Seigmen - Enola (Indie Recordings)

Proving that sadness doesn't actually have to make you feel sad...
Release Date: 
12 Apr 2015 - 11:30pm

Norway’s Seigmen were something of a big noise in their homeland in the nineties, scoring a couple of number one albums and a huge local following with their ever-developing brand of darkly melancholic post-grunge. Twenty years later, after a reunion that seems to have taken the band by surprise just as much as it’s doubtless delighted fans, they release Enola, their first slab of all-new material since 1997. 

Thankfully, the melancholy still runs through their work like the word ‘Blackpool’ through a stick of rock, but the grunge elements of their sound seem to have been replaced completely, much to this reviewer’s relief. Tracks like the soaring, uplifting Tenn Alle Lys will have the hairs on the back of every part of your body standing to attention, swaying together in sad reverie as they contemplate the utter beauty of the song; Imagine Welsh alt. rockers Feeder having a love in with Steven Wilson on one of his more introverted days (and singing in Norwegian) and you’re getting close to having a clue about the sheer gorgeousness in sound this track offers.

Elsewhere Deus, which actually offers up the Enola of the title in what passes for its chorus is a bit edgier, more urgent, with vocalist Alex Møklebust replacing the default somnolence that is his usual vocal setting with something a bit more strident to good effect, whilst the predominantly acoustic Monokrom backs up the precise picking of guitarists  Marius Roth Christensen and Sverre Økshoff with a sparse soundscape and low-slung vocal and piano accompaniment to produce a fine interlude of what we’ve come to know as ‘post-rock’. 

To be honest, it’s hard to see the MaF readership as a whole embracing Enola, so low is it on thunderous drum barrage and slashing guitar pyrotechnique; But readers (or more importantly, listeners) willing to embrace the album’s sombre melancholia for what it is will find much to enjioy here, and it’s to be hoped that, if this is the quality Seigmen in 2015 offers, that this album doesn’t turn out to be a document of a one-off reunion. Fine work indeed.