Gothenburg epic soundscape explorers SVARTA STUGAN present Islands/ Öar, a musical journey running in the vein of atmospheric groups like Earth and Mogwai, in places touching on cinematic composers such as Philip Glass or Ennio Morricone.
The songs presented here follow strong post-rock sensibilities, building crascendos, a clear taste for melody and intense dynamics. Islands is a clear theme for the music and each song feels like a short movie, each with an accompanying mood, it's own weather and topography.
The instruments play their roles well here, and all have very individual and singular sounds/purposes- guitars are sparkling layers of reverb laden melody ala Explosions In The Sky, there is interplay between synth and guitar trading lead duties or building layers of noise, standing out like rocks amongst the current of sound.
Occasionally the synth with move into organ-like tones for rhythm accompaniment, or add ghostly high notes over the lead guitar. There are times where the bass and drums take over, working on driving rhythm underpinning more fractured sections.
Toward the end of the release there are a few more melodic, almost leading, bass lines, and the drums become closer to dams, building up sound behind them then releasing it on waves of cymbal crashes in each fill.
The whole album has a rolling, constantly moving feel, while never going into fully distorted noise insanity, it remains much closer to a soundtrack for an unmade film than anything else.
This release is the perfect accompaniment to a long drive or lone train ride, the hallmark of a strong post-rock release!