# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Dim Gray - Firmament

  by Julie Cruickshank

published: 5 / 10 / 2022

Dim Gray - Firmament
Label: English Electric Recordings
Format: CD


Achingly beautiful second album from Norwegian prog prodigies Dim Gray

Dim Gray burst on to the prog/art rock scene in 2021 with their astoundingly accomplished debut ‘Flown’. Rave reviews and a growing following has led to their recent live support slots to Marillion; now a second album, ‘Firmament’, self-produced and arranged, consolidates their reputation as one of Norway’s finest new bands. Guitarist Hakon Hoiberg, singer/keyboardist Oskar Holldorff and drummer Tom Ian Klungland combine prog and folk with layers of electronic keyboards and hints of classical music. The album opens with ‘Mare’, an insistent chiming motif puncturing glorious sweeps of sound. Brooding interludes pull the momentum back until the song ends in an exciting, rocky climax. ‘Ashes’ is spooky and smoky, unusual time signatures and swirling tonal effects conveying a perceived calamitous dawn: “Here it comes/You sense there’s something wrong/Here it comes/The sunrise like a bomb”. ‘Undertow’, a song describing drowning, opens with delicate keyboards, until repeated rat-tat-tat of drums and discordant strings reveal urgency and desperation. ‘Avalon/The Tide’ continues the watery theme - has the narrator drowned, or is he drowning? Is it suicide or accident? Oblique lyrics give only clues.The rise and fall of the tempo shot through with pealing guitar calls to mind the waves of the sea: “I will reach your shore, Avalon/Nothing matters more, Avalon”. ‘52’, an immersive tone poem continuing the sea/waves theme is followed by ‘Abalus/In Time’, brooding tension counterpointed with rich vocal harmonies. ‘Long Ago’ assembles in its intricate structure the ebb and flow often heard in songs by Yes. The Enya-like surround-sound of ‘My Barren Road’ contrasts sharply with ‘Cannons’, a pleasingly lilting folk-like song notable for sparkling guitar. ‘Iron Henry’ continues the trend of puzzling lyrics: “Enchanted puddle/Sit down and rest awhile/Whisper your promise/Rid me of your disguise”. Deliberately confusing or just lost in translation? It matters not, because the music overwhelms with its beauty and power. The anthemnic title track ‘Firmament’, gorgeous vocals surrounding piano and violin, segues into final song ‘Meridian’, eerie and intense, powerful vocals reminiscent of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke concluding this fabulous album. Every listen reveals new wonders; Dim Gray have, in ‘Firmament’, made an album to be prous of.

Track Listing:-
1 Mare
2 Ashes
3 Undertow
4 Avalon
5 The Tide
6 52~
7 Abalus | In Time
8 Long Ago
9 My Barren Road
10 Cannons
11 Iron Henry
12 Firmament
13 Meridian

Band Links:-

Play in YouTube:-

Have a Listen:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors