QFT – Live in Space (Despotz Records)

  Van Muylem    22 april 2018

Linnéa Vikström (Therion) unveils her plan to release a solo EP: “based on scientific articles and themes about the universe and quantum physics had been on Linnéa’s mind for quite a while. But when Ömer Akay from Despotz Records saw Linnéa Vikström perform at 70000 Tons of Metal – where she jammed with Erik Peterson and Alex Skolnick (Testament), Charlie Benante (Anthrax) etc. – the project grew into a whole album. Along the way the scope was broadened to also include more philosophical reflection about how everything is connected”.

And more info: “Under the supervision of legendary Swedish sound engineer Lennart Östlund (ABBA, Led Zeppelin etc.), “Live In Space” was basically recorded completely live. Together with the musicians Georg Härnsten Egg (drums), Jonathan Olsson (bass) and Mano Lewys (guitar), Linnéa Vikström only needed a few recordings per track. That the album – apart from some additional choirs – was recorded live can’t be heard when you listen to the result. On the contrary, “Live In Space” sounds like the product of immense and costly studio sessions.
- When we started the recording, Lennart said “Damn, you must have rehearsed a lot”. But actually, we had only played together a few times before we entered the studio. Everyone is so amazingly good at their instrument that it only took 3-4 recordings per track to really nail everything. I’m so tired of hearing good bands on the stereo, only to later realize that they aren’t that competent when I see them live. I think it’s more honest to record everything live – what you hear on the album is what you’ll also get on stage.”

The album took me some time before I really got the right setting and discovered every layer and detail. I took my time and the more I listened to it the more I started to like it. It’s for sure a slow grower!”

The album starts with End of The Universe that starts a bit like a typical doom track, until we hear her angelic voice. Slowly but surely she starts to scream, we hear a nice guitar sound, whilst the typical doom metal sound comes back. Halfway it even gets some blues and an epic sound. The end reminds me a bit of Led Zeppelin (and I adore it). A more melodic and catchy sound comes with Big Bang (this is also the first single), that also has a nice up-tempo feel. Black Hole is a nice rocker with some tender breaks and shows of how great Linnéa’s voice is! QFT (quantum field theory) is a nice & fragile ballad filled with pathos and a slice of a symphonic sound. Aliens has a clear 80’s retro sound; with even the same special effects on the vocals in the beginning. The chorus is well done, just as the backings and the guitars. It all sounds live but in a very smooth way.

Time is a magical track that sounds fragile, but yet o so catchy and has from time to time a high tempo . More into hard and heavy guitars is the beginning of Quasar , very fast changes into a more floating sound before exploding again and rages as if on fire! Light Speed is a great up-tempo hard rock song that will be absolutely a hit on stage and will be loved by the fans! Live in Space is the second ballad, and in this case it’s a real ballad with only a piano and her fragile voice until halfway more instruments jump in, but don’t come too much in the front. Towards the end it gets more pathos and even explodes a bit (just as the tempo). The close the album with the ravishing cover of Björk’s Jóga. I’m a big Björk fan, so it took me a while before I could forget the magical original and start to love this soft rock version with rambling guitars and a heavier vocals. It was a dangerous move, but in the end I fell in love with it.

As I stated in the beginning: it’s a great album that needs some time to grow and even more time before it reaches your heart, but in the end you will fall for it. It’s a bit uncommon but just because of that it’s a great one! Well done!