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  • David Bentley

Hwaino (NO) – ‘Lithium Lullaby’ (track from recent EP)

As is regrettably all too often the case these days I know little about Hwaino but he was covered here only a while ago with a full in-depth analysis of a convoluted book he’d written which bears comparison with the epic ‘Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’ tale by Genesis.

He’s just released an EP, ‘The Insomniac Sessions’ and this track is from it. He bills himself as “eclectic post-rock/post-metal based in Bergen, Norway.” Hand on heart I haven’t a clue what ‘post-metal’ is; can’t even imagine it. Then he adds, “Elements of prog, trip-hop, lofi and blues-rock.”

Now I’m starting to get there because I often hear prog in what passes for metal, or even post-metal. To my mind what remained of prog took off in two directions when its ultra showbiz era crashed and burned in the late 1970s and early 1980s. On one hand you have the perfectionists, with their meticulous complex arrangements across keyboards and guitars and on the other what I call prog-metal, a harder sound with distinctive metal riffs underpinning the flowery stuff. Symphonic metal is a notable branch of it.

And Hwaino’s music falls loosely into that category.

He calls this track, “an ethereal post-rock-ish song, with some nice and soothing violins and a catchy climax.” The previous review by Andy referred to the “blissfully layered violins” and he called for more of it. I’m in accord with that observation as his violins here complement perfectly a guitar riff that might have arrived courtesy of Steve Howe, The Moody Blues or Wishbone Ash.

Not sure which lithium is providing the lullaby but I doubt it’s the one in your batteries. Then again it is a metal and it might be a play on words of sorts. Whatever it is, this is better than any medication.

Does he play all these instruments himself? Lord knows but I’m sure he can. It just seems to be de rigueur in Norway right now.

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