Olafur Arnalds
Eulogy For Evolution


4.5
superb

Review

by zeewehtforewop USER (2 Reviews)
April 20th, 2009 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The young Icelandic composer turns out a more than solid debut. A must-hear for post-rock and classical fans alike.

Classical music has, for centuries, been considered among the utmost elitists as the purest form of music and art. The problem is, unless chosen as life’s passion, our exposure to the genre and artists in it are rather poor. Those chosen few who do devote their lives to the study and performance to this music tend to be, more often than not, rather harsh in their criticism. Modern day neo-classical artists are stuck with the issue of finding an audience and establishing their name among some of the most revered names in all of music. One poor release or performance could forever scar their reputation and end their career. Sounds pretty daunting, right?

Enter 21-year old Ólafur Arnalds, a young, Icelandic composer, perhaps best known for his work on intros and outros on multiple releases for the American metalcore band Heaven Shall Burn. Ólafur’s plan is to take the ideas of classical music and set it to the modern structures of post-rock and indie ballads. He and his troupe, consisting of a violist, two violinists, a cellist, and himself on the piano, released Eulogy for Evolution in late October, 2007. Arnalds managed to accomplish his goals and plenty more in this nearly flawless debut release.

Given the choice of instrumentation, it isn’t going to take much work for Arnalds to take hold of your heart strings. The opening notes of 0040 float in, effortlessly causing chills to run up the spine. You’ll notice this happening more and more as the music goes along. It is in this sense that Eulogy for Evolution takes its precedence. Arnalds’ knack for constructing beautifully emotional, heartfelt, and developing melodies and impeccable musical timing make his sound undeniably original. Arnalds’ use of homophonic choruses on tracks like 0952 and 3055 goes unrivaled, setting the melody with piano, and progressing through a chordal accompaniment via his string counterparts. Every song on this release is remarkably chilling in its beauty and gentile dynamic.

Perhaps the most memorable highlights of Eulogy for Evolution are the two climax points. The first of these appears in Track 6 (a.k.a. 3055). Once the melody is established, the music is joined by a tom-laden drum track which gives the music a fresh new appeal. The second does not appear until the last track. As the album draws to a conclusion, a sudden burst of sound makes you suddenly very aware of what you’re listening to. Distorted guitars and drums explode onto the soundscape. This powerful ballad is maintained for only a few measures before it begins to skip like a scratched CD, and it disappears just as quickly as it arose. The listener is now left with a few chords on the organ keyboard before the sound fades away.

Bear in mind, this is a debut album, and it is not entirely without flaw. One of the more notable of these is melodic progression, which becomes very predictable by the second half of the album. If the casual listener already has trouble trying to adapt to the sound, this will only exacerbate the issue. This may also be a personal opinion, but certain tracks (i.e. 1953) have a low replay value, as they are outshone by the more active tracks. These are minor flaws which can be overlooked with some ease, and are to be fixed in his second release.

With this debut album in the books, and already 2 more critically-acclaimed releases to date, Mr. Arnalds has proven that he possesses some serious talent. His sound has since evolved to incorporate more electronica and indie elements, and he threatens to further expand this sound in future releases. There’s no denying, this young gentleman is a force to be reckoned with.

Overall Rating: 4.6/5


user ratings (123)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
poweroftheweez
April 20th 2009


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Second review. Comments and feedback pleez.

Saidir
April 20th 2009


77 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. Did the album justice.

Also: Heaven Shall Burn is German. Not American.

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
April 20th 2009


862 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is great, review is also great. Good job, very nice for a second.

poweroftheweez
April 20th 2009


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys. And good call Saidir, uh don't know how to edit reviews though...

BallsToTheWall
April 20th 2009


44593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never mind, got mixed up with other review/album. Good solid album.This Message Edited On 04.20.09

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

natey
April 20th 2009


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love this

Essence
April 21st 2009


3586 Comments


as soon as you mentioned that he did the stuff on HSB I was sold

poweroftheweez
April 21st 2009


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ugh, Echoes off of Antigone? ridiculous.

EDIT: in a good way :DThis Message Edited On 04.21.09

thebhoy
Emeritus
April 21st 2009


4461 Comments


I was expecting some generic Sigur Ros-like droning with the same arpeggiated piano part over and over again. I was pleasently surprised, this actually has more then one melody per song! Me likey.

poweroftheweez
April 21st 2009


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Much more of a classical approach to melody than post rock groups like Sigur Ros or GY!BE.

thebhoy
Emeritus
April 21st 2009


4461 Comments


agreed, that's what I like most about it, it gives it more playback value then say Sigur Ros, who get boring after awhile. GYBE! are just plain awesome though.

poweroftheweez
April 21st 2009


1290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha, I'm listening to godspeed right now.

MrCalum
April 14th 2010


371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Don't listen to much classical music but i really enjoy this! nice to know some of the background information on him as well. Seems more accessible to people who don't listen to much classical too, not that i would know though.

BigTuna
May 4th 2010


5160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Last four tracks rule.

Digging: Yellowcard - Lift a Sail

Deathcar
November 10th 2010


1534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is just an incredible piece of music, especially given that the guy composed it when he was 21. That's my age, i'll be damned if I could ever write music this dynamic and skilled, ever, let alone now.

beefshoes
December 8th 2010


4205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Incredible music.

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2

Deathcar
December 8th 2010


1534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album needs more love.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2010


16433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This guy is a very good composer. His new album is almost as good.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

BigTuna
February 1st 2011


5160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

5'd

audiosmurf
July 19th 2011


56 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

0040 is 1337

Digging: Thank You Scientist - The Perils of Time Travel



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy