Music is a perfect medium to express grief, even to overcome it and be able to move on through the creation of something beautiful. This was what moved Juha Ravio in writing this record, which is conceived following the death of his beloved partner Aleah Starbridge in 2016. Juha is the guitarist of Swallow The Sun and Trees Of Eternity, of which Hallatar are a direct emanation. Juha experienced this tremendous loss with despair, and at a certain point, in order to react, he convinced himself that he had to create something new, starting from the poems and lyrics of his deceased loved one. Such was the need and urgency that the music for the record was conceived in a week, at which point Juha called in two musicians very dear to him, as well as his friends: Tomi Joutsen and Gas Lipstick, the former the singer of Amorphis, who had collaborated with Aleah, and the latter the former drummer of Him. The result is a great doom record with gothic undertones, a fresco that speaks of death and absence, where every note shakes a cell wracked by grief and loss. The pace is slow and majestic, the epicness is tangible, the nobility of grief set to music reaches lofty heights here, thanks in part to the words left to us by Aleah Starbridge. There are moments when the music rises in pitch and it sounds like a monster coming to attack us, but it is only a cry of pain coming from within. The musical and poetic value of this record is remarkable, even if the style essentially does not deviate much from the stylistic discourse of Ravio’s work, who confirms himself as an extraordinary composer, assisted by two excellent companions. No Stars Upon The Bridge is an emotional and involving record, warm and at the same time icy, where one of the most important characteristics of mankind is reaffirmed, namely the creative capacity to mourn, as mankind continues to move forward, the river flows unstoppably and we must find a way to remember those who have fallen, and this is a fantastic way. (M.Argo – MetalEyes 2/9/2017)
2017 – Svart Records / Fono Ltd.