The Danish one-man project Sagntid now presents us with its debut full-length from '09, released after a couple of smaller releases. A new full-length was supposed to come out during 2011 through 9th Meridian Records, but according to my knowledge its release has been delayed.
If you liked Sagntid's "Where the Black Dogs..."-EP that was released around the same time period, you'll most likely fancy this one too. The songs' drive is provided by an acoustic guitar which plucks and repeats simplistic but effective melodies for a good part of the album. The melodies range from slow ones to fast ones, yet they always sound relaxed. To boost the guitar-given mellow and slightly melancholic atmosphere, the songs have simplistic synth-ambience backing them up in the calmest parts. It's not the most original trick in the book, that's for sure, but it still manages to meaningfully fill all emptiness in the soundscape when needed. The guitars are occasionally replaced with bassier notes and even electric ones, but they're used in such a subtle manner that they don't break the atmospheres too strongly. Same goes for the quiet, muffled and a bit growly male vocals in a couple of the songs, even though their delivery should be improved.
Along with the synth-ambient, the album has a lot of other electronic spices. Some of the guitars and ambient-notes are phased, and some melodies are delivered by just slightly spacey synths. The "Where the Black Dogs..."-EP had similar spices, but this time around the electronics work a lot better. They help the album build more character, sound original and bold, and the entwining melodies are very pleasing to the ear. The album is fully DIY, which naturally shows in the sounds slightly lack in depth, but unless this description made you feel allergic there is nothing to worry about.
The album is both a relaxing and intriquing one. The problem (again) lies with the DIY-soundscape, as a professionally mixed one would for sure sound deeper and more cohesive. "The Slipstream World..." has a lot of play on dynamics which has worked decently with the soundscape, but would've worked even better if the sounds were plumper. I think the artist should invest on proper post-production next time, as he clearly has talent in crafting the songs otherwise.
The CD-R-version I got has black and really dull artwork, but I was informed that the artist has revisited the visual side since (hence the more fitting and detailed picture accompanies the black one). The album isn't the most traditionally crafted one, so an open mind is needed in order to fully appreciate its world.