WITCHCRAFT frontman, Magnus Pelander, has delivered his solo full-length debut, Time, under his stage name PELANDER. Having released a new album with WITCHCRAFT earlier this year, entitled Nucleus, does Time deliver to the same standard?
The album opens with Umbrella, which greets the listener with an acoustic intro mixed with pipe instruments. PELANDER’s vocals have a heavy folk-like tone to them, and female backing vocals add a soothing layer to the otherwise rather depressive track. An interesting solo presented in this track gives the song more of a classic rock feel to it, which goes well with PELANDER’s singing. The outro to the song features a slow acoustic section, which is a fitting end to the song.
Following Umbrella is Family Song, which starts up as a more uplifting and heartfelt song than Umbrella. The song talks about how a family interacts with one another and is clearly an emotional subject for Magnus Pelander, as it can be heard in his singing. The lyrics take a somewhat depressive turn as nobody recognises the ‘stranger’ mentioned in the song, which could be perceived to be PELANDER himself. The inclusion of a piano piece in this track works beautifully to create a touching track.
The Irony of Man features female vocals, which make a return and pair well with PELANDER’s vocals, and suit the country/folk elements he delivers in this record. An acoustic section and the inclusion of a flute suit the track and help pull it together, however the song itself doesn’t really seem to have much of an impact.
True Colour begins with a clock ticking in the background, which makes an interesting addition to a track that seems repetitive, and unfortunately doesn’t seem to add much to the record. The repetition of “No” from PELANDER, leading into an up-tempo guitar section offers a briefly uplifting attitude to the track. Drums make for a much needed addition to the track, adding depth and creating a more interesting sound, however they fade out shortly after as the track returns to its origin, and closes with the return of a clock ticking.
The next track, Precious Swan, features slow and simple guitar work that allows you to focus on PELANDER’s vocals, which really must be complimented on this record. The track is the most intriguing and experimental of the record too, presenting several ideas that turn into a psychedelic mix that works very well. Precious Swan differs completely from the rest of the album, and for how well executed each section is and how interesting the song as a whole is, it’s the highlight of the album.
The album closes with the title track, Time, which is a haunting track with another repetitive guitar pattern that sucks the listener into PELANDER’s melancholic state. A brief drum section breaks the listener out of that emotive state before PELANDER is partnered only with the guitar once more. The female backing vocals become a strong support for this album, as they save it from making the tracks sound too similar.
Time is an album that really shows off PELANDER’s creative ability, specifically in Precious Swan, which features some wonderful psychedelic elements that make the album shine. The emotional content is clear in all songs, which is presented beautifully and consistently by PELANDER. However, the similarity between tracks hinders the album, and makes the album blend into one song (bar Precious Swan). If a new record was to be based on, and offered the same experimentation that can be seen in Precious Swan, PELANDER could prove to be even more successful in his solo work.
Time is out now via Nuclear Blast Records.