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Nattefrost

Skaldic Themes (limited edition colored vinyl LP)

Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed several releases from this act before. The music created by Nattefrost is electronic and lands in similar territory to acts ranging from Kraftwerk to Synergy. This album doesn't break any molds, but it continues the trend of great electronic releases from the act. The LP itself is on high quality green vinyl. Everything contributes to making this a great release that's well worth getting if you dig electronic music with some space elements at play. I should mention that this is really not progressive rock, because it's really not rock. It is, however, progressive music for certain.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Side 1
          
Spirits of the Dead

Swirling keyboard textures rise to bring this into being. At just over nine-minutes of music, this is the epic of the first side of the record. It grows upward very gradually with space rock and electronic music merging nicely. This doesn't change quickly or drastically, but instead works through its evolution in gradual, organic ways. There are sections of this, particularly when it starts rocking out more, that definitely remind me of Kraftwerk quite a bit.

Scandinavia
The electronic tones that open this are spacier and more along the lines of creepy. There is an echoey distant, mostly spoken voice that shows up here and there for a single word (the title). This is definitely trippy stuff. This turns rather symphonic and lush later in the track. It also gets more energy and drive in those later portions.
The Gate of the Gods
Much more energized and nearly rocking, this comes in with style and drive. This is another that calls to mind Kraftwerk. This time around, though, I also hear a lot of Synergy.
Side 2
    
The Longships

This song is over 11 and a half minutes in length, making it the epic of the whole album. Weird sound effects laden stuff opens this. It grows out from there to electronic elements that again seem to channel both Synergy and Kraftwerk. That section works through for a time. Then it drops way down for more effects laden sounds for a while. Eventually more powered up electronic sounds rise to bring a space rocking element to the cut. This really does get into some cool space rocking territory. There are parts of this that don't feel that far removed from some of the more electronic of Hawkwind's output.

Illusions of Past & Future
More trippy electronic music is heard on this piece. There is a section later in the track that includes a drop back for some spoken female vocals. Then the sounds of waves have heard as it moves into more of a symphonic section. That movement ends to the track and the album.

           

 
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