Norwegian psybient/electronic/trance duo Atralsheid dropped Shamanic Love just prior to the end of the year.
Made up of Gustave Holberg (vocals, synth, drums, mouth-harp) and Rúnahild (vocals, synth), Astralsheid’s sound displays simultaneous elements of primal energy and numinous exsufflations, resulting in one of two responses: taking an introspective journey into spirituality or reverting to the primordial state witnessed in the movie Altered States.
Formed in 2018, Astralshieds then released their demo, “Skydance,” followed by 2020’s Spirit Symbiosis, which offered plush layers of psybient (psychedelic-ambient) music. On Shamanic Love, the twosome immerses listeners in visceral textures associated with the limbic system, along with drizzles of mystical coloration.
Encompassing four-tracks, the album begins with “Shadow Love,” traveling on emerging otherworldly synths topped by eerie chanting vocals. The entry of a heart-like throbbing pulse imbues the tune with an intuitive rhythm that expands, adding percussive accents and shimmering swirls of blanketing harmonic textures.
“Skydance” projects flittering sonic colors atop a rumbling staccato rhythm, and then settles into a straight-ahead four-count pulsation. Glimmering, trembling hues reflect off reedy chanting voices, infusing the song with moody, mystical invocations, akin to the heavy surge of EDM merged with antediluvian inflections.
“Liberty” features an industrial-laced intro, swelling and rippling with dark layers of sonic pigments. A powerful sensor pulsation assumes control, while tight, humming tones vibrate overhead. The rhythm shifts to staccato beats as crowning leitmotifs sizzle in the air, injecting the harmonics with portentous savors as if waiting for a significant event to occur.
“Awakening” rolls out on inchoate textures, simmering with latency, conjuring up ancient memories of Protoman’s arrival. Tiers of chanting voices imbue the vocals with wistful supplications to the deities of old. A reverberating staccato rhythmic cadence hammers out muted wicked thumps rife with palpable resolve, imminent fear, and magical incantations.
At once raw and teeming with primitive momentum, Astralsheid suffuses Shamanic Love with supernal emanations, making it imminent and alluring.