Inside the Black Balloon

1. Welcome Denial
2. Blackout
3. Someone At The Door
4. Until The End
5. Home
6. Atomic Run
7. Red Matter
8. Echoes From A Dying Bell
9. Other Side Of The Sky
10. Mir
11. Reentry
12. Thinner

Martin Boman (Vocals, Guitars)
Jonas Sundgren (Bass)
Henrik Johansson (Drums)



Recorded in Cosmos Studios, Stockholm

Released 31/10-2011
Reviewed 3/12-2011


There is almost an eastern sound over Swedish Librah that takes your thoughts to the middle east and asia. This is a band that build music with atmospheres, mood and feeling rather than raw power and force. It's more detail polish than foundation carpentry. More reflection and analyse than actual action or acting. If you want peace then preparing for war might not always be the best solution. Sometimes it is to prepare for peace. Librah has come to give us peace, slowly but steadily.

The long and sweeping melodies takes us through landscapes of big, full-grown rock music played in slow-motion. It's not really fast music anywhere on 'Inside The Black Balloon' but I wouldn't say it stays put either. It kind of pendulate back and forth like a wave on the ocean, carried by wind and currents sometimes faster but softer and sometimes grander but slower. The guitars carries the music on their shoulders like kids carries their school backpacks and the music just fills that backpack more and more until it's so full ant the children are moving so slowly because of the weight that they have to take something out before the journey can continue - faster and with more energy until the same pattern repeat itself again always moving forward in some way but constantly changing a little bit in character.

I feel what's dominating the album are those atmospheric melodies the band produce in every song. The music is carried forward, almost like they were carried by panda bears. Big, soft and harmless scales with melodies that are so comfortable to listen to and easy to hear that you never really seem to get enough of them, regardless of the number of times you play the album. I know for a fact I've played this album well over 30 times already and I still don't feel any form of dullness or repetitiveness in the album. However… neither do I feel this music really lets me inside to feel its soul or spirit. It's kind of how I felt about 'The Delerium Suite' by Korea almost on the day one year ago. Or the self-titled album by National Anthems another year earlier on the day almost. It's a very good album, and good music - but somehow I'm not really moved by it. I feel I like playing the album, but I don't think about it after it's finished. To quote the neutrals in Futurama once again "I have no strong feelings one way or the other".

I guess that I feel this overly arranged, well-planned and well performed album might just be a bit to elaborate. I miss a song or so that separate itself from the rest. Something that really calls for your attention. Now by that I don't mean the album lacks creativity or viability or even feelings, mood and good elements. For example there are lovely violins in Echoes From A Dying Bell and there is power in the introducing Welcome Denial as well as impressing detail finish on almost every song on this album. There is absolutely nothing that will or can bother you about the album, but then again.. there's not really anything that gets you really excited either. There is no repetitive choruses, no naging singles and nothing really different. Everything is good, varied and constantly moving forward, but with small, small movements in a calm and relaxed tempo. The nice and moody guitars are occasionally garnished by a toned down solo or other kind of outburst, but neither that really takes over and gets you going in giant proportions. Then there's the rhythm section, which is just as anonymous as a rhythm section should be but considering how anonymous the guitars are I had hoped on something from the drummer boy or bass player. And lastly we have the clearly emotional vocals that can really express something, but unfortunately not something that grabs a hold on your soul or is technically amazing.

So, thirty or so repeats later I still feel the same thing about Librag as I did the very first time I heard 'Inside The Black Balloon'. It sounds good. Really good! But I'm sure I like it even better as soon as I get in to the music and understands it a bit better… the only issue is that I never did just that. I never get in to the music and understands it, regardless of my efforts. And this is either because it is too complicated for me or I'm to complicated for it. Either way, I can't get inside the black balloon and therefore I leave it where I begun with it.


Label: Supernova/Cosmos
Three similar bands: Mastodon/A Perfect Circle/Bree A Lecohn
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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