TEMPLE OF THE STARS
Release: May 10, 2019
Temple of the Stars is the new band of finish multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Tobias Tåg, whose debut album, titled “Nightspirit”, came out on May 10 via Inverse Records. The album was written and recorded by Tobias Tåg and co-produced and managed by Mathias Lillmåns (frontman of Finntroll and Magenta Harvest). The lyrics on the record were written by Thomas Finholm and the bass tracks was laid out by Niklas Norrgrann. The album was mixed by André Alvinzi and mastered by Tony Lindgren at Fascination Street Studio in Örebro, Sweden.
With such a production team behind, the album should be spotless, enchanting, and polished? Well, as far as I can tell, it is. Spinning tales of powerful nature spirits, the music on
“Nightspirit” is, according to the press release, ‘sonically nocturnal and melodic, with a lot of folk elements presented within an atmospheric rock context. It’s a mix of folk, rock, prog, and
metal that’s going to appeal to a wide audience.
Fields of time
In the forest sky
Mist of morning
Chains of fate
Lands of old
The songs are catchy but they also have a sense of mystique.’ So be ready for a deep dive into the mystical realm of “Nightspirit”.
For me this album is a sonic journey into the realm of fairies and elves, it has that beautiful folkish vibe to it that reminds me of Italian folk metal band Elvenking. Listening to the opener “Nightspirit” I can almost see the magical fairytales forest creatures dancing to the sound of the flute and the catchy vocal melody, which combine superbly with the sharp guitar lines that add a dose of harshness to the sweetness of the main flute melody. Commenting on the song, mastermind Tobias Tåg said that “the goal was to make a song with a mystical and magical atmosphere but still catchy and with a great melody. The song tells about a creature that is an impersonation of nature and the forest.”
If I didn’t know any better I would say it’s actually Elvenking, it’s that hooky and melodic. The dance continues with the next track, “Fields of time”, whose up-tempo beat and heavy guitar riffs makes it sound rather rockish yet with a certain elegance to it given by the flute. The progressive side of Temple of the Stars is rearing its head on “Mist of morning”, which starts slowly on acoustic guitar and gentle vocals and builds up in intensity as it progresses with a well-balanced back-and-forth between intricate passages and gentle moments.
The second part of the album centers mostly around melodic, folky music and doesn’t really offer any new surprises, apart from the closing track “Lands of old”, which, like “Mist of morning”, is a complex progressive piece with a nice build up to it. The other tracks, “Chains of fate”, “Cycles” and “Ages” are breezy and moody, with beautiful whistle melodies entwined with some guitar lines and enticing vocals, making for an easy and relaxing listening experience. However, this lack of variation in terms of tempo and style give the tracks a one-dimensional feel, though the music in general is pretty good.
“Nightspirit” is an album that flow as neatly as a river, sometimes calmer with peaceful and light melodies, sometimes harsher with sharp guitars and the pounding drums to give an edge to the rhythm, but with an overall otherworldly atmosphere to it. I can see myself listening to this album on a lazy, rainy afternoon, daydreaming about elves and hobbits and whatnot.
Rating: 8 / 10
Tobias Tåg: Vocals and all instruments except bass.
Niklas Norrgrann: Bass