Havdis "The Hidden Islands" CD
Promising and fastly expanding Swedish Gterma label keeps on striking and brings here another exciting new project, this time a Norwegian drone addicts acting under the moniker of Havdis. The image of misty seascape with island on the cover artwork is precisely displayed by the opening drones of "Beluga". I am immediately diving into the shadowy arctic waters to experience a truly spectacular adventure of seeing and hearing small, gracefully floating majestic and playful white whales, known as "Beluga". Rather staticly floating, but slowly cascading drones of "Beluga" introduce Havdis at its most submerging!!! This enormously breathtaking sonic bliss overlaps also to the next piece, a 19-minute long opus "Coast", when entering into more textured dronescapes enriched by some ominous rumblings and choirs on the distant back. This mysteriously infused composition evokes immense coastal panoramas. I have no idea who is hidden behind Havdis, but in any case they are offering a genuinely exciting listening adventure!!! "Old Brown Boat", where distant voice/choir-like sounds are gracefully gliding above deep organic dronescapes. Fascinatingly visualizing piece and another masterful appearance by Havdis!!! "Crossing A Quiet Fjord" is a 14 and half minutes long composition, sculpted with warmly inviting, but grandiose aerial washes, amazingly portraying its title. Highly cinematic fjordscapes, filled with utterly tranquilizing essences, generate most staggering images of magnificent plateau views of the surrounding monumental winter sceneries with drifting clouds, majestic snow-capped peaks and mirroring deep blue waters. Fragile piano at the end is a beautiful outro. A sonic bliss # 4!!! Windy drones announce the next composition entitled "Asleep At The Sea Of Tranquility", a truly relaxing and poetic coastal walk through the carpets of mist, where slowly moving peaceful drifts are enriched by expressive classical piano. Dreamlike imagery is awaken and long forgotten memories are returning. "There's Beauty In Sadness" is the shortest piece, clocking to 5 and half minutes, an epic traversing intensely from more quiet nostalgic passages to more dramatic crescendos. The journey ends with gracious "Velvet Islands Lie Beyond", where aerial, more monotonous washes are masterfully bridged with deeply submerging, nearly hallucinogenic ripple and bubble sounds. Deeply mesmerizing finale!!! As usual for all Gterma releases, the album is accompanied by 12-page booklet with images stunningly supporting Havdis' aural expressions and moods. Thank you so much for this exciting trip to the Norwegian hinterlands!!! I didn't meet any trolls, but the rest was enormously thrilling!!!
Richard Gürtler (Jun 17, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)