An experimental trip hop/metal/ambient electronic collaboration between vocalist Anna Murphy of Swiss folk-metal troupe Eluveitie and multi- instrumentalist Tor-Helge Skei of Norwegian electro-mental jazz-metallers Manes does at least sounds like an intriguing concept. The problem with experimentation, however, is that the results can be unpredictable, and so it proves with When Dreams Become Nightmares.
In the moments when the duo’s formulas all add up the results prove captivating, particularly during the likes of Oblivion, which manages to be pulsating and skin-crawling, or the darkly melancholic No Reason. Elsewhere, the eerie ambience of the title track adds an unexpectedly dark coda to proceedings.
Yet despite Anna’s startlingly varied and rich vocal performance, the pair largely misinterpret their calculations, such as during the lumpen and tedious Love Pass Filter – where they appear to have lifted all the wrong elements of Radiohead’s Kid A – and via a disappointing utilisation of the record’s one killer riff in Haunted. Continue the research.