Dan Swanö - Moontower review
|Release date:||January 1999|
01. Sun Of The Night
04. Add Reality
05. Creating Illusions
06. The Big Sleep
08. In Empty Phrases
What does it take to be a genius? Look no further than the enigmatic Dan Swanö, an exceptionally prominent figure in the world of metal, but that hardly counts. What counts is music which leaves an everlasting impression on the listener that cannot be easily erased. This is the criteria for a musical genius, and Dan Swanö has proven himself one. Case in point: Moontower.
Where to even begin with this masterpiece? For starters, let's talk about the production; absolutely perfect. Nothing seems out of place, and nirvana is achieved among all the elements that play part in its grand design. All the songs are impeccably composed, with a savoury blend of keyboards and acoustic guitars forming a sugary core underneath the crusty, brittle surface formulated by the core instruments. Dan Swanö lends his voice to his creations in spectacular fashion, and help elevate each and every song to celestial levels. It is very difficult to highlight a single track for pointers, as all the tracks are of exceptionally high quality, but "Add Reality" in particular embodies the "soul" of the album with exemplary grace. The futuristic, almost-philosophical lyrical content is also intriguing and does more than its fair share to uphold the charm of the album.
The general consonance of the album is what makes Moontower truly remarkable. The songs flow effortlessly, without any rough transitions, and are quite traversable in one go. You won't feel compelled to press the skip button, as everything is timed perfectly, holding its place until you're fully content, and not prolonging its stay beyond its "expiry date". There is enough variation here to keep your brainwaves gushing with excitement. The mystical nature of Moontower will entice your senses beyond the scope of mere words.
However, a word of caution: anyone who is expecting "aggression" in Moontower is sorely mistaken; it was never meant to be so. Unlike some of Swanö's other works (like Edge of Sanity), the music is predominantly melodic. So if you can call that a flaw, so be it. I for one don't have any qualms with its melodic nature. Moontower is devoid of any major flaws that I can think of, and so it would be illogical of me to delve any further.
One-man projects can lead to immortal pieces of art, or unfathomable chunks of garbage (Babylon Mystery Orchestra, anyone?). There is a fine line between success and failure, which rests upon the shoulders of the man in question. With Moontower, Swanö has proven himself a master of this craft and, without a doubt, THE MAN. Who needs a band when music of this caliber can be delivered by a sole human being? This album is an absolute must for progheads, while casual listeners may find themselves being hooked for a long, long time.
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