Review: Hallatar – No Stars Upon the Bridge

Posted: September 3, 2017 in Reviews
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Featuring members of Swallow the Sun and Amorphis, Hallatar may be a new band but their pedigree is impressive. ‘No Stars Upon the Bridge’ is a record based on a collection of lyrics and poems by guitarist Juha Raivio’s sadly departed partner Aleah Starbridge, and was composed with a mixture of reverence and despair. Svart Records wil release is on 13th of October, and it is a wonderful monument to Aleah’s memory.

Opener ‘Mirrors’ is monolithic in its weeping majesty, with tinkling melodies soaring above titanic riffs and guttural roars meeting soulful croons in a devastating collision. This kind of dichotomy between aching beauty and massive heaviness continues in the monstrous ‘Melt’, the ghostly ‘My Mistake’ (featuring ethereal vocals from Heike Langhans of Draconian) or the poetic acoustics of ‘Severed Eyes’. It is difficult to pull out one specific track here to recommend when this feels like a complete piece, an elegy of sorts.

‘No Stars Upon the Bridge’ is deeply affecting; haunting and powerful in its execution and is a more than fitting epitaph for Aleah, whose talent must have been incredible to inspire such a meaningful record. As her own voice draws us to a close on ‘Dreams Burn Down’, it feels like the perfect end to a record that is so emotional, so dense, so real. In a world where bands and artists strive to achieve something with an emotional connection to the listener, ‘No Stars Upon the Bridge’ is almost too much at points. A gloriously evocative memorial to the departed, but never to be forgotten.

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