If you are someone who grew up loving all those creepy Italian horror & giallo film soundtracks from the '70s & '80s by Goblin, Fabio Frizzi, and Ennio Morricone, then you are really going to get a kick out of this latest instrumental outing from Swedish act Anima Morte. The band features Daniel Cannerfelt (guitars), Fredrik Klingwall (Mellotron, synths, Fender Rhodes), Stefan Granberg (bouzouki, bass, guitars, keyboards), and Teddy Möller (drums), but the album also includes guest musicians from bands such as White Willow, Anglagard, Necromonkey, and Gosta Berlings Saga. So, it's a collective that knows a thing or two about creating mood inducing music with a flair for the dramatic, and you can easily envision Upon Darkened Stains as the backing track to the latest apocalyptic zombie film.
Throughout, you get plenty of menacing, heavy guitar riffs, ominous Mellotron, creepy electric piano, haunting flute, and a myriad of chilling drum & percussive effects, creating a vibe that's mesmerizing & intoxicating. I'm often reminded of some of the great Goblin soundtracks, as well as Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, though on "Ephemeris" there's also a strong Jethro Tull feel, thanks to the stunning flute of White Willow's Ketil Einarsen. The brooding "Interruption" as well as "The Carrion Crow" are both quite effective at creating a chilling landscape, with swirling keys, solid riffs, and insistent rhythms providing enticing passages to lure you in with. Solos aren't really necessary here, as each track is expertly woven, the arrangements sewn together utilizing a myriad of instruments to craft a mysterious soundscape that intoxicates the listener. For a prime example of a piece that builds & builds to a shattering crescendo, there's the wonderful "Echoing the Red", a fantastic slice of dramatic, spooky prog with searing guitar lines, driving rhythms, and those luscious, haunting Mellotron strings.
Anima Morte have created a marvelous slice of instrumental prog rock here on Upon Darkened Stains. And yes, as you might have imagined, they are part of the Transubstans Records roster of artists, home to so many great Swedish bands. Check it out!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1. Blessing of the Dead
2. Illusion is the Catalyst
4. Fear Will Pass Over your Mind
7. The Darkest Pattern
8. The Carrion Crow
9. Echoing the Red
11. First Snow on the Last Ashes
12. Halls of Death