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Glittertind - Himmelfall

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 October 2017, 7:35 AM

Hailing from Norway, GLITTERTIND was originally formed as a one-man project by Torbjørn Sandvik. Inspired by stories of religion, nationality and ideology, he created two early albums himself. Taking a music break for studies, he formed a full band and they released their first full-length album titled “Djevelsvart” in 2013. “Himmelfall” is the band’s newest offering, with a slew of guest musicians, including Elvind Almhjell, Olav Aasbo, Elvind Nordset Lonning, Petter Richter, and Ingrid Maeland. “Himmelfall” contains ten tracks, all in their native language.

“Olav Engelbrektsson” opens with soft vocals and a haunting piano melody. Slowly, other instruments come into the fold, including flute, guitar, bass and keys. The track builds into a shimmering sea of beauty, where the waters are calm and sparkles from the moonlight are too many to count. It takes a dark passage towards the end however, leaving no stone unturned. “Etter stormen” opens with keys and acoustical guitars, as Sandvik’s voice dances playfully and emotively. The melancholy feeling is about as strong as the feeling of positivity that they present at the same time. On some level, it sounds like Pop music, while on another level, sweet Progressive music with some Post-Rock as well. The mix is at the point where it is really useless to try to make a label. Indeed, the music is just pretty and easy on the ears. So, genre snobs be gone.

“Finst ikkje meir” features the trumpet rather prominently in the beginning, almost as if introducing a cavalcade or celebration of some sort. Most of the chords are in a major key as this is a jovial and upbeat sound. The title track, “Himmelfall,” is entirely a song with only some reticent organ notes; a sad sound that reminds me of the promenade that occurs before attending church service as a kid. I always found the sanctuary to be cold, and a place where people didn’t smile much. I can feel the chill on my back as the notes continue on. It’s a short piece that, truthfully, I would have liked to have heard more of. “I djupet lokkar ein eld” fades in like mist descending on the tops of trees in the forest at dusk. Though I can’t understand the vocals, I can hear the inflection in his voice and it is striking and affectional. Some folky instruments go well with the forest visual I conjured while listening.

“Tvilar på alt” is a bit on the darker side. A storm is brewing, evidenced by cool winds picking up in speed and the distant rumble of thunder. It sounds like the subject is experiencing internal conflict, but at the same time coming to a resolution and peace over it. “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” has a familiar melody that I would swear I heard as a church anthem back in the day. It has a folky, pagan swing, like something you might hear in a native tavern as patrons gather to celebrate life and each other. “Utferd” closes the album; a second mysterious organ piece that could be the closing notes of a funeral. Ominous and despondent, they seem to extract your soul. Listening to an album with lyrics in a language I do not speak forced me to concentrate on the music itself, and the feelings it imparted. In this case, the artists’ personalities were on center stage, bubbling with life and vivacious soul. Although we are a Metal site primarily, and this is not Metal music by any stretch, it is still a very touching album that will force you to explore a lot of your emotions and inner self.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Olav Engelbrektsson
2. Etter stormen
3. Likvake
4. Finst ikkje meir
5. Himmelfall
6. I djupet lokkar ein eld
7. Forføraren
8. Tvilar på alt
9. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
10. Utferd
Torbjørn Sandvik – Vocals
Geirmund Simonsen – Organ, Rhodes, Piano, Cembalo, Grand Piano, Synth, Backing Vocals
Bjørn Nordstoga Eide – Bass, Double-Bass, Backing Vocals
Stefan Theofilakis – Flutes, Dobro
Geir Holm – Drums
Record Label: Hjelmklad


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Edited 23 March 2023

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