Anima Morte: Upon Darkened Stains

Swedish proggers’ tribute to home and the g(l)ory days of giallo.

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Having celebrated their first decade as a band, this Swedish four-piece don’t really play hide and seek as far as their music goes.

Keyboard player and mainman Fredrik Klingwall formed the band in 2004 to emulate the gloomy soundscapes that haunted Dario Argento’s films, and just so you know right away which realm of terror you’re treading in, their name means ‘living dead’ in Latin. Some of the guests on their third trip from the crypt may be familiar to Prog readers, such as Ketil Einarsen from White Willow, and former Ånglagård mastermind Mattias Olsson, who’s producing here, as well as lending his Mellotron skills. Their presence strongly suggests that, compared to its predecessors, this album has something extra in store. Klingwall’s keys still lead the way but the guitar and drums are now omnipresent as the band adopt a clear rock format. In doing so, they manage to mix Goblin’s DNA with a welcome and distinct vintage Scandinavian prog flavour, while remaining accessible. But this smart combination is also the album’s shortcoming as it only underlines their typically northern restraint, whereas one would have expected a more Mediterranean sense of drama.