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lindyfayhella hildring album
Artist: Lindy Fay Hella & Dei Farne
Title: Hildring (Mirage) - Album
Genre: Fairy Magic / Folk / Norse / Norwegian Folk / Ambient / World Music
Release Date: 26th November 2021
Label: By Norse Music


Album Review

Back in September I reviewed some new material released by LINDY FAY HELLA and her band, DEI FARNE. ‘Hildring’ and ‘Los’ were teasers that wetted the appetite in readiness for the new album, ‘Hildring’ (Mirage) which is destined for release on the 26th of November. The title track of the upcoming album ‘Hildring’ I gave high praise. I found it instinctual and not over analysed. It has an airy and mossy feel that innervates the nostrils as well as the ears. ‘Los’ gently gallops like a sandy sirocco and would not feel out of place if it was part of the soundtrack for the new version of Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’. The percussion mimicking the steps of a sand lizard. Let’s not forget the dark blanket that does not dominate. I now have in my possession a review copy of the complete album of which I shall offer to you now dear reader my first impressions.

But before I do that, let’s briefly set the scene. Lindy’s last album, ‘Seafarer’ was released in September 2019 on Vans Records. This album showcased Lindy’s fascination with the otherworld and the organic. The album was allowed and encouraged to form naturally so at no point during its length does it sound forced or rushed. Those tenets have been allowed to flourish again within this current offering. The unknown and the otherworldly shimmer in front of you, teasing and alluring. Gaahl returns, adding his low moody tones that vibrate water like a crocodile mating call. All of this is helped along with the talents of Lindy’s cousin Ingolf Hella Torgersen on drums, Roy Ole Førland on a variety of other instruments & Sondre Veland adding backing vocals.

What we have here is an album that by the way is now marshalled under the capable and expansive wings of By Norse Music that rolls along in a smoky/low hanging mist like and  hypnotic manner. Gaahl’s voice adding deep resonant finger jabbing emphasis without feeling malevolent, it’s more like a stern cajoling. This comes across on ‘Brising’. There’s an eastern smokiness to this track as well. The bass amplifies the warm smokiness, the voice also taking on the role of the fire’s crackle. This smokiness fills my nostrils as the refrain goes “I return through Fire…”. I really smell it! ‘Kjetto’ has a Cathedral aura to it that also feels icy. An organ drone insinuates bleakness Lindy’s voice takes on the quality of ice shards that then melt and take on the dimensions of rippling water. The cathedral quality is not the man-made type of cathedral but one created by nature that’s decorated with arboreal beings.

To back track slightly, light is the feeling of the voice on ‘Insects’ I would go as far as to say that it’s like the strands of a spider’s web. Yes, I know, spiders are not insects, thank you! ‘The Lake’ ably insinuates the images of lakes, fjords and dark waters into my mind. The strings especially what sounds like Hardanger fiddles capturing the stillness of black water, the mirror that reflects back at us our own world whilst the otherworld lurks beneath. I am reminded of those windows they have in Police Stations in US crime dramas, the ones that are mirrored on one side and act like normal windows on the other side so the officers can view you. The beings under the lake are officers watching you and recording your every action.

‘Taag’ is pleasantly upbeat and speckled with introspective contentment. The wonder at nature is evident and is pulled along by the “boop chick boop chick a cha” percussion. Nature sprites dart here and there, busy, busy, busy. The keyboards pitter-patter about in a glassy eyed upbeat gallop. Love this! Lindy likes the “Otherworld”, what is there in this other dimension? What beings and denizens lurk in its distant and near corners? Her voice is sublime on this track. Rich and full one minute, delicate the next and then waspish and sweet like spun sugar. The phrasing is spot on and retains the element of the instinctual. It’s like she is feeling her way along knowing full well what throat shape and what strength of air exhalation works for that particular part of the track.

‘Gjelet’ has to be my 3rd favourite track on the album. It’s brilliant. It’s invigorating, it’s forward. It’s native American and Sami Yoiking, it’s Middle Eastern and Medieval plainsong, and above all it’s bloody, enjoyably magical! The drums are mesmeric! I feel that Lindy is taking us on a journey through the three forms of water when she sings. One minute her voice wafts along like water vapour floating low through a cold forest, like a Will O The Wisp if you like, and then it cascades over craggy rocks in a melted torrent. And then it glistens like glassy ice shards reflecting the sun's light like a sword parrying the blows of its foe. And then add to this the earthy, mossiness, the undulating textures intermingled with the exceptional musicianship that comes across as simple.

To get to the stage of creating something that sounds so intuitive and simple one must have spent years honing their craft to be able to get to this stage where they now know that what they play is right. The tempo and pace is instinctively right, the phrasing is right, so is the silence between giving the whole piece its three dimensions and its textures! Also a recurring thought oozes to the surface in regards to this album and other albums i have reviewed. And that is this. At some point during the play time I have this fleeting feeling of hearing this before but  I cannot grab hold of the thought and give it a name. It just teases me and then flits off wherever it was destined to go. And then an hour later I’ll exclaim “AHHHHH!!” before it shoots off again!

In conclusion I shall say that this ‘Hildring’ is a well-crafted piece of ear food that grows on you the more you listen! I think the cold dominates here by two to one but the one bit of warmth is what makes this great!


Tracklist

01. Hildring
02. Los
03. Insect
04. The Lake
05. Brising
06. Kjetto
07. Taag
08. Otherworld
09. Gjelet


Line-up

Lindy Fay Hella – Vocals
Ingolf Hella Torgersen – Drums / Percussion
Roy Ole Førland – Guitars / Keyboards / Synth Drones / Acoustic Piano
Sondre Veland – Drums / Percussion
Gaahl – Backing Vocals


Website

https://www.lindyfayhella.com/


Cover Picture

lindyfayhella hildring album


Rating

Music: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10




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