Review Summary: Desperately beautiful.
Bandcamp is a mysterious and fascinating place. It is very easy to get lost in such a huge and complex world, where all music genres often get together and create very innovative sounds.
Most of the time, these experiments fail for being a sort of musical jargon, inaccessible to a wider audience, and they end up being too pretentious to be understood and followed by both the critics and the music consumers.
Sometimes, though, they are able to transmit a message that makes sense and as a result the whole thing works – be it an LP, an EP or anything else. In such circumstances, the listening turns out to be an emotional and enjoyable journey.
This is the case for Ultra Silvam
(lat. “beyond the forest”), the first full-length release by the Stockholm-based band Ştiu Nu Ştiu, whose line-up consists of members coming from different groups and projects.
is a 60-minute-long masterpiece, forged out of many different genres. Combined together, they create an overly dark and gloomy sound able to touch the very bottom of your soul with its arid guitars and angelic, yet obscure, vocals.
The opening track (and title-track) begins in medias res
and offers from the beginning to the end a perfectly-performed post-punk-inspired track, flavoured with riffs and guitar parts that invoke the essentials of gothic rock and shoegaze, increasingly influencial sources throughout the album.
In the following songs a female voice is added to the already wonderful accompaniment: a darkened and more nightmarish version of Bilinda Butcher's from My Bloody Valentine.
Consequently, No, You Are Not Special
and Sista Dansen
are both utterly beautiful in their apparent simplicity.
The album gets darker and gloomier with the 14-minute-long Borta
: a slower, more contemplative and complex piece. Its sounds recall elements of metal, which are more emphasised in the second half of the album and add new musical material to the disc.
, as a result, is heavier than the previous tracks and desperate emo-like vocals are introduced as well.
Despite the atmosphere may seem different in the second half, you can still feel it’s the same record for the emotions transimitted only slightly change.
, with its 11 minutes, follows other two great tracks such as Groups
and Shadow Kingdom
, closing the release heroically with a majestic guitar solo over a layer of distorted and sludgy accompaniment.
The only arguable drawback of Ultra Silvam
is its length: an album like this could have easily been 10 minutes shorter, without being less valid or efficient in any possible way.
Still, every song is worth your precious time and, therefore, the record is highly recommended to the ones who are hungry for recent music gems.
I guarantee that you shall not be disappointed.