|Label:||Dark Essence Records|
|Translation:||Crypt Of Fear|
Seven long years had to pass before the Norwegians Mistur gave us a second album, "In Memoriam". I am sure Valfar and Windir's orphans were waiting for the follow up of "Attende": and thewait was not in vain.
The six members led by the historic trio composed by Stian "Storm" Bakketeig (guitar), André Raunehaug (guitar and clean vocals) and Espen Bakketeig (keyboards and clean vocals) — completed by Oliver Øien (harsh vocals), Bjarte Breilid (bass) and Tomas Myklebust (drums) — holds our hand through snowy fields and thousand-years old forests, up to the edge of a fjord to admire the icy Nothern Sea in all its cold fascinating beauty. Man and nature, experiences and memories generated by that coexistence.
The landscape gives us an epic vision in which we can immerge the thought and get lost, punctuated by riffs full of pathos; both the initial tracks "Downfall" and "Distant Peaks" through the most progressive — at least formally — "Matriarch Lament" are clear testimony of this. It also comes adorned with the entrance in scene of the tasty melodic solo by "Storm", really notable those in "Downfall" and the final track "Tears Of Remembrance". To the robust and rhapsodic guitar framework, the ideal finishing touches and support provided by the extensive, dreamy keyboards get added, binding up the sound by Espen Bakketeig. The proud and scratchy voice by Oliver finds choral support in Espen's and André's clean vocals, or even let them scraps of longer passages. In the end I can't help but take into proper account the admirable work played by Breilid and Myklebust in beating the rhythm that alternates moments of stormy fury to more elegant and harmonic developement.
"In Memoriam" is a great album, so engrossing the almost an hour lost in its company really flies, and that makes me think to two other positive factors that makes this new Mistur release a must-buy: the high quality of the composition of the tracks and the excellent production by Espen and Bjørnar E. Nilsen (Vulture Industries and Black Hole Generator), realized at the Conclave and Earshot Studio, which enhances both the rougher component and the atmospheric one devoted to make the listener daydream.
Release and band are both in my personal yearly top five list candindates.