Album reviews: Flight of the Raven (2018)

Beach Sloth

Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg go for a cinematic spirit with the epic exploration of “Flight of the Raven”. With such care and finesse they craft a thought-provoking piece of work. By opting for such an approach, the whole of the work feels fully unified. Stylistically they draw from a wide variety of sources ranging from electronica, to dark ambient, to classical, to even elements of neo folk brought into the mix. Easily the highlight of the collection comes from the thoughtful narrative that ties the entirety of the work together. Perfectly balanced it all comes together in a gorgeous stream of sound.

The high note of the collection comes from the stately opener “The Fires of Muspelheim”. Done with the utmost of care, the way the piece gradually builds up lends it a cinematic quality. A nimble, almost funk-like groove, comes into the mix on the multifaceted approach of “Thundergod” where they employ a certain degree of physicality. Bass helps to anchor the entirety of the work, framing everything else. Sprawling and ambitious “Flight of the Raven” hits hard with a particular poignancy. Piano playing has a passion behind it, while it propels the rest of the work forward. Never losing sight of this melodic line, the whole of the work grows from this singular theme. Bringing everything to a soothing close is the tenderness of “Ginnungagap”.

On “Flight of the Raven” Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg deliver a powerful piece of work.

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TRAKS (in Italian)

Un #aperitivoconlep in campi di mitologia norvegese? Sì dai ok. L’ultimo album dei fratelli Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg unisce il tono, il linguaggio e gli strumenti della musica classico-romantica con generi musicali più contemporanei, per Flight of the Raven, il primo di una serie di due ep incentrati sulla mitologia norrena

L’ep mette in mostra quattro opere dei fratelli, in ambientazioni che vanno dai piccoli ensemble alle grandi orchestre romantiche.

Si parte in modo decisamente altisonante, con The Fires of Muspelheim, fuochi che esplodono in modo piuttosto massimalista ed enfatico, evocando influenze orchestrali e progressive.

Diversa l’atmosfera di una più terrena Thundergod, che ha ritmiche blues ma anche una certa scompostezza di fondo, tanto da sconfinare qui e là nel math.

La title track Flight of the Raven arriva subito dopo e allunga la propria ombra partendo con gli accordi di un pianoforte piuttosto dissonante. Il tutto sfocia in una suite, continua e fluida, che termina in una sorta di climax jazz non estremizzato.

Ultimo brano Ginnungagap (che in norvegese significa su per giù: “Oggi ho deciso di rompere i coglioni al tizio che recensisce il mio ep”) altro strumentale questa volta molto morbido, che vede accanto ai tasti bianchi e neri anche gli strumenti a corda.

Un’opera breve ma significativa, quella firmata da Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg, che riesce a mettere insieme temi e toni chiaramente di ispirazione classica con un sentire tutto contemporaneo.

A aperitifwithlep in Norse mythology fields? Yes, ok. The latest album by brothers Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg combines the tone, the language and the instruments of classical-romantic music with more contemporary musical genres, for Flight of the Raven, the first of a series of two eps focusing on Norse mythology.

The ep showcases four works by the brothers, in settings ranging from small ensembles to large romantic orchestras.

It starts in a very high-sounding way, with The Fires of Muspelheim, fires that explode in a rather maximalist and emphatic way, evoking orchestral and progressive influences.

The atmosphere of a more earthly Thundergod is different, which has rhythmic blues but also a certain fundamental disarrangement, so much to be trespassed here and there in the math.

The title track Flight of the Raven comes soon after and lengthens it’s shadow starting with the chords of a rather dissonant piano. It all flows into a suite, continuous and fluid, ending in a sort of non-extreme jazz climax.

Last song Ginnungagap (which in Norse means up for down: “Today I decided to break my balls at the guy who reviews my ep”) another instrumental this time very soft, which sees next to the white and black keys also the stringed instruments.

A short but significant work, the one signed by Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg, which manages to bring together themes and tones clearly of classical inspiration with a contemporary feel.

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Yeah I Know It Sucks

Listening to this release felt like playing some kind of role play. I was either the warrior of some ancient country, perhaps a knight or a courageous princess, a strong stallion, a curious wizard, perhaps a adventurous goblin, a wicked witch or something else along this route of characters that you could find in books, games and movies about heroes and heroines. The music just wiped open this world in which adventure flourishes and we could be who we fancied to be, other than our normal selves. The drums, the strings and even the voice that tells us something as it all plays along within this music feels like being in a story time situation in which playing dress up is something that feels like the thing to do.

Some chapters are easily pointed out, like the one in which we are encountering the ‘thundergod’. The excitement is everywhere as all eyes are in the sky when this scene pops up to our interactive fairytale discovery. Crashes cling and clang, original horns shatter through the skyline and guitars ring our bells of interest. When I close my eyes I see myself holding up my sword, my magic wand, wonderful hairbrush, my hooves, my voodoo doll, my spear, or my poisonous apple into the light of thunder and let the music empower it. What a exciting cast this music would make us be!

