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StarofAsh: The Thread

The Thread is the latest solo album from Peccatum & Hardinrock singer/musician Heidi Solberg Tveitan. Under the guise of StarofAsh, Tveitan takes time off from her normal musical endeavors with her husband Ihsahn (Emperor) for a project that includes collaborations from members of Ulver, Hardingrock, German musician/composer Markus Reuter, and Japanese cyber-punk writer Kenji Siratori. The results are quite varied, certainly not metal, or even close to the proggy folk of Peccatum or Hardingrock, but more along the lines of a groovy, ambient, trip-hop, like what you would expect from The Gathering. The waves of Mellotron and thick, groove laden bass lines of the opening instrumental "How to Invent A Heart" instantly pull you into a haze of trippy, proggy atmosphere, before the next few vocal tracks lull you into a psychedelic trance highlighted by sparse instrumentation and Heidi's lovely vocals. A cut like "The Snake Pit" alternates between avant-garde noodling, ethereal & charming waves of gentle expression, and short bursts of movie score type bombast. Horns, piano, acoustic guitar, and light drum work permeate the haunting "An Apology Gone Bad", a great vehicle for Heidi's alluring vocal delivery, and a song that would certainly resonate with mainstream audiences given the opportunity. The most rocking piece here is "Blood Bones And A Skull", a song with some pretty hefty bass & guitar riffs, creepy electric piano vamps, and strong vocals from Ulver's Kristoffer G. Rygg. In fact, the Ulver leader trades off some powerful vocal passages with Heidi on the dramatic trip-hop number "Crossing Over", easily one of the most enjoyable tracks here.

There's no doubt that The Thread should and could appeal to a wide audience, as the music created here by Heidi Solberg Tveitan and StarofAsh is filled with plenty of variety that touches upon many musical genres. As a vocalist, she's got a distinctive style that's quite lovely and emotional, and the music is very diverse and filled with a myriad of instruments all giving a well rounded and balanced flavor. Let's hope the masses have the opportunity to get exposed to this lovely album.

Track Listing
1. How To Invent A Heart
2. Him And Her
3. The World Spins For You
4. Drag Them Down
5. The Snake Pit
6. An Apology Gone Bad
7. Blood Bones And A Skull
8. Crossing Over
9. Epilogue
10. Neo Drugismo-bonus track

Added: February 26th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3668
Language: english

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