Samas Antaral



I
N THE LABYRINTH – SAMAS ANTARAL

(Transubstans records)

In The Labyrinth is a Swedish band consisting of the multi-instrumentalists Peter Lindahl, Stefan Ottman and Håkan Almkvist who all play many special instruments, as well as singer Helena Selander. They are assisted by various guest musicians. Innovative, experimental but also melodic is how Lindahl describes their music. I can relate to this.

In the period between 1996 and 2002 they made three albums and in 2011, the compilation One Trail To Heaven (reviewed in iO Pages 106). The recordings on Samas Antaral are also not new because they were made between 1973 ande 2017,the main bulk in 1993 - 1994. The album is based on a story by Stefan Ottman and former band member Mikael Gejel. The music of In The Labyrinth is a beautiful mix of instrumental proggy music, Eastern as well as Celtic sounds. The fans of Gandalf and Mike Oldfield but also Dead Can Dance should listen to this. That the recordings are not new, we hear in the opening song Glindar because there we are presented with synthesizer sounds and a sample of a shakuhachi flute that were widely used in the eighties. This changes into a beautiful folky melody in the title piece with lots of flute, acoustic guitar and mandolin. The music is largely instrumental but The Raven Prince and The Road From Raudalin are beautifully sung, prog-like pieces. Lindahl takes care of the vocals.

The album has many atmospheres from the East and Middle East. Vormakk Of The Marshlands, Gar Skuorras and The Fall Of Tombuk - with sitar - are examples of this.

There are also quiet moments, for example in Undimon (In The Deep), Elk Warriors, The Heart Of The World, which almost sounds like chamber music and also in Balindargoth, in which Lindahl plays Mellotron. Then there are moments with refined acoustic guitar, as in Perrisendrach.

In The Labyrinth makes varied and quite unique music that, unfortunately, you don't get to hear so much of these days.

 
2018 - Paul Rijkens for Dutch progressive rockmagazine iO Pages





I
N THE LABYRINTH – SAMAS ANTARAL

A very engaging, moody, world-beat extravaganza

What can you say about a record that's taken twenty-fice years to see the light of day? That is what we have here with Samas Antaral, an album that started life as far back as 1973. This is a concept album of twenty compostions that amount to just about seventy-six minutes of music interlaced with a few vocal tracks and some heroic narration. It is a musical retelling of a story written by Stefan Ottman and Mikael Gejel in the 80s and then published as a series in a fantasy magazine called 'Drömskrinet'. With that in mind each of these songs or musical pieces takes its thematic cues from the intent of the story creating a kind of soundtrack or cinematic experience through which we come to appreciate the Lord of the Rings styled saga. As on previous In the Labyrinth releases it is Peter Lindahl who is the mastermind and prime music mover. Musically Samas Antaral is kind of all over the map in terms of musical influences. There's a little folk-rock, some psychedelic influences, lots of ethnic and world-beat compositions and then some dramatic more symphonic segments. All these different musical inspirations go to conveying the story. Musical comparisons for my ears would be a lot of Mike Oldfield and Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. It's the type of disc I found you had to spend time to fully appreciate. In fact, the perfect listening for me was in the car during a long drive. It made some great traveling music. Very engaging and satisfying.

Written by Jerry Lucky for The Progressive Rockfiles




In The Labyrinth: Samas Antaral

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with this “well-hidden-but-patiently-waiting- to-be-discovered” band from Stockholm, Sweden. Peter Lindahl – main man – formed a band called Aladdin’s Lantern, back in 1980, a band clearly influenced by Middle Eastern music. During the 90s they had switched from being a part-time live act to becoming a band more or less confined to the studio environment. Around ’93 the name Aladdin’s Lantern was swapped for Labyrinth and in ’94 to In The Labyrinth, which was essentially a way to avoid the risk of being confused with the heavy rock band Labyrinth. They released 3 CD albums, “The Garden Of Mysteries” (1996, Ad Perpetuam Memoriam), “Walking On Clouds” (1999, Record Heaven) and “Dryad” (2002, Record Heaven). I was first introduced to In The Labyrinth by Trail Records’ CD compilation “One Trail To Heaven” released in 2011. Unfortunately, since then, the band hadn’t released anything, but they’re finally back with a grandiose stunning concept album! “Samas Antaral” is their 5th album, released by Transubstans records, a subdivision of Record Heaven (unfortunately only on CD format). The album is built on a self-titled saga, once written by Stefan Ottman and former In The Labyrinth member Mikael Gejel and was adopted later on by Stefan and Peter. The songs were recorded mainly around 1993-1994 (parallel to the recordings for their first album). But there are also a few tracks or parts of tracks with a recording date back to the faraway 1973 and 1974! Of course, there are a few “pieces” that had been added more recently. So, we’re talking about an album that started back in 1973 and completed in 2018!

“Samas Antaral” tells the story of an island that sometime will rise up from the sea… And at this point, I will tell no more about the story because I do not want to spoil the fun of listening with curiosity and anticipation. I caught myself waiting patiently for the “narrator” to cut the continuing flow of this mystical musical journey so I can hear what happened next to The Raven Prince, or to The Eagle Dreamer or to Logrila. This fairytale is divided into 20 musical pieces ticking from 1:49 to 8:32min and most of the songs here are instrumental. The scenery, depending on the part of the story, is mystical, other times emerges a medieval feeling, becoming happy or sad, scary or adventurous. Folklore traditional music mixed with Middle Eastern, blending Baroque styles with pinches of Renaissance music and also Greek rebetiko music! All these, under a rather cinematic approach. Listening to “Samas Antaral” is like dreaming with your eyes open! Tripping into a Parallel Universe! Enchanting!


A few words about Samas Antaral tracklist. (Total playing time 76:56) 

“Glindar” (S Ottman)
“In the realm of Glindar it all began when serpents still shared this world with man”. Glindar was one of the first songs to be recorded for the album. 

“Samas Antaral” (P Lindahl/ S Ottman/ M Lövroth)
“The magic crystal lost in the deep is destined to return one day when an Island shall rise up from the sea”. The first embryo of this song emerged in 1987 and was completed many years later.

“The Raven Prince” (P Lindahl/ S Ottman)
“The deceptive lust for greed, as here portrayed by the Raven Prince stealing the crystal and then dropping it into the ocean”. On pedal guitar: Robert Eklund, on daf: Fereidoun Nadimi and on violins: Marcos Chagallo while helping out on harmonies with Peter is Helena Selander.

“Vormakk of the Marshlands” (P Lindahl)
“This is the ruler of the marshlands breathing frost and madness on whoever dares trespass the borders of his serpentine kingdom”.

“Gar Skuorras” (P Lindahl)
“The birdlike defenders of Nargal’s dark power, ready to hunt down any one who dares oppose him are called Gar Skuorras”. This song, for which the basic track was cut in 1974, features – among other instruments – a pair of acoustic guitars played with a bow and then speeded up for more intensity.

“Jambekko” (P Lindahl/ S Ottman)
Written by Stefan back in the seventies, this largely medieval song received additional themes by Stefan and Peter years later. Jambekko is a seed with magical properties playing a vital part in the saga.

“Nargal” (P Lindahl/ S Ottman)
This is a partly remixed and fully remastered version of the track that once appeared on the ITL album ‘Dryad’. It was written and recorded as part of Samas Antaral and has now finally found its way back.

“Undimon (In the Deep)” (P Lindahl/ S Ottman) A part of a recording called ‘Atlantis’, made by Peter in 1974, was copied and spliced in to form the midsection of this song. It serves as a backdrop for Stefan’s recitation, which was added more recently. For the rest of it, the arrangement is built up mainly around mellotrons, synthesizers, a concord of viola da gambas and the voice of Helena Selander.

"The Eagle Dreamer” (S Ottman)
This song was put together by Stefan in the 80s. It used to have lyrics in the form of a lullaby addressed to his daughter Tuva, but is here presented in an instrumental version.

“Return of the Hermit” (P Lindahl/ S Ottman)
Written essentially on two guitars, this was for a brief period, considered a contestant for the parallel ITL project ‘The garden of mysteries’, but was eventually shelved for better options, as it did not quite fit in.

“Elk Warriors” (P Lindahl/ S Ottman)
“Warriors, saddled on elk back, come to the young pilgrim Jorim’s rescue after Vormakk has left him in a ‘daze of milk and honey’ out in the darkling mire”. This instrumental starts off with Styrbörn Bergelt playing on a willow flute before string and bowed instruments take over.

“Perrisendrach” (S Ottman)
This was one of the first tracks to be recorded for Samas Antaral, with Stefan on Spanish guitar, then gradually giving way to a more lofty arrangement with zither, melodion, synthesizer, guitar and background choirs, flute and – finally – sounds of the forest.

 “The Heart of the World” (P Lindahl)
This is the predecessor and template for the opening track on The garden of mysteries, called ‘Gates of Andorra’. Written and recorded by Peter in 1993, it was eventually released as part of a cassette called ‘Mysteriernas Trädgård’ (ie The garden of mysteries). Helping to inspire this instrumental was, more than anything, renaissance consort music of the 16th century.

“Samirala” (P Lindahl)
“The healer Samirala plays an important role in the saga by bringing Jorim back to life after his faithful endeavor with the sinister forces of the mire”. This song is inspired by such diverse styles as Greek Rebetiko, Scandinavian folk, prog rock, but also the ethnic music of the high Andes. Alejandro Vega contributes with charango, pan flutes (zampona and toyo) as well as violin. Carlos Yoyi on Bb trumpet. Stefan Lakatos on trimba.

“The Road from Raudalinn” (P Lindahl/ Ottman)
Recorded by Peter in the 90s, this ballad picks up on almost exactly the same theme as The Raven Prince but with different lyrics.

“Gates of Cornat” (P Lindahl)
This began as an instrumental under the name of “Christos of Megalohori”, its inspiration deriving mainly from Greek Rebetiko but also from baroque music.

“The Fall of Tombuk” (P Lindahl/ S Ottman)
Stefan came up with the main theme to this one in the late 60s, while 25 years later, ‘Tombuk’ received a facelift with several more themes collectively added by Stefan and Peter. On accordion: Miriam Oldenburg.

“Balindargoth” (P Lindahl/ S Ottman)
“In the ancient city of Balindargoth lives the mad priest of Gormoth”. This track began as a synthesizer piece but was eventually supplemented with instruments such as mellotron, acoustic guitar and later on, Alejandro on charango as well as Helena’s angelic voice.

“Gormoth’s Dance” (S Ottman)
An early version of this song called ‘Arabesque Grotesque’ was recorded in 1978, this eventually serving as a template for what was to come 15 years later. A mixture of mostly acoustic instruments but also electronic ones.

“Logrila” (P Lindahl/ S Ottman)
“It’s here that the Island of Samas Antaral rises with the shining crystal, as it had once been foretold by Logrila who saw the rising of a blue star”.

Musicians and singers who took part in these recordings:

Peter Lindahl: Vocals, choir & chanting, electric guitar, 6 & 12 string guitar, mandolin, Turkish saz, electric bass & synth bass, mellotron, baroque traverse, quena, recorders, ocarina, shennai, shawm, keyboards, church organ, melodion, percussion, viola da gamba, bowed guitar, zither & sound effects. 

Stefan Ottman: Narration, choir & chanting, acoustic 6 string guitar, acoustic & electrified 12 string guitar, recorders, kazoo & keyboard.

Håkan Almkvist: Sitar, E-Bow guitar, electric bass & Indian tabla. 

