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Anna von Hausswolff - The Miraculous CD (album) cover


Anna von Hausswolff


Crossover Prog

4.22 | 29 ratings

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5 stars Anna von Hausswolff, organist extraordinaire, has said of women in music, and especially in extreme music, "They have to defend what they're doing so hard because they're in a male-dominated genre, so there's more focus on them being female than on their work. It's still weird for people to see someone screaming her nuts out, playing loud music...." (from Laura Snapes' 2018 interview with Anna von H. for the Guardian). 2010 up is an, if not miraculous, wonderful time for creative female musical artists, many of which compose/ write and perform and produce their own music. We see wonderful musician/ songwriters such as Kristin Hayter (aka Lingua Ignota), who could scream the nuts off of Beelzebub, Chelsea Wolfe, Susanne Sundfor, Jenny Hval, Isabelle Thorn (aka Dear Laika), Xandra Metcalfe (aka Uboa) Yaya Kim, Anna von Hausswolff and many others getting considerable acclaim in recent years who are in the art pop/ art rock vein. As for extreme music, I find Anna von Hausswolff's music to be highly melodic and accessible, but then I am more extreme than the average Karen G listener (Kenny's less extreme yet more entitled sister).

The Miraculous is Anna von Hausswolff's third album, and sounds transitional between the approaches of the albums Ceremony and Dead Magic. All of those are atmospheric, have neoclassical darkwave and drone qualities, but it gets heavier and rockier with The Miraculous. It is an album with gothic qualities, mixed dark and uplifting, is ethereal and I think quite magical. There is a sense of the occult/ paganism when listening to her albums, and she does have an interest in that, and has flirted with black metal and Black Sabbath metal -- she was in a Black Sabbath cover band when 16.

The album starts brilliantly with the at-times hard-hitting "The Discovery", which is a wonderful journey in itself, and ends with the beautiful and poignant "Stranger". It is the kind of finale that makes me want to play the whole album again as soon as it finishes. Other particular highlights include "Pomperipossa" and "Evocation", but the whole album works for me.

I find this oft overlooked album -- I am the first reviewer for this despite this album being added years ago to PA -- to be a terrific album. It is one of my favourites of hers with Dead Magic and Ceremony being the other ones that particularly resonated with me. It has the kind of post-rock qualities that remind me of Swans (she has toured with Swans and performed on Swans' leaving meaning). I also would recommend it to fans of Dead Can Dance, Julia Holter (Aviary being a fabulous album) and various of the names I listed earlier.

5 stars for me; 4 for PA. An essential discovery for me. In fact, 5 from 5 and 5 for PA. While I had heard it many times before posting this "review", if one can be so kind as to call it a review, it got even better with more listenings. The Miraculous, Dead Magic, and Ceremony are all amazing. And if you like one of those consider getting all three. All Thoughts Fly is different and not so much my interest.

Logan | 5/5 |


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