It all started with an experiment. No really, it did. A post on the TiD fanclub FB page said "Pick a TiD song and listen to it. Tell me your visuals." Okay. Cool. I had at this point, already established that two of the band member's other projects had a rather distinct effect on my synesthesia. I have the kind that makes me see colors with music, only specific genres though, and sequences in specific locations in space. It's hard to explain without visual diagrams. I'm not doing it. This is an album review.
Fix Idé. Released on October 7, 2016 from The Sign Records. Yeah yeah, I know I'm late to the game. The catch here is that I haven't seen any reviews done by someone with a relatively similar neurological anomaly so I'm claiming this spot.
TiD's music lends itself to visuals rather beautifully. It strikes the same places in your brain that make you want to jump up and direct the invisible orchestra when you hear a piece like "In the Hall of the Mountain King". One could expect that from a guy like Claudio Marino, who is not only the vocalist but has both hands and feet in film, graphic arts, music, and more. This album takes visually evocative to a new level. I can say with utmost honesty that the band itself cuts a rather striking image, but we're here to talk about music, not handsome Swedish men or Edvard Grieg classics. By the way, if you don't want to read my gushing about this album you should probably leave now. On to the tracks.......
Track 1) Bom Shiva......Have you ever had a window seat on a cloud heavy flight and been staring out the window as the jet descended from the base of the clouds into the atmosphere above city lights that stretch to the horizon? That's what this track feels like. It drops you (read: dropped me) into a great city in another dimension made of deep blue and twinkling silver lights. Even if you aren't quite so visual, there is a definite sense of settling in for an experience yet to be determined.
Track 2) Dumhetens Gudinna......The riff. Love the riff. Listen to it. Love it. I demand it. To be honest, Martin Persner and Simon Söderberg could play children's songs together and it would still sound great to me. Some playing styles complement each other in the most beautiful ways.
Listen to the chorus. It's epic. Fia Kempe (The Great Discord) sings it. Her voice makes me see explosions of gold over the rest of the song which stays a soothing emerald green. There's an interplay between hers and Claudio's vocals in this song that feels like a call and response to me. Perhaps it does to you. However, if you read the translated lyrics it seems they are more or less speaking from the same point of view. Either way, it's a powerful wave to ride....and you don't have to understand Swedish to enjoy the hell out of it.
Track 3) Aurora Surrealis......Dyk i framåtandans vatten svart hotfullt hav....It's my favorite line. Run your translators, non-Swedish speakers. Here is part of Claudio's description of the song.
"Musically: A dark mantra depicting a never-ending spiral as the ways of mankind. A whirlwind of science and ideas and the will to move forward - but do we really? As with the idea for video, this is a sonic landscape telling mystic truths and esoteric visions. The constructed dawn: Aurora Surrealis - Mankind’s own sunrise."
"Sonic landscape" is the phrase that stands out to me. That's precisely what this album is to me. One great gloriously interdimensional trip into a sonic landscape that could be man's ultimate step forward, or a push further down the spiral. That was quite the revelation considering it hit me during a song that, musically, had to grow on me a bit. I had a functional knowledge of the translation at this point which facilitated my deduction. Now back to the part about it growing one me. The first time I heard Aurora Surrealis was with the video release. I played it and purposely didn't watch it the first time. TiD's music always settles into three colors for me, but this one didn't. Instead of deep blue, emerald green, and silver I was seeing desert browns and yellow with a burst of blood red that came with each drum accent. It was the sudden appearence of that red that was discomforting. That's odd. I love red and I love a visually evocative drum beat. Alright, step back, start again. See it for what I think it means. Now it makes sensory "sense". The drum accents are like a heart beat. Mankind's heart. Perhaps the heart of the Earth. Oh hello emerald green....there you are.
Let me interject this. You can sit and listen. You can separate each part of each song and love it for it's brilliance. Or not. I would encourage you to not miss the forest for the proverbial trees. If you analyze every song you hear. Stop for a bit. This album is a thing of beauty. Experience it as a whole.
Track 4) Solens Nya Namn......There's a distinct sense of forward movement with this one even without knowing what the chorus means. “Leds av ljuset, leds av solens nya namn” translates to “led by the light, led by the sun's new name”. Somehow I can't see that as moving backwards. Also blue. Lots of blue in the minds eye. No green or silver. It's the type of song that's perfect for chill moments, and for those moments where you're driving down the highway singing along to the stereo at high volumes. Use it as an excuse to learn some Swedish words.
Track 5) Demimond.......If I were to write a love letter to a song, it would be this one. Absolutely gorgeous. I should say more. I'd probably run out of adjectives. It made me see silver outlines around everything. Lie in bed and let it sink into your brain. Put it on repeat so you can hear it in that space between awake and asleep. It's a path to a higher plane of existence.
Track 6) Nadir......Soothing almost meditative vocals, a crackling campfire, guitars, starry nights, and the sense of coming back down to the Earth from a dimensional journey. I agree with everyone else that loves this song.
If you're a fan of the band members' other projects, I encourage you to experience this album. You'll be glad you did.
See, I warned you I would gush about it.
Coming soon.....an album I really can't be as smitten with.......maybe.