Helena Selander: Angelic voice & choir. 

Robert Eklund: Pedal guitar, archlute, Celtic harp & oud.

Alejandro Vega: Pan flutes, charango & violin.

Styrbjörn Bergelt: Willow flute (on Elkwarriors), Stefan Lakatos: Trimba (on Samirala), Marcos Chagallo: Violin, Micke Lövroth: Violin, Fereidon Nadimi: Daf, Miriam Oldenburg: Accordion, Carlos Yoyi: Bb Trumpet (on Samirala) 

TimeLord Michalis for Time machine



IN THE LABYRINTH – SAMAS ANTARAL
( CD on Transubstans Records)

In the late 1990s and onwards Swedish world music/progressive outfit In The Labyrinth released three albums of marvellous music, founded in the main on the playing and writing of Peter Lindahl. The Garden Of Mysteries, Walking On Clouds and Dryad walked a fine line between prog and world music, but rooted in the imagination of Lindahl all three albums conjured up marvellous sonic imaginings: lyrical, sophisticated, exotic. Much later, in 2011, a compilation showing the breadth and depth of Lindahl’s music was released on the eastward-looking Trail Records (One Trail To Heaven), but since then nothing has been heard from the Swedish multi-instrumentalist – until now. Transubstans Records have released a brand new disk, Samas Antaral, which consists of seventy minutes of intricate, beautifully played and recorded songs. As before, the artwork is special too, created by Lindahl himself.

Although most of the songs here were recorded in the early 1990s (as with The Garden of Mysteries), some tracks date from twenty years earlier, while some sections were added more recently. Samas Antaral is in fact a concept album, a saga written by Stefan Ottman and Mikael Gejel in the 1980s and published in a magazine called Drömskrinet – hints of magic and fantasy abound. The music reflects the atmosphere of this story, and in twenty separate sections follows the saga.

The music opens with light synths and a shakuhachi sample before heading off into traditional ITL territory – exotic keyboards, beautiful instrumentation and a sensation of exploring new lands. There are hints here of such artists as Phil Thornton. The title track brings in a narration (from the imaginary saga mentioned above) before a loping, strident rhythm begins, and heavier synth instrumentation. As ever, it’s all beautifully played and produced – Lindahl has excellent ears. The Raven Prince is more of an eastern sounding trip, while Jambekko is a vibrant waltztime folk piece, again beautifully played on the ethnic instruments that Lindahl uses to such good effect. This piece is a little like the ‘folk’ pieces in the films Time Bandits and Dark Crystal – evocative, quirky.

Later in the album Return Of The Hermit is a beautiful guitar-based piece, with a lovely melody and descending chord sequence. This piece, along with many others, show one of Lindahl’s particular skills, that of orchestration. Elk Warriors is a flute and synth-based interlude before, later still, one of the longer cuts arrives, Samirala, whose woozy melody, taken up by a choir then transferred to other instruments, is a real beauty. The South American instrumentation makes it especially gorgeous – definitely an album highlight. Gates Of Cornat is an acoustic tune with thrumming harpsichord in the background and a Celtic hint in the playing. Three short closing tracks all merge narration, keyboards, melody and sonic beauty – a fitting end to a marvellous journey.

Fans of In The Labyrinth will no doubt love this album, which shows off all the many skills of Peter Lindahl. The orchestration and production is of a particularly high quality, while the melodies all float marvellously along on superb playing. A real stunner of an album, in fact, which all fans of progressive music should check out, even if they’re not fans of the world music influences.

Steve Palmer
for Terrascope




In The Labyrinth:
Samas Antaral


Progressive Rock from Sweden, with classical and oriental overtones, finally completed and released after 25 years!

