For their third album as Introitus, Swedes Mats and Anna Jobs Bender (keys and vocals respectively) are joined again by their children on drums and backing vocals, while their friends take up the slack elsewhere.
Anima occupies a sonic space encompassing neo-prog and symphonic rock, with occasional forays into more folky and/or ambient soundscapes. Broken Glass is typical, with its hard-edged guitars and sweeping melodies tempered by gentler, ballad-like sections; Who Goes There has poppy darkness and a great chorus. The two short instrumental bookends aside, every track is around seven minutes, allowing plenty of scope to explore sounds and textures. Pär Helje’s guitar provides great support and colour – his work on the bluesy power-folk of Slipping Away complements Anna Jobs Bender’s evocative vocal delivery. The epic title track builds from sparse piano and voice into a majestic, mid-paced rocker, with ambient noodling and keyboard/guitar solos sure to keep both neo and rock fans happy. The album’s climactic flourish ends with a slight return to the original refain. A children’s choir too far maybe, but Anima is a fine collection.