Mitochondrial Sun is the debut of Niklas Sundin’s new Synth / Electronic project. First of all, Niklas Sundin is better known as one of the guitarists of Swedish MeloDeath combo Dark Tranquility and is also responsible for cover artworks for his own and other bands. But what to expect now from this album?
In my opinion, the album tells a great story by its build-up, and the way the songs are put together. Throughout, we have a dark and threatening atmosphere that is created by disturbing electronical effects and sounds. Hence, somehow it feels like these disturbing images and sounds are spread and ever-increasing. From song to song, the effects sound more aggressive while the real instruments become quiet and melancholic. It’s like a desperate fight in my ears. Especially the cello, played by Annika Blomfeldt, hit me hard.
The album starts with “Ur Tehom”, a piano only track. Here and there I wasn’t sure if my box was fine, because there where these crackles in the sound you have when the contacts are not that perfect. This is mean, Niklas, very mean. “Chronotapes” adds the cello to the piano with a very nice lick, I would say as a guitar player, and the disturbing Electronics start to build up tension little more. Calm electronic drum beats, some more crackles. It gets louder and more intense.
On “Braying Cells” we start with some deep synths acting like strings as well. On top there are these innocent chimes. An interesting contrast. “Stars Beneath the Sea” slowly prepares us for the following song by building up synth-layers and an 80’s kind of synth-lead sound. “Nyaga” then sounds very special, blatant allusion at the 80s sound and very dark. I would call this one Synthwave. I’m pretty sure it could be succesful on one of these Gothic parties I visit here and there.
The track that hit me most was “Celestial Animal” – it’s so unbelievably melancholic that it really brought up complete stories in my head. In the very back there is a very high-pitched ringing sound, which made me think of a telephone ringing, and ringing, and ringing. Together with the music, it was as if somebody desperately tried to call someone, but the person can’t answer or doesn’t want to do so. The drumbeats start – Is it anger? Is it agitation? What is it? Somehow it doesn’t fit into my images, but on the other hand this is the most interesting point about it. I think it’s THE song of the album that represents the album in its while put together in one song.
“Arkadia,” “The Void Begets” and “Entropy’s Gift” are calm but dark tracks again, with a focus on higher pitched leads. The last song, “The Great Filter” eventually is the complete difference to the tracks before. It’s big, heavy and loud in the first half, but ends with the calm sound of a vibraphone…
I really like all the opposites on this album, the dynamics on each song as well as in between the songs. Each one has individual story to tell, and all together they work well. It’s music to listen to when you want to listen to music for the sake of music. It’s nothing for doing your homework, clean up the dishes or anything similar. You need to let the music grab you and pull you down. I think then it will work best. So give it a try, dim your lights, close your eyes and let the music do the rest.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
8 / 10
“Celestial Animal.” – Because I love Cellos.
As usual, we added the favorite track(s) to our Transcended Review Playlist 2020.