“The Sheltering Sky” is Dead Soul’s second full-length album, but if this is your first encounter with the Swedish duo, don’t let the upbeat intro of “Until The Last Breath” fool you – this album is a dark rock one. In fact, even the rest of the song becomes gloomier, as the synths engage on a parallel, creepy sound that smothers the original deceiving cheer.
It’s not just Niels Nielsen’s electronics that are responsible for Dead Soul’s darkness; Anders Landelius’blues heritage and vocal intonation are just as guilty. It’s not totally wrong to establish a comparison between Landelius and Johnny Cash, but the former’s pitch isn’t as deep and husky as the latter’s. Still, the level of sadness is about the same – especially in songs such as “Shattered Dreams”, “Dirt Road” or “The Final Day”.
Even though the aforementioned intro of “Until The Last Breath” is indeed the most happy piece here, there are a few others – the brisk rhythm in “The Fool” or “In Between”, the eighties vibein the keys of “Thy Will Be Done”. But the final outcome is always somber. And it’s in how they manage to combine and balance elements of opposite natures that lies the beauty of it all. It’s unique, exquisite, but unlike some artists that try too hard to “think outside the box”, Dead Soul’s sound is easy on the ear, making “The Sheltering Sky” something close to a masterpiece.
8 / 10
Words by: Renata Lino