Artist: Peter Bjargo
Release: Animus Retinentia
Label: Cyclic Law
Peter Bjargo obviously needs no introduction. Most of you know him already as the driving force behind Arcana and Sophia, among others.
I could also mention his involvement in other projects, some of whom belong to the metal end of the spectrum.Apart from these activities-which also include his works as a producer-he also finds time and energy to release solo affairs. “Animus Retinentia’ is his third full length release as a solo artist. And once more, it is released by Cyclic Law. Writing for this eclectic label would need a text of its own. So, for now, please allow me to focus on this recording, exclusively.
There are not many artists around that have been so prolific. And yet manage to present quality albums all the way through. Peter is one of those rare cases, thankfully. And that is the initial point, actually: Bjargo has something to say as an artist. This might come off as a cliché, on my part-but, let me assure you: it is not! Leaving behind the fragments of his musical palette, Bjargo unleashes a harmonious, evocative and gentle assault on my senses.
The word “ assault” could sound as an exaggeration, perhaps. Judging by the gentle, autumnal feel that this music possesses. Using piano and guitar sounds, the result is pretty much flawless. Being low-key and full of tension, at the same time. This album creates a sonic aura of nostalgia, without having to borrow form Peter’s other, bombastic or ethereal attempts. This album differs, while not trying to be something else.
The real important factor here, is the simple beauty of this music. While I do not wish to choose stand-out tracks, there are moments of pure grace to be found, herein! Listen for example to the fragile, lush sounds of “As The Rain Falls”. So full of emotions, so simple and yet, so astonishing. Do not let the mournful state of this music deceive you. There is power and pathos in Peter’s musical dreams-you just have to listen to it, carefully. These songs’ overall stature is the state of balance re-stored. ‘Memories II” brings deep vocals on the table-connecting them with water-like, discreet guitar sound-washing. The result is breathtaking-as mentioned above, more or less. This soft approach works outstandingly well. This is a monument that truly defies genre convictions: it is just music, full of elegance and rich in sentiments.
Maturity is a double-edged word-when it comes to artistic merit, it is mostly used as a disadvantage. Leaving aside its negative meaning, completely-I would say that this album is a demonstration of maturity gained. Peter’s art today is by no means worse if compared to his previous efforts. Nor is it better-these comparisons seem useless to me.
What is marvelous is that he can obviously re-invent himself, without ending to sound like a copycat of his own, past incarnations. The ending of this disc alone should convince you of the deep solemnity that lies contained in these songs. Congratulations, on my behalf.
1) You Let The Sun Shine Through
3) To Replace My Sadness
5) Where Night Is Eternal
6) As Rain Falls
8) Transcend Time
9) Memories II
10) In Agony
11) Sleep Dep. Loop2
Score:9/10 Isabelle S.