The blurb on Anna's website that accompanies this release states: 'I don't know what you expect from a new record by Anna von Hausswolff' (and come on, isn't that THE best name you've heard for a while?)
Her debut album was called 'Singing From The Grave', so chances are it won't be a laugh riot. This theory is expanded by some of the titles of tracks from the record - 'Deathbed', 'Epitaph of Theodor', 'Funeral for my Future Children'...I'm assuming you've never heard of dear Anna - I certainly haven't.
So it was with some trepidation I stuck her new record on, and was pleasantly surprised. If you've never heard an album using a church organ as the main instrument of choice, you will have by the time this LP has finished. Anna is really fond of organs (that sounded wrong, I know). It's very hard to give this sort of music a genre, but that kind of isn't the point. The meandering 'Deathbed' is really no more than a building up of a wall of organ sound for the first four minutes, but when a death-metal guitar riff explodes from the speakers, it somehow merges perfectly with the droning, dramatic organ.
Fans of Godspeed You Black Emperor will be in their element with this one. 'Mountains Crave', a single (if such a thing can be released from such a dense album as this) features wistful, almost choral vocals, giving proceedings a slight sheen of 80s voice fairy Enya (no wait, come back).
As accomplished as all this is, the album is probably a
bit heavy to have on in the car, and therefore is better suited to accompanying
a frantic session of beard-stroking in your study. But that's not to say it's
not well done, because this is a bloody great, atmospheric album.
Tracks: Epitaph of Theodor/Deathbed/Mountains Crave/Goodbye/Red Sun/Epitaph of Daniel/No Body/Liturgy of Light/Harmonica/Ocean/Sova/Funeral for my Future Children/Sun Rise