition a timeless quality.

The group launches into the most decidedly Indian-inflected track with “Chandrika”, named for a brand of Indian soap and representing the real-world need to cleanse oneself at points along a dusty journey. The strings of the sitar and viola da gamba accentuate the odd rhythm for an overall feeling that manages to project that sense of completion that comes at the end of a journey. Nicely done.

Finally the title track closes the album with a soothing and heavenly fantasy that lifts the listener up above the everyday and worldly fray and into an ethereal state of higher consciousness – that is, if you let it. A poignant and thought-provoking ending to an engaging hour of music.

In the Labyrinth is a musical experience that is terribly underappreciated and unknown in popular culture. That’s too bad, because these albums all represent music made for the pure love of the art, and of the cultures and concepts that they represent. You could do much worse than to invest a little time and money finding all these albums and taking a few mental journeys yourself. Of the three, ‘Walking on Clouds’ projects the strongest sense of movement and of travel, and for that reason I highly recommend it to anyone looking for adventure. You don’t even need to leave home to find it. Four stars.


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