‘Songs of Reverence’ is the sixth full-length studio album by Tigerforest, a musical project conceived by German-American electronic music composer and producer, Gunnar Spardel. Following in the footsteps of his highly-acclaimed 2014 release, ‘The Tides of Day and Night’, ‘Songs of Reverence’ boasts twelve gorgeous compositions that feature a diverse line-up of talented instrumentalists and vocalists. Loosely working within a style of electronic music commonly dubbed “chilltrance”, Gunnar draws primarily upon ambient, trance and dream-pop influences while also sprinkling bits of classical and rock throughout.

“Vermilion” introduces the album with a rumbling undercurrent of wind and waves that soon lead into a lush arrangement of synthesizers. Cello courtesy of Anat Nevo perfectly offsets the composition’s steady pace, which is underscored by a fluid chill-trance rhythm. “Through the Trees into the Water” continues in this mode, where soaring electric guitar riffs provided by Alec Posta and Luke Leach reach stratospheric heights. The album includes a handful of lead vocal performances that are interspersed with other mainly instrumental compositions. “Keep on Running” is the first in this line-up, a soothing and soulful dance number on which singer Jody Quine delivers a dreamy pop melody, as Tim Gelo jazzes things up a bit with trumpet. Rachel Gavaletz lends her sultry vocals to the equally euphoric, “Take Me Home,” while Addie Nicole sings with a soft innocence on the especially mesmerizing, “I Will Follow You”. Soprano singer Amethyste also provides wordless ethereal vocals on a few of the compositions, including the notably captivating “Bellefontaine”. Here, shimmering crystalline textures are warmly enhanced by the emotive violin of Maria Grigoryeva, as well as echoing tribal percussion courtesy of Ori Naveh. Another one of my favorites is “Sky on Fire”, which begins in a characteristically ambient motif that soon introduces Amethyste on Thermin. Her instrument lends a beautifully eerie sci-fi semblance to the composition’s hauntingly spacious atmosphere, which is additionally complimented by Bernhard Beibl on electric guitar and Nathanael Graham on drums. Likewise in this vein are the equally stunning “Stars in the Canyon” and “Sea Watch”, all of which epitomize the musical theme embraced throughout of scenic beauty and wonder. Ambient guitar maestro Jeff Pearce is featured on a majestic ambient-space number titled “Passages”, in which his layered ethereal guitars are impeccably interwoven among Gunnar’s pristine synthesizer soundscapes. Rounding out the album is a rendition of “My Face in the Rain” by iconic film and electronic music composer Vangelis, in which Amethyste provides lyrical vocals to this dreamily drifting and somewhat wistful tune.

Every bit as spellbinding as its predecessor, ‘Songs of Reverence’ is another masterpiece in the Tigerforest repertoire. Its emotive and soaring melodies rise and fall along a continuous flow of synthesizers which produce an encompassing, epic soundscape. While comparisons to other modern-day electronic musical icons such as Schiller and Ulrich Schnauss can be made, Gunnar Spardel has carved out his own unique style and ranks deservingly among his contemporaries. Epitomizing a harmonious balance between ecstatic celebration and melancholic introspection, ‘Songs of Reverence’ is easily a top contender for this year’s best chill/electronica album! ~Candice Michelle

Links & Purchase: Amazon, iTunes, Tigerforest


October 20, 2016 @06:20 pm
Thank you for an insightful and deep review. I love to share my music with you and your listeners. The journey continues...
Gunnar Spardel

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