Band: In the Labyrinth
Label: Transubstans (2018)
Rating: A very engaging, moody, world-beat, extravaganza
What can you say about a record that’s taken twenty-five years to see the light of day? That is what we have here with Samas Antaral, an album that started life as far back as 1973. This is a concept album of twenty compositions that amount to just about seventy-six minutes of music interlaced with a few vocal tracks and some heroic narration. It is a musical retelling of a story written by Stefan Ottman and Mikael Gejel in the 80s and then published as a series in a fantasy magazine called ’Drömskrinet’. With that in mind each of these songs or musical pieces takes its thematic cues from the intent of the story creating a kind of soundtrack or cinematic experience through which we come to appreciate this Lord of the Rings styled saga. As on previousIn the Labyrinth releases it is Peter Lindahl who is the mastermind and prime music mover. Musically Samas Antaral is kind of all over the map in terms of musical influences. There’s a little folk-rock, some psychedelic influences, lots of ethnic and world-beat compositions and then some dramatic more symphonic segments. All these different musical inspirations go to conveying the story. Musical comparisons for my ears would be a lot of Mike Oldfield and Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. It’s the type of disc I found you had to spend time to fully appreciate. In fact the perfect listening for me was in the car during a long drive. It made some great traveling music. Very engaging and satisfying.