Daniel and Mikael Tjernberg are brothers who create incredible neo-classical/jazz fusion/ambient music on the Swedish label Waerloga Records. Waerloga specializes in cinematic, science fiction, and dark fantasy music. The music of “Anton” is inspired by Cook’s science-fiction thriller “Anton.” The Tjernberg brothers experiment with orchestral styles that are deeply moving, dark, and quite unique.

The album opens with “The Hunt”, a 7:10 minute overture-like piece that begins with kettle drums and a cello-bass string group. It evolves into a tango-like rhythm with a spooky, suspenseful mood.  Track 2 “Atmospheric Toxicity” is spare and shadowy, with occasional statements by pizzicato strings and a clavichord. Track 3 “Postapocalyptic Landscape” begins in the ambient idiom and transitions into jazz fusion. The heavy bass lines hold down the bottom as strings gradually expound melodic material.  Track 4 “Heartbeat” veers into the neo-classical idiom with a vocal chorale reminiscent of Gregorian chant. This brief piece is followed by Track 5 “Out of Hand.”  It returns to the suspenseful, spare musical effects of the first two pieces, with occasional lapses into silence. Material is introduced by a piano and electric piano.

Track 6 “Hero” begins with an elegiac string melody that leads into a fuller orchestral section. The piece builds through textured layers of instrumental sound.  Track 7 “Anton” is a lighter jazz-fusion song. The melodies are more playful and exploratory. Hesitant moments give the sense that Anton doesn’t quite know what he’s doing or is making it up as he goes along. The song builds momentum and becomes more coherent and driven by the percussion. Track 8 “Summoning” is like demented church music. A high flute-like instrument plays a wistful melody as bassoons and bass instruments honk here and there. Midway through the track a male vocal group begins a march-like chant which gives way to a meandering piano melody. The final Track 9 is “Atmospheric Toxicity reprise”, a re-developed version of the second track.

Since it was inspired by a film, it isn’t surprising that the music sounds like film-score music. With its dark orchestral colors, this album isn’t light or cheerful. However, it certainly would be useful for darker or intense rituals, spell-casting, or as background music for guided meditations that lead participants through difficult issues. This music has a strong effect. It isn’t for the airy-fairy crowd. A previous album by the Tjernberg brothers is titled “The Chronicle of the Black Monks.” Sounds very intriguing to me!

This is fantastically creative musical composition with a powerful gut impact. Highly recommended for those on grey or darker paths, or for people who prefer intellectually complex music to power their rituals. Bravo!

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artists: Daniel and Mikael Tjernberg
Daniel and Mikael Tjernberg, 2015
available from Waerloga Records, CD € 14 or mp3 €7.