Anna Von Hausswolff - All Thoughts Fly review

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Band: Anna Von Hausswolff
Album: All Thoughts Fly
Website: http://
Release date: September 2020

01. Theatre Of Nature
02. Dolore Di Orsini
03. Sacro Bosco
04. Persefone
05. Entering
06. All Thoughts Fly
07. Outside the Gate (For Bruna)

*Ominous organ starts playing*

Anna Von Hausswolff is a name I've been seeing quite often lately. She gained some notoriety with her previous album, 2018's Dead Magic, even though she already had three albums' worth of dark gothic brooding organ music before that, but Dead Magic had her sound move closer to a somewhat heavy Swans impersonation. In the meantime she actually guested on the last Swans album, and has also worked with Wolves In The Throne Room and Tribulation. I've also seen her performance at Roadburn, so needless to say, I was quite excited for what was to come next.

That said, All Thoughts Fly isn't really the Dead Magic follow-up I was expecting. Not necessarily a bad thing, as this isn't a signifier of any change of direction or anything, but rather an experimental detour, something not really canon, quite like a soundtrack album to a film that isn't. And it plays like a soundtrack album, except instead of a film or any piece of media, it's a soundtrack to a park in Italy. The Sacro Bosco park to be more precise, commissioned by the 16th century arts patron Pier Francesco Orsini as he was mourning the death of his wife. One of the statues in the park, representing the Roman underworld god Orcus, graces the cover art of this album, and also has an inscription that serves as this album's title. Something about the park, its statues, and how it came from lost love must've inspired Anna in some way so that now we have this album.

And it sounds like a soundtrack album mostly because it's completely instrumental and performed on only one pipe organ. Pipe organs have been a trademark of Anna Von Hausswolff's album since forever, but never before was an album purely pipe organ. Recorded in a church in Sweden on a Baroque replica. The promo comes with plenty of information on the organ itself, like it being the largest of its tuning in the world, and being capable of "pitching" notes, which is information that I don't have a proper frame of reference for. I have to say, for an album that forces itself to be so bare and stripped back, it is indeed very beautiful. It is the only solo pipe organ album I've listened to so excuse me for lacking any point of reference, but I can't imagine a better album of its sort. Yet I can't shake the feeling that it's missing something, not only because of its sole instrument, but also because it feels like a soundtrack to something that I can't experience right now. If I ever make it to Bomarzo and I visit the park, I swear and I will play this album, and maybe then I will properly experience this fully.

That "missing" feeling is frustrating indeed, but the pipe organ is expressive indeed, and I doubt I'll come across a lot of people to make use of that expressiveness as well as Anna Von Hausswolff. No atmospheric black metal album made me want to visit its nature the same way that this album makes me want to visit a park in Italy. Except maybe Diadem Of 12 Stars.


Written on 29.09.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.

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