Flight of the raven is the next chapter in which the adventure reaches our imagination. Here we can fly on the back of this gigantic bird, point to it from the ground, be this raven ourselves or just wade around in a gorgeous gothic attire and dance our satin costume over the piano tones that this part seem to be so nicely decorated with. How cool is that? Music that gives us heroic fairy powers to be and to do whatever we feel like doing. The funk in this music brings us from villages to bar brawls, to Druid shops and whatever else fantastical would pop in your mind as this music plays.

All the way at the end, this storyline could chill out, making us sit in whatever the theatrical characters that we are and relax after our long crafted self inflicted adventure. Maybe we do some magic, ride our horsey in to the sunset, marry someone in a castle, cook some food in our tent, share some goblin bread with our forest friends, sleep under the great skies as clouds form imaginative shapes; all is possible, just add the music and a good portion of your own imagination.

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Soundscape Magazine

Flight Of The Raven is the latest release from brothers Daniel and Mikael Tjernberg, and it’s the first in a series of two EPs focusing on Norse mythology.

It’s an intriguing listen, with several different approaches took over the course of the four tracks. A particularly good element of the release is the closing track Ginnugagap, which is a more ambient and atmospheric piece. It’s led by a piano melody in the first half and a guitar line in the second half that follows largely the same idea but with a few little twists to it.

Unfortunately, it does have to be said that Flight Of The Raven is a little more of a difficult listen due to the sporadic nature of the piece, and at times it feels like there isn’t a proper direction to the music and there’s nothing that quite draws you in as the release progresses from one song to the next. Admittedly after a few listens it does grow on you a bit but as a whole, it just feels like it’s missing something.

All in all, a fairly decent listen. It’s perhaps not a release for everyone but still worth your while to check out.

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One of the beautiful options a musician has is to blend the old mythology and folklore with the modern and more contemporary musical instruments and create something new yet keeping the essence as the same. Thus, giving the listeners a soulful mixture of the old and new. This is what the Tjernberg Brothers have tried to do in the EP album, which contains four tracks and the total time of the album is less than half an hour. The album is broadly based on the Norse mythology and the tracks cover a wide range of emotions within the short span of time.

The first track opens with English vocals giving the description of the scenario and also setting the tone of the song. It is a charging song, a song of the battle with lots of passion.

The next one is a real treat for listeners who like to listen to heavy Rock and Metal music. There is a lot of rage in the song, and the Thundergod Thor gives you something to look forward to…beautifully sung by Tor Marrock.

The next two songs including the title song are totally in contrast with the previous two as they give a softer and gentler touch to the listener. There is a subtle piano rhythm in the ‘Flight of the Raven’ that you would like.

Overall, a nice collection of songs from the Brothers who continue to experiment through their music and bring old concepts to a new light.

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The Grim Tower
Rate: 7/10

I have here an example of experimental Viking neo-folk, which I found to be quite interesting. After a slight introduction, we are introduced to “The Fires Of Muspelheim” which you’ll have to excuse me for this – but it sounds as if it would fit in a strategy game based on Nordic lore or perhaps even Viking history. Loud trumpets merge with smooth synths and eventual drums to bring what feels like a battle-charged anthem for a game that I haven’t played yet. A guitar worms its way in, to later offer up some solos towards the end; which would again work well for the main anthem to this software product. That doesn’t exist, mind you – but should. Things change quite a bit when “Thundergod” comes into play as smooth jazz duets with harsh vocals and even some tribal harmonies to make what comes off decidedly tropical. If you’ve ever thought about hailing Thor while riding a wave, then this one’s for you. I have to say, I’ve never heard anything like this before and I’m quite pleased with it. This is the kind of Viking metal that Varg would have made if his drug of choice happened to be THC with a side of DMT. Actually, that reminds me of Jason Louv’s experience with DMT as explained in a podcast with Duncan Trussel. The man claims that he was able to have an orgasm through intercourse while on DMT, which is quite unbelievable as the substance literally takes you out-of-body – you no longer feel your body. It’s essentially the same chemical that we excrete upon death and would be comparable to “the big death” as opposed to the “little death” that the French consider to be the common human orgasm. So piling the “big death” on top of the “little death” has to be worthy of causing glitches if in fact, we are inside of a simulation. Don’t try this at home, folks.

As for the longest cut, which is also the title track; it removes us from the trippy nature of the previous DMT filled experience and brings us into a subtler, piano driven moment. As the piece continues, it starts to resemble a very sensual tone, like what might be played in the background of one of those softcore porn films. That doesn’t mean it’s cheesy, as it’s rather quite the jam. Maybe you’re supposed to get high before you listen to this disc? In any case, our last observation here involves “Ginnungagap” which while won’t be as great as the Therion track by the same name, certainly closes a rather unique experience with an unexpectedly melancholy number. I can’t say that I’m all too fond of it, but it may sound great in a visual novel. It would set the atmosphere for quite a few of them. After the final note is played, that’s literally all he wrote. As in, there’s no more music there. Aside from my jokes, I hope that you’ll check out this interesting mix of different emotions and most certainly “Thundergod” which stuck out to me the most. That’s quite a chilled out track, man. If any of this appeals to you, the record is available at the link below. Just make sure that you imbue a certain psychoactive substance before listening. Might make for a better experience, you may even be able to see worlds in the music itself. And drugs are bad, by the way.

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