I go through the music and I have a feeling that can justify my premonition that up in the frozen north where human existence is interlocked with darkness and angst, things take place in order to activate the cells of the brain. And so suddenly, instead of an exodus from hibernation in spring, this happens to occur in the winter's fall.
The absence of outdoor musicianship appears to be the trigger for inspiration and the incentive behind musical creativity. Musicians often do not have the right timing with one another as they do not have time to "meet". So lots of times a story of this kind can take years to achieve, which in this case, first of all encompasses the leading mind of the project IN THE LABYRINTH.
He embraced his maze and subsequently it took him 25 years to find the exit, which he eventually found through Transubstans Records.
An exuberant album that clocks in at 77 minutes, this is Samas Antaral, overflowing with a large number of different musical instruments from all around the world. Yes, you could call it world/Ethnic. It's a beautiful sound that can carry you away from the present, taking you to a fantastic world full of wondrous events. And if you cannot pinpoint these events, you can always envision them and place them in your imagination as you wish.
In fact, IN THE LABYRINTH is the experimental project of Peter Lindahl (mellotron, flutes, electric / acoustic guitars, bass, mandolin, zither, synthesizers, viola da gamba, woodwinds, percussion, strings) in collaboration with various friends and musicians. In this case, his friend Stefan Ottman plays a very important role (Acoustic guitar, synthesizer, background, vocals, narration.)

The evolution of Lindahl's album and how it came to be is symptomatic in the way that it all became very time consuming, as regards to several decades required to complete and release it for the market and well exceeding the expected time limit. For twenty-five years he (sporadically) worked on Samas Antaral, which is his fifth album with In The Labyrinth.
Really, what patience, what discipline!


Samas Antaral is based on an epic written by Stefan Ottman and Mikael Gejel in the 1980s and published as a series in a fantasy magazine titled "Drömskrinet". So the music reflects the atmosphere of  this story, which fits well with Tolkien's epic "The Lord Of The Rings".
The tracks - most of which are instrumental - were recorded mainly in the early 1990s. But there are also some that have been written and recorded as way back as 1973 and '74, while some parts have more recently been added.
 Beauty is diffused here. ‘Elk Warriors’ is the most enchanting moment for me. You can feel ev
erything. Nature in its totality. The air, the water, the rustling of the leaves of the trees, the birds, the desert.
You will sometimes feel a sweet melancholy, a mystery.

To "dress" a story, to complement a fairy tale this way and to have an audio-visual enjoyment at the same time is very beautiful, of course! But listening to this musical masterpiece (while at the same time having no idea about the history behind it) and evoking a soundscape with your own imagination, that means the composer has done very well in achieving what he had set out to do.

It is also worth visiting the In The Labyrinth website. As is fitting a fairy tale, when you enter the main page, you will be prompted to "open" the door (by clicking on it) to find out more! You will get into the world of Peter Lindahl, see all of his fairy-tale paintings which will help to connect you with the album's many themes.
In the artwork of Samas Antaral we have access to a beautiful piece of his art with the Dragon's Gate (in the first version with a young warrior supposedly chosen for some story he had written back in the early 70's!)


Middle East, Greek Rebetiko, Indian classical, Psychedelic & innovative Rock; these are few of the musical influences of the artist, all of these tied delicately together to form this concept. Enjoy!


Eleni Liverakou Eriksson

To read the same review in Greek!




In The Labyrinth:
Samas Antaral
(
Released by Transubstans Records, 2018. Progressive Melodic Rock)

Just before the end of 2011, the CD "One Trail To Heaven" was released on the American Trail Records label featuring the Swedish band In The Labyrinth, which from 1996 onwards have had several albums released on CD. The driving force behind this outfit is multi instrumentalist Peter Lindahl, who has been making music ever since the mid-sixties and also bass guitarist Hakan Almkvist (Ensemble Nimbus, Orient Squeezers, Flying Food Circus and Tweendeck 2) who handles instruments such as the sitar, tabla and E-bow guitar.
In 1996 In The Labyrinth released  their first CD  titled "The Garden Of Mysteries", which was re-released in 2012 by the Transsubstans  label.
In 1999 the successor "Walking On Clouds" came on the market and in 2002 "Dryad". And both CD's were released by Record Heaven.
On "One Trail To Heaven" there are several songs from  the above  mentioned albums,  supplemented with unreleased songs and alternative versions. But the band's fifth album is called "Samas Antaral" and is finally finished after a delay of more than 25 years. Most songs from this album were recorded in the beginning of the 90s, but there are also songs and parts of songs dating from around 1973-74, while there are also pieces on it cut more recently.

