Band: Anima Morte

CD Title: Upon Darkened Stains

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Label: Transubstans Records

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Release Date: 2014


This is the third album from Swedish band Anima Morte. The band was originally created in 2004 and is now made up of Fredrik Klingwall (keyboards), Stefan Granberg (bass, bazouki, electric guitar synths), Daniel Cannerfelt (guitars) and Teddy MŲller (drums). Openly owing their influences to artists such as Bo Hansson, Samla Mammas Manna, Goblin and motion picture scorer Enio Morricone the music they create is best described as instrumental symphonic progressive rock. Itís music that also features guests such as Mattias Olsson [Anglagard], David Lundberg [Gosta Berlings Saga] and Ketil Einarsen [White Willow] among others.


Thereís a total of twelve tracks on Upon Darkened Stains, sixty-minutes of music that both hearkens back to days of classic prog but also maintains a very contemporary and modern presence. This is music that is very atmospheric, very image-creating, very intoxicating. If you can imagine this as movie soundtrack material it certainly works, but in truth the music is really too composed and arranged to be simply background music. These are compositions that stand very much on their own strength. While nothing here is over long, each track displays classic prog sounds from vintage instruments like the Mellotron and while everything is structured in a complex web of ideas and sounds, it flows wonderfully from one musical idea to the next. Given its country of origin I would be remiss if I didnít employ some stereotypical descriptives such as melancholy and atmospheric, but these are just teasers. The music is all instrumental, itís melodic, playing sinuous riff upon riff, arranged in layers displaying complexity through changing time, tempo and dynamics. Lots of sonorous, majestic bottom-end chords laying down a spine-tingling foundation with guitars and other instruments weaving musical lines over top in unison or in contrast all sounding quite glorious.


If your musical interest lies in the bandís mentioned, or even as far as early King Crimson and the Par Lindh Project or Barrock, I dare say you will thoroughly love this record. Itís a disc that I put on the first time and then kept coming back to over and over again. Musically itís so easy to listen to and appreciate and every time you play it, you get so much more out of it. Great releaseÖhighly recommended.