Sol Skugga – Fairytales and Lullabies (CD)

We here at NeuFutur HQ reviewed Sol Skugga’s last album, “Swimming Without Webbed Toes”, about a year and a half ago (http://neufutur.com/?p=3814). The album itself was a great introduction to Skugga’s unique form of music, but I see “Fairytales and Lullabies” to be an evolutionary shift for the better. “Burn Her” is a very traditional, almost medieval track that benefits greatly from Skugga’s powerful voice. The vocals clash greatest with the drumming present, with each element forcing the other to strive for greater and greater glory.

Skugga here bridges the gap between medieval rock/metal bands like Blind Guardian and more gothic acts like Rasputina and the Dresden Dolls. “I Had My Share” slowly coalesces into another affecting track. In this song, Skugga’s vocals take a back seat of sorts to the plinking of the piano and the overall chaos from the instrumental arrangement. In doing so, the vocals are subsumed into the musical mass, adding further nuance to what is already a very complex type of song. “I Wanna Know” has a more current type of feel to it than is present on most of “Fairytales and Lullabies”, drawing in listeners through an amazing mélange of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Fleetwood Mac, and Elastica. The darker sound of “I Wanna Know” is expounded upon with “Letter To Myself”.

With Skugga’s vocals existing at the juncture of banshee and succubus, “Letter To Myself” is one of the keystone tracks to be had on this title. “Quietly Crucified” goes back to a more classic type sound, even as there seems to be a more atmospheric feel to the periphery of the track. The disc stands up to a number of listens, as it seems as if Skugga and the rest of her band has crammed the space of each track with as much as they could conceivably. A single listen will not reveal all of these secrets, but a purchase of the album and a few hours alone with it will begin to solve this mystery. With nary a weak track to be had, “Fairytales and Lullabies” is a further clarification of the style that Skugga ultimately wants to commit to disc.

Top Tracks: I Had My Share, Fairytales and Lullabies

Rating: 8.2/10

Sol Skugga – Fairytales and Lullabies / 2009 Self / 13 Tracks / http://www.solskugga.com / http://www.myspace.com/solskugga

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