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Gildenlöw, Kristoffer: Homebound

Kristoffer Gildenlöw is probably best known to progressive rock fans for his contribution to his brother’s famous band Pain Of Salvation. He was in the band between 1995 and 2006. Since then, he been a sought-after session musician and has released three solo albums including his latest titled Homebound. On Homebound, Gildenlöw has surrounded himself with some fine players and vocalists including:

Dirk Buinenberg (drums)
Jeroen Mölenaar (drums)
Fredrik Hermansson (piano)
Marcel Singor (guitar)
Paul Coenradie (guitar)
Jan Willem Ketelaers (backing vocals)
Erna auf der Haar (backing vocals)
Maaike Peterse (cello)
Ola Sjönnerby (brass)

If you are expecting something in the vein of POS you can pretty much stop reading now. This is far removed from the progressive metal that band plays. Homebound is a very mellow listening experience, very melancholic and a true work of art. My last point applies to many of my favourite POS albums, these are just completely different beasts although the depth of soul and artistic nature of the artists involved cannot be doubted.

What really stands out for me are Kristoffer’s emotive vocals. They are absolutely riveting across the entire disc. The breadth and range of his voice stands out and whether tender or more intense it is a main drawing card of the album. The instrumentation can be plaintive as in the subtle builds in the lead off track “Eternal” or more robust and dynamic as in the delightful “Like Father Like Son”, one of the disc’s finer moments for sure. Gildenlöw’s vocals shine in the deeply personal (at least that’s what I surmise) “I Cried Today” and the Cohen tribute “Chelsea Hotel #2” is as emotional as the album gets. Oh, and the aching piano melody in the balladic “You Need Not Stay (Away)” is another wonderful example of Gildenlöw’s writing depth.

Homebound is a subtly beautiful album, a testament to Gildenlöw’s considerable growth as an arranger and songwriter. A thought-provoking release that I highly recommend.

Track Listing:
1. Eternal (1:47)
2. Holy Ground (4:48)
3. Like Father Like Son (4:13)
4. Infected (4:19)
5. Snow (5:58)
6. Our Home (3:58)
7. I Cried Today (4:31)
8. Chelsea Hotel #2 (3:39)
9. You Need Not Stay (Away) (2:49)

Added: December 27th 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 534
Language: english

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