Per Wilberg – All is Well in the land of the living (but for the rest of us… Lights Out) – Limited Purple LP
Per Wiberg is a highly accomplished musician and sonic craftsman of the highest order. Expertly-versed in the art of song-writing with his formidable skill-set, Wiberg is a heavy-rock heavyweight. A well-known, illustrious multi-instrumentalist, having illuminated multiple classic albums and stages with esteemed bands over the years such as Opeth, Spiritual Beggars, Candlemass as well as Clutch/Bakerton Group, Switchblade and Kamchatka to name but a few, Wiberg’s solo work is the pinnacle of his odyssey through music. Over three decades of expertise culminate in a sound that is distinctly Per Wiberg’s own, with Classic Rock describing it as “sometimes reminiscent of the distant beauty of Steven Wilson, sometimes of the industrial hypothermia of Nine Inch Nails and sometimes of simply nothing that existed before him.” Wiberg broke head-turning waves with his debut solo album “Head Without Eyes” in 2019, consumating his career as a musician in an eruption of soulful song. Nordic prog in a gnawing stew of jolting guitar notes, jangling bones and emotive melodies, Wiberg’s debut laid bare a beautifully uncharted new terrain that outstripped the laurels of his past and solidified his strong presence as a unique solo artist in his own right.
Now Wiberg’s new EP, aptly titled for these turbulent times “All Is Well In the Land of the Living” is a commanding celebration of innovative rock at it’s best. Expanding and further evolving his vision, Wiberg adeptly paints the definitive and familiar paradigms of golden age progressive rock with spirited and electrifying twists of dark tone. Listening to a master weave his deep spells, from shadow to light, we’re at once entranced and delighted in equal measure as Per Wiberg brews a potent concoction. Captivating and catchy, forever new. Expansive and impassioned on tracks like “All is Well” comes across like Young Gods gone prog, to the haunting and Avant-garde “But for The Rest Of Us” with it’s dark improv in the vein of Alice Coltrane/Sun Ra, Wiberg unfolds his sound out in blankets of fresh atmosphere. “In The Land Of The Living” smashes latter era Sonic Youth alt rock into the heavy fuzzing riffs of King Crimson/Hawkwind with a bassline that has you hitting the steering-wheel across bleak highways and “Lights Out” is on the melancholic Dark Side Of The Moon with Ulver at their most post-pop, early Porcupine Tree at their most anthemic. If you want to hear Swedish progressive metal taken to the next level of dark melodic exploration, you will find your black heart in the “different kind of heavy” of “All Is Well In the Land of the Living, but for the rest of us… Lights Out”.