This is a mini album lasting half an hour, but there is more depth here than on many a long player. Efterklang are a genuinely exciting band, and are probably like nothing you've ever heard before.
The most striking thing about this band is the way they handle dynamics, the opener 'Falling Horses' being an excellent case in point. Beginning with a dense, reverberating chamber or strings, bells and keys, drums eventually materialise as though from a great distance. The crescendo fades out, leaving us with a solitary piano, before a choral section and guitar presses through. The technical skill of the arrangements is obvious, yet it evolves naturally and not in the pernicious manner of typical 70s prog music. Not content to dwell on a particualar feel, the music evokes different emotions, seen in the way a playful horn section eventually modulates into the songs dramatic, crashing melody. This is perhaps the best moment on the album, evoking the title most clearly: strong yet fragile, emotive yet well-earned, unique yet familiar.
'Himmelbjerget', the next track, clocks in at a similar time of seven minutes. Again, the track winds through a variety of different musical landscapes. Another thing to notice is the way in which the band selects between electronic beats and live percussion: every decision is appropriate to the creation of a particular mood.
After the epic scope of the opening two tracks, the next two are more low key, being far shorter and concetrating on one emotion. But the band return to the more expansive stlye for the last track, 'Jojo', building up to a dramatic string motif that eventually collapses under its own weight.
There is very little to criticise with this record. It is rare that a short LP is crafted with the same care as a long player, but that is certainly the case here. Efterlang successfully fashioned something brilliant, innovative and vital. People interested in electronica, classical and scandinavian music will find plenty to like here.