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Swifan Eolh & The Mudra Choir: The Key

From Grenland, Norway comes Swifan Eohl & The Mudra Choir, a relatively new band having formed in 2015. For their debut album titled The Key, the band played live in the studio of which the bass and drums were used and later the keyboards, guitar and vocals were overdubbed in the studio. Perhaps a slightly unorthodox method but all I can tell you is the recording quality sounds great with superb sonic detail and instrumental clarity.

The band plays retro flavoured progressive rock of the highest order. There is fabulous musicianship going on throughout the disc. As well, the melodies are pretty easily absorbed and the vocals are excellent. As such, listening to The Key has indeed been a pleasure. The opening track “The Wounded Dreamers” is a fine example of what this album has to offer. Tricky rhythmic interludes and complex guitar embellishments all in a slightly angular arrangement. A bit of Yes in the guitar work and the lead vocals are excellent with backing vocals having a Gentle Giant feel at times. It’s a fantastic album opener that has the entire band on display. “Heart Of Sadness” is a melancholic acoustic tune with exceptional acoustic guitar and emotive vocals. What a fine guitar player Rune Seip Bjørnflaten proves to be. On “Spiders In The Old Cafè” the swirling guitar emits a darker vibe as the tune develops in an interesting and intricate way. The organ is easily heard and the lead vocals (both male and female) are quite dramatic. The urgent start to “Earth Shakes, Rattles ‘n’ Rolls” is quite intense as the guitar has more heft. Moods of heavy and light with various stop-starts and change ups gives this one a high degree of complexity. It’s also pretty catchy, including a nice synth solo and stellar vocals. That’s four excellent tracks to begin the album, leaving four more to sink your teeth onto. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I did.

An Apollon Records release.

The players:
Jarle Alfsen (drums)
Tom Inge Andersen (bass, synth pedals)
Rune Seip Bjørnflaten (guitar, vocals)
Synøve Jacobsen (vocals)
With:
Endre Christiansen (keyboards)
Ståle Langhelle (keyboards)
Gilli Smyth (voice)
Bård Thorstensen (keyboards)

Track Listing:
1. The Wounded Dreamers (8:31)
2. Heart Of Sadness (2:36)
3. Spiders In The Old Cafè (7:38)
4. Earth Shakes, Rattles ‘n’ Rolls (7:28)
5. Cantus (1:01)
6. Tides Are Turning (7:32)
7. Blessed Be (1:33)
8. The Key (5:43)
9. ‘Bonus Track’

Added: October 30th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 550
Language: english

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