How do I (re)explain to someone who hasn’t listened to a new record by an unknown band for years that there are so many magnificent musical realities out there that a lifetime would not be enough to enjoy every single note that is produced? If anyone thinks I’m exaggerating, start by throwing an ear (possibly open, after doing the same with your mind) to this melodic and atmospheric extreme metal jewel branded Æðra. This one man band from the USA, behind which lies the talent of Erik Lagerlöf, has been well known for a while now, ever since the release of their first self-titled demo and their debut full length The Evening Red in 2011. Time has passed a lot since then, but Erik is forgiven with an amazing work from the first to the last second, thanks to a property of writing typical of the champions, able to blend with disarming naturalness black and death, in their atmospheric versions, ending up creating the ideal hybrid that every fan would like to create at the table: an entity capable of expressing the epic impetus of Amon Amarth, the dragging melodies of the best Dark Tranquillity and that pinch of solemn and obscure glaciality of American bands (Agalloch and Wolves In The Throne Room). Perseiderna is all this, and if this statement may seem excessive, I beg the audience to sit down and listen to this exciting album for freshness and intensity: as a further guarantee there is the name of the label that has fired the work, the Naturmacht, a small reality that does not inflate the market with its productions but, when it proposes a band or a project, it always does it with good reason. Erik, whose surname clearly betrays northern European roots, is also an excellent guitarist, filling Perseiderna‘s songs with tasty solos, and he’s not bad with his voice, even if his scream is the least delicious dish of the house (better, then, the rare passages in growl); in general, however, everything works perfectly, even when the musician from Illinois launches into an always risky piano instrumental (The Shoreline’s A Starting Point) or when he decides to close the album with a track of over a quarter of an hour in duration, ambitious in intent and rich in rhythmic variations without ever diminishing the compositional and executive tension, thus ideally closing the circle opened with the spectacular double opening (the title track followed by The Rainflower Crest). Beyond the prodromes emerged in the past, it is undeniable that this work constitutes a surprise by the dazzling reflections while, on the contrary, it is not surprising that this comes from the new world rather than from old Europe, home of these sounds, because just being outside a scene from the developments rather codified can allow to give vent to a creativity fruit of influences stored and reworked with a fresh mind and free from conditioning of any kind. It’s just a pity that this album came out right in the second half of December, inevitably remaining out of the charts of 2016, imagining that many, like me, will have listened to it for the first time only in the new year, but honestly it’s only a problem for those who care about statistics, certainly not for those who look for good and, above all, unreleased music like oxygen.
2016 – Naturmacht Productions