Peter Bjärgö has been a very busy artist over the last few years. Although the excellent Arcana seems to have wound down, for the time being, Peter has been releasing his own music too. As his music has developed, it has become more doom ambient focused and that’s exactly where ‘Structures and Downfall’ fits in.
Across the eight tracks, Peter Bjärgö revels in creating a slow, lumbering storm. It is thick with lingering guitar echoes, string synths and occasionally a thumping kick drums. ‘Inner Cathedral’ opens the album exposing all of this beauty. Hidden low in the mix is Peter’s own low drone voice which is often his trademark style. It feels cathartic but in a painful slow motion that lets you examine every note, twang and long tail of each instrument. The flipside of this is that everything feels large and epic. ‘Anemoia & Onism’ has a large percussion section over the meditative string and vocal arrangement and its gigantic.
Other parts of the album push a glacial electric guitar forward. The gentler tracks such as ‘Winter Song’ and ‘Into Eternity’ both let the beauty of the gothic chords really shine. Peter isn’t afraid to let the space between notes just fizz and glide and it shows. When the guitar is used in a more post-rock vibe such as in the title track, it never oversteps its mark as the rich synths, vocals and drums still create a wall of sound. It can be likened to shoegaze rock but in a dark gothic ambient style. I was also delighted to hear the gothic misery of a Bjärgö ballad is still intact and as unique as ever. ‘Disintegration of the Mind’ is a classic in the making.
‘Structures and Downfall’ works best as a whole though. It is most certainly a mood that you slide into and let it take you over. It is densely full of emotion, contemplation, darkness but also beauty. There are few very musicians that can balance being utter swallowed in darkness whilst feeling like you’ve just discovered a piece of yourself like Peter Bjärgö. Long may it continue.
Recommended track: Disintegration of the Mind
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