Crafting an experience which is just as potent on the ears and emotions as it is visually on the imagination, the Long Time Lost EP from Finnish rock band Svartna is one of those propositions you just immerse within without reservation. It is a mesmeric fascination of sound and feeling which envelops and consumes attention and thoughts, a rich emotive flight unafraid to court its shadows as deeply as its beauty whilst providing an absorbing canvas for the bewitching voice of project founder Janica Lönn, who has previously worked with Black Sun Aeon.
Svartna emerged to the end of 2012 within the thoughts of Lönn, its intent as an audio-visual creation already and to some extent secretively laying seeds within the artist across almost a decade of musical invention and realisation up to that point. Concentrating solely on the new adventure and fusing her love of photography and crafting new ventures into its music, Lönn has conjured a debut which invests the invigorating essences of rock and metal with a pop infectiousness, the result a trio of songs which merges numerous styles and flavours into startling and gripping melodic landscapes coloured by rich sonic textures and heavy emotional breath.
Evocative melancholic keys open up first song No Signs of Life. Already the heart of the track and its narrative are caressing ears before the elegant smouldering tones of Lönn and an orchestral ambience glide into the emerging picture. It is a symphonic seeded suasion which to its seductive coaxing brings a shadowed clad drama and to its expanding scenery slightly sinister whispers. Bass and guitars offer a subdued but clear snarl to the emotive beauty washing the senses too whilst the increasingly sirenesque vocals and poetic melodies ignite the imagination, the full incitement of the song coming with a broad and climatic wind which drives the compelling expulsions at the heart of the song. The track is a masterful musical canvas for the lyrical and vocal melodrama, a picture which evolves with every chord and flume of sonic endeavour. It is quite glorious and never falls into the over blown realms so many bands and artists find when emotions and passions align with orchestrated invention and epic tempestuous structures; at times it is almost earthy and certainly surprisingly intimate in the throes of its fullest impacting voice.
From the outstanding start Cornered by Death takes up the reins of the release’s persuasion next, again keys sculpting the initial premise as rhythms play within their graceful countenance. The song glides into view in comparison to its predecessor, keys and vocals the warm initial sun upon ears and thoughts before a stormier yet still relatively unthreatening swell of heavy intensity, rapacious riffs, and prowling rhythms cloud the simmering emotional flight below. Once more it is offers a powerfully evocative aural sight though it is with the subsequent enthralling crafting of the guitars that the song truly comes alive; their lyrical designs virulently tempting even in their brief shaft of light before the full body of the song comes over senses and emotions once again. Though not matching the opening triumph, the track is a transfixing and exhilarating creative soundscape.
The EP closes with Worlds Apart, its entrance emulating the previous pair in being shaped by keys and vocals alone. To be honest there is a little disappointment that it does not bring a completely different first touch to the ears compared to elsewhere but a thought soon forgotten as the breath-taking voice of Lönn and a sinew built range of rhythms roam the expressive radiance flaming over the senses through the provocative keys, blazing guitars, and always the persistently striking voice of Lönn. It is an ambrosial conclusion to a fascinating and sublime release from an artist and band which are surely destined to seduce ears and acclaim for a long time on this evidence.
Long Time Lost EP is available through Violent Journey Records now!
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