01 The Great Open Spaces Of Mother Earth
02 The Breath Of Centuries
03 Cold Mysteries Of The Wintry Forest
04 Haze. Nebule’s Argent
05 The Hyperborean Gales’ Chants
06 Cold Selene’s Bright
I consider myself lucky to have grown up the mountainous regions of the Scandinavian north with the everlasting woods practically around the corner of our house. The winters of my youth were a dreamlike state of exploration and many a night did I wonder upon the cold bleak moon and the dancing stars high above. These moments are long since lost in times backyard but I still remember the occasional night sky aurora and its magical quintessence that empowered me throughout the cold and the harshness of growing up in a rural town in Sweden. Dalina managed to bring back parts of that moment in time when I as a mere nestling gazed at the stars in cold fascination of life’s mysteries.
Dalina combines folkloric instruments such as bagpipes, harps and other string instruments together with various harmonious soundscapes. The result is truly enchanting and hits the spot in conjuring images of frostborn changelings and dark brooding forests, however even the sun casts shadows and even though the sound is that of a living dream the album have one major flaw. While I do love the intricate harmonies of the flutes and whispering guitars it have moments when it tends to go into almost a grind of repeating the same melodies over and over. While each melody could have been great or even outstanding in its own the lack of variation in some of the songs turns out to be quite a sinkhole for an otherwise great album. For example, Cold Mysteries Of The Wintry Forest begins slowly building up a really strong atmosphere with a gentle harp and a brooding bagpipe but somehow it just never stops looping that same short melody over and over and the song is almost 15 minutes in length. Same goes for The Hyperborean Gales’ Chants that clock in at 12 minutes of repetitive yet strangely beautiful music. Of course there are slight variations here and there but not by far enough to make it feel less repetitive. Thankfully most of the other songs are more modest in both time and repetition even if the variations do lack overall in the album.
When it comes down to harsh reality this album is a fine example of an artist that has a grand vision and a means to spin it into reality yet lacks the composition to make it truly great. In one way I love this music, it’s gentle, delightful and atmospheric in so many ways and yet when you constantly get served the same melodies loop over and over again for so long it tends to loose its glamour. Cold Mysteries is quite a mixed bag, part of me truly admires the general atmosphere of this album yet at the same time the length and variation of some of the songs is a really huge downside. With Cold Mysteries Dalina have paved quite a good ground for the future and even if this is a prime example of how even the best of music can turn dreary without variation. However it is also a intriguing hint of what murmuring mysteries might be exhumed for the next album, great potential or great disappointment..