StarofAsh – The Thread (2008, Candelight Records)
- How To Invent A Heart
- Him And Her
- The World Spins For You
- Drag Them Down
- The Snake Pit
- An Apology Gone Bad
- Blood Bones And A Skull
- Crossing Over
- Neo Drugismo
- Neo Drugismo (video)
Heidi Solberg Tveitan (aka Ihriel)
Markus Reuter (German composer)
Kenji Siratori (Japanese cyber-punk writer)
Kristoffer G. Rygg (Ulver)
Knut Bendlk M. Briestein
Knut Buen (Hardingrock)
Total Time = 41:55
THE THREAD is the second solo album for Heidi Solberg Tveitan (Ihriel) from Peccatum/Hardingrock. You might also remember Tveitan because she is the wife of Emperor frontman, Ihsahn. Despite her husband’s heavier direction with Emperor, this Norwegian singer/songwriter has developed her solo career under the moniker, StarofAsh, and has created some beautiful, ambient, experimental music.
THE THREAD is not Heavy Metal of any kind, nor is it Hard Rock. What is found on this album is an encompassing grand composition that leans more toward Classical, Folk and New Age. The songs are sweeping and ethereal while retaining a a haunting, almost creepy, quality without trying to be scary. It’s all very interesting actually. Piano, Mellotron, acoustic guitar, fiddle, horns, keyboards, drums, light bass…..all these instruments are beautifully blended together to create a “quiet” wall of sound. There is not a lot of extra sounds or effects generated from computers like others in this style use, every sound is accomplished on instruments. Most of the songs are instrumentals and about half have lyrics. Tveitan’s vocals are beautifully done and Kristoffer G. Rygg from Ulver guests on ‘Blood Bones And A Skull’. ‘Neo Drugismo’ features spoken word lyrics from Japanese writer Kenji Siratori beneath a drifting piano.
As I mentioned, this is not Heavy Metal so I wouldn’t expect it. The songs on this album are experimental, avant-garde, and ambient music. There is a New Age quality to the album but we’re not talking Enigma or Enya. I liken this project as something The Gathering started with MANDYLION (1995) and perfected by the time they released HOW TO MEASURE A PLANET? (1998). When I saw who was behind StarofAsh (Tveitan), and the affiliated bands, I thought I would find an album of Gothic Metal like Epica or After Forever. In a way, I’m a little disappointed that this album doesn’t have any Metal and doesn’t rock out. I’m also a bit surprised because it was something totally different than I’m accustomed to and I enjoyed the musical passages/songs. Best song here: ‘Blood Bones And A Skull’.