Paatos
Silence of another kind
19/05/2006
A new album every two years is a good average for musicians intent on delivering quality. The first two albums by this Stockholm quintet, “Timeloss” and “Kallocain” from 2002 and 2004 respectively, have already proved this. With their third release, “Silence Of Another Kind”, Paatos featuring vocalist Petronella Nettermalm continues this trend. However, this time around they have also injected a heavier element into their sound. So as well as appealing to fans of Björk and Portishead, they may now cross over to listeners of bands such as The Gathering or Green Carnation.

Petronella Nettermalm reveals the meaning behind the new album title, “The title was taken from the song ‘Not A Sound’, which deals with the imponderability of life. When you think everything is going in a certain direction, something often happens which you can neither control nor avoid, such as the loss a loved one. I think we all know the feeling of having the rug pulled out from under us, when the world stands still for a second and you do not know if there’s a deafening noise in your head or a paralysing silence”.

Not only is the band able to compose such moving music but in Nettermalm, they have somebody with such a beautiful voice who is able reflect life so profoundly in writing such insightful lyrics. Accompanying these vocals are a variation of sounds and moods, sometimes fairylike, sometimes mysterious and yet sensual. The music covers a wide range between dark gothic rock to symphonic Mellotron laden sounds while incorporating elements of Nordic folk and post rock with hints of jazz. The seemingly unreal “Your Misery”, recalls a city at the crack of dawn through which Petronella seems to walk through like the queen of the night. The thoughtful ballad “Falling” features a charming and harmonic downward movement. Also worth mentioning is this fantastic “Still Standing”, which at first confuses the listener with its hypnotic voice and sound effects gradually evolving into a superlative melody with carefully placed piano and strings. While this track is the first to feature heavier guitar sounds, they are featured even more prominently the following number “Is That All?”. In this track, the guitars form a stark contrast with a deeply moving chorus and otherwise atmospheric backdrop of sounds, coming over like a stoned version of Portishead.

The band’s 2004 tour with The Gathering seems to have left its mark. “Travelling with the Dutch has made Paatos a little bit harder and heavier”, admits guitarist Peter Nylander. “On ‘Kallocain’ we still explored modern technology and the use of sound loops”, adds keyboardist Johan Wallèn. “After the tour we felt the desire to record in a more live setting in the studio. We wrote songs, rehearsed them and afterwards performed the new pieces in our Green Genie studio. In doing so, we often began with improvisations. Often we composed a song during a three hour session, and then recorded live drums, bass and keyboard afterwards. This led to a very organic result”.

As in the past, the band chose to produce the album themselves but it was mixed under the guidance of Janne Hansson at Stockholm’s legendary Atlantis Studios. Hansson provided the finishing touches and by using his analogue equipment, he helped to achieve the aforementioned organic sound quality the band was looking for. The fascination with band’s diverse sound becomes especially clear on the song previously mentioned by Nettermalm, “Not A Sound”, the standout piece on “Silence Of Another Kind”. Melancholic folk harmonies are met with mysterious heavenly voices, which dive into a brilliant, dark, and symphonic finale, finishing in a wall of sound with guitar, strings and synths. On the whole however, Paatos remain a band of quietness, however quietness of another kind ...