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Salander: The Fragility Of Innocence (2015)

Written by: Kev Rowland

Salander’s fourth and final album was released in 2015, and a concept album about an 8 year old girl living in Iceland called Silja, based on a story written by Dave Curnow. The album comes with a PDF of the story, which is well-written and interesting, and there is no doubt that a great deal of research has gone into it. The first song on the album is “Aldri Sakleysi Er Farinn” which translates from the Icelandic into “Never Innocence Has Been”, with a spoken word introduction that is frightening and compelling all at the same time. This leads into “Cold Icelandic Winter”, which starts with an Icelandic line before Dave Curnow sings the rest in English (thankfully). Although the vocals are treated, this is one of the numbers where they brought in the use of a live human drummer, and there is something about this upbeat pop/prog number that is really compelling. The emotional lyrics are totally at odds with the tempo and style, yet they combine together to produce one of my favourite songs from the band.

The following song features just Dave Smith on vocals and synths, and although related musically to what has gone before it is also quite different in many ways. The whole album is like this, as they move and change the styles as they go through, being symphonic here, or more rocky there, or bringing in more pop styles if that is the right thing to do. The music can be smooth, or incredibly angular and jagged, almost as if Talking Heads are attempting prog. I would have liked to have heard more from Frank Urbaniak as there are still some songs where the drum machine has been employed, but overall this is a much more polished release than the previous ‘Stendec’.

Also available for ‘name your price’ on Bandcamp, it is available in its original form or as a remastered version that also contains some bonus songs that date back to 2005, and what finally led to the forming of the band. Definitely worth investigating.

Rating: 7/10

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Track list:
1. Aldri Sakleysi Er Farinn
2. Cold Icelandic Winter
3. Tomorrow Is A New Day
4. Leroy’s Tale
5. Internal Doors
6. And So To Sleep
7. Malansky
8. Evil Doctor
9. Race Against The Machine

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Links:
https://www.facebook.com/salander.DaveCandS

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