Kristoffer Gildenl÷w -

(CD 2024, 60:23, New Joke Music)

The tracks:
  1- Time To Turn The Page(3:35)
  2- The End Of The Run(4:37)
  3- Harbinger Of Sorrow(4:29)
  4- He's Not Me(5:56)
  5- Black & White(5:25)
  6- Down We Go(7:33)
  7- Turn It All Around(3:15)
  8- Means To An End(4:04)
  9- Beautiful Decay(4:02)
10- The Brittle Man(2:30)
11- Saturated(4:58)
12- Empty(9:53)

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Empty the new album by the Dutch Swede Kristoffer Gildenl÷w is a gem.
In 12 beautiful songs he takes a critical look at humanity from various angles. His look is critical and a bit cynical. He doesn't call it a concept album, but there is a common thread.

Empty has become a much heavier and darker album than the two previous albums Homebound and Let Me Be A Ghost. For this purpose, Gildenl÷w, who in addition to the vocals is of course responsible for the (bass) guitars and the keyboards, has called in a variety of assistants who put the accents where he wants them. His rock band. Expect beautiful guitar solos from Paul Coenradie, Patrick Drabe and Marcel Singor and great Hammond organ parts from Joris Lindner. The same Lindner also plays drums, alongside Dirk Bruinenberg and Jeroen Molenaar. Add strings, background vocals and some brass and listening becomes a pleasure.

Gildenl÷w felt inspired by Pink Floyd, Dire Straits and Mike Oldfield when writing the songs. And you can hear that again, without it becoming a copy. The melody lines are beautiful, the songs are wonderfully composed and were produced and mixed by Gildenl÷w himself (he calls it colouring with sound). What characterizes this record above all, are Kristoffer's beautiful vocals. What a special voice that man has. Highlights? Too many to mention, but I absolutely love Down We Go with both Dirk Bruinenberg and Joris Lindner on drums and a beautiful solo by Coenradie.

This is one of those albums that grabs you by the throat from the very first song and doesn't let go. Before you know it, you've already played it four times in a row. This album will definitely be in my top 10 of 2024.

***** Arne van Os van den Abeelen (edited by Tracy van os van den Abeelen)

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