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Annot Rhül - Leviathan CD (album) cover


Annot Rhül


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.96 | 109 ratings

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4 stars Leviathan is the third work from Norwegian musician Sigurd Lühr Tonna, whose pseudonym in this realm is Annot Rhül. He is a modern composer that enters in the progressive rock realm, with the help of several musicians who joined his project and collaborated in this album, which by the way, was released last year by Black Widow Records, so it is a guarantee of great music. The album consists of six compositions and a total time of 48 minutes; it has two epics (tracks 1 & 6), two average songs (tracks 2 & 5) and two short pieces (tracks 3 & 4), I believe the order was on purpose, which is nice.

The album kicks off with "Leviathan Suite", whose 14 minutes are divided in 7 parts that are truly visual, I mean, while listening to it, it is easy to imagine things and see that sea monster and what it causes to the sailors, it is like being on a musical novel full of changes and emotions. The first minutes are totally spacey, so a nice journey is about to begin. Later vocals appear, keyboards, drums and strings produce a soft psychedelic sound; vocals are mainly made but then female appear putting a sweet sound, which is wonderfully accompanied by mellotron as background. This is a great progressive rock track, an example of a modern and well-crafted epic, a proof that prog rock is alive and kicking asses. After 7 minutes the music slows down, a new part begins, producing uncertainty and even tension. Later, keyboards take a main role, they remind me a bit of Arjen Lucassen's projects. The music's intensity is increasing little by little, and after ten minutes we are delighted with a powerful passage where keys and strings offer a darker atmosphere. At minute 12 the music makes another change, it becomes faster and more psychedelic; here the names of Eloy or Uriah Heep came to my mind. Excellent opener track!

"The Colour Out of Space" starts with a rock oriented guitar and bass, then drums join and together create a heavy rock / spacey atmosphere that combines elements from old school with some of the new school of space rock, I mean, besides the names of the bands I mentioned above, in moments I remembered Hidria Spacefolk or Wobbler. This is a purely instrumental track, like a transition from planet to planet. "Surya" is an awesome short track full of nuances and atmospheres. I love the first minute where harpsichord opens the gates to a somber, horror-film-like atmosphere. After a minute it changes, guitar takes now leadership but just for some seconds, because later both male and female vocals appear and together produce a spiritual and cosmic sound.

"Distant Star" starts with drums, seconds later bass joins and keyboards create new atmospheres, so the music flows and produces a nice spacey track which is good, but I think it is the weakest part of the album. Tonna's love for dark and suspense literature is evident here, most his love for H.P. Lovecraft, which is why the album continues with a wonderful track entitled "The Mountains of Madness". It has a bombastic start with keyboards, guitars and drums, but later it slows down a little bit when male vocals enter. I think this track sums up what we have been listening to, because of the dark and spacey atmosphere and of course the vocals. Again, the music has some 70s reminiscences but I could say it sounds really modern, which is something Annot Rhül has done very well.

The final track is the five-part "R'Lyeh", one of Lovecraft's lost cities. It is an amazing composition where a vast blend of sounds, textures and nuances are offered. It starts softly with a musical box; it is like a lullaby that will end soon, because when mellotron enters, a scary feeling begins. After a minute and a half drums and other instruments join so a new structure is being built, a new journey begins through this hidden city. Then a transition is made, a terror-like sound prevails, reminding me a bit of Goblin or Morte Macabre, and though it slows down again, those sensations are kept in our ears and souls, which means the music has given us a great dose of experiential moments. After 7 minutes, a chaotic moment begins, drum and guitars put a nervous and tense sound that with the seconds is becoming heavier, so it is like (once again) being in a terror novel and running and escaping for life. A great combination of symphonic and spacey prog can be perceived here.

What an excellent album from Annot Rhül, a great surprise and discover to my musical tastes. I have enjoyed it each and every single time I've listened to it, and I would like to recommend it to you, if you are into space rock with a symphonic sound inspired by literature.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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