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Necromonkey - 2014 - "A Glimpse of Possible Endings"

(37:27, ‘Roth Handle Recordings’)


1.  There Seems to Be Knifestains in Your Blood 4:17
2.  The Sheltering Waters 6:30
3.  The Counterfeit Pedestrian 2:36
4.  A Glimpse of Possible Endings 15:24
5.  The Worst Is Behind Us 8:40


David Lundberg – varied instruments
Mattias Olsson – varied instruments
Einar Baldursson – guitars, e-bow
Rob Martino – Chapman Stick
Leo Svensson-Sander – cello, saw
Yann Le Nestour – clarinet 
Martin Von Bahr – oboe 
Tiger Olsson – vocals 
Elias Modig – bass 
Kristian Holmgren – bass 
Kristofer Eng Radjabi – theremin 

Prolusion. The Swedish project NECROMONKEY combines the talents of composers and musicians Mattias Olsson and David Lundberg, with backgrounds from the bands Anglagard and Gosta Berlings Saga respectively. They have recorded one live album and two studio productions to date. "A Glimpse of Possible Endings” is the most recent of the latter, and was released through the band's own ‘label’ Roth Handle Recordings in 2014.

Analysis. While one might expect a lot of stuff from a band consisting of musicians with backgrounds from two such classic bands as Anglagard and Gosta Berlings Saga, few of those not already aware of this project will be unsurprised by what they are presented with here. "A Glimpse of Possible Endings" is an album filled with music that is fairly easy on the ears, but also unmistakeably experimental in sound, approach and execution. In a manner, which isn't always reflective of the aforementioned backgrounds of the members. The opening three compositions all revolve around fairly frail lead motifs, pairing off delicate acoustic instrumental details with fragmented, twisted sounds and effects of an electronic nature. A compelling blend, atmospheric material, arguably the most experimental efforts on this CD, but also fairly easy to listen to despite the high number of dissonant and noisy sounds used. Opening composition There Seems to Be Knifestains in Your Blood os the most compelling of these, with its delicate yet menacing mood, while the more dramatic sounds used in sections on the following The Sheltering Waters, perhaps the one with the broadest general appeal amongst those three. The concluding two tracks are fairly similar, but expand the musical landscape explored quite a bit. More acoustic instruments are given room for starters, and both of them also include elongated sequences sporting a much more majestic sounding arrangement, where the good, old Mellotron is employed in a more bombastic manner similar to what many progressive rock bands tends to do. I suspect fans of bands like Anglagard will find those two compositions to be the most captivating ones on this CD for this reason, and arguably these two will also be the ones that will hit home to a much greater extent to a progressive rock interested crowd in general.

Conclusion. Necromonkey as of 2014 comes across as an entity fond of exploring experimental music that pairs of delicate, acoustic instrument motifs with subtly twisted and distorted effects produced by electronics, synthesizers and keyboards, with an additional affection for vintage keyboard sounds and layered, Mellotron-driven majestic soundscapes, highlighted in the second half of this production. An album that merits a check by those fond of experimental instrumental music that defies common boundaries, has a heart in progressive rock, uses plenty of challenging sounds and effects, but in a total package that comes across as generally appealing and relatively easy both on the mind and ears. I'd suggest that ardent Mellotron and Chamberlin fans should be regarded as a key audience.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: April 16, 2015
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