• John Van de Mergel

Albums | Per Wiberg, All Is Well ...


Wat is dit weer een lekker duister schijfje geworden, die tweede van meneer ex-Opeth. Over Head Without Eyes (2019) schreef ik nog: "Meneer Wiberg bewandelt inderdaad geen platgetreden paden met dit album. Wat mij betreft mag hij blijven experimenteren op deze manier." Ik zou niet zeggen dat hij met deze ep verder experimenteert, maar hij bewandelt wel lekker dezelfde weg als met zijn voorganger.

Geen twee nummers klinken hetzelfde (orakelt MetalSucks, die de scoop mochten brengen) en daar hebben ze helemaal gelijk in. All Is Well ... klinkt als een sfeervolle, langgerokken intro tot ...In The Land Of The Living. Op het eerste nummer pakt Wiberg ook terug uit met zijn 'vertelzang' die helemaal in het plaatje past. Het tweede, meer dan zeven minuten durende nummer gaat dan vlot vooruit als een rockende Sisters Of Mercy om over te gaan in zware fuzzy riffs zoals we ze van o.a. Hawkwind kenden. Geweldig hoe dit lange nummer voorbij dendert en je compleet elke tijdsbesef vergeet.

But For The Rest Of Us ... laat een improv kant van de man horen: spookachtige spielereien met piano en diverse geluiden bouwen de spanning op naar het finale Lights Out. Geloof het of niet, of beter gezegd, luister gewoon naar hoe Wiberg hier Pink Floyd laat blenden met een jonge David Bowie. Melacholisch, theatraal, diep en donker ... of zoals er ook in 2019 werd geschreven: a different kind of heavy!


Voor wie het nog niet door had, de vier songtitels vormen één lange titel, net zoals alle nummers ook deel uitmaken van één verhaal. Wat is die Wiberg toch een begnadigd verteller.


Releasedatum: 14 mei 2021


website


luister























lees

Per Wiberg is a highly accomplished musician and sonic craftsman of the highest order. Expertly-versed in the art of song-writing with his formidable skill-set, Wiberg is a heavy-rock heavyweight. A well-known, illustrious multi-instrumentalist, having illuminated multiple classic albums and stages with esteemed bands over the years such as Opeth, Spiritual Beggars, Candlemass as well as Clutch/Bakerton Group, Switchblade and Kamchatka to name but a few, Wiberg’s solo work is the pinnacle of his odyssey through music. Over three decades of expertise culminate in a sound that is distinctly Per Wiberg’s own, with Classic Rock describing it as “sometimes reminiscent of the distant beauty of Steven Wilson, sometimes of the industrial hypothermia of Nine Inch Nails and sometimes of simply nothing that existed before him.”

Wiberg broke head-turning waves with his debut solo album “Head Without Eyes” in 2019, consumating his career as a musician in an eruption of soulful song. Nordic prog in a gnawing stew of jolting guitar notes, jangling bones and emotive melodies, Wiberg’s debut laid bare a beautifully uncharted new terrain that outstripped the laurels of his past and solidified his strong presence as a unique solo artist in his own right.

Now Wiberg’s new EP, aptly titled for these turbulent times “All Is Well In the Land of the Living” is a commanding celebration of innovative rock at it’s best. Expanding and further evolving his vision, Wiberg adeptly paints the definitive and familiar paradigms of golden age progressive rock with spirited and electrifying twists of dark tone. Listening to a master weave his deep spells, from shadow to light, we’re at once entranced and delighted in equal measure as Per Wiberg brews a potent concoction.

Captivating and catchy, forever new. Expansive and impassioned on tracks like “All is Well” comes across like Young Gods gone prog, to the haunting and Avant-garde “But for The Rest Of Us” with it’s dark improv in the vein of Alice Coltrane/Sun Ra, Wiberg unfolds his sound out in blankets of fresh atmosphere. “In The Land Of The Living” smashes latter era Sonic Youth alt rock into the heavy fuzzing riffs of King Crimson/Hawkwind with a bassline that has you hitting the steering-wheel across bleak highways and “Lights Out” is on the melancholic Dark Side Of The Moon with Ulver at their most post-pop, early Porcupine Tree at their most anthemic. If you want to hear Swedish progressive metal taken to the next level of dark melodic exploration, you will find your black heart in the “different kind of heavy” of “All Is Well…”

As Oscar Wilde says “Anybody can make history, only a great man can write it”, Per Wiberg aced his class of prog and now has the history books firmly at his command. Take a seat, and kick back to “All Is Well In the Land of the Living” and let Wiberg’s masterclass of atmospheric rock open a gap in the universe for you to escape and survive these dark times.

“Dark and sinister times indeed. The combination of the discordant and the harmonic, the sparse and the monolithic often to devastating effect, is impossible to defy” Louder Than War