A few bits and pieces chosen from web and print media.
Epitome of the False Dichotomy
Review in Metalteam UK
It’s been a few months since we last heard from Fredrik but it appears that the manic musician is as busy as ever, no doubt slaving over machinery to make strange and sinister sounds from somewhere deep beneath the bowels of the earth where the sun never shines. With ‘Epitome Of The False Dichotomy’ he is presenting four tracks that are completely free for you to download and listen to at your pleasure. I should hasten to add that these tracks are best played when the sun has set and darkness has descended but then again if you are of a nervous disposition that might not be quite such a great idea.
I found last release ‘Works Of Woe’ a bit too minimalist for my liking as it centred just on spooky but fragmentary piano pieces. Here however Fredrik has gone back to the roots of terror to decompose some real horror movie soundtrack music that is designed to make your skin crawl. Starting at ‘4.18 At The Morgue’ you hear a rumbling sound that increases in volume before the ambient throb is desecrated by orchestral flutters and nightmarish sounds unravelling. This is highly atmospheric and it certainly sends shivers down the spine as it builds into a crescendo. Think Christopher Young and his work on the Hellraiser movies perhaps as we descend into a vision of hell that is overwhelmingly alien and terrifying. ‘Transition Or Separation’ has gloomy keyboards quietly in the background and violin and lone drum beat up front. These all fade as the keys and scratching noises like insects crawling through your brain take over and you can simply close your eyes and let it take you where you want, into a very dark place. ‘Unreleased’ explores darker and deeper domains, there is plenty of tension from the strings here and this is loud and fantastical and genuinely scary. Perhaps this is where the problem lies in getting this music to the right audience, it would be excellent on the soundtrack of a horror movie but it is simply too damn creepy and full of tension to work in anything but the sort of frightener we hardly ever see nowadays. Finishing with ‘The Cleansing Moment Of Clarity’ the nightmare is perhaps a short one but it is sharp and leaves you unsettled and in shock as it fades into the distance and releases you from its grip.
It would appear that ‘Entrance’ will be the next release from the ever prolific maestro and on Cold Spring no less but in the meantime go and grab these songs and spend 14-minutes in the presence of sheer unadulterated fear, you only have your sanity to lose after all.
Works Of Woe
Review in Rue Morgue # 90
Based on the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe (including 1827 poem "Spirits of the Dead". About a graveyard conversation between the deceased and a living visitor). Works of Woe marks the conclusion of a trilogy of albums by Swedish composer Fredrik Klingwall - following p 2008's The Resilience (RM#87) and 2007's Chronicles In Decay. But while The Resilience boasted a lush soundtrack-like quality, Works of Woe is nine tracks of bare-bones piano, which ultimately comes off as cold, dark and just a little depressing. The vibe here is minimalist but dramatic, conjuring images of the silent horror classics - perhaps Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A fitting, if not completey entertaining, tribute to the master of mystery and the macabre.
Works Of Woe
Review in Terrorizer # 184
Based upon the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. 'Works of Woe' is a sombre and sometimes bleak collection of piano works that capture the darkness and weariness of Poe's world perfectly. This is not a light listen, the grim tones played out here could, if caught in the wrong mood, set your day up as one miserable existence, but saying that, it has a spirit, an old cold spirit, but one that provokes none the less.