The world of psychedelic rock is an odd one. It does have its moments, though. Swedish psych band Dungen makes some of those magical moments come to life in their new album, Häxan.
Häxan isn't the traditional psychedelic record. It's an homage and a soundtrack of sorts; it's following a recent trend of artists going back and making their own soundtracks for past films. Häxan is an original score for The Adventures Of Prince Achmed, the world's oldest surviving animated piece. Thus, this record is full of different moods and different levels of excitement.
Being a score, this album has plenty of filler tracks. Certain movements are slow and dreamy, such as 'Aladdins Flykt Över Havet' and 'Achmed Och Peri Banu.' Some songs also prove to be groovier and jazzier, setting a more sensual tone: see 'Trollkarlen Och Fågeldräkten' and 'Achmed Flyger,' the latter of which sounds like it could be from a video game soundtrack with its adventurous vibe.
This album is peaceful and not overly flashy, as is meant for a score. What's great about it is that you don't need the film playing next to it to understand the record, or the movements of the film. The emotions are set very clearly, the tone doing all the talking. You can tell when climax and events occur, tracks like 'Wak-Wak's Portar' and its distorted guitar and flutes ringing with urgency and without regard for time. The same is true for the closing track, 'Andarnas King,' a jam conclusion with a Lightning Bolt flair.
Häxan is an interesting record. It's a score, but it stands on its own as an interesting record full of events. It does what a score should do best - tell the story independently from the film through sonic interpretation. If anything, it makes you want to see the film in order to understand the tale of the record. Dungen's brilliance shines bright on this record.
Favorite Track: Trollkarlen Och Fågeldräkten
Least Favorite Tracks: Grottan, Den Fattige Aladdin, Aladdin Och Lampan
Rating: 70 / 100