Friday, December 18, 2009

CD Review: Valravn's "Koder pa snor"

Koder pa snor
Voices Music & Entertainment

Valravn is a quintet with a lead singer, Anna Katrin Egilstrod, from the Denmark-owned, Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands are located between Iceland and Scotland. Anna is joined by Danish-frontmen, Martin Seeburg on flutes, viola, vocals, Soren Hammerlund on mandola, hurdy gurdy, nyckelharpa, and Christopher Juul on keyboards/electronics. Juan Pino is from Switzerland and plays the davul, hammered dulcimer, and percussion instruments. After their self-titled, 2007 release, which included re-interpretations of old, Nordic songs for a contemporary audience. On Koder pa snor, which means, "codes on a string", they primarily write most of the songs. The album title represents that every particle in the universe is connected. Naturally, the songs follow a sinewy, musical path with unique electronic sounds and the heavenly voice of Anna. Valravn, which means "raven of the slain", is a familiar reincarnation of the now defunct, Emma Hardelin-led Swedish group, Garmarna. Though, there are hints of Denmark's Sorten Muld and even Belgium's Hooverphonic. All in all, the music threads the listener through mystical and haunting adventures that is anything but scary. A true delight! ~ Matthew Forss

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