Kristoffer Gildenlöw – The Rain (2016)


The Rain is the second studio album created by the multi-talented Kristoffer Gildenlöw. Kristoffer plays a lot of the instruments himself and is also assisted by wonderful musicians who collaborate on this album: Lars Erik Asp (Gazpacho) on drums, Paul Coenradie (Valentine) on guitars, Fredrik Hermansson (Pain Of Salvation) on (electric) piano, Anne Bakker (Blaze Bayley) on violin and vocals, and Maaike Peterse (Kovacs, Ayreon) on cello. There are several guest musicians contributing on the album as well, including a complete choir.

The album contains sixteen tracks, which makes the album almost one hour long. The tracks themselves aren’t long, some merge beautifully into each other and some musical themes reprise here and there later on in the music. It’s a concept album carrying a very heavy story (which I will not give away of course, it’s up to you to find out what it is about), just like his beautiful previous solo album RUST. The music itself carries a lot of weight too. Don’t expect ‘uplifting feel good music’, but melancholic, transcendent gems of tracks filled with emotion. It’s very dynamic, some musical pieces are very soft and some are very loud. The music itself sounds very good in my opinion. Kristoffer’s voice is beautiful and amazing, one of the rare vocalists who can give me the right ‘goosebumps’.

First track The Rain Part II immediately sucks you into a dark and dreary atmosphere. Holding On Part I contains a beautiful dual vocals. Seeking The Sun Part I starts with a lovely soft piano, followed by beautiful vocal parts from Kris. Later on a choir joins in, and the song starts to become more heavy when the rest of the band starts to play. The completely instrumental Seeking The Sun Part II is more tender. See It All has a catchy drum rhythm. The music itself reminds me of the music from Gazpacho. In The Evening is my favourite track. It carries a more positive vibe compared to the other songs on the album. I wish the track would be a little bit longer because it contains so much magic. It Was Me is one of those tracks where you can hear that Kristoffer is an amazing vocalist who can carry a song just with his voice. She is the most haunting track on the album with a bombastic instrumental outro. The Funeral Part I and Part II are very beautiful, but gives you the feeling the ‘story’ hasn’t ended yet and that there’s probably more to come.

I had to listen to the complete album a couple of times to write this review, and every time I listened to the album in its entirety it surrounded me with its heavy load. The heavy load is hard to shake off, which is a very good sign! The music grabs you completely. My advice: Don’t listen to this album on a sunny day when you’re feeling good and positive. Let this album ‘flow’ through you on a dark and dreary day because it’s an intense masterpiece. A must have if you like melancholic and tranquil music… Actually, a must have for every music lover!

***** Iris Hidding

  1. After The Rain Part II (3:32)
  2. Holding On Part I (5:54)
  3. Seeking The Sun Part I (3:22)
  4. Seeking The Sun Part II (1:53)
  5. Worthy (2:45)
  6. Holding On Part II (2:31)
  7. See It All (4:51)
  8. Peripheral Memory (3:57)
  9. Breathe In, Breathe Out (2:33)
  10. In The Evening (5:38)
  11. It Was Me (4:10)
  12. Drizzle (5:12)
  13. She (4:53)
  14. All For You (1:15)
  15. The Funeral Part I (1:01)
  16. The Funeral Part II (1:53)

You can read my review on Background Magazine:

You can listen to the track Holding On Part I here:


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