Serpents In The Fields Of Sleep
While Swedish instrumental cinematic horror band Anima Morte has scored several of Cadabra’s H.P. Lovecraft adaptations the past few years – Dagon/The Cats of Ulthar/The Music of Erich Zann, The Call of Cthulhu, and The Statement of Randolph Carter & The Unnameable, to be precise – it’s been a full five years since their last proper solo release, the 2017 EP, Inertia of the Risen. Therefore, it only seems fitting that Cadabra would bring to vinyl Anima Morte’s first full-length LP in almost eight years, Serpents in the Fields of Sleep.
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As the band themselves state, “with their roots in classic progressive rock they make perfect use of Hammond organs, Mellotrons and Moogs to create a creepy and haunting atmospheres.” The core trio of Fredrik Klingwall (keys), Daniel Cannerfelt (guitar), and Teddy Möller (drums) augment their Goblin-meets-Frizzi sound with multiple musicians to craft soundscapes which stand wholly on their own, even as they evoke the possibilities of films which exist only in their mind. Think of them as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for Halloween, but oh so much more.
Opening the album with “Leaving Redemption Behind” is a master stroke. At first listen, one wonders just how it will be possible for the following eight tracks to live up to the dizzying heights reached over the course of its runtime. However, that’s what makes it so clever: every aspect of the song, from synthesized moans and cries to spy-rock guitar, from frantic progressive rock bass to intense keys, will crop up over the course of Serpents in the Fields of Sleep.
And yet, there are elements of Anima Morte’s sound which will still surprise. “Pathogenesis” brings in strings and cavernous drums to march on toward oblivion. The strings and brass on “Seeds of Trepidation” pair soaring electric guitar solos with a subtle use of violin and saxophone to make for an epic sense of impending doom. Then, just when you think you’ve got a handle on what Anima Morte does, they throw a curveball with the wah-wah driven “Colors of Incrimination,” which could easily be the theme song for a 1970s Umberto Lenzi poliziotteschi film, replete with big, insistent horns as it is.
Even if you’ve never before heard of Anima Morte, by the end of the aptly-titled “Night of the Final Act” which concludes Serpents in the Field of Sleep, you’ll find yourself readily taking this album out of its jacket to play and share with any like-minded individual you possibly can. Should you find yourself alone, you’ll flip the record over again and again and again, reveling in its hypnotic grooves.