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Breidablik: Alduorka

Breidabik are a Norwegian act that play progressive electronic/ambient instrumental music. Their 5th album is entitled Alduorka (A Faroese word that can be translated to “wave energy”).

Starting an album with a 20+ minute piece of music is making a statement, and that is what Breidabik have done here, commencing proceedings with "Alda". Thanks to Google translate I’ve discovered that Alda translates to Wave. Even if translations weren’t so easy to access in todays day and age, I could have probably worked this out for myself. There is a real rhythm to the synthesised arrangement that ebbs and flows like waves rising and falling with the tide. The song is part electronica and part meditative ambiance. The lack of vocals and space in the arrangement leaves plenty of room for the mind to wander whilst listening through the piece.

The remaining tracks are a little more concise but no less impactful. "Orka I" features drums for the first time on the album along and some more prominent guitar lines. Orka literally means to have the energy or force to do something, so its no wonder that this piece and the album closer, "Orka II", are the more up-tempo tracks on the release.

"Rán" is Old Norse; a goddess and a personification of the sea. This is probably my favourite track on the album. It’s a moody synthesiser arrangement that evokes the feeling of being trapped deep under the weight of the ocean. Full credit must go to Breidabik for creating an arrangement that is able to stimulate my imagination to this extent.

"Hraznō (spring Wave)" has prominent flute lines at the start of the piece which evokes the sort of pan pipe music that you might hear at a day spa! By the middle of the track a spacey, delay drenched lead guitar takes on the melody lines and removes any memories of getting a back massage whilst on vacation…

"Himinglæva ok Kolga" is the other contender for my favourite piece on the album. It’s a journey of a piece that creates palpable mood throughout.

All in all, I find Alduorka to be an enjoyable, calming listen- noting that listening to this music with a critical ear takes me somewhat out of my comfort zone as someone who is primarily a fan of Rock/Prog/Metal. I found the album to be a very reliable companion on my early morning drives to work, with the sparse arrangements allowing for some almost meditative introspection.

The album would be a fantastic soundtrack to an ocean based David Attenborough documentary, although that’s possibly selling the release short. Even without accompanying visuals Breidablik manages to conjure up imagery of the ocean, nailing the ‘wave’ aesthetic trough the medium of sound. Electronic ambient prog isn’t my usual go-to, however there is a calming quality in this release that suggests that perhaps there is room for more of it in my usual rotation.

Track List
1. Alda
2. Orka I
3. Rán
4. Hraznō
5. Himinglæva ok Kolga
6. Orka II

Added: January 27th 2022
Reviewer: Chris Reid
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 695
Language: english

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