My mind is on Iceland today. Soon my body will be too. Ascension Festival looms ahead this week, set to begin on June 13th in Mosfellbær. Anticipating that event, I’ve drawn a few connections with Iceland in today’s SHADES OF BLACK selections. My selections are numerous enough that I’ve divided them into two Parts. Part 1 includes advance tracks from forthcoming albums. What I have in mind for Part 2 are three or four full releases. If I can’t finish writing Part 2 in time to post it today, you’ll see it first thing Monday morning.
However, I’m doubtful you’ll see a SHADES OF BLACK here next Sunday, which will be the day after Ascension concludes. Maybe I’ll be able to scrawl a few words about the just-concluded festival, but probably won’t be able to prepare another one of these columns. For Part 1 of today’s column, the organizing principle is subjective impressions first, objective info second.
Despite the imposing wintriness of the cover art, this first song has the ebullient mood of a thronged carnival in full swing. The reverberating notes sparkle and dance, soar and swirl. The music grows more frenzied, ever-bursting with extravagant drumwork, and darkness creeps into the atmosphere even before the manic exuberance briefly abates, and moodiness descends. Continue reading »