Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Jotun "Learning To Live" (2014)

As if coincidence had a meaning, on the day i decided to review one of my favorite albums "Jotun" the next day Crow dropped a new release! After 18 months of silence Jotun is back with "Learn To Live" which pickups up where "Night" left off. The forth record "Surreal" brought a change to Jotun's sound, retaining the detailed notation and melodic values of the project, and moving in a Trance like direction with sawtooth synth leads and heavily oscillation becoming the focus, which is common place in Trance, House etc... electronic music.

On "Learning To Live" we are bombarded by a loud and abrasive sound as massive walls of textural synthetic leads drip over each other and paint vivid and energetic songs that are driven by a powerful, crushing drum kick and snappy snare. As always lively and free flowing melodic leads build the character of these songs. One of the first details i noticed on this record was the change in the drum kit. Much louder and more involved, this new kit really compliments the Trance direction, building a much welcomed danceable intensity underneath the surface. At time they even become a highlight in these songs. Across the album there is much variety and some great repetitive leads in moments which are not too far from feeling like hooks.

The downside to this great record is the mixing, although the songs benefit from the loud and intense nature of the instruments, they are also drowning one another as they compete for volume, for example the end of "Futile" there is a moment where two leads cross over in what would be a climactic moment of the song, but one overpowers the other in a muddy wave of noise. Another chaotic moment occurs in "The Chase" where the bass kick picks up speed and sound erratic underneath a smothering lead. Despite the negatives, its listen-able record and the musical content is solid, the main highlight for me was hearing Crow find some more trance oriented riffs to fuse with his style as the direction he has taken is maturing. Looking forward to more!

Favorite Songs: Gazing At The Sky, Introspection, Futile
Rating: 6/10