Vali
Forlatt


4.0
excellent

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
January 17th, 2010 | 91 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A delicate atmosphere and a mastery of guitar scales push this album to new heights.

There’s something mysterious flowing through the acoustic sonority of Vali’s Forlatt. From what I can grasp of it, it’s a delicate fabric, or better yet, an atmosphere which seems to affect people in different ways. Vali has mastered the art of concealing hidden emotions and textures within this instrumental project. The colored interior of Forlatt stretches from the provinces of the happy and hopeful to the cemeteries of the mournful and helpless. With a semblance that each of us as listeners is familiar with, The Skumring guitarist has constructed an acoustic realm of arpeggios and scales that has the uncanny ability to either subvert or supplement a listener’s present emotional state.

The music is intricate and subtle--a tapestry of soothing guitar plucking and supplemental instruments. ”Naar Vinden Graater...” sets the stage for a journey of intrigue and introspection by building an ascending staircase with sets of accompanying strings and piano keys. As the album progresses, Vali’s talent for utilizing anything from these soft additions to the wind-like whispers of flutes and other woodwind instruments becomes key to building Forlatt’s atmosphere. The guitarist’s skill at subtly incorporating these instruments is such that they can drift by the listener almost unnoticed. For example, “Sorg” finds Vali entering and exiting many dual, acoustic guitar scales that draw the listener’s attention away from a delicate violin that is busy attenuating its endless weeping in the background. The primary strength of the extra instruments that Vali uses is not to add density to the sound; it’s to add to the density of the nostalgic impact that makes Forlatt such an overall piece de resistance.

Whether it’s the rising hopeful feelings that come with the intro to “Nordlysets Dans”, or the quivering harmonics of “Her Ute I Moerket”, each track of Forlatt seems to carry a life of its own. This may be one of the album’s greatest strengths when compared to other instrumental folk releases: each song has its own identity separate from the whole. While this is certainly pleasurable for individual track listens, this type of characteristic often prefaces a problem where the album is disjointed when listened to all the way through. Surprisingly, this is not the case at all with Forlatt; each track contains its own nuances and subtle delicacies, and everything builds together cohesively without a moment of awkward disjunction. If anything, the individual variances in the moods and layouts of the songs augment to service the benefit of each other.

Vali’s Forlatt is a replica of peace and solitude; it is a mournful rain in the months of fall; and it is a reprieve from the various nuances that trouble our lives. Taken at surface value, the album might amount to no more than mere acoustic pondering with the occasional addition of another instrument. However, once Forlatt imbues itself in the minds of a listener, the effect transcends the realm of instrumentals and becomes a life of its own. It’s the kind of album one can listen to while angry and sad or happy and excited--for that person at least, the experience will be just as significant while in any emotional state. The moment time stops and your consciousness escapes you while listening to the acoustic arpeggios of a forgotten project, is the moment Vali’s Forlatt has found a home in the deep recesses of your mind.



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user ratings (142)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
DeadBeat (4)
"A mystical journey through northern landscapes"...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
January 17th 2010


5815 Comments


Don't let this guy's metal background scare any non-metalheads off. This should be heard and experienced by everyone.

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2010


16466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album fucking rules, good to see this have a fitting review. A little on the pretentious side, but as anyone around here will tell you that's fine with me haha

Ponton
Emeritus
January 17th 2010


5815 Comments


Yeah, I had a little fun with some hyperbole. I found it's hard to review instrumental albums like this.

Thank you.

Zoo
January 17th 2010


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Jesus Christ, this finally has a review. Pretty much the acoustic neo-folk album to end all acoustic neo-folk albums. Nasty review as well.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2010


16466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty much the acoustic neo-folk album to end all acoustic neo-folk albums.

I thought Marras was the neo-folk to end all neo-folk

Ponton
Emeritus
January 17th 2010


5815 Comments


Thank you. I've never heard of Marras - who's album is it?

Zoo
January 17th 2010


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Observer: October Falls, a must if you enjoyed this.

@ Kyle: They're interchangeable to me.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2010


8387 Comments


great job again Jared, very nice read

Ponton
Emeritus
January 17th 2010


5815 Comments


Thank you, Styles. This review is actually the longest I've ever spent writing one. I really tried to give it my best effort.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2010


8387 Comments


don't worry, it's a great review :-)

jingledeath
January 17th 2010


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good job man, I've been meaning to check this out for a while. Should get on it asap.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 17th 2010


5815 Comments


Thanks.

This and Tenhi's Maaaet are my favorite neofolk releases so far. If you haven't listened to that one either, you really should check it out too.

jingledeath
January 17th 2010


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

k, I'll check that out after I'm done with this.

Dryden
January 17th 2010


13120 Comments


awsome

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2010


16466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@ Kyle: They're interchangeable to me.

Ahhhh ok, I figured you liked Marras a whole lot better than this.

Wizard
January 17th 2010


19607 Comments


Titty-fucking-Christ does this ever sound good. Descriptions are fabulous once again, I got a boner reading this review.

Digging: Full Of Hell & Merzbow - Full Of Hell & Merzbow

Ponton
Emeritus
January 17th 2010


5815 Comments


Thank you. Are you into neofolk, Wizard?

Wizard
January 17th 2010


19607 Comments


I am but I'm a virgin when it comes to the genre.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 17th 2010


5815 Comments


I'm not too deep in it myself, but like I told Jingledeath, this and Tenhi's Maaaet are pretty awesome. If you happen to check them out, I hope you like what you find.

Wizard
January 17th 2010


19607 Comments


Your recommendations also show me that I will love this too hahahaha. Going to find this, order it, wait for it in the mail for months, and I will get back to you hahahaha.



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