In 1980, Peter Lindahl, Mikael Gejel and Ulf Hansson formed the band Aladdin's Lantern, which in the 10 years thereafter sporacially changed direction as well as line up, with Peter being the constant factor. One of the musicians, who at that time played in the band - which from 1993 was called Labyrinth and a year later In The Labyrinth - was Stefan Andersson while another was Karin Langhard-Gejel. The music they played was Middle Eastern oriented and also had influences from Greek, Turkish popular and Indian classical music, but also from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Bo Hansson, Mike Oldfield, Ennio Morricone, Goran Bregovic and Pink Floyd and other sources of inspiration.

"Samas Antaral" is based on a saga by the same name, written by Stefan Ottman and Mikael Gejel in the 80s as a series for the fantasy magazine "Drömskrinet". The musicians who took part in these recordings were: Stefan Ottman - narrator, choral, chants, acoustic 6 and 12 string guitar, kazoo, keyboards and recorders, Peter Lindahl - vocals, choirs and chants, solo guitar, 6 and 12 string guitar , Turkish saz, bass guitar, synrgesizer bass, mellotron, recorders, keyboards, church organ, percussion, zither, okarina, shennai, schalmei, bass violin, mandolin, baroque traverse, quena, curved guitar and sound effects, Hakan Almkvist - sitar, bass guitar, Indian tabla and E-bow guitar, Helena Selander - angelic voice and choral singing, Robert Eklund - pedal guitar, Celtic harp, old and bow lute, Alejandro Vega - Pan flute, violin and charango (guitar from the Andes), Marcos Chagallo - violin , Micke Lövroth - violin, Fereidon Nadimi - Daf,Miriam Oldenburg - accordion, Carlos Yoyi - trumpet (1 number), Styrbjörn Bergelt - willow flute (1 number), Stefan Lakatos - trimba (1 number) and Kaijsa Vilhuinen - chants (1 number).
And it is worth noting that the paintings and drawings were made by Peter Lindahl, while Hakan Almkvist provided the graphic design.

The album, released on CD on the 27th of April 2018 by the Transsubstans label, is also to be accessed as digital download and it contains all in all 20 songs, kicking off with "Glindar", in which I get a beautiful, rather quiet, melodic Oriental sounding song, in which heavenly choral singing is provided, then followed by the title traack "Samas Antaral", a deliciously exciting, catchy mix of folk, Eastern and Russian music which is very danceable and accompanied by a spoken text at the beginning and end. Then this track is followed by " The Raven Prince ", an excellent melodic progressive rock song that has some excellent tempo changes.
Then the band presents to me "Vormakk Of The Marshlands" and I hear a short Oriental piece, which contains a slightly threatening effect, which is then followed by the equally short "Gar Skuorras" where I anticipate a nice swinging traditional sounding oriental folk song, which is then followed by "Jambekko", a beautiful Irish folk song, which boasts some tempo changes as well as light classical influences, after which appears the full remastered version of "Nargal", which is a slightly threatening Oriental song, once again boasting various tempo changes. In "Undimon (In The Deep)" the band puts out a magnificent progressive rock song, which contains spoken text and that is somewhat mysterious and threatening, while in "The Eagle Dreamer" the band plays me, once again, a beautiful melodic Oriental sounding song before “Return Of The Hermit" picks up, in which I get to hear a similar type of song, this one also carrying a very danceable rhythm. Then comes "Elk Warriors", a nice quiet dark sounding song, which is followed by "Perrisendrach", which begins with spoken words, then continuing in a nice and subtle way. And also in "The Heart Of The World" "the band plays a delightfully quiet, classical-sounding kind of song. Then I get "Samirala", in which the influences of the music from the Andes are clearly audible and this song has a very catchy rhythm, which is followed by "The Road From Raudalin", an excellent melodic ballad, also with influences from the Inca culture, after which I hear "Gates Of Cornat" in which in The Labyrinth once again performs such a great Oriental sounding type of music, which also has a danceable rhythm but also sounding slightly mysterious, to then be followed by "The Fall Of Tombuk", a fantastic swinging up tempo song, that sounds cheerful and encourages dancing.
Furthermore I hear "Balindargoth", which begins with spoken words, after which the band once again gives me a nice quiet song, which contains heavenly choirs and then "Gormoth's Dance" this being a wonderful Oriental sounding song, that swings and sounds cheerful, followed by "Logrila", that contains spoken words, while being accompanied by beautiful quiet Irish folk music, with which the band closes the album in an appropriate way.

"Samas Antaral" from In The Labyrinth contains mainly beautiful quiet songs, which are a pleasure to listen to and I can warmly recommend this album to all lovers of Oriental music, as well as music from the Andes and Irish folk, but
also those who love progressive melodic rock will certainly come into their own.

* The music of this band / artist can also be heard on Monday evenings between
8:00 PM and 10 PM (European time) in the radio program Carry's Music Machine
via www.osuradio.

Carry Munther, March 2018

4 stars

To read the same review in Dutch!



In The Labyrinth: Samas Antaral (In Finish plus brief translation in English)

Peter Lindahlin luotsaama ruotsalaisprojekti palaa tällä viidennellä albumillaan omaan historiaansa: suurin osa levyn kappaleista sai alkunsa 90-luvun alkupuolella ja osa materiaalista on jopa peräisin vuosilta 1973-1974. Nyt tämä alun perin In the Labyrinth -debyytin rinnakkaisprojektina alkunsa saanut teos on vihdoinkin viimeistelty ja julkaistu.

Levy perustuu Stefan Ottmanin - joka on myös mukana tällä levyllä - ja Mikael Grejerin 80-luvulla kirjoittamaan Tolkien-henkiseen fantasiakertomukseen. Suurimman osan instrumenteista on soittanut multi-instrumentalisti Peter Lindahl itse ja hän myös tarjoilee levyn harvat lauletut lyriikat. Stefan Ottman kuljettaa tarinaa eteenpäin miellyttävän lämpimällä kertojanäänellään sekä soittaa osan kieli-puhallin ja kosketinso- itinosuuksista. Mukana on 12 muutakin muusikkoa, esimerkiksi heleän sanattomasti laulava Helena Selander. Kun vielä lisätään, että musiikki ammentaa suurimman osan vaikutteistaan folk-keskiaikaosastolta sekoittaen mukaan erilaisia maailmanmusiikkivaikutteita romanttisen kauniiksi, melodiseksi folkprogeksi, lienee tyylilaji riittävän hyvin kuvailtu ilman nimeltä mainittuja vertailukohteitakin.

Jäljelle jää kysymys: onko Peter Lindahl kumppaneineen onnistunut saamaan aikaan hyvää ja kuuntelua kestävää musiikkia? Muutaman kuuntelukerran perusteella oma vastaukseni on "on!" Olen toki yleisestikin suuri folkprogen ystävä, mutta kyllähän näistä aineksista saisi ympäripyöreätä ja ennalta-arvattavan makeaa höttöäkin. Samas Antaral ei ole sellaista. 77 minuutin pituudestaan huolimatta kokonaisuus pysyy hyvin kasassa ja mielikuvitusta on annosteltu reilulla kädellä, vaikkei tässä toki mitään radikaalia uudistusta tarjoillakaan.

Aion kuunnella tätä levyä usein. Toisaalta: ei Samas Antaralia tietysti voi suositella kenellekään, joka vihaa kaunista musiikkia!

A brief summary in English by the author himself:

Probably the best way to categorize this music would be to define it as 'melodic folk-prog' and so with these basic ingredients it would have been easy to create a predictable and cheesy album, which Samas Antaral is definitely not! Instead it's full of ideas and the album holds together very well despite of its length.
I will be listening to this album ever so often. And to conclude this, just about the only ones to whom I cannot recommend it are people who hate beautiful music!

Otso Pakarinen for Colossus Ry




In The Labyrinth: Samas Antaral

The fifth album by the band In The Labyrinth, ‘Samas Antaral’, has finally been completed after a delay of more than 25 years! It's extraordinary that the songs were actually recorded mostly around the early 90s, in parallel with their debut album The Garden Of Mysteries.

The album of the year is varied and completely instrumental apart from wordless vocals. Some of the tracks or parts of tracks were actually recorded in the early 70's, while the concept of Samas Antaral borrows its inspiration from a saga once written by Stefan Ottman and Mikael Gejel in the Fanatasy magazine ‘Drömskrinet’. Consequently, the context is not different from the Lord of the Rings.

As always, Peter Lindahl is the central figure of the band, with his musicianship spanning up to 20 more or less exotic instruments. Lindahl has also been responsible for the production, mastering and mixing of Samas Antaral. Several guest musicians have contributed with various instruments including Indian tabla and daf! The two mentioned instruments are percussion instruments and daf is really an Indian tambourine. Lindahl has received good help from former In The Labyrinth member Stefan Ottman who also plays an array of varied instruments.

The song Nargal was initially made as part of Samas Antaral but ended up on the CD album Dryad. Now Nargal reappears in a partially remixed and completely remastered version.

Also it should be said that Stefan Ottman and Håkan Almkvist helped co-produce the album.

 

Samas Antaral offers a distinctive music and it would surprise me much if not many who like prog and related music styles, but also music that is unlike most of what has been heard out there, will like this album ?! ‘Progarchives’ also count In The labyrinth as prog people.

Permafrost Today, March 2018

To read the same review in Norwegian!



In Swedish:

Fantasy-folk progressivt

In The Labyrinth Samas Antaral (In Swedish)

Skivbolag: Transubstans Records

In The Labyrinths femte album. Inte helt fel tänkt känns det som, för detta är en skiva som tar dig med i en saga i sann Tolkien-anda som skrevs av Stefan Ottman, nuvarande medlem, och den före detta gruppmedlemmen Mikael Gejel. Sagan publicerades i ett fantasy-magasin som hette Drömskrinet på 1980-talet. Tiden är en viktig komponent i skapandet av den här skivan för det finns inspelningar som härrör ända tillbaka till tidigt 1970-tal. Flera övriga delar spelades in på 1990-talet och nu i år föll alla bitar på plats som ledde fram till denna tjugospåriga skiva.
Det är en mycket intressant skiva att ta sig an för det vimlar av musikaliska referenser. Bo Hansson och Mike Oldfield för att nämna några artister. En stor musikalisk influens är modernare turkisk musik men man hittar även tydliga spår av musik från Sydamerika och Indien. Ett spår är en ren
medeltida ballad, så kort sagt hämtas inspiration från hela världen och olika tidsåldrar för att sammanfogas mycket väl till den musikaliska helhet som Samas Antaral utgör.
Vill man fördjupa sig i vad varje låt handlar om eller har sitt ursprung i rekommenderas ett besök på bandets hemsida. Det ger ett ytterligare djup till upplevelsen.
Skivan är välproducerad både förpackningsmässigt och ljudmässigt. Varje enskilt instrument ur den digra instrumentpaletten får göra sig hörd. Så häll upp din favoritdryck, slå dig ner i favoritfåtöljen och låt dig svepas med på en spännande resa!


Recenserad av: Fredrik Thidell för Lira