Album review by firstname.lastname@example.org
When we first featured Dödens Dal back in December we really didn't know a lot about them, apart from them being signed to ace Swedish label Flora & Fauna and their name being taken from a place in Norway. Well we can now confirm that they are in fact Swedish and are comprised of the duo of Rickard Jäverling and Henrik von Euler. 'Gå Ensam Förbi Horisonten' (which a translation website clumsily tells us means 'Go Alone Passing Horizon', so that's probably not an exact translation, but likely to be in the right ballpark) is their debut album, it's entirely instrumental and is a thing of quiet beauty.
You have to lump these sounds in with the diverse range of music described as dreampop, and the music does have the air of something nocturnal and surreal about it. Being instrumental and not exactly a full-throttle pop-a-thon, it is likely that the more you listen to these songs the more pleasure you're likely to derive from the experience, but that's not to say this is a difficult listen by any means. The pair mix electric and organic music, instruments and also ambient sound textures, which, once accustomed to it, makes for a spellbinding listen. There's also a contrast between old and new; if we take 'Bakom Stjärnor, Bakom tiden' as an example, the pulsing electrics could be straight from the 1970s.
There's not the widest variation in tracks that you'll ever find on a record, but thanks to the quality of the music this isn't really an issue. There are generally washes of ambient synth, subtle guitar lines and beats that are more slowed-down tribal rhythms than drumming, but it succeeds in crafting some beautiful pieces. Each track works individually but at the same time it's great as a solid, cohesive body of songs. As such separating the tracks to select highlights is slightly missing the point, but if you want a few for starters then we can suggest 'Det Står Skrivet', 'Bakom Stjärnor, Bakom tiden' and 'Forbi Horisonten'. Really though, 'Gå Ensam Förbi Horisonten' works best as a whole.
Dödens Dal's website
'Gå Ensam Förbi Horisonten' will be available fron February 6th on Flora & Fauna
For more news, reviews and downloads follow The Sound Of Confusion on Facebook or Twitter