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Tvinna - Two - Wings Of Ember review

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Band: Tvinna
Album: Two - Wings Of Ember
Style: Darkwave, Neofolk
Release date: February 2024

01. Nénuphar
02. Dawn Of Mine
03. Louga [feat. Fabienne Erni]
04. Irwahhên
05. Arma
06. Wings Of Ember
07. Somnia
08. Two Staves
09. Fortress
10. The Fall
11. Der Weg

Every now and again I stumble across an album that I cannot quite pinpoint for myself. Often it can be the oddest minuscule detail about it or something to that effect that turns out to be the key. In general, the album will keep nagging at me and I'll keep returning to it until I figure it out. Tvinna's second album is one of those puzzles that I've found hard to let go even if I don't turn to it all that often.

Sometimes I get caught off guard when musicians from a different background venture into prog territories and apply themselves to this genre. Perhaps it's beause these surprises are often able to avoid some of the tropes associated with the genre, though that's just as much an observation on my part. So it is also with Tvinna with its origins in folk and folk metal: Laura Fella from Faun on the one hand, and Rafael Fella (né Salzmann) and Alain Ackermann from Eluveitie on the other. I'm not really sure why I never learn that despite the names, the album does not have to be something I immediately imagine it would be.

Two - Wings Of Ember is a bit of an oddity for me. It's neither quite folk nor quite metal but also not quite prog and not quite rock. It's like it's in this fluid indeterminate state in between, always changing form without really committing to a single chosen direction. There's nothing inherently at fault with this idea as it shakes things up and keeps the attention focused. However, there's a high chance to skip around slightly too much and end up with a fragmented overall impression. It doesn't immediately follow that the product is underdeveloped but even giving off that impression is enough to put the listener at unease.

And therein lies the problem. I think the band are totally onto something here. They've got a myriad of ideas, cool sounds, twists and turns. They've rounded it into a nice-sounding album that by all accounts should feel complete. And yet, I find myself searching for this evasive something. While nothing really is ever flawless, it isn't imperfections that I'm looking for either. I find myself trapped in this aura of in-betweenness that this album emanates. It's complete alright in a sense that it captures this particular feeling in its totality.

It's like the band have been experimenting with these different ideas in different directions and seen to it that they make a whole. But they don't seem to return to these experiments to explore those directions further, to tackle them in additional expansive ways. They've treated these experiments like successes that they are but in treating them as one-offs they also destine them to become apparent failures. Perhaps some have been explored before on their first album, perhaps others will be followed up on in the future. But within the context of this single album it feels like they don't want to commit to any direction in full. And I so wish that they would...

Written on 10.07.2024 by I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.

And one day I'm going to start a band. We're going to be playing pun-rock.

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