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.
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.