The Rain is the second studio album created by the multi-talented Kristoffer Gildenl÷w. Kristoffer plays a lot of the instruments himself and is also assisted by the wonderful musicians who collaborate on this album: Lars Erik Asp (Gazpacho) on drums, Paul Coenradie (Valentine) on guitars, Fredrik Hermansson (Pain Of Salvation) on (electric) piano, Anne Bakker (Blaze Bayley) on violin and vocals, and Maaike Peterse (Kovacs, Ayreon) on cello. There are several guest musicians contributing on the album as well, including a complete choir.
The album contains sixteen tracks, which makes the album almost one hour long. The tracks themselves aren't long because some merge beautifully into each other and some musical themes reprise here and there later on in the music. It's a concept album carrying a very heavy story (which I will not give away of course, it's up to you to find out what it is about), just like his beautiful previous solo album RUST (2013, see review). The music itself carries a lot of weight too. Don't expect 'uplifting feel good music', but melancholic, transcendent gems of tracks filled with emotion. It's very dynamic as some musical pieces are very soft and some are very loud. The music itself sounds very good in my opinion. Kristoffer's voice is beautiful and amazing, one of the rare vocalists who can give me the right 'goosebumps'.
The opening piece The Rain Part II immediately sucks you into a dark and dreary atmosphere. The next track Holding On Part I contains beautiful dual vocals. Seeking The Sun Part I starts with a lovely soft piano, followed by beautiful vocal parts from Kris. Later on a choir joins in, and the song starts to become heavier when the rest of the band starts to play. The completely instrumental Seeking The Sun Part II is more tender. See It All has a catchy drum rhythm. The music itself reminds me of the music from Gazpacho. In The Evening is my favourite track. It carries a more positive vibe compared to the other songs on the album. I wish the track was a little bit longer because it contains so much magic. It Was Me is one of those tracks where you can hear that Kristoffer is an amazing vocalist who can carry a song just with his voice. She is the most haunting track on the album with a bombastic instrumental outro. The Funeral Part I and Part II are very beautiful, but give you the feeling the 'story' hasn't ended yet and that there's probably more to come.
I had to listen to the complete album a couple of times to write this review, and every time I listened to the album in its entirety it surrounded me with its heavy load. The heavy load is hard to shake off, which is a very good sign! The music grabs you completely. My advice: Don't listen to this album on a sunny day when you're feeling good and positive. Let this album'flow' through you on a dark and dreary day because it's an intense masterpiece. A must have if you like melancholic and tranquil music... Actually, a must have for every music lover!
***** Iris Hidding (edited by Robert James Pashman)
Where to buy?
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