There is not a lot to say about Hills that has not already been said, in fact those who are really in the know have been saying them for a few years, for me it all started with the glorious ‘Master Sleeps’ album last year. It was an album of such devastating beauty that at times I found myself like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner blabbing about this album to all who would listen. So the big question: is can they pull off this feat a second time? Well of course they can.
The striking cover depicting, which I can only assume is the burning Yggdrasil, may give some clues to where the music is going to take us. Yggdrasil is according to Norse mythology the tree of life and ‘Frid’ roughly translated means ‘peace’ so maybe the juxtaposition of these two opposites (the burning tree of life and the word peace), are the keys to unlocking the spirit of the music, or maybe I have spent too much time listening to the album and staring at the cover.
As for the music it feels like a much darker album, it still swirls, drones and soars as you would expect, but there is a feeling of menace throughout which weaves and wraps itself around each track. Take for instance the most accessible track and album closer ‘Death Will Find A Way’. It is a drone-athon full of echos of 1967 and will soon have you singing along, and this is the clever bit you find yourself singing those jolly old words ‘Death will find a way’. Elsewhere tracks such as ‘Kollektiv’ and ‘National Drone’ concentrate on hypnotic beats and are both laced with fuzz guitar solos that push the songs to the next dimension.
Never at any point does the sound of Hills become tiresome, never does it become predictable in fact after repeated listens I found that the album is still unlocking it’s secrets.