Popbrus Ceremony Review 4/5
There is something magical in the merger between Anna von Hausswolff music and Annedal Church’s vast church vault. The magical interaction was found for the first time during the Way Out West 2009, when Anna von Hausswolff perfectly floored audiences with her dark, delicate and emotional music. About one year later she released her debut album Singing From The Grave and at that point, knowing the wonder of Annedal spread and the disc was hailed almost inevitably - and rightly so.
Many have been looking forward to a sequel and a similar number said to have longed even more in the knowledge that the new album was recorded in just Annedalskyrkan. The piano, which is the basis of Singing From The Grave, for the most part has been replaced by a gigantic church organ is in some ways both startling and logical. Who would have chosen to leave his successful and safe place at the piano for an ancient and alien instrument like an organ if not Anna von Hausswolff?
Ceremony is at times almost too heavy, too emotional and too dark. Sometimes a ray of hope shines through, but a moment later the light is drowned in a wall of the pelvic darkness, gloom and dissonance. The melancholy that was on Singing From The Grave has reached a new level of Ceremony. Perhaps it is because the sound is better on the Ceremony, and the instrumental parts are longer and take more room. Anna von Hausswolff song never feels regret but when she sings you never want her to stop. At best, she sounds when the organ leaves the deepest bass and playing in a higher register. Then the vocals more space and can flow freely across the otherwise leaden sound.
In Ceremony, Anna von Hausswolff in a manner organ taken into the pop culture organ music the world, but has the same manner von Hausswolff brought into the neoclassic music. Perhaps it is precisely this mixture that makes the merger of Anna von Hausswolff and Annedalskyrkan so magical.