Born from nine days worth of field recordings in an abandoned Russian mining settlement by a 70 strong choir and three Danes, it’s safe to say that Piramida is not your average album. The name Efterklang itself means reverberation and the nature of their recording space and style gives the work a special atmosphere. Any record that opens with the sound of drumming on water pipes, weaved with the eery drone of a choir and percussion has to be worthy of your attention.
‘Hollow Mountain’ is indeed a worthy introduction, the sound of emptiness and vast nothingness mixed with warm vocals. While a voice can sometimes take from a song, in this case the solid, sombre, and luxurious tones of Casper Clausen only add to the layers of this well constructed onion. Altering between the chorus of the girls’ choir, falsetto, shrill backing vocals and the moody hum of sound, “and I wonder, I wonder, I wonder, what I am” is an apt lyric. Like Matt Berninger from The National, his is a voice that you’re not really sure why you like but simply do. Commanding. Sure. Unaffected.
It’s just the start of a collection that constantly inspires with its combination of strings, folky harmonies and musicianship at its finest. The onomatopoeic quality of the lyrics on ‘The Ghost’ creates a sound that seems to come naturally to the band, not surprising since this is their fourth, and perhaps most rounded album. Where else would you find the likes of ‘Black Summer’ with its trumpets, oil tank drum and sleazy James Bond esque intro?
You are left with the feeling that this band will continue to gather momentum and fans alike, with their previous albums acting as a family tree to their origins. From beginning to static end each song has a beautifully sincere precision of a maturing act in their prime. Accessible, likeable and with just a touch of genius.