1. Secrets from the northern heights
  2. Mountain poems
  3. Nordic legends
  4. Opening a door to the past
  5. Closer to the ancient truth
  6. The ancient pulse still beats
  7. Brave souls
  8. Traces of a forgotten time
  9. Dominate
  10. Roots and Legends end title
This album concerns an ancient time when man appeared and moved around in the northern areas of the world.

2013. Press Information After Far Away, an album which had seduced by its refreshing approach of a universe prepared by Jean Michel Jarre, Johan Tronestam makes a strong comeback with an album inspired by the legends of the nomads from the Scandinavians countries. “Roots and Legends from the North” presents a pallet of 10 very melodious and lively tracks with heavy, loud and powerful rhythmic structures. Movements of pure rhythm which follow evolutionary tangents where the primary pulsations are flooded by sequenced arcs which free some nice jumping keys in forms as diversified as harmonious. Synths are poetic. Torn between their soft solos, they blow sometimes warm and sometimes dark winds where voices of any forms tell poems, disturbing or comforting, in the trails of splendid solos which awake the intergalactic ambiences of Jarre and the poetic ones of Vangelis.

"Secrets from the Northern Heights" begins this Johan Tronestam's 3rd opus with glaucous pulsations which stroll in a state of wandering among weak explosions of which the knocks are suffocating below a dense veil of mystery. From the start, Johan Tronestam spreads the main lines of a musical tale illuminated with paradoxes where rhythms and harmonies embrace each other in ambiences which inhale the legends of the North. Airier sequencer keys skip awkwardly in the traces of these pulsations, pushing a rhythm which resounds of its sizzling ions into mists with filets of silvered voices. And the rhythm takes shape.
Going away from its sinister approach, it sparkles with its crystal clear chords which skip in the jingles of cymbals and under the caresses of a synth and its soft solos before that another line of sequences rushes to forge a parallel rhythm of which the fine kicks pile up to form a structure which hiccups of its harmonious rebellion. "Mountain Poems" is a beautiful down-tempo with a lot of ambiences. The rhythm is soft and fed by some jingles as well as by percussions with tones of hollow wood resounding in veils of mist which float and wave in beautiful orchestral arrangements decorated by a synth to breaths of celestial trumpets. An acoustic guitar adorns this very beautiful ballad by singing its melancholic poems which get mixed into delicate serpentines from which the crystal clear sequences fall from bluish clouds. "Nordic Legends" widens its lugubrious vampiric waves which undulate in loops under the harmonies of a seraphic synth. A black voice recites a poem while that the track, still semi floating, kisses a meshing of pulsations and sober percussions which weave a kind of cosmic groove where the delicate skipping provokes some echoing hoops which engender scattered stroboscopic movements that a synth calms down by its warm solos. "Opening a Door to the Past" offers a heavy rhythm. A Scandinavian rhythm with sequencer keys which swirl and intertwine in a powerful and heavy technoïd waltz that the heaviness makes spin at low speed. These keys are as well powerful as incisive. They hammer a black rhythm which greets voices with lugubrious and intimidating lamentations, while that the synth divides its harmonies between the spectral winds and cosmic solos. These Scandinavians voices, eroded by winds, cold and fights, enrich the introduction of "Closer to the Ancient Truth" which limps of its chords to legs of deer beneath the voices of angels and synth lines which coo in loops. Percussions slam at the horizon, entailing the rhythm towards a more steady approach. An approach closer of synth-pop that some beautiful solos and delicate astral voices decorate with a poetic vision.

"The Ancient Pulse still Beats" falls heavily into our ears with a meshing of organic pulsations and knocks of percussions which forge a rhythm which is set by serpentines to crystal clear sequences. Hoarse voices are regurgitating a dialogue of Babel while that solos, cutting and dreamers, awaken memories of Jarre with constantly melodious approaches. "Brave Souls" bursts of its sequences with hybrid tones which strum an absent rhythm beneath the intense fog of a synth to dreamy harmonies and floating voices. A great line of piano adopts discreetly the movement of sequences to quietly get loose from it and to forge the lines of a melody that we could hear in the musical box of another land. The percussions falling are undoing a little bit the musical staging which escapes itself such as a gallop in the plains; there where chant a synth and its suave harmonious loops. "Traces of a Forgotten Time" follows a little the same rhythmic pattern. A tramp's rhythm in a desert of coolness where the synth illuminates the atmosphere of the Vikings of ice with some superb solos. Rhythm! Always the heavy and black rhythm! And "Dominate" sinks into our ears with heavy sequencer chords which alternate their steps in a structure bombarded by a linear rhythm. The synths borrow these harmonious patterns which follow the whole evolution of “Roots and Legends from the North” with solos, as much cosmic than vampiric, guiding the track towards more dark territories. "Roots and Legends: End Title" concludes brilliantly an album of which the powerful rhythms are digging grooves in our ears. The pulsations are heavy and make vibrate the spine, as well as the walls, with curt and hammered hits where the lapping of percussions make the toughs in front of so much rhythmic solidity. A superb stroboscopic serpentine is diverting the attention, diverting also the rhythm towards an approach more gang of street kind. A kind of androgynous hip-hop where bursts a sound fauna which has some more marvels to be told, to be blown for the most great pleasure of our ears constantly looking for a tone, a magic harmony which will pop out. We know this, to have experimented it since the very first chords of "Secrets from the Northern Heights".

Jean Michel Jarre is in a lack of inspiration since a long time? Well, long live Johan Tronestam! Seriously, this last album of the Scandinavian synthesist is above all expectations. Johan Tronestam succeeds an incredible tour de force by allying the harmonies and arrangements of Vangelis, contemporary version, to the rhythms and the cosmic atmospheres of Jarre. “Roots and Legends from the North” is one ton of bricks which immure our ears in a world of contrast where the rhythms sculptured in the crackling of thousand sequences and percussions to hard-hitting sonic jumbles run into synths with magical solos, contagious harmonies and mystic ambiances, drawing by the fact the sides of a superb, powerful and surprising album. To recommend without hesitations!

2013. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synth&sequences.com