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Himmellegeme: Variola Vera

Despite being a fan of psychedelic-tinged prog, I had not heard of the Norwegian band Himmellegeme until recently. Better late than never, in this case.

Their debut album, Myth of Earth, appeared in 2017. Their new release is titled Variola Vera. It has grown on me quite a bit since my first listen, mainly because I can now tolerate and even at times appreciate the vocals of Aleksander Vormestrand. But make no mistake about it: He can get very whiny and shoe-gazing. On many of the songs, his vocals are a little low in the mix, though, underneath some glorious soundscapes, courtesy primarily of guitarist Hein Alexander Olson and keyboardist Lauritz Isaksen. In this context, Vormestrand adds to the overall feel of the songs.

Himmellegeme can get heavy at times, and when they do it is pleasing to my ears. They also can intersperse gentle acoustic, almost pastoral, passages. This is a group that presents both light and shade.

The band has released a video for “Blowing Raspberries.” In my opinion, it is the weakest track on the album: almost pure electronic pop. Some of that is featured on other songs, but it is not overbearing like it is here.

After many listens to Variola Vera, I went back and gave Myth of Earth a try. I liked it also. But I think Himmellegeme has really matured over the past few years. Variola Vera is no masterpiece, but if Vormestrand can be reined in a bit I can see them producing one.

Track Listing:
1. Shaping Mirrors Like Smoke
2. Heart Listening
3. Blowing Raspberries
4. Brother
5. Let the Mother Burn
6. Caligula
7. Agafia
8. Variola Vera

Added: September 27th 2021
Reviewer: Aaron Steelman
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 801
Language: english

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