Psych rock and atmospheric prog rock are at the heart of this album from Norwegian band Himmellegeme, so it’s not surprising to see the points of reference as Sigur Rós, Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Jeff Buckley.
To make this work, the sound has to be right and it is. “Natteravn” (Night Ravens), which opens this work, has a deep and shadowy world running through it. It’s heavy and patient. “Hjertedød” (Cardiac Death) has an airier feel. The deep and heavy rhythm is there, but the ambience changes, partly because the song structure is more classic but also because it’s sung in Norwegian. At one point it drifts off into a dreamy psychedelic world. Moods linger, and there’s a 70s, jazz-like feel. The title track swings to and fro hypnotically as if incense is being cast in the air. This is dark and atmospheric for sure, but it’s not averse to being soft as the swaying “Breathe in the Air Like Fire” testifies. The sonic sound effects recall Porcupine Tree. The song builds up powerfully and has emotional depth. “Kyss Mine Blodiger Hender” (Kiss My Bloody Hands) starts as a logically dark and delicate sequel before breaking into a heavier, more menacing pattern. Menace turns to sultriness as the jazzy classic rock piece “Fish” invades our bones. “Fallvind” (Fall Wind) is pure Astra with its sad, outer-worldly atmosphere. Misty sound waves surround the lush and melancholic instrumental patterns. Spookily, it develops cosmically. The drum leads us on like a heavy heartbeat, before the expanse develops darkly in a post-rock way. “Fallvind” is enthralling and impressive, the highlight of the album for me.
I wouldn’t say that Himmellegeme are at a crossroads because they’ve only just started. What wasn’t always clear is where they’re at. I heard here on “Myth of Earth” a variety of styles and moods. Even the change of language brought about a different ambience. Interesting as this all is, I’d say that the next step for Himmellegeme is to sort out what they want to convey, and create an album where the mood and build-up hang together.
(7/10 Andrew Doherty)