AMN Reviews: Peter Bjärgö – The Translucency of Mind’s Decay (2021; Cyclic Law)

Peter Bjärgö’s deep, gravelly voice and acoustic guitar work is a signature sound, harkening back to his days with Arcana. His solo work of late represents a progression toward the more song-oriented, though still squarely within the neo-folk and dark ambient spaces. The Translucency of Mind’s Decay was written and performed during the pandemic lockdown of 2020, which gave Bjärgö an opportunity to introspect about his own mortality. As such, these pieces include tribal and martial percussion, haunting and melancholy chants and singing, gentle string and drone passages, subtle guitar, and an overall medieval feel. Despite being far from upbeat, they are catchy and rhythmic in their own way. And this is perhaps Bjärgö’s gift – the ability to generate an unconventional sense of hope in dark-themed offerings. Even the instrumental tracks, despite their downtempo gloom, are quite enjoyable and almost uplifting in their treatment of sadness. Well done, once more.

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