Profiles: The Great Cold North

Jeniferever – Choose a Bright Morning (2006)
Sweden’s Jeniferever create one of the most beautiful albums of 2006 with their debut “Choose a Bright Morning”. The music swells and fades with post-rock and ambient tones, with singer Kristofer Jönson’s voice accenting appropriately. The album opens with the wonderful “From Across the Sea”, which is sure to capture you for the entire journey. Also of note is the album’s colorful fold-out artwork.

Audrey – Visible Forms (2006)
The debut album by this Swedish quartet. The music contains a range of sounds: shimmery pop, delicate instrumental melodies, and somber tones. Cellist and keyboardist Emelie Molin adds a lot of dimension to the music, including vocals (all 4 bandmembers contribute in this function). My personal favorite is the second song on the album, Views.

Katatonia – The Great Cold Distance (2006)
Yet another Swedish group…Katatonia have been around for nearly 15 years, with this their seventh full-length album. I was first impressed by Katatonia in 2001 after the release of the superb Last Fair Deal Gone Down. Though the band has had many labels over the years, including “black metal”, they have been most accurately described in the last decade as a melancholic hard-rock or progressive metal band. Like fellow Swedes Opeth, the band has shown to be admirably versatile, making use of pop hooks and electronic elements. The new album features Katatonia making good use of their versatility and songwriting skill, and is good enough to impress even those who are typically uniterested in anything with the “black” label.

Hundred Year Storm – Hello From the Children of Planet Earth (2006)
The second album released by Hundred Year Storm this year, after Only When it is Dark Enough Can You See the Stars. Much like that album, the music is a blend of post-rock and alternative. Audio samples are used effetively throughout the album, starting out with the superb 00:01, which gives the album a great opening. It closes with the eerie instrumental “Pilot’s Last Broadcast”, which features in-flight pilot’s black box recordings.

The Static Age – Blank Screens (2006)
The third album by this new england band. “The Static Age” is a nod to the Misfits album of the same name, and this post-punk band does it due justice. Much like Mute Math, this band has brought the flavor of early 80’s pop-punk reminiscent of The Police and given it a modern spin. The best song on the album may be “Trauma”. It has a killer beat and a great lick, lyrics that are catchy as hell, and just flat-out rocks.

The pAper chAse – Now You Are One of Us (2006)
One of the most unique releases of 2006 comes from The pAper chAse. Singer, guitarist and principle songwriter John Congleton is the mastermind behind the creations of this unusual group, which sounds like a strange cross between Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Modest Mouse at their most odd. Strangely catchy melodies emanate from this odd contraption of discordant piano and twisted guitar rhythms, with paranoid, neurotic lyrics so absurd that they’re impossible to take at face value. The over-the-top nature of the songs makes them fun though, and eventually the entirety of this strangely glorious picture will develop.

Klimt 1918 – Dopoguerra (2005)
Beautiful progressive metal from this Italian group is both melancholic and melodic. The very fist bars of the album’s opening song, They Were Wed By the Sea, are likely to hook you for the rest of the album. One of the best of last year.

oh my god – Interrogations & Confessions (2003)
This Chicago trio nearly defies explanation, but certainly draws praise as one of the most entertaining and artistic bands today. The guitar-less threesome of Iguana (organ), Billy O’Neil (bass/vocals), and Bish (drums) play an original, upbeat style that bounces between rock, punk, and power-pop. This is perhaps the most complete album, and their most recent full-length album until next year’s Fools Want Noise. They’re out touring right now, and I guarantee that witnessing their famous performance (emphasis on Billy O’Neil’s stage theatrics) will be an unforgettable experience.

Explore posts in the same categories: Audrey, Hundred Year Storm, Jeniferever, Katatonia, Klimt 1918, Music, Music Reviews, Oh My God, Profiles, The pAper chAse, The Static Age

5 Comments on “Profiles: The Great Cold North”

  1. Danno Says:

    Could anyone possibly up a bit of Klimt? Sounds very interesting.

  2. Danno Says:

    Much thanks

  3. Kyle Says:

    Klimt is one of the most addictive bands I’ve come across in many years. I gotta thank you again Shane for turning me on to them. Why more people don’t know them is baffling. And tour?..would be great someday to see them in concert.

  4. spectre1982 Says:

    I’ve been getting even more into this katatonia album. The song Leaders is really astounding. Ironically they’re touring with Klimt right now, too bad it’s in Europe. It would be fantastic if they continued that pairing over here.

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