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Iamthemorning – The Bell Review

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Iamthemorning, as I tongue in cheekily joked last month, remind me very much of an acoustic Nightwish. It is accurate but it also sells the duo short. With their new album ‘The Bell’ they continue to develop and expand their repertoire of excellent gothic chamber folk.

The comparisons of acoustic Nightwish comes straight to the fore with the stunning opener ‘Freak Show’. The harps, pianos, synth strings and angelic but powerful voice of Marjana collide in a symphonic gothic b-movie. Throughout the album, Iamthemorning continually uses a back and forth between chords to create a madness effect. It’s first used here as if you are in a mad circus but it also reminds me that a bell can only swing between two forces. This waltzing evil appears in the excellent musical number ‘Six Under’, the sadness of ‘Ghost of a Story’ and to some extent in ‘Lillies’. The latter track is really a crazed pianoforte that lets Gleb run amok as his European classical powers go Super Saiyan. ‘Salute’ like the opening track is one of the few moments they crank out an electric guitar and full drum kit and the seven-minute epic feels like a real nadir moment for the album.

Iamthemorning

Iamthemorning also moves into epic yearning ballads. With tracks like ‘The Bell’, Sleeping Beaty’, ‘Deep Sea’, Black and Blue’ and ‘Song of Psyche’, we get to enjoy the quieter side of the duo. It’s here that Marjana’s voice is often allowed to unfurl and take control around delicate arrangements. There are nods to Unto Ashes, Qntal and the like in terms of tone and style but the duo is very much their own. You will be enjoying the beautiful acoustic guitar and gentle vocals and then realise the lyrics are talking about the moment before your beheaded. Often the arrangements turn darker in chord structure over time and that suits the gothic chamber folk sound perfectly.

I think Iamthemorning have expertly crafted a hybrid genre, taking the ferocity of symphonic goth rock and translating it into acoustic classical folk. ‘The Bell’ is an assured, astute and complex album full of dark corners, emotions and uprisings. Beautiful from start to end, this is a genre mash-up I am fully behind. Love it.

Recommended track: Song of Psyche

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Iamthemorning - The Bell

9

9.0/10

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