ANIMA MORTE (The Nightmare Becomes Reality) CD

The name ANIMA MORTE as well as the tastefully designed cover artwork brings to mind Giallo and Horror movies from the 1960s/1970s, and this is exactly the intention of this Swedish band. Their second album 'The Nightmare Becomes Reality' comes across like a soundtrack for a Horror film that never was shot. This places them in the tradition of a bands such as Goblin, but influences from Emerson Lake & Palmer or Depois Do Fim are also found here. With the exception of Goblin, I am no friend of symphonic progressive rock where guitars play no or at least no major role. However, as ANIMA MORTE are rather at the darker end of this genre their music seems more appealing to me.

This CD contains mostly keyboard-heavy instrumental rock that goes back and forth between classical and more rock orientated themes. There are a lot of vintage keyboards to listen to here, from warm, other-worldly effects courtesy of the Moog synth, to a variety of Hammonds and Mellotrons. Every now and then a guitar appears, which harmonises perfectly with the diverse keybord sounds. Drums and bass compose one strong unit and hold together the opulent compositions. I find it very difficult to pick out single songs, because it's a very cohesive album which consists of eleven songs. From the eerie sounds of the opening track 'Voices From Beyond' to the closer 'The Dead Will Walk The Earth' (which can be seen as a homage to Goblin's work for George A. Romero) this is an amazing piece of work from start to finish. The musicianship on this album is mind-numbingly virtuosic and the band does always surprise me with a meticulous attention to detail.

Moreover, 'The Nightmare Becomes Reality' is able to impress with different moods. It is of course a dark album, but ANIMA MORTE do not act in one single direction only. The strong and rich musical arrangements present a band, that are true masters of their craft. For me, ANIMA MORTE is a very pleasant surprise, all the more because they demonstrate individuality and originality. If you like progessive rock music that has the guitar as a major component of the music, this band will probably not appeal to you very much. On the other hand, they managed to convince me, although, as mentioned above, I actually feel no affection for this musical genre. Maybe you will experience something similar like me...