Elegi - Sistereis
Elegi - Sistereis
Miasmah - MIA005 CD (jewel case)
Since last year's 'Knive' from Svarte Greiner (Miasmah boss Erik Skodvin) the world has been waiting eagerly for the next addition to the acoustic doom canon. Maybe fitting then that it should also come from Oslo, as we all know that Norway is home to everything that is dark and all that is desolate. 'Sistereis' is the debut solo release from Tommy Jansen aka Elegi, a man who besides crafting effortlessly mysterious Lynchian soundscapes takes time out of his everyday life to go wreck-diving. For those of you unfamiliar with this sport, it involves diving into the deep sea to explore shipwrecks; empty maritime museums of lost life and forgotten history. This deep obsession is reflected in the album's title 'Sistereis' which is a word used for a ship's doomed final voyage, a theme which is followed closely throughout the recording.
It is hardly surprising then that Jansen, an experienced studio engineer and classically trained musician took his love of sound into the deep seas and while diving made reel upon reel of waterlogged recordings. These passages of sound, which Jansen believes capture the ghosts of the shipwrecks, formed the basis of many of the album's tracks and if you listen very closely you hear the deep seas rumbling around you. Within the haunted piano melodies and scraping of damp wood there are much deeper, much more frightening sounds to be heard – and using his personal knowledge of all things watery Jansen has truly created the next chapter in the black book of acoustic doom. Where better to find influence for such music than the frightening world of forgotten souls that is the sea, and while the choppy blue expanse may have lent itself to many an album, there is something devastatingly original about Jansen's approach. Maybe it is down to his deep historical knowledge or maybe it is down to simple compositional skill but it is almost impossible to listen to 'Sistereis' without being thrust into a blackened world of stormy waters and drifting bodies.
A truly epic record which is sure to appeal to fans of Earth, Wolfmangler, Angelo Badalamenti and of course Svarte Greiner this is something for the darker nights. Turn the lights down low, make sure the windows are locked tightly and drift away – just watch out for that rolling fog, there's no telling what the seas might bring…