War. Death. Nature. The weight of history. Big themes to wrestle with in one’s art. Anna von Hausswolff takes on all this and more with ‘The Miraculous’, covering similar territory as PJ Harvey’s ‘Let England Shake’. But where that album was all pastoral elegance and folky introspection, this is an apocalyptic storm, blacking out the sky and bringing the thunder.

From the deep, foghorn blasts that open ‘Discovery’ to ‘Come Wander With Me / Deliverance’’s organ drones and prog-rock guitars, it’s a widescreen, heavy listen. Recorded over five days in Piteå, northern Sweden, on the colossal 9,000-pipe Acusticum Organ, nothing about this album is small; even Hausswolff’s voice has been unleashed, stronger and more confident than on previous album ‘Ceremony’.

Most impressive is the way that dialling back the volume doesn’t ease the mood, for the quieter moments carry just as much dark tension; ‘En Ensam Vandrare’, updating Ennio Morricone for the 21st Century, is as haunting as anything here. Brooding, epic, and utterly captivating then; the Dark Side has never sounded so appealing.

Read our interview with Anna in Loud And Quiet 72.


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