Anima Morte is a band from Sweden who released their debut album in 2007, although they have existed since 2004. The band plays instrumental music. And no.... just read further, also if you don't like instrumental music at all. Why? Because this is something original, you simply don't miss the vocals. Really? Yes, really. If this music had vocals, it would be too much I imagine. I copied the next text from the website of Anima Morte. 'Swedish instrumental band Anima Morte plays music inspired by the classic Italian horror and giallo soundtracks like Zombie, The Beyond and Suspiria. With their roots in classic progressive rock they make perfect use of Hammond organs, Mellotrons and Moogs to create a creepy haunting atmospheres'. For me it is interesting how the music grabs me, or not, that is another possibility.
Before we dive into the music, I searched the internet to know what kind of discography the band has nowadays, because they exist for nearly twenty years. They made their debut with the album Face The Sea Of Darkness in 2007, had their second album out in 2011 and is called The Nightmare Becomes Reality (see review), had their third album out in 2014 and is called Upon Darkened Stains and now, after a hiatus of eight years, their fourth album sees the light of days and is called Serpents In The Fields Of Sleep. It is a pleasure for me to write this review. You will find out why underneath, but first I want you to tell who the members of Anima Morte are nowadays. Frederik Klingwall is the only member of the first hour and the brainchild of the band, he plays mellotron, synthesizer, electric and acoustic pianos and organs. The second member is Daniel Cannerfelt who plays the electric and acoustic guitars. The last member is Teddy Moller and he plays the drums. If you think that no one else plays a role on the album, I can tell you that is not right. A lot of musicians have contributed. Too many people to mention, but what I can tell you is that you can expect some electric/orchestral percussion, glockenspiel, vibraphone, cello, violin, viola, saxophones, clarinet, trumpet and trombone. So here we go to the music.
Leaving Redemption Behind
Movie music, dangerous, confronting, as if you have to admit you did do that crime, up tempo, exciting, a lot of instruments, also classical instruments, musical atmosphere. Almost terrifying. A lot of keyboard sounds. These are a few words and terms of what you can expect.
Some electronic sounds, reminds me of the Greek band Playgrounded. Dark bass sounds. So much atmosphere, I simply cannot describe it, so much is happening in the song. So cruel, under your skin. I think this music is so nice to listen to with the headphones in a darkened room so you can make your own movie with the music you hear as a basis. I do invite you to do this, a real creative process I think.
Seeds Of Trepidation
Opens with beautiful sounding guitars. The classical instruments join. A nice bass line comes to you and slowly you enter a new episode of the horror show. A nice guitar solo is coming. The drum parts are stamping on you and then the guitars in combination with nice keyboard parts immerse you. Halfway in the song you will hear some Ayreon sounds, but not too long because the stamping drum parts are there again. In this song there are a lot of tempo changes and the guitar sound makes the song emotional.
A Perfect Void
Nice piano keyboard sounds start the song. Fantastic drums with a lovely bass determine the direction of the music in the first part of the song. A slower part enters with threatening violin. In the end this song is some less interesting then the other songs, but still done very nicely.
Blood Of The Iconoclast
Keys start and takes the time, after a while the guitar parts take over and grab you by the throat. A lot is happening in the song, every time you listen to it, you will hear new things. The horror music is never that far away, but do not think the music is that scary.
Colors Of Incrimination
Seventies keys starts the song. Some drumming a la Queens Innuendo is there for a few seconds. Then everything slows down and there is some space for the original members, drums, keys, bass and guitar. But again not that long, because the strings and wind instruments will tell you their story, and this time another story than before. Also in this song is a nice guitar solo, very scary.
Serpents In The Fields Of Sleep
The shortest song on the album then. A lot of classical music is heard, as if the rock element is not in this song. A nice variation if you compare it with the other songs.
The Underworld Beckons
Anything you hear in this song, fits really well, if you ask me. The guitar solo towards the end is in my opinion the best solo of the album, so much emotion, just wow.
Night Of The Final Act
The latest track opens with a lot of atmospheric music, fine keyboard parts with that scary under your skin type of music, threatening again and also another movie will be created in your mind. It is all that subtle but done in a great way.
Every song has it's moments, but for me Leaving Redemption Behind, Pathogenesis, Seeds Of Trepidation, The Underworld Beckons and Night Of The Final Act are the highlights of this amazing journey.
All in all we can say it is unnecessary to have a singer in this music, that would only be distracting and that can only mean that this music is of a high level. I recommend this album to everybody who likes music made for movies with it's own identity. Well done Anima Morte, and don't wait too long to make another fabulous album.
**** Michel Stolk (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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