Boomkat Product Review:
It's always a treat to hear new work from Erik Skodvin, and this latest release from the Deaf Center / Svarte Greiner man is certainly no let down. Flare is an eerily cinematic long-player that presents the listener with a markedly more spacious and airy soundscape than some of his most recent output; compared with the unforgiving blackness of Svarte Greiner's Penpals Forever, for instance, Flare has a more wistful and classical-influenced temperament. With the rusty string scraping and aloof piano phrasings of 'Etching An Entrance', the album gets off to an immersive and gently creepy beginning, building strongly on a sense of foreboding with the superb 'Matine', which could have been lifted from the score to some sort of Nordic existential Western. Similarly, the strange, arid vistas of 'Neither Dust' are punctuated by an evocative gallop that implicitly carries a Morricone-ish feel to it, even if it's tone is ultimately far darker than any such comparison might intimate. The album is partitioned into a series of relatively brief tracks, each one establishing its own particular minor-key mood, at times flirting with guitar-led bleakness ('Failing Eyes'), while at others latching onto more menacing, rhythmic elements ('Graves') but in all cases the productions are astoundingly full and uncannily visual - a factor that only conspires to further emphasise the soundtrack-like qualities of the album. Stunning material from the Miasmah boss, Flare might well be up there with his best work to date.