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Sometimes We Make Music – Trail Of The Fallen Award winner

Sometimes We Make Music
Trail Of The Fallen
by Joseth Radiant at 09 January 2020, 9:33 PM

SOMETIMES WE MAKE MUSIC (or SWMM for short) has a bit of an off-putting name on the surface level due to it sounding a bit pretentious, but don't let the name fool you. These Norwegians make music that defies most stereotypical categories. They would fit in alongside their fellow countrymen such as ENSLAVED or BORKNAGAR and even a few moments where I'm reminded of IN FLAMES and DARK TRANQUILITY. There are elements of things such as Black Metal, Death Metal, and even a few Symphonic elements are included in their sound, as well. However, they don't really into those sub-genres neatly and cleanly. They stand on their own, and this is certainly a powerful album worth a listen or two or three or ten.

Now, I will say that the subject matter of these songs are relatively (or one might say painfully) familiar tropes such as warriors, pirates, and battle. But before you roll your eyes at this, let me be the first to say that Trail Of The Fallen is a prime example of familiar tropes that are executed with excellence. Each song has a brevity of reality to it that puts you into the story itself without coming off as incredibly cheesy. Many songwriters and authors are quick to say that a great song and/or story can be enjoyed initially as a great song and/or story in and of themselves. But what sets them apart from the rest is that they want to make you look deeper into the story that is being told. SWMM achieves this amazingly here and is a fabulous statement as a debut album.

One of the most bittersweet moments of the album is the song “Famine” with Nature G of TENGGER CAVALRY providing his throat-singing and instrumentation. After a Google search, I am almost certain this is one of the last pieces of music that he was featured on before his suicide last year. Yes, it does sing of the glories of the Mongol hordes, but what he adds to the track with what he did best helps to lend a sense of legitimacy to the feel of hordes of Mongols terrorizing the world and nothing being in the way to stop them. If it is the final recording of Nature G, then I am take a bit of comfort in knowing that towards the end that he was willing to help out some friends before losing hope and giving up on life. We miss you, Nature G. We hope you're at peace wherever you are.

You might remember that I mentioned that pirates earlier. “Queen Anne's Revenge” is one of the best metal songs to sing about pirates in a fine long time. I'm well aware that ALESTORM has made their fortune singing about pirates in a rather cheesy way, and no fault to them. If you don't take them too seriously it's loads of fun. But SWMM did a fabulous job in conveying the reality that if you were a sailor during the Age of Sail and you saw a famous pirate ship such as Queen Anne's Revenge and its infamous captain Blackbeard coming towards you, it is a rather horrifying sight. You would be fearing for your life, and lyrics in the song such as, “SO ROW LIKE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOUR NAME!!!” conveys that terror that everyone on the ship with you would be feeling. This is a bit of a bonus point from me because it allows me to nerd out on local history a bit. I currently live in North Carolina, and many of Blackbeard's exploits were accomplished in and around the coastline of my home state. Very cool!

There is much on this album that is enjoyable, and I'm glad that this came across my desk. I'm very excited to hear what will be coming out of the minds of SWMM in the future. There is a fabulous blend of soaring melodies and crushingly brutal passages of music and vocals all while being steeped in the Nordic melancholy that we all know and love. I appreciate that a group like this can come along and forge ahead with a new sound that borrows a lot from what has been done yet is determined to do what they feel led to do. Keep your eyes and ears open for this group, and as always, BUY THIS ALBUM!!!

Songwriting: 10/10
Musicality: 9/10
Memorability: 9/10
Production: 10/10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. By The Might Of The Crow
2. Demon
3. Famine
4. Hymn Of The Lost Lord
5. Queen Anne's Revenge
6. The Return
7. Trail Of The Fallen
8. Two Kings
Lineup:
Ivar Oftedal - Lead Guitar
Terje Martinussen - Drums
Danny Johannessen - Vocals
Zlatko Kusmic - Guitar & Backup Vocals
Alejandro Sanhueza - Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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