Tor Lundvall, the American ambient/drone producer and painter, has managed to create an album that is so fitting that it is impossible to not visualize each song in your head as a mental picture. Tor Lundvall creates some of the most interesting ambient/drone music ever made – along with his own homemade painted album covers - and each of his albums sound very innocent and nostalgic, especially on this album. To some, the very calm and breezy drone atmosphere of the album may put some people to sleep, but if they were to do that, they are missing some of the most interesting and exquisite sounds of 2012.
The first song on the album The Shipyard at Dawn accurately portrays what a shipyard might be like at dawn. The drone synths and atmosphere of the track insinuate a very early morning sound as if you’re just rising out of bed. In the context of a shipyard, the fog has just come in and is surrounding the ships, making them invisible at the bay. The songs that follow this also are extremely fitting to their titles. The fourth song on the album, Tugboats in Fog, for example, is self-explanatory with it's droney and reverberating tugboat-like sounds. If one were to visualize a song like Under Snow Conditions, it would probably look like cargo being unloaded from the ships onto conveyor belts with tons of snow falling down. Angels at Sea is the only song on this album with a noticeable beat. It has the sound of - almost like - a foghorn signaling that ships have arrived or left. A really cool thing about this track is that there is a lot more going on with the addition of ethereal vocals and the subtle sound of a saxophone(?) every so often. The Shipyard at Night needs no explanation other then it is the nighttime mirror of the first track; it is absolutely beautiful as well. The last two songs Blue Rain Ships and Grey Rain Ships are two really great finishing songs. The atmosphere these songs portray is very moody, dark and intriguing. They are great songs for visualization. Rain effects subtly make their way into the background as the storm is just starting to brew. Grey Rain Ships give us that sense that the ships have left the shipyard, but will return another day to continue their routine.
This is an excellent dark ambient/ambient album that has an absolutely stunning visualization approach. The overall mood of the album is pretty dark when compared with more melodious ambient albums. The idea of a shipyard themed album is so fascinating and hearing it in its entirety makes it even more worthwhile. Upon looking at this album – before actually listening to it – you will have no idea how similar you think the album will sound to what it actually sounds like. The album has a very nostalgic nature; almost like a deja vu feeling as if you’ve heard it somewhere or saw something similar to this as a child. Tor Lundvall still stays consistent with this release. The very essence of everything he's ever done is all presented right here and did he ever go all out on this one.