Album Reviews

Logh – A Sunset Panorama

(Bad Taste) UK release date: 28 March 2005

It was surely only a matter of time before a band fully embraced the multitude of media on offer, and offered a chance to watch the recording of their own album. And so it is with Logh, who recorded A Sunset Panorama in a mere ten hours, capturing the creative process on camera as part two of this double offering.

Their sound is at once captivating, a considerable achievement in pop music that falls mostly on the slow side. Mogwai and Kings Of Convenience come to mind, with singer Mattias Friberg often a breathy whisper in his understated vocal delivery. Every note takes on a heightened significance, every syllable a vital part of the lyric.

Opener String Theory illustrates the musical arm of this construction, its painstaking unraveling taking place with barely a flutter of a breeze. The harmonies are gorgeously open at this point, an intake of breath before the album proper gets underway. When it does, Fall Into The Well hints at darker rumblings beneath the surface, a strong guitar sound and insistent bass drum pushing forward in the mix.

Watching the recording unfold is an intense experience at this point, the sombre lighting catching Logh’s music in a darker picture. Through it all, however, runs an uplifting current, swept along with the guitar work and surging to the fore on the hymn like The Smoke Will Lead You Home, the melody of Friberg balanced by slowly shifting harmonies.

In the world of Logh it seems production is the key � a simple snare, the choice of drumsticks or brushes, the pressure of fingers on the piano keyboard � all crucial elements, and all brought out on the recording. The band barely glance at each other, lost in their own thoughts and captivated by the music’s spirituality.

A minor criticism, and one that no doubt surfaces because of the brief writing/recording period, is that several of the tracks here have the same harmonic progressions and are in the same key � a technique that ensures unity between tracks, but also means the variety isn’t as great as it might be. What the record does have, however, is vivid imagery, a reverent, almost rapt vocal, and some gorgeous harmonic shifts and twists to make you swoon.

This is clearly a sunset panorama of Scandinavian origin � and evokes the onset of those long nights in the Arctic circle. These guys live it to the full, and it’s a powerful experience for the listener.

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Logh – A Sunset Panorama