Release Date: 12th November 2014
Kari Rueslatten is a Norwegian singer best known for her work with pioneering and influential female fronted Metal band The 3rd And The Mortal.
Although she was only with the band for three years or so in the early 1990s she is still fondly remembered and recently toured together with Leaves’ Eyes singer Liv Kristine and Anneke van Giersbergen of The Gathering as The Sirens, celebrating the early days of the female fronted Metal scene.
Since leaving The 3rd And The Mortal Ms Rueslatten has followed her own musical path and released five albums of often diverse musical styles with very little in common with the modern female fronted Metal scene. However as her profile has been raised by her involvement with The Sirens her record company has of course seen fit to release a compilation album of her solo material.
The 3rd And The Mortal were often experimental in style but basically were doom metal with female vocals and some imaginative ideas. The first thing that has to be said about the Norwegian pioneer’s solo material is that the Metal is completely absent. There is the occasional rocked up moment like when ‘Exile’ goes all industrial at times but even on the re-recording of The 3rd And The Mortal song ‘Why So Lonely’ the doom Metal vibe is replaced by a much more sparse and modern sounding arrangement.
So the Metal is absent but what we get in it’s stead is a selection of mostly low key and introspective sounding songs with folk, ambient, prog rock and electronic influences. ‘Wintersong’ is an almost medieval sounding piano ballad while ‘River’ has a slow and mellow groove but with some Bjork like atmospherics added to give the song an interesting edge.
Bjork has definitely been an influence at some point and ‘Fishing’ sounds just like something the diminutive Icelander might have produced in her heyday but the electronic folk groove of ‘My Lover’ is much more mainstream and pleasing to the ear and album opener ‘Other People’s Stories’ has an almost Alannis Morissette goes folk vibe to it.
This is not a Metal album in any way shape or form but I think anyone who enjoyed The 3rd And The Mortal’s experimental side or even fans of the likes of Mostly Autumn or Blackmore’s Night would find plenty to interest them.
The two very ambient live tracks which end the album are a disappointing way to finish but overall the vocals are beautiful, the atmospherics are great and there is a lot going on for such a mellow album. It’s all beautifully put together like the Norwegian siren herself and worthy of a listen when loud guitars just won’t do.