The music of Swedish group Rising Shadows isn't easily defined in a genre but more easily so in mood and influences. Playing a dreamy kind of music with many traditional and folk inspired songs utilizing some medieval music instrumentation. Just imagine a mix of Dead Can Dance, Ennio Morricone and Kate Bush and you'll be getting close to the sound of Rising Shadows.
The new album 'Found In The Cold' continues the theme of the previous album 'Falling Deep Within', but this time bringing their work a more cold and harsh tone with distorted landscapes. Musically and lyrically their vision of the journey from life to death.
Rising Shadows originally started out as a one-man project of composer Fredrik Klingwall in 1996 but with the addition of vocalist Linda-li in 2004, and ex-Katatonia bassist Guillaume Le Huche in 2008 they continue to develop their sound.
Apart from appearing on a couple of compilations they have so far released two albums; FALLING DEEP WITHIN (2006) and FOUND IN THE COLD (2008) both on Argentinian label Twilight Records whom have also released acts such as Ataraxia, Kirlian Camera and Soil Bleeds Black.
I am not going into a huge amount of detail about the background of Rising Shadows as the project is largely centred around Fredrik Klingwall who you can read about in the review of Anima Morte on this very update. He is joined here by various members of that band as well as others and there are similar parallels at times. The biggest difference however comes in the form of vocalist Linda Li who appears on some tracks. It was only after she joined them that the group got beyond the demo stage and have including this now released three albums
As we start at ‘The Diluvian Empire’ where piano and lush vocals meet it is evident that there is a neo-classical feel running through this and as it picks up one could easily mention the likes of Dead Can Dance, Arcana and Rain Fell Within. This is very ethereal and as the vocals expand into gentle and beseeching operatic flow it quickly transports you to another place, one that is magical and not dwelling in the abject terror of the Anima Morte domain. There are some instruments that are not quite the norm although they are for this sort of music perhaps and it’s worth listening out for the likes of the sitar, Bouzouki and Celeste. The music is nicely textured and on the whole a fairly mellow affair that has you floating off with it. The organ changes things as we get to ‘Union Of The Fixed And The Volatile’ and we are back into what I can only describe as the dark filmic world of Anima Morte. With the angelic chorals airily breezing their way over the top of the more strident instrumentation I am reminded of another film this time Argento’s Tenebrae and yes it’s impossible not to mention the Goblin word again. It is as though the two styles meld together and the heavy bass work of ‘Melancolia 1’ gives gravity that is very much in the mould of Fabio Pignatelli and it is all effectively counterpoised by Linda’s harmonious chanting. ‘Fearless’ is the point where Linda’s vocals really shine through as she is the focus and singing with a lot more emphasis around tripped out sounding sitar and as the album progresses we have more scope to be enchanted by the vocals on numbers like ‘Wheel Of Fire’
I enjoyed this a lot although the slightly fragmented nature and the re-visitation towards the Italian soundtrack themes made me wonder if this was quite so self assured as to which direction it was looking for, having not heard the bands two previous recordings either made it slightly difficult to contrast. I was going to review this and Anima Morte together and am glad with hindsight that I did not as they are different in many ways. Although I certainly preferred the Anima Morte this is bound to be getting repeated listens too.
The Diluvian Empire
And The Avarice
Union Of The Fixed And The Volatile
Dissolving The Fabric Of Time
Wheel Of Fire (The City Of The Horizon)
Finis Gloriae Mundi