Valinor's Tree - ...And Then There Is Silence

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Record Heaven
Catalog Number: RHCD 029
Format: CD
Total Time: 65:12:00

The debut Kingdom Of Sadness put the Swedish Valinor's Tree firmly on the prog-map, next to celebrities such as Änglägard, Anekdoten, Landberk and Sinkadus. The combination of modest parts and raging sidesteps, together with a royal dose of soloing, earned their four long tracks well-deserved respect in the prog community in no fewer than forty different countries! Their latest album sports no fewer than eight tracks, which means the total playing time has exceed that of the debut, but also the songs are more direct, more powerful, more compact. Especially the bass roars like never before whilst the guitar sounds distorted at times and the vocals are more agressive than before. Opening track "Fields Of Sorrow" reminds me of that new Swiss band Sapphire because they also seem to have find a way to combine progressive rock with a contemporary approach.

The band knows how to compliment their more intimate side with hard edged music, enabling the balance to be stable throughout the entire album. "Like A Whisper" opens in a soft, jazzy way by means of acoustic guitar, piano and drums (brushes) before the hard guitar chords and mellotron create a true "wall of sound." One of the longer tracks on this album is "Tell Me A Story" containing a surprise behind every single second ending in a true orgasm of piano, drums and freaky guitars. This pièce de résistance is without any doubt the most complex piece on this album captivating until the very last second! Especially the piece where repetitive synths try to find their way through a labyrinth of breaks and "distorted guitars" is breathtaking.

"Come Home" is built around the acoustic simplicity of the guitar complemented with the elegy of Ola Sivefäldt, whilst the clarinet adds a surprising atmosphere. Towards the end the guitar tries some flamenco. In "Reaching For Angels" the comparaison with Landberk is very strong because they too knew how to compose in a way that made the music very accessible. In the rhythmic part "Silence Within" gets close to the current wave of progmetal what with the synergy between keyboards and heavy guitars. The piano and the singing once again adds a lot of originality. At certain intervals the music is halted to make sure the piano can shine in all its loneliness. "She Will Dance No More" probably will be the biggest surprise of all. I mean who would have expected a Burt Bacharach intro, kind of a laidback soft song with hidden bossa-nova influences that could have been the inherited from the Cardigans? However the sudden introduction of drums, guitars and mellotron once again create a "wall of sound," after which a jazzy trumpet brings us back in the initial mood. That same trumpet player, Simon Fäldt, is able to show his skills one final time during "Autumn Rain," a ballad that kind of embodies the soft rain in the autumn, the fresh water on your face as you find your way for an endless destination through roads covered with autumn leaves.

Loud and silent, outrageous and modest, classical and experimental. And Then There Is Silence is an album filled with clashing elements which nevertheless complement each other in order to create a very interesting album indeed.

Fields Of Sorrow / Like A Whisper / Tell Me A Story / Come Home / Reaching For Angels / Silence Within / She Will Dance No More / Autumn Rain

Ola Sivef?ldt - lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, loops and samples
Anders Lindgren - bass, acoustic guitars, additional synthesizer, backing vocals
John L?nnmyr - synthesizer, grand piano, wurlitzer, mellotron, backing vocals
Mattias Jarlhed - drums, percussion, clarinet, backing vocals

Kingdom Of Sadness (1998)
And Then There Is Silence (2000)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: October 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 983
Language: english


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