Albums with only two songs have been becoming one of my favorite things to analyze. Whether they are full length albums and the songs are incredibly long or the album is short and the songs are of normal length, it doesn’t matter. I have started to see a great dichotomy between the songs; no matter what the subject matter, genre, or length, the two songs nearly always play off each other, highlighting two sides of something. We get two sides of a story, two events, two perspectives, two voices. In my latest dungeon synth album, I found this to be especially true. For a long time, I wasn’t sure how to go about analyzing “Final Winter,” the most recent album from Siliniez. There were so many things that I could have taken as a kernel to build on, so many that I have had to listen to the album nearly half a dozen times just to see what blossomed.
I mean to write this review several days ago, I thought I had a hook that I could write about but the more I listened, the more I felt the need to listen more and come up with a better idea, and I think I did. The Final Winter has lots of symbolism, lots of images, and all of them, or at least many of them, are from Norse mythology and the concept of Ragnarok. Within that story or event there are many, many dichotomies and Siliniez uses all of them effectively to create a compelling story.
The first song, Death of the Sun and Moon, is harsh and violent. The synth sounds are raw and lo fi, the song lasts over twenty minutes yet there is almost no repetition. The song is the story of Ragnarok itself without being a song about Ragnarok. The music is beautiful in the way that lo fi dungeon synth is beautiful, it’s harsh and violent yet the violence of the music isn’t chaotic and unnecessary. There is a narrative within the song and the different melodies speak to that narrative, acting like characters in a way. There themes of death, betrayal, revenge, all of the negative human contribution to the world put on full display.
The second song, The Final Winter, is the opposite to the previous song. The mood is mellow and calm, the music is softer, more orchestral. Instead of focusing on the harshness of winter, as is often the case with music, the song focuses more on the pristine nature of winter. Winter being a sort of starting over point. The snow has covered all the nastiness of the battle and now healing can begin. The volume of this song is even softer than the previous one, acting again in a reversal of the violence and noise. If pressed I would say I liked this song more but it’s a close race.
Siliniez is a hard project to understand. Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, far from it in fact. Its meanings aren’t so obvious that the music feels allegorical, they are subtle, allowing the listener to make of it as they will. There are dozens of ways the album could be interpreted, it’s up to the listener to find out what they see in the music and how they will receive it. Final Winter is a great album and I highly recommend